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Golden Visa in Spain: Investor Residency Visa

golden visa in spain residence visa for investors

Residence visa for investors in Spain

The Golden Visa in Spain (or the residence visa for investors) is a temporary residence permit granted to a person not from the European Union (EU), and their family, for the acquisition of real estate of a value equal to, or greater than, 500,000 euros in Spain.

In the following article we will explain everything you need to know when applying for the Golden Visa in Spain: main advantages, differences with other visas, requirements, how to apply, etc.

If you are considering applying for residency by investment in Spain, our law firm specialising in real estate investments in Spain can help you by studying your case to apply for the Golden Visa or provide you with more information in a personalised manner. Contact us.

Who can apply for the Golden Visa in Spain?

The investment visa or Golden Visa in Spain is intended for all citizens from outside the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland who wish to obtain temporary Spanish residency in exchange for making a substantial investment in Spain.

The citizens of non-EU countries who have most requested this type of visa in recent years have been American, Chinese and Russian citizens.

Other citizens from developing countries, or from countries involved in a delicate situation due to political or military conflicts, are for example those from Venezuela, Iran or Lebanon. Said citizens have also requested this type of investment visa because the process by which it is obtained is usually simpler than that of other types of visas.

The professional profiles of the people that usually acquire the Golden Visa in Spain are:

  • Non-EU Real Estate Investors
  • Entrepreneurs making an investment in Spain.
  • Highly qualified professionals
  • Scientific Researchers
  • Employees of multinationals assigned to a Spanish subsidiary

How is the residence permit for investors regulated?

The law that regulates the residence permit for investors is the Entrepreneurs Law 14/2013 (Ley de Emprendedores 14/2013). This law was created to support entrepreneurs and their internationalisation.

Main differences between the Golden Visa in Spain compared to other types of visas

  • The application can be filled out while already in Spain
  • A minimum stay of at least 6 months per year in Spain is not required
  • The entire family can benefit from all the advantages of this type of visa (not only spouses and underage children, but also for parents over 65 and children over 18)
  • This visa includes work permits for the applicant and his/her family

Main advantages of the Golden Visa

No minimum stay in Spain

In Spain, all residence permits, except for the real estate investment visa, require a minimum and constant period of at least six months in the country. One of the main benefits of the Golden Visa in Spain is that it does not require a minimum or constant stay. The investor is only required to visit the country at least once a year.

Free intra-EUmobility

Both the investor and his family can travel within the Schengen countries without limitations or the need for other visas. This applies for both leisure and business trips.

Family reunification from the outset

Unlike other visas, with which you have to wait months or years for family reunification to take place, in the case of the investment visa, you will be able to travel or live in Spain with your entire family from the very beginning. This is the case both for your partner as well as your underage children. Furthermore, it also applies for your children over the age of 18, and for your parents (even if they are under 65), as long as they are financially dependent on the applicant.

All this will allow you and your family to enjoy the advantages of the Golden Visa from the very beginning, without having to wait for bureaucratic procedures that delay family reunification. Besides, your family will be able to reside in Spain continuously, even if you are unable to do so.

Work permit for the applicant and family members

This type of visa will also allow both the investor and their families to work in Spain, either as employees or as self-employed worker. This is one of the main differences with respect to other types of residency permits which only allow you to work for an employer. Furthermore, other types normally need prior consent.

Long-term and renewable permit

The initial residence permit is for two years. Before it expires, it must be renewed. The renewal will be for five additional years.

The requirements for the renewal of residence as an investor are:

  • Maintaining the initial investment or exceeding it
  • Proving that you still have the financial resources to continue living in Spain
  • Maintaining a medical insurance

After this period, you can apply for Spanish citizenship (below you can find more information regarding the requirements).

EU Driving Licence

You can buy a car in Spain and exchange your driving licence for a Spanish driving licence valid in the EU.

No tax liability as a resident

You will not be obliged to file a tax return in Spain as a tax resident in Spain. This applies as long as you do not exceed your stay in Spain for more than 183 days.

Guaranteed public or private education

The investor’s family members will be able to access public or private education in Spain; from basic to higher education.

Requirements to obtain the Golden Visa in Spain

There are a number of requirements shared by all applicants for residence in Spain. These must also be met by applicants for an investor visa in Spain:

  • Being of legal age
  • Not having a criminal record (within the last 5 years)
  • Not having an illegal status in Spain
  • Having sufficient economic resources to live in Spain, both the investor and his/her family members
  • Having a private or public medical insurance in Spain. Said insurance should cover all medical needs for the applicant and his/her family

Possibilities of investing in Spain to obtain the Golden Visa

  • Purchasing or owning real estate in Spain in excess of €500,000 and providing documents to prove said ownership (Title Deeds, Land Registry, document proving that the property or properties are free of encumbrances, taxes, liquidations, etc.)
  • Making a capital transfer of €1,000,000 or more
  • Investing €1,000,000 or more in shares or stocks in a Spanish company or entity, or in Spanish bank deposits
  • Investing €2,000,000 or more in Spanish public debt
  • Making a business investment. There is no minimum amount, but some requirements have to be met. Firstly, job creation. Secondly, making a substantial economic investment in the geographical area in which the activity is carried out, and which contributes to scientific or technical progress

How to apply for the Golden Visa in Spain

The Golden Visa in Spain is applied for in person at the Spanish consulates in your current country of residence, or in Spain; as long as you aren’t exceeding the maximum period of 90 days in the country.

You can also apply through a legal representative in Spain. In a previous post on our blog you will find all the information regarding how to appoint a legal representative (power of attorney) in Spain, who can act on our behalf for any legal or fiscal action you wish to undertake.

Regardless of the option through which you want to obtain the Spanish Golden Visa, you will need to present the following documentation:

  • Passport and a sworn translation of it
  • ID (NIE): Foreign Identification Number
  • Documentation proving the purchase or possession of real estate property or investments made in Spain
  • Visa application form
  • Bank statements
  • Certificate which proves neither you, nor the members of your family (over 18), have a criminal record
  • Medical certificate
  • Proof of having medical insurance with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain
  • A recent passport-type photograph
  • Proof of payment of the fees for obtaining the visa

Response to an application for an investor visa takes between 20 and 90 days, from when the documentation is submitted in Spain.

Taxes arising from residence as an investor in Spain

If you spend less than 183 days in Spain, you will only have to pay the tax derived from your property investment (VAT in case of first sale or Property Transfer Tax, called ITP, for second or successive sales):

  • Value Added Tax (VAT): 10%.
  • Property Transfer Tax (ITP): 10%

If, on the other hand, you become a tax resident in Spain, in addition to the above-mentioned taxes, you will also have to take into account the following taxes:

  • Income Tax: 19 to 45%.
  • Corporate income tax: 25%

How to apply for Spanish Citizenship

Spanish Citizenship can be obtained after 10 years of residence in Spain.

Together with the Golden Visa you must apply for a 5-year renewable residence permit. Afterwards you will have to apply for a permanent residence status, which will be granted for an additional 5-year period. Finally, after 10 years, you can apply for Spanish citizenship. To do so, you will have to pass exams in Spanish on the history and political structure of the country.

If you would like personalised information on how to obtain the Spanish Golden Visa or any if you have any other question regarding real estate investments in Spain, please contact our law firm.

Joaquín Pons, CEO Savloir

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