The Spanish Golden Visa is a residence permit for anyone investing € 500,000 in real estate or qualified financial investments in Spain.
The Spanish Golden Visa is a very sound first step towards the Spanish permanent residence and nationality. It provides residential rights in Spain as well as travel in the Schengen area.
What is the Spanish Golden Visa?
The Spanish Golden Visa is intended to attract entrepreneurs to Spain, promoting inbound investments in real estate and other qualifying financial assets. The investments can be made in:
- Spanish property worth €500,000+
- Company shares, investment funds or bank deposits worth over €1 million
- Spanish treasury bonds of €2 million or more, and
- business projects deemed to be of general interest.
The first (but not only) way to obtain the permit is by making a capital investment. Perhaps the easiest, most profitable and secure investment is in real estate.
To meet these conditions, you must use at least €500,000 of your own funds to start with. However, above that threshold, there is no limit to debt financing (for instance using a mortgage or any other debt instruments) depending on the asset.
When making an investment in Spain, some taxes and fees must be taken into account, such as:
- VAT or transfer tax of up to 10%
- VAT is exempt in most financial instruments
- Stamp Duty, if applicable, in the 1% region
- Land Registry, Companies House, Notary and legal fees, if applicable, which can easily run up to 2%
It is therefore important to keep in mind that, in order to apply for the Spanish Golden Visa, the total investment needed could reach 12%, if a Spanish property is involved.
Lastly, you can also invest in business projects classified as “of general interest”, which requires approval from the relevant Spanish authority, providing the business may:
- have a positive effect on employment levels for the next generation, or
- make a social or economic impact in a specific geographical area, or
- represent a significant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.
It is worth considering that the Spanish Golden Visa provides access to all “Schengen” countries, including Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, or Switzerland, amongst many others.
It is true that similar schemes exist in other countries, including Portugal. However, the Spanish programme is not only one of the most cost-effective in Europe but also the safest scheme in terms of legal protection.
Spanish Golden Visa, further details
This visa was introduced in the Parliament Act 14/2013, which addressed a new type of visa and residence permit for investors interested in Spain. Most importantly, the Act was passed to attract foreign investment.
The main requirement to obtain this visa is to invest in real estate or other qualifying investments of at least €500,000. Any type of real estate can qualify, including residences, shops, vacant lands or parking spaces. The €500,000 minimum spend does not have to be made in a single investment. A series of smaller investments can be made to reach the sum required to qualify for a Golden Visa, and companies may also be used.
To take advantage of this law and obtain the Golden Visa residence permit in Spain, you must meet the following conditions:
- Be over 18 years of age
- Have no criminal record in Spain or in the countries where you have resided for the past five years
- Not be subject to an alert issued for refusing entry in any countries with which Spain has any kind of agreement in place
- Have a health insurance policy with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain
- Have sufficient financial resources for yourself and for family members during your residence in Spain
- Have paid the visa or authorization processing fee
- The investment can also be made through a company, so long as the company is not based in a tax haven, and you can demonstrate a controlling stake in it (i.e. direct or indirect control over the voting rights and the power to name and remove the majority of board members).
One application includes residence permits for your immediate family members, namely a spouse or partner; children who are minors; or those of legal age who, being financially dependent on the holder, have not formed a family unit for themselves and the parents whose care they’re in.
Del Canto Chambers’ team offers all the necessary tax and legal advice to process the application that best suits your case.
- Initial assessment of your current situation and legal guidance to determine the next steps.
- Application processing and follow-up.
- Permit renewal complying with the given deadlines.
We have supported hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and high-net-worth individuals in obtaining second residency or citizenship in Spain. At a time of increasing globalisation, and in particular for residents of politically or economically less stable regions, it is becoming increasingly important to be flexible. This also means being able to travel freely and independently with your family.
Spain, as one of the safest countries and fastest growing economies in Europe, offers fast-track programmes to obtain a second residency or travel authorisation for non-EU citizens. Holders of Golden Visas can reside and travel freely within the Schengen area.
Through purchasing property or investing in companies, fixed-term deposits or government bonds, the investor can enjoy unrestricted travel and residency, or even permanent residency and citizenship.