The Golden Visa program in Spain allows foreigners from outside the European Union to obtain a residence permit in exchange for investing in real estate or other assets in Spain.
The Golden Visa does not require the holder to be staying in Spain 183 days of the year.
The program was introduced in Spain in 2013. Similar programs are also offered in other EU countries, such as Portugal, Cyprus, Malta and Greece.
The advantages of the Golden Visa in Spain
With a "golden visa" in Spain, it is possible to travel freely within the European Schengen area (90 days out of 180 days).
In addition to this advantage in common with other countries that apply the golden visa, it can also be emphasized that Spanish real estate prices remain relatively low for foreign investors, even though in the last year or so prices have started to rise again.
This is an attractive combination of residence in the EU and low prices for investors from outside the EU, which at the same time creates excellent investment opportunities.
In Spain, the investment requirements to obtain the "golden visa" residence permit are as follows:
- Acquisition of real estate in Spain for a minimum of 500 000 €; or
- Investment of minimum 2 million € in Spanish Treasury Bonds; or
- Investment of minimum 1 million € in shares or deposits in Spain.
Real estate investment in Spain
Most non-EU citizens who have opted for the Golden Visa route have invested in rental properties in Spain.
The properties, either residential or commercial, can be rented out for a return. It is possible to acquire several properties for a total of minimum 500 000 €.
The properties can also be mortgaged for any investment that exceeds the minimum of 500 000 €.
The real estate investment can be resold after five years in case of obtaining permanent residence.
Permanent residence and passport
It is possible to apply for permanent residence in Spain after living in the country for five years. A passport can be applied for after 10 years of effective residence.
The Golden Visa (temporary residence permit) can be renewed without living in the country. However, in order to obtain the passport, the investor and his/her family must reside more than 180 days /year in Spain. Therefore, the Golden visa program in Spain is ideal for residence but less interesting for obtaining citizenship.
The popularity of the Golden Visa in Spain
The "Golden Visa" program has proven to be very popular especially with Chinese and Russian investors, who represent a large part of the total investment.
According to published figures, the most popular locations for real estate investors under this program are
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