The Investor Residence Visa (visado de residencia para inversores), also known as the Spanish Golden Visa, has proved popular since its introduction in 2013. The Visa opens the door to non-EU citizens wishing to invest in Spain and enjoy the benefits of residence for themselves and family at the same time.
In this article, we answer the most common FAQs to do with the Spanish Golden Visa. Bear in mind, however, that these are for information purposes only and no substitute for professional advice. We have a more complete page on Golden Visa requirements here.
At Costaluz Lawyers, we have wide experience in dealing with visas and residence permits for foreigners in Spain, including the Investors Visa. Get in touch for a free consultation now.
What is the Spanish Golden Visa?
It’s a visa that allows you and your dependents to live in Spain legally in exchange for investment by you in Spanish assets. As detailed below, these assets range from a property in Spain to bank deposits.
What are the investment requirements for the Spanish Golden Visa?
To qualify for the Golden Visa, you need to invest in one of the following:
- €2 million in Spanish public debt;
- €1 million in shares in companies in Spain in active business;
- €1 million in investment funds in Spain;
- €1 million in bank deposits in Spain;
- €500,000 in property in Spain;
- A business project in Spain of “general interest” that fulfils one of the following conditions: it creates jobs; has a significant socio-economic impact in the area, or makes a relevant contribution to scientific or technological innovation.
What nationalities can apply for the Spanish Golden Visa?
Only nationals from outside the EU may apply for the Spanish Golden Visa.
What are the benefits of the Investors Visa?
Residency for you and your dependents is the main advantage of the Spanish Golden Visa. The initial Visa allows you to live in Spain and travel within the Schengen zone for a year.
After 12 months, you should apply for a residence permit (automatically granted). If you renew the permit for at least ten years, you can apply for Spanish citizenship, providing you continue to fulfil the investment conditions of the Spanish Golden Visa.
Do I have to live in Spain during the first year?
No, you are not obliged to physically live in Spain for the year, nor do you have to be tax resident. However, if you want to apply for the residence permit (after one year), you have to prove that you entered Spain at least once during the previous year.
What are the personal requirements for the Visa?
In addition to fulfilling the investment requirements (see above), you must also:
- Be over 18;
- Have no criminal record in Spain or anywhere you have lived for the last five years;
- Be allowed entry into the Schengen zone and have not been denied entry at any time in the past;
- Have public or private health insurance in Spain;
- Prove that the funds you are using to invest in Spain come from legitimate sources and comply with international money laundering regulations;
- Prove that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and any family dependents while you live in Spain.
Note that all documents should be translated in Spanish.
What sort of property investment counts for the Spanish Golden Visa?
You must invest at least €500,000 in Spanish property. You may buy as many properties as you like, but their total value must be a minimum of €500,000.
Find out more about buying a property in Spain.
Can I include costs in the price?
No. The costs and fees associated with buying a property in Spain (typically between 10 and 12% of the purchase cost) do not count towards the total €500,000. Nor do mortgage loans from Spanish banks.
Do I have to buy the property before I apply for the Visa?
No. You can make the application with a contract for the purchase of a property in Spain, but you must also include a statement from a Spanish bank certifying that you have deposited at least €500,000.
Who else can benefit from my Spanish Golden Visa?
You and your dependents can get Spanish residence permits. Dependents are defined as:
- Your spouse or common-law partner
- Your dependent children (if they are over 18 you may have to prove they are dependent on you economically – for example, they are students)
- Dependent parents (you may have to prove this dependency).
How do I apply for the Spanish Golden Visa?
The application process depends on whether you are already in Spain or are outside the country.
Outside Spain – you must apply for the Visa at a Spanish consulate or embassy. You can see a list of locations for Spanish embassies here. You should apply at least 90 days before you plan to travel to Spain
Inside Spain – you apply to the Unidad de Grandes Empresas (Large Companies Unit). More information can be found here.
Do I have to apply in person?
No, you don’t. You can name a representative to do all the paperwork for you. This is highly advisable since it saves you time and stress and most importantly of all, ensures your application meets all official requirements.
Costaluz Lawyers offers this service. Contact us to find out how we apply for your Spanish Golden Visa on your behalf.
What are other residency options in Spain?
The Investors Visa is by no means the only residency option open to foreigners wishing to live in Spain.
We provide information about the others and offer comprehensive advice on how to go about getting work and residence permits. Get in touch for a free consultation now.