Table Of Contents
  1. General information about the Golden Visa in Spain
  2. Spanish nationality with the Golden Visa
  3. Requirements for the Golden Visa in Spain
  4. Investment requirements for the Spanish Golden Visa
  5. Circumstances not acceptable for Golden Visas in Spain
  6. Application process for the Golden Visa in Spain
  7. Professional help and assistance for Golden Visas in Spain


Golden Visas in Spain have become a popular option for non-EEA nationals who wish to obtain Spanish residency through investment. This visa type offers numerous benefits for holders and their beneficiaries, although there are some restrictions. In this article, we answer all the FAQs on Golden Visas in Spain.

General information about the Golden Visa in Spain

What is the Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa or Investment Residence Visa allows non-EEA nationals and their family to live and work in Spain on the condition that they prove substantial capital investment in the country. They must also meet the other requirements for the visa as set out in Spanish law.

What are the benefits of the Golden Visa in Spain?

This type of visa has several advantages including:

  • Flexibility on the time you’re allowed to be out of Spain.
  • You can enter and leave Spain with no need to get a Schengen visa.
  • Your relatives can accompany you to Spain from the beginning with no need to fulfill the generally demanding immigration requirements.
  • Dependents over 18 can accompany you as long as they do not have their own family unit.
  • Dependents under 65 can accompany you from the beginning.
  • Relatives who are of working age can get a work permit in Spain from the beginning.
  • It allows you to obtain Spanish nationality.
  • The initial validity is longer than other visas (2 years) and subsequent renewals are every 5 years.

Need information about other long-term visas in Spain?

How long can I stay out of Spain without my Golden Visa expiring?

The Golden Visa does not have minimum stay requirements as detailed in Law 14/2013 that specifically regulates the Golden Visa in Spain.

Do I need to get a Schengen Visa to enter Europe if I have a Golden Visa?

No, you do not. Once you are a Golden Visa holder you do not need to obtain a Schengen Visa every time you wish to enter Europe. You may enter and leave Europe freely and without the need for permission from embassies.

Can my family come with me to Spain from the beginning if I’m a Golden Visa holder?

Yes, the Spanish Golden Visa allows relatives of the holder to also become residents from day one meaning that they do not have to wait a year before requesting residency as is the case with other residence permits.

Can my children over 18 benefit from the visa?

Yes, the Golden Visa allows children over 18 to accompany the holder provided that they are financially dependent on the holder and do not have their own family unit.

Find out what paperwork you need for a Golden Visa in Spain. 

Can my parents come too?

Yes, parents, even those who are under 65 can obtain residence as accompanying relatives and from the beginning. They do not have to wait the usual 5 (long) years to join you.

Does the Golden Visa in Spain give me residency and permission to work?

Yes, the residency visa for investors is sufficient to live and work in Spain during the term of its validity.

Can my relatives get a permit to work in Spain with the Golden Visa?

Yes, not only you but also all your accompany relatives of working age (from 16 is the legal age in Spain) may work without the need to get sponsorship from a business or further paperwork requirements with the immigration authorities.

How long is the Spanish Golden Visa valid for?

Unlike more residence permits, which are generally valid for 1 year and renewals for 2, the initial residence authorization for investors is valid for 2 years. Once this period is over, you can apply for renewals for successive periods of 5 years.

Spanish nationality with the Golden Visa

Can I get Spanish nationality through the Golden Visa?

Yes, you can after 10 years or less if you fulfill the following conditions:

2 years if you’re from a Latin American country, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or have Sephardic origin.

1 year if:

  1. You were born in Spain.
  2. You did not exercise your right to Spanish nationality by choice.
  3. You were legally under guardianship of a Spanish citizen or institution for two consecutive years even if this situation continues when you make the application.
  4. You have been married to a Spanish for at least a year at the time of application and are not separated legally or de facto.
  5. If you’re a widow or widower of a Spaniard as long as at the time of death you were not separated legally or de facto.
  6. You were born outside Spain to a Spanish father, mother or grandparent as long as they were all originally Spanish.

Requirements for the Golden Visa in Spain

What do I need to fulfill the conditions for the Golden Visa?

You need to fulfill the following requirements:

  • Be over 18.
  • Make substantial capital investment.
  • Have no criminal record in Spain or in the countries you have lived in for the previous 5 years.
  • Contract private health insurance with a company authorized to operate in Spain.
  • Have sufficient funds to you and your family members during your residence in Spain.

Do I need to legalize the criminal record certificates?

If the country issuing the certificate forms part of the Hague Convention, the certificate should have an apostille. If not, you will need to legalize the certificate because otherwise, the Spanish authorities will not consider it valid.

Find out which countries are part of the Hague Convention.

Do I need a sworn translation of the criminal record certificate to get the Golden Visa in Spain?

Yes, if the certificate is not in Spanish.

Do I need a health insurance policy to apply for the Golden Visa in Spain?

Yes, you do and you must take it out with a company that is authorized to operate in Spain.

How long must my health insurance be valid for once I get my Golden Visa?

It must be valid for the length of your residence permit period and you also need it when you want to renew your Golden Visa.

What sort of cover should the policy include to be valid for the Golden Visa in Spain?

The policy should include the same coverage provided by the Spanish national health service, namely:

  • Primary healthcare
  • Specialized healthcare
  • Socio-healthcare
  • Emergency healthcare
  • Pharmaceutical and orthopedic provision.
  • Dietary products.
  • Ambulance service.

Did you know? Many applications for the Golden Visa are refused because the health insurance does not meet the requirements. To ensure your policy does, find out more about insurance services in Spain.

Is travel insurance valid for a Golden Visa application in Spain?

No, travel insurance is not valid as health insurance for Golden Visa purposes.

What financial means do I need to show for myself and members of my family to get the Golden Visa in Spain?

Sufficient economic means is determined by the Multiple Effect Public Income index (known as the Público Renta de Efectos Múltiples (IPREM) in Spanish). It currently stands at €564.90 a month.

For Golden Visa purposes, investors need to prove that they have at least 400% of the IPREM a month to live from. The minimum monthly income is therefore €2,259.60.

For each family member, you must also show you have at least 100% of the IPREM, ie €564.90 per person, per month.

Investment requirements for the Spanish Golden Visa

There are different ways of investing in Spain to get the Golden Visa: property investment, investment in moveable assets (four different ways) and investment in a business project of general interest.

What should I invest in property in Spain for the Golden Visa?

You need to invest at least €500,000 in property.

How do I prove I have invested this capital?

You must show you have bought the property through a certificate from the corresponding Property Registry. The certificate must include the purchase amount and has an electronic verification code for consultation online. You can also show the appropriate title deeds.

In order to fulfill the €500,000 requirement for the Golden Visa through property investment in Spain, can I buy more than one property?

The property investment must total at least €500,000 (not including taxes) and can be for one or more properties. Spanish courts have confirmed this on multiple occasions.

Can several of us buy a property for more than €500,000 to get the Spanish Golden Visa?

Yes, it is possible for 2 or more people (as holders, not accompanying relatives) to get a Golden Visa with just one property as long as the percentage of ownership is equal to or higher than €500,000 (excluding taxes).

Should the property be free of charges to get the Golden Visa?

Yes, the minimum €500,000 should be free of charges and mortgages. However, any amount over the minimum can form part of a charge or mortgage.

Get our free guide to buying property in Spain. 

What other investments give me access to the Golden Visa in Spain?

As well as investing in Spanish property, you also have the option to invest in:

  • €1 million in shares or holdings in companies with Spanish capital and real business activity.
  • €1 million in Spanish-based investment funds, closed investment funds or risk capital funds.
  • €1 million in bank deposits with Spanish financial entities.
  • €2 million of Spanish public debt.

How can I prove my investment in shares or holding for the Golden Visa?

The way to prove your shares varies depending on whether they are traded or not.

If they are non-traded shares or holdings, you present the certificate of investment issued by the Exterior Investment Registry (Registro de Inversiones Exteriores).

If they are traded shares, you present the certificate of financial intermediary duly registered with the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores) or the Bank of Spain. The certificate must state that you have made the investment.

How can I prove I’ve made an investment in Spanish-based investment funds, closed investment funds or risk capital funds to get a Golden Visa?

To qualify, the investment fund must be listed in one of the following two laws:

Law 35/2003 or Ley 22/2014.

To prove the investment, you need to present a certificate from the fund’s managing company, based in Spain and duly registered with the Spanish National Securities Market Commission (Comisión Nacional del Mercado de Valores).

How can I prove I’ve made an investment of €1 million in bank deposits in Spanish-based financial entities for the Golden Visa?

You do so by presenting a certificate from the financial entity that states that you are the sole holder of the bank deposit.

How can I prove I’ve invested €2 million in Spanish public debt to get a Golden Visa?

You need to present a certificate from the financial entity of Bank of Spain that states that you are the sole holder of the investment for at least the next 5 years.

Is there a minimum amount for business investment for the Golden Visa?

No, in this case there is no minimum because other criteria apply.

What are the criteria for business investment to get a Golden Visa in Spain?

The business project must be “considered and accredited as of general interest”. This is done by the fulfilment of at least one of the following conditions:  

  1. Job creation
  2. Investment with a significant socio-economic impact in the area where the activity will take place.
  3. Relevant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.

How can I prove that my business project meets these criteria so it’s valid for the Golden Visa?

You need to present a favorable report stating that the business project is indeed of general interest. You can get this report from the Commercial and Economic Office (Oficina Económica y Comercial) in the area where you present your visa application.

Discover other residency and nationality options in Spain.

Circumstances not acceptable for Golden Visas in Spain

Can I apply for a Golden Visa if I’m in Spain illegally?

No, you may not. You must be in Spain legally to apply for this visa type.

You must apply within 90 days from when you entered Schengen or during your Schengen visa’s period of validity if you need to get one to return.

Can I apply for the Golden Visa if I’m under 18?

No, you must be 18 or over. This does not apply to your children who do not have to be 18 or over to benefit from residency through this visa.

Can I apply for a Golden Visa if I have a criminal record in my country?

No, you must have a clean criminal record in Spain and in all the other countries you have lived in for the last 5 years.

Important note:

  • The Spanish immigration authorities can check criminal records in Spain automatically.
  • This requirement is only for you and anyone accompanying you over 18.
  • You need to show proof of no criminal record in all countries you have lived in for the last 5 years regardless of your nationality.

What sort of crimes would stop me from getting the Golden Visa?

Any act considered a crime by Spanish law.

What does it mean when the requirement for the Golden Visa says “the holder must not be considered as unacceptable in countries with which Spain has signed agreement in this sense”?

This requirement means that you must not be prohibited from entering Spain and not form part of any “inadmissible” lists in any of the countries in Schengen.

The cases where a foreigner is prohibited from entering Spain are as follows:

  • If he/she has previously been deported from Spain and are still within the period of prohibited entry set out in the deportation order. Or if they are subject to a deportation order.
  • If it is known through diplomatic sources, Interpol or any other international, police or judicial cooperation measures that judicial or police bodies in other countries are seeking the foreigner for criminal causes derived from serious common crimes as long as the causes are regarded as crimes in Spain.
  • They have been expressly prohibited from entering Spain by order from the Ministry of the Interior because of activities contrary to Spanish interests or human rights or through connections with Spanish or international criminal organizations or any other legal or administrative reason that justifies the order.
  • They cannot enter Spain because of international agreements that Spain forms part of unless it is considered necessary to make an exception for humanitarian reasons or national interest.

How can someone be added to the “inadmissible” list?

This happens when the foreigner represents a threat to public order or national security, particularly when:

The foreigner has been sentenced to at least one year of imprisonment.

There is strong reason to believe that the foreigner has committed a serious crime or there is real evidence that he/she plans to commit one in Spain.

The foreigner is the object of a restraining or deportation order that has not been overturned or suspended and that includes the prohibition of entry or residence in Spain because of non-compliance with Spanish legislation regarding the entrance and residence of foreigners.

Need help with your Golden Visa application? Get in touch.

Application process for the Golden Visa in Spain

Do I start my application for the Golden Visa in my home country?

No, unlike most residence permits, Spanish law allows you to start proceedings for the Golden Visa directly from Spain.No, unlike most residence permits, Spanish law allows you to start proceedings for the Golden Visa directly from Spain.

How do I apply for the Golden Visa in Spain?

The process is as follows:

  1. Visa application.
  2. Authorization application.

What’s the procedure for the Schengen Visa when applying for a Spanish Golden Visa?

If you’re outside Spain and because of your nationality you need a Schengen Visa to enter any of the 26 countries in Schengen, you must apply and obtain for the visa at a Spanish consulate in your home country beforehand.

Note that the timetable for approval of a Schengen Visa prior to a Golden Visa application is 10 days instead of the usual 15.

How can I apply for the Golden Visa if I’m not in Spain and I don’t need a Schengen Visa to enter?

In this case, it’s best to come to Spain and start the application directly.

Where can I apply for the Golden Visa in Spain?

You apply for authorization for residence in Spain through investment at the UGE-CE (Unidad de Grandes Empresas y Colectivos Estratégicos) office.

How does the UGE-CE take to approve a Golden Visa application?

The authorities have a maximum of 20 days from when the application is processed online.

If your application is not answered within this period, you may consider it approved under the Spanish law of administrative silence.

What can I do if my application is refused?

You can appeal to the General Secretary of Immigration and Emigration within a month of notification of the decision.

If this appeal were not successful, you can make a further appeal to the Madrid Supreme Court of Justice within two months of notification of the rejection of your appeal.

Professional help and assistance for Golden Visas in Spain

Applying for any sort of visa is never easy and the particular conditions of the Golden Visa mean that it can be complicated especially if you don’t understand Spanish. But don’t worry because our expert immigration team are on hand to help.

Their professionals have years of experience in helping foreigners obtain the permits they need to live and work in Spain including the Golden Visa. Get in touch for a no-obligation chat and find out how we can ensure your application is a success from day one.

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