The Spanish Golden Visa gives residency to any non-EU national who purchases property or land for €500,000 or more in Spain. With the golden visa, you are free to travel to any of the European countries that are part of the Schengen agreement – for 90 days in every 180 days.
You are allowed to work in Spain and your immediate family also gains residency (spouse and children). There is no requirement to be in Spain for 183 days of the year with this visa, so no requirement to be tax resident.
You will need to apply for a visitor visa to enter Spain in order to look for a property to buy. However, you can buy property without coming to Spain. There is the option of hiring a property finder in Spain to source property for you. You can then either fly in to view suitable properties, or give power of attorney to a property finder or lawyer to act on your behalf. That person can view and make the purchase for you. You have to be in Spain to make the golden visa application though.
You can invest as an individual or through a company, but that company cannot be registered in a tax haven. When buying property in Spain (without a mortgage) you need to allow an additional 11%-13% for taxes and fees. Fees are higher – up to 15% – if a mortgage is included.
A married couple can invest a total of €500,000 together. Unmarried couples who co-habit also quality for the joint amount, as long as they are registered under the domestic partnership civil registry.
The type of properties that qualify are residential, tourist, commercial, industrial and rural properties; buildings under construction and buildings in need of repair; as well as land for development and rural land.
The initial visa gives temporary residency for two years. That can then be renewed for five years for an unlimited number of times, as long as you still own your property. You have to be in Spain at least once in the first two years and once again before each renewal. After five years you can apply for permanent residency, and that does require you to be in Spain for 183 days or more each year. After 10 years, you can apply for citizenship.
- As long as you maintain your minimum investment of €500,000, you are allowed to sell your property and buy again
- Your €500,000 can also be spread across several properties
- You’re allowed to rent your property if you don’t want to live in it
- You need an NIE to buy property in Spain
- The visa takes 20 working days to be issued
Other ways to quality for the Golden Visa are to invest €2 million in Spanish government bonds; €1 million in shares of Spanish companies; €1 million in a Spanish bank or financial institution (for example a fixed deposit account) or a major investment in a Spanish business (which must meet certain criteria).