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Golden Visa for Spain | What is it?

Individuals can live and work in Spain if they have a "golden visa." 

The Golden Visa program was approved in Spain in 2013. A similar visa program is currently in effect in other nations including Malta, the UK, and Portugal.

It aims to draw in foreign investors who want to purchase homes or other real estate assets in exchange for having it made simpler for them to get a residence permit in Spain.

Conditions to Obtain a Spanish Investor Visa

Foreigners who can make a sizable capital investment may apply for an investor visa. It is granted to those who can invest in a commercial venture that is deemed to be of public interest in Spain because of its potential to

  • generate jobs
  • have a substantial socioeconomic influence in the region in which it will be implemented
  • or significantly advance science or technology.

In this scenario, a representative chosen by the investor to oversee the project may also receive the visa.

Investments by legal persons will be approved as long as they are not tax havens. Additionally, the investor must possess, directly or indirectly, the majority of voting rights and the authority to select or remove the majority of the board of directors.

Applicants can also purchase a Spanish property requiring an investment of at least five hundred thousand euros.

Thereon, if individuals stay in Spain for at least ten years, the Investor Visa offers a route to citizenship.

Although the procedure for becoming a Spanish resident through investment is quite simple. For the Spain golden visa individuals must dwell in Spain for at least six months out of each year for ten years before they can apply for a passport in Spain.

To obtain Spanish citizenship there are additional requirements. Applicants should be able to demonstrate proficiency in Spanish and prove national affiliation as well.

Documents Needed for a Golden Visa to Spain

Before applying for a visa or residence permit, a business project must offer a favorable outcome. The documents to be submitted for issuance are as follows:

  • Request for Form for Business Project Report.
  • A copy of the Passport or National Identification Card.

The supporting document allowing the representative to submit the paperwork on behalf of the applicant, along with the representative's national identity card or passport, should also be attached if the application is not submitted by the applicant.

An applicant must submit the following documents for the investor visa for Spain:

  • Duly completed application for the visa
  • Proof of Finance resources
  • Certificate for a criminal background check
  • Health coverage
  • Evidence of the representative's legitimacy and identity
  • Evidence of residence inside the consular district
  • A recent passport-size color photo.
  • An up-to-date, valid passport
  • Visa fee receipt

Additionally, applicants must submit both the original and a photocopy of the passport page(s) containing the biometric information. The passport must have two blank pages and a minimum validity of one year. The government will not accept passports that are older than ten years.

During the visa processing time, applicants must leave their passports at the Embassy of Spain or a Consulate. The Spanish Embassy or a Consulate retains the applicant's passport until the process is complete, at which point it is posted back to the owner. 

Along with their visa application materials, applicants are required to send a pre-paid envelope with their address and full name to the embassy or the consulate.

The following documents, both in original form and in copy are also required for the investor visa:

  • Investment in public debt
  • Investment in shares and unquoted stocks
  • Investment in real estate
  • Investment in a business project

Foreign documents must be apostilled or legalized and, if necessary, provided with an official translation into Spanish in the case of investments made through legal entities.

Who Qualifies for a Visa for Investors in Spain

Non-EU nationals making a real estate investment in Spain of at least 500,000 euros are eligible for the so-called "Golden Visa," a residence permit.

Simply put, anyone who has spent more than €500,000 on real estate without taking out a mortgage, as well as those who have deposited €1,000,000 in a Spanish bank or invested €1,000,000 in shares, are eligible to apply.

Benefits of a Spain Golden Visa 

One of the biggest advantages of the Spanish gold visa is preferential treatment. With this visa, applicants can obtain a residence permit quickly, both for the initial grant, which is valid for a year, and processing renewals every 2 years.

Additionally, the resident permit obtained via the Golden Visa for Spain permits unrestricted travel to the remaining twenty-six European nations that make up the Schengen region.

For processing the visa for real estate investment, one of the primary justifications is freedom of movement. But there's more—the Golden Visa also increases visa flexibility for the investor's spouse, minor children, and access to public schools, in addition to the investor himself. 

At the end of the year, children born in Spain are eligible to apply for Spanish passports without having to fulfill any additional conditions.

How Long is a Spain Golden Visa Valid For? 

The Spain Golden Visa will be valid for a full year once an applicant has picked it up at the embassy. They must travel to Spain during this time to exchange the visa for a two-year residence permit.

As long as an applicant maintains investment, the residence permit can then be extended indefinitely without any stay conditions. However, each time the residence permit needs to be renewed; they must go to Spain.

After five years of continuous stay for at least six months out of the year, he/she may apply for permanent residence if he/she intends to genuinely dwell in Spain.

The investor will have two years to live legally in Spain after receiving his golden visa.

Once this temporary period has passed, the applicant may ask for a renewal, which would permit him/her to remain in the country legally for an additional five years.

A word of caution is that such individuals in question must demonstrate that they still possess the asset that was the subject of the investment, whether it was a piece of real estate, stock, or government debt.

Moreover, visa holders also need to travel to Spain at least once every year.

Keep in mind that at the end of the day, one of the various options for obtaining Spanish citizenship is the Spanish gold visa.

Investments Permitted With a Golden Visa for Spain

A minimum initial investment of 2 million euros in Spanish government debt securities is required. Investment of 1 million euros can be in the form of:

  • shares and stocks of Spanish companies engaged in legitimate business operations
  • investment or venture capital funds incorporated in Spain
  • bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions

If a married couple invests in unencumbered real estate for a minimum of five hundred thousand euros, one of the spouses may acquire an investor visa, and the other spouse may obtain a visa as the investor's family member.

Can a Potential Investor Obtain a Spain Golden Visa without Investing in Real Estate?

Other than real estate, potential Investors can also invest in the following:

Transfer of Capital

Applicants can choose to make a sizeable investment in Spanish Treasury Bonds to take advantage of the country's Golden Visa program. This alternative is quite well-liked by the applicants due to the stability of these bonds' finances. (The Spanish government backs Treasury Bonds).

It is an essentially risk-free investment option that offers competitive returns. This option has a €1 million minimum investment requirement. Otherwise, they can deposit a minimum of €1 million in a Spanish financial institution's bank account or buy shares of Spanish companies.

Spanish Business Development

This route to residency in Spain through investment has a more overt goal of assisting the Spanish economy. If applicants take this route, they should be able to: 

  • Create jobs
  • Make an investment that will benefit Spain's socioeconomic situation
  • Encourage scientific and technological advancements. (This option requires a minimum investment of €1 million.)

Thereafter, applicants will have no trouble renewing their resident permit if they keep up their investment and go to Spain at least once every year.

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