The Ultimate Guide to Spain Golden Visa
What is Spain Golden Visa?
As many other European countries did, Spain also introduced its Golden Visa program that aims to help country’s economic welfare. Different than the Gold Visa Cards, Golden Visa is the right to residency in a country, and it provides visa-free travel into that country.
To hold the right to residency in Spain means that an individual can reside in an EU country. Spain is in the EU since 1985 and in the Schengen area since 1995. The country’s high standards of living and developing economy are the factors that make it an attractive option for relocation. Both families and businesses nowadays treat Spain as an important candidate for future investments.
Especially for non-EU nationals who want to pursue their career or life goals in Europe, Spain Golden Visa Program is a great option. It allows one to reside, study, and work in Spain. In addition, it may also lead to permanent residency, and eventually citizenship.
After 5 years of temporary residence, one may apply for permanent residency in Spain. Following 10 years of permanent residency one may apply for citizenship through the process of naturalization, provided that certain criteria are met.
Eligibility Criteria for the Spain Golden Visa
There are several investment options in Spain Golden Visa Program. The applicant may choose to invest either €500,000 in property, €2 million in Spanish Government Bonds or €1 million in shares in Spanish companies.
Apart from the financial requirement, the main applicant must be at least 18 years of age and possess a clean criminal record and a private or public health insurance policy.
- The applicant must be over 18
- The applicant must not be resident in Spain illegally already
- The applicant must not have a criminal record in the last 5 years
- The applicant must not be on the list of undesirable people
- The applicant must have private healthcare to cover your stay
- The applicant must be able to prove sufficient funds to live on without working in Spain
- The applicant must not have been rejected for residence from certain other countries or from Spain
- The applicant must not have any of the illnesses according to a 2005 regulation
Investment Options of Spain Golden Visa
To be able to obtain the Spain Golden Visa, there are several routes the interested investors may follow:
Real Estate Investment Option
This route requires applicants to invest a substantial amount into Spanish real estate. Designated amount of the program is €500,000. Applicants can opt for a residential or commercial property, or a combination of both. The property involved may be rented out. Different buyers may also combine their investment into one property, and any amount exceeding the minimum investment may be mortgaged out.
Business Development in Spain
This route more directly aims to aid Spanish economy. The applicant who chooses this option must 1) create employment 2) the investment needs to have socioeconomic impact on the country 3) contribute to scientific/ technological innovations. The minimum investment requirement of this option is €1,000,000.
The investors may also opt to invest a substantial amount in Spanish Treasury Bonds. Because of these bonds’ financial security, this option is quite popular among the applicants. Treasure Bonds are backed by the government. It represents a relatively safe form of investment, with which you can get competitive returns. The minimum investment requirement of this option is €1,000,000. Otherwise, one may invest a minimum of €1 million in shares in Spanish companies or bank deposits with a Spanish financial institution.
Business Projects in Spain
The projects that will be deemed proper must meet the following criteria:
- When it can be argued that it will be a motor of job creation.
- When the investment is expected to make a positive social or economic impact in the geographical area of the investment.
- When it represents a significant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.
There are currently more than 3,000 start-ups in Spain in which to invest. With the aim of promoting these projects, the government has implemented tax changes that favour investment in these companies. This option requires special care because of its legally complicated procedures. Therefore, it is highly suggested to go through the process with the help of an agent.
Spain Golden Visa Application Process
Spanish Golden Visa process is fairly straightforward. First, the applicant chooses their favourite investment option. The investment options are stated above under the heading of “Investment Options of Spanish Golden Visa”. Then, the applicant prepares and submits the application for Schengen Visa. Then the applicant must visit Spain to provide the authorities with the required biometric data. This part of the process usually takes around two months to complete. Final step of the application process is to wait for the result of the authority reviews. The process of approval or rejection usually takes around 20 days.
In order to apply for a residency visa it is necessary to supply certain documents in addition to the application form:
- A valid passport which has at least a year until expiry
- A document confirming that there are sufficient funds to cover living during the time
- Document confirming that the applicant is covered for medical insurance
- Document issued by the relevant authorities which confirms the schooling of children (if applicable)
All of these documents must be translated into Spanish and legalised.
Opening a Bank Account and the NIE Number
NIE, or Número de Identificación de Extranjero, is translated as the Foreigner’s Identification Number. The Spanish NIE number is a tax identification number. It is used for many activities regarding Spanish taxation system or real estate. It is used when paying taxes, making official purchases and going through other legal or official activities. It is used in all fiscal transactions that involve the Spanish tax office. A NIE number is mandatory for all foreigners with financial, professional or social affairs in Spain. It is best to have an NIE number as soon as possible even if there is no permanent residency required.
Non-EU citizens typically receive their NIE application along with their Spanish residency. Spanish NIE number is required for numerous actions such as:
- Opening a bank account
- Being legally employed
- Paying taxes in Spain
- Buying or selling property
- Buying or selling motor vehicles
- Becoming self-employed
- Registering a business
- Studying in Spain
- Getting a Spanish driver’s licence
- Arrange utilities
Submitting the Application
In general, the authorities have a period of 20 days from the submittal date in which to process the application. If the authorities do not reject the application within that time then the application is automatically granted.
In some extreme cases where the Golden Visa Program is not used, the process might be much longer. Depending on the situation, this version might take up to 10 months.
Spain Golden Visa Renewal Process
The initial Golden Visa that is granted lasts for a year. The holder may choose to extend the validity for up to 5 years. After 5 years, the applicant may apply for a permanent visa.
In order to be able to extend the Residence Visa:
- The applicant must have a current Investors Residence Visa or one that has expired no more than 90 days earlier
- The applicant must have visited Spain for at least a month during the previous year
- The applicant’s investment must continue to be invested in Spain
- The applicant must still satisfy the visa requirements that allowed them to obtain a residence visa in the first place
Spain Golden Visa Benefits
Spain, as a member of the EU and the Schengen area, grants visa-free travel to many countries. Considered “Schengen” countries are: Spain, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.
Spain Golden Visa Program includes the residence of the family of the main applicant. Many investors choose their programs regarding the education of their children. As an EU member country, Spain offers a wide spectrum of schools that cater for the international members of the society.
There are many pension schemes to choose upon in the Spanish financial market and Spain is famously a great place to retire.
Frequently Asked Questions
1 – What is a Golden Visa in Spain?
It is a new type of residence visa, established by the Law 14/2013, of the 27th of September, aimed at those non-resident foreigners who want to enter the Spanish territory in order to carry out a significant capital investment.
2 – Which are the types of Golden Visa in Spain?
The law distinguishes two big groups. The capital investments (in public debt, social shares of Spanish companies, bank deposits in Spanish financial entities and through the acquisition of real estate assets) and other kind of investments (creation of a company of general interest, high qualified professionals and transactions within the same company).
3 – Does the golden visa authorize the holder to circulate freely within the Schengen area?
Yes. The investor’s visa authorizes to circulate freely within the “Schengen” area (Spain, France, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Sweden and Switzerland).
4 – Can the visa holder keep their tax residence outside Spain?
Yes. The holder of the permit can keep their tax residence outside Spain, as long as they stay in Spain for a period less than 183 days per year. Also, the residence permit can be renewed even with absences longer than six months per year.
5 – Does the golden visa authorize the holder to work?
Yes. The Golden Visa authorizes to live and work in Spain.
6 – How long can the holder stay in Spain with the Golden Visa?
The residence visa for investors authorizes to stay in Spain during one year. Once this period is expired, a residence authorization can be requested for a period of two years, renewable for two more years if the applicant proves the maintenance of the investment.
7 – The 500.000 Euros are per applicant or per application?
Per applicant, but they can also include their companion relatives, who can jointly and simultaneously or successively request the authorization and, in case, the visa. Nevertheless, they have to fulfil the general requirements and prove the relationship bond through their corresponding certificates.
8 – Can the applicant buy more than one property?
Yes. The reference of real estate assets made by the law does not mean only one property, and not only one type of property. In any case, the investment has to be carried out before requesting the visa.
9 – At the termination of the maximum period of five years, can the applicant request the long-term residence?
It can be requested, but will not be granted automatically at the termination of the investors permit. In this case, the continuity of the residence in Spain should be proven for the acquisition of the long-term residence.
10 – What requirements does the applicant have to comply to access the long-term residency?
In order to access the long term residency, it is required that the person from abroad has lived legal and effectively in Spain for five years. That the residency is effective means that the periods lived out of Spanish Territory must be less than six consecutive months and not exceed a total of ten months during the said five years.
11 – Does the time period of legal residency in Spain count at the time of requesting the nationality?
Yes. The time lived in Spain legally will count to request the long-term residency and also the nationality.
12 – Can the applicant access directly to the residence authorization for two years without having to obtain an investors authorization?
No, it is necessary to have the investors authorization which is valid for one year. During this year, the residence authorization can de requested at any moment without having to wait to complete the year.