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In 2013, Spain introduced a program allowing non-EU citizens to enter and reside in Spain through ‘significant capital investment’, subject to certain conditions. The satisfaction of the conditions grants the investor Spain’s Golden Visa. The most popular way to obtain this visa is through purchasing real estate in Spain, worth at least €500,000. However, it is also possible to attain the visa through financial and entrepreneurial investment.
For those with the financial means to qualify, the Golden Visa is arguably the best option for non-EU citizens. This is due to the fast processing times, family residency plans and easy renewal. Moreover, there is no minimum residence period for Golden Visa holders, but the program can be a fast-track to citizenship should the applicant choose to reside in Spain permanently.
Entering & Residing in Spain with the Golden Visa
Investors can apply for the Golden Visa at their nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate. The applicant must have committed to investing at the time of the application, although they don’t need to have finalised it.
The Golden Visa, once obtained, is valid for one year. During this year, the investor can enter Spain to exchange it for a residence permit, valid for two years. Following this, they can renew the residence permit indefinitely, providing the investment is maintained. Moreover, there is no minimum stay requirement to renew the permit.
Should you choose to live in Spain, you can apply for permanent residency after five years of continually residing in Spain with the aforementioned residence permit. ‘Continually residing’ means to live in Spain for at least six months per year.
Application for Family Members
Family members may apply for their visas as dependents of the investor. Their applications must include documentation that proves family relation, such as marriage and birth certificates. The family members eligible are:
- A spouse.
- Children under 18.
- Dependent elderly parents.
Family members can also receive residency permits upon obtaining the visa.
Applicants may invest either €2 million (or more) in Spanish government bonds or €1 million (or more) in shares of Spanish companies or bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions.
Real Estate Investment
Applications may acquire real estate in Spain worth at least €500,000. The investor can purchase one or more properties to fulfil this amount, including residential and commercial property types. However, the amount up to €500,000 must be free of any liens or encumbrances, such as a mortgage.
Applicants can start a business in Spain that is in the country’s interest. This option is subject to at least one of the following conditions:
- Sufficient job creation.
- Significant socio-economic impact.
- Substantial contribution to scientific or technological innovation.
Proof of Investment
The applicant must prove that they have invested the required amount over a period not exceeding 60 days. They can do so by filing suitable documentation for:
- Stocks and shares in a Spanish company – a statement of investment from the Spanish Registrar of Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.
- Quoted shares – a certificate of the financial intermediary, registered with either the National Securities Market or the Bank of Spain, stating the investment.
- Government or public bonds – a certificate from the Bank of Spain or relevant financial institution, stating that the applicant is the sole owner of the investment for a period of at least five years.
- A bank deposit – a certificate from the financial institution, stating that the investor is the sole owner of the bank deposit.
Real Estate Investment
Proof of Ownership
The applicant must prove real estate ownership through a certificate that the Land Registry has issued within three months before the visa application. This certificate must include the purchase amount (no less than €500,000).
For properties not yet entered in the land registry, proof that the documents have been entered for filing and proof of payment is sufficient.
If the purchase has not yet been finalised, applicants must submit the preliminary contract (including the down payment) and a letter from a financial institution in Spain which proves the required funds are available.
Proof of Amount
The applicant must prove to have invested at least €500,000 in one or more properties, free of any liens or encumbrances. If the investment exceeds this value, the investment excess (the amount over €500,000) can be subject to liens or encumbrances, such as a mortgage.
Proof of Financial Source
Sufficient documentation is required to fulfil the EU’s money laundering regulation. There must be appropriate documentation to confirm that the applicant obtained the funds as per the money laundering normative, such as through a salary. Essentially, the investor must prove that these funds aren’t coming from fiscal evasion or other illegal activities.
The applicant must submit a report which confirms that the business plan is beneficial to Spain. The report will come from the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy or Consulate.
Providing that the applicant makes a qualifying investment, as stipulated in the Investment Types section, they are entitled to apply for the Golden Visa, subject to the following conditions:
- The applicant is at least 18 years of age.
- They have no criminal record.
- The applicant has valid health insurance in Spain.
- They haven’t previously been refused a visa or entry into the Schengen zone.
If the applicant meets the investment type requirements and the further requirements listed above, they can apply for the Golden Visa using the following documentation:
- A Spanish visa application form.
- Two passport-style photographs, meeting the visa photo guidelines.
- A valid passport, which has validity for the time they initially plan to spend in Spain, as well as two blank pages.
- A passport photocopy (of the personal information page).
- Documents proving sufficient funds to support themselves and their dependents when living in Spain.
- Police records issued within three months before the application, proving no criminal record.
- Proof of health insurance in Spain.
- Proof of payment of the visa processing fee.
- Additional documentation proving the investment requirements have been met, as described under proof of investment.
- Those who are not citizens of the country where they currently reside also need to bring their residence permits.
Apply for Spain's Golden Visa
If you’re contemplating moving to Valencia, Spain’s Golden Visa is one of the best options for those with the financial capacity. To obtain this visa for the lowest cost possible, we suggest investing in Spanish real estate. It certainly makes sense, especially for those who want the visa to live in Spain on a permanent basis – you’re going to need somewhere to live!
You can make a start by browsing the fantastic selection of properties priced at €500,000 and above on Dream Properties Valencia. Moreover, if you want more information about the relocation process in general, don’t hesitate to contact us!