What if you could enjoy authentic tapas dishes every night for dinner while sipping on sangria made from locally produced Spanish wine? With the Spain Golden Visa program, this can become your new reality!
Introduced in 2013, the Spain Golden Visa allows retirees, entrepreneurs, and wealthy individuals to invest in Spanish business development, real estate, or the government in exchange for residency. You may also see this visa referred to as an Investor Visa by the Spanish government.
Just imagine strolling through the historic streets of Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, touring vineyards in the Spanish hills, or lounging on the sandy beaches of Malaga. Your dream of living a fruitful European lifestyle can come true when you make the right investment.
The minimum investment amount for the Spain Golden Visa is 500,000€ and goes up to 2€ million. However, there is a variety of investment options applicants may choose from to obtain this visa.
Spain is known for welcoming foreigners with open arms to come and live in the country. They are also working on implementing the Spanish digital nomad visa to attract remote workers to live in the country temporarily.
The Spain Golden Visa allows you to have residency for five years before it expires. However, you may extend your residency by applying for permanent residency.
In this article, we will break down the Spain Golden Visa application process and investment requirements. Plus, we’re sharing the number one secret to getting the visa quickly and efficiently at the end.
What is a Golden Visa?
Before jumping into the details about the Portugal Golden Visa, we should first determine what exactly a Golden Visa is.
A Golden Visa is a program that allows foreign nationals to obtain residency and sometimes even citizenship by making a government-approved investment. These investments can be real estate, businesses, bonds, and other government programs.
These visas are excellent for retirees, business entrepreneurs, and wealthy individuals who want to diversify their assets and residencies.
Benefits of the Spain Golden Visa
Along with having the opportunity to live in a stunning country rich with history and making a potentially profitable investment, there are other benefits of obtaining the Spanish Golden Visa.
Renewable Residency Permit
Holders of the Spain Golden Visa may live in Spain for a total of five years.
When the visa is first issued, holders will be allowed to live in the country for one year. You may renew the residence permit for an additional two years twice to stay for a total of five years.
However, to be eligible to renew the residency permit, you must still hold the approved investment and have been in Spain for at least 30 days within the last year.
After five years of holding the Investor Residence Permit, you may apply for permanent residency. This is not automatically granted, though. You must not have left Spain for more than six consecutive months in a year and less than ten months within the last five years.
Path to Citizenship
After legally living in Spain for ten years, you may apply for Spanish citizenship.
This works out perfectly for those visa holders who decide to apply for permanent residency after their Golden Visa expires.
You will be expected to take a citizenship and language test in order to earn citizenship.
Applicants obtaining the Spain Golden Visa may bring their family with them to live in Spain.
They may bring their spouses, dependents under the age of 18, and parents who are dependent on them.
The visa allows family members to work and study in Spain.
Visa-Free Travel in Schengen
When you hold a residence visa in Spain through the Golden Visa program, you will have visa-free access to the 26 Schengen Area countries. This means you can cross borders without showing your passport or going through customs.
Obtaining the Spain Golden Visa doesn’t just allow you to experience the lifestyle in Spain, but you’ll get to experience other incredible countries within Europe with simple travel.
Low Minimum Stay Requirement
Spain is one of the few Golden Visa programs that has a low minimum stay requirement to be eligible to renew the residence permit.
Visa holders only need to be present in Spain for 30 days out of the year. That’s a relaxing vacation during the summer or a couple of two-week vacations twice a year. Plus, staying in Spain definitely won’t be the hard part of this process – trust us!
Who is Eligible to Apply for the Spain Golden Visa?
To be eligible for the Spain Golden Visa program, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a non-EU/EAA citizen
- Be at least 18 years of age
- No criminal record in the last five years
- Not on the list of undesirable peoples
- Have private healthcare coverage in Spain
- Have not been refused a visa from a Schengen country before
Of course, you must also be able to make the required investment to apply for the Spain Golden Visa.
Spain Golden Visa Investment Requirements
There are a few different investment options ranging from 500,000€ to 2€ million. Depending on your investment goals and passions, you can choose the one that is right for you.
One of the most popular investment options for the Spain Golden Visa is to invest in real estate.
The minimum investment amount for an approved real estate purchase is just 500,000€. Applicants may also purchase multiple properties in Spain as long as the total investment meets the minimum amount.
Investors may choose to purchase either residential or commercial property. This property can then be rented out to businesses or families.
Multiple parties can invest in a property and still be eligible for the Spain Golden Visa too. Each applicant simply needs to invest at least 500,000€ each.
For example, two Spain Golden Visas can be issued to parties purchasing a 1€ million property.
The Golden Visa associated with a real estate investment is referred to as the Residency Visa for Acquisition of Real Estate (RIV).
Another popular investment option for the Spain Golden Visa is to make large capital transfers.
Applicants may invest 1€ million in Spanish Treasury Bonds backed by the government, shares in Spanish companies, or make a deposit in a Spanish bank account.
Another capital transfer option is to invest 2€ million in Spanish public debt.
The Golden Visa associated with capital transfer investments is referred to as the Residency Visa for Capital Investors.
Entrepreneurs and business development enthusiasts who want to improve the Spanish economy can also apply for the Spanish Golden Visa.
With an investment of 1€ million to develop a business, create employment opportunities for Spanish residents, have a socio-economic impact on Spain, and improve technological and/or scientific innovation.
Startups established in Spain also get favorable tax breaks. So, not only will applicants choosing this route have the opportunity to live in Spain with the golden visa program, but they can build a thriving company.
How to Apply for the Spain Golden Visa
The application process for the Spain Golden Visa is fairly straightforward. The longest part of the process is making your investment.
If investing in real estate, the search for the right property can take months. The same is true if you’re starting a business in Spain too.
It’s a good idea to hire a professional immigration lawyer to assist you in making your investment and filing your application as there are many moving parts. They can help you stay organized and expedite the visa process.
Step 1: Choose Your Investment
The most important part of the Spain Golden Visa application process is choosing the right investment option for you and your financial goals.
Firstly, identify which investment will have the most positive impact on your lifestyle and finances. Depending on the route you choose, you can expect to visit Spain and tour properties, being your company, or prepare to make a capital transfer.
Many applicants choose to work with investment advisors in Spain along with their immigration lawyers to decide which option is suitable for their situations.
Step 2: Obtain an NIE Tax Number
Before you can make your qualifying investment for the Spain Golden Visa, you must first obtain an NIE tax number in Spain. It’s also known as a Foreigner’s Identification Number.
This number is necessary for all foreigners who plan to purchase real estate, make investments, and pay taxes in Spain.
You will need this number to complete the following actions in Spain:
- Open a Spanish bank account
- Purchase real estate
- Register a business
- Paying taxes
So, before you can make your Spain Golden Visa approved investment, you must first apply and obtain an NIE number. Your immigration lawyer can help you do this.
You may apply for the NIE at a Spanish tax office in Spain or at a Spanish consulate in your country of residence. It will take about two weeks to receive, but could be longer depending on the administration.
Step 3: Make Your Investment
After obtaining your NIE and opening a bank account (if necessary), you can move forward and make your qualifying investment.
Step 4: Submit Spain Golden Visa Application
Within three months of making your eligible investment, you must submit your application and documents to the nearest Spanish embassy or consulate.
The documents you will need to provide along with your application include:
- Valid passport
- Two passport photos
- Proof of current residence
- Proof of qualifying investment
- Certified police clearance
- Proof of sufficient funds
- Health insurance policy with coverage in Spain
- Medical certificate of good health
All of these documents must be translated into Spanish if not already and legalized by the issuing country.
Step 5: Receive Your Residence Permit
You can expect the visa approval process to take about three weeks. If your application is approved, you will receive your visa.
To collect your residence permits, you must travel to Spain for a biometrics appointment. Once your fingerprint are taken, you should receive your residence cards shortly after.
Frequently Asked Questions
Obtaining the Spain Golden Visa can be a long and sometimes complicated process. Below are some of the most asked questions concerning the visa.
Can I Get a Mortgage to Purchase Real Estate for the Spain Golden Visa?
While you may take out a mortgage to purchase your real estate in Spain for the Golden Visa, it must not cover the 500,000€ required investment minimum.
For example, if you were purchasing a property worth 800,000€, you can get a mortgage for 300,000€ as long as you paid the rest in cash.
Will I Owe Taxes in Spain with the Golden Visa?
When you hold the Spain Golden Visa, you will not automatically owe taxes in Spain. If you spend 183 days in the country during a year, you will owe taxes.
However, if you spend less then you will not owe income tax.
If you invested in real estate to obtain the Spain Golden Visa, you will have to pay yearly property tax. If you rent your property, there is a flat 24.75% tax on rental income you must pay in Spain.
How Do I Renew My Spanish Golden Visa?
You will have to renew your Investor Residence Permit less than 90 days after it expires.
To renew your residence permit, you must still hold your initial investment and meet the eligibility requirements.
The first residence permit is issued for one year. You may renew it for another two years as long as you have spent 30 days in Spain in the last year.
The residence permit is eligible for another renewal for two years before the visa expires. In that case you can apply for permanent residency if you meet the minimum stay requirements.
Can I Buy Multiple Properties to be Eligible for the Spain Golden Visa?
Yes, you may purchase multiple properties in Spain as long as the total investment is at least 500,000€.
Can I Apply for Permanent Residency in Spain?
Yes, after legally living in Spain for five years you may apply for permanent residency.
However, you must not have spent more than six consecutive months outside of Spain in the last year and no more than ten months within the last five years.
Can I Apply for Citizenship with the Spain Golden Visa?
While the Spain Golden Visa isn’t an investment for citizenship program, it can help you take the first step to obtaining it.
When you have legally lived in Spain for ten years you may apply for Spanish citizenship. You must pass a citizenship and language test.
The Spain Golden Visa sets you up for this path because the five year residence permit can lead you to permanent residency. After having permanent residency for another five years, you will be eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship.
How Long Does It Take to Get the Spain Golden Visa?
Depending on the investment option you choose, it can take up to six months to obtain the Spain Golden Visa.
Do keep in mind that the decision process after receiving the application takes between ten and twenty days, though.
Should I Work with an Immigration Lawyer to Apply for the Spain Golden Visa?
While you can apply for the Spain Golden Visa independently, we do recommend working with an immigration lawyer specialized in investor visas.
When you work with a professional lawyer, you can expect the utmost care and attention to your case. Your documents will be in compliance with Spanish law and your application will be completed faster.
The opportunity to live in Spain and experience all of its wonderful benefits will come seamlessly and stress-free when an experienced immigration lawyer handles your application.
Get Personal Assistance with Your Spain Golden Visa Application
Are you ready to diversify and invest in a Spanish lifestyle?
When it comes to obtaining a Golden Visa, it’s always a good idea to work with a professional immigration lawyer. Since they are familiar with the process, investment rules, and how the country operates, they can get your visa faster and conflict-free.
Nomads Embassy is here to help you get started on your Spain Golden Visa application right away!
We have hand-selected immigration lawyer partners in Spain waiting to get you started on your investment and claim residency in the gorgeous European country.