As Portugal and Ireland wave farewell to their Golden Visa, we take a look at if Spain will do the same. For now, they have not!
The Spain Golden Visa is a residency through investment scheme. Introduced in 2013, one of the ways it enables foreign buyers to gain residency is by purchasing a home worth €500,000 or more. Multiple countries have a Golden Visa scheme, including Italy, Malta, and Greece. Recently, Portugal and Ireland have ended their Golden Visa. This has led to Spanish left-wing political parties calling for Golden Visa to be scrapped. However, for now, Spain is keeping its Golden Visa.
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What is the Spain Golden Visa?
The Spain Golden Visa requires that you can make an investment into Spain, in order to obtain residency.
This is how that investment could be made:
- Purchasing a commercial and/or real estate in Spain worth at least €500,000.
- Invest at least €2 million in public debt securities.
- Invest at least €1 million in stocks or shares of companies in Spain.
- Finally, invest at least €1million in a company in Spain that generates employment, contributes to technological and/or scientific innovation.
Benefits of the Spain Golden Visa:
- Fast processing time: can acquire the residence permit 60 days from when the application was submitted.
- You have the option to extend your residency and eventually apply for citizenship.
- You will have visa-free travel access to the 26 other countries in the Schengen Area. Since Brexit, British people are only able to stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days out of every 180. A Golden Visa would give you greater freedom to travel in Europe.
- The right to live, work and study in Spain.
- Your spouse and children under 18 are guaranteed residency. Other family members can also join you, though there will be more paperwork.
- Additionally, there is no minimum stay requirement, language test, or interview.
To be eligible, you must be over 18, not have a criminal record, and have funds enough to make the investment. Plus, you must not have had previous Schengen Area visa rejected.
Who in Spain is objecting to the Golden Visa?
The Spanish left-wing political party, Más País, has introduced a bill to scrap the Golden Visa by real estate investment.
Más País argue that the scheme does not benefit the country, and that the only way to obtain residency through investment in Spain should be through business projects, as this has a more direct and positive impact on the economy. Furthermore, they say that the Golden Visa has driven up the cost of housing in Spain, making it difficult for locals to get on the property ladder.
Criticism for the European Union
The European Union have long criticised Golden Visas. They say that they can be used for money laundering, tax evasion, and corruption. The European Union argue that proper security checks are not carried out on those obtaining a Golden Visa and that countries do not always know where the money is coming from.
In March last year, the Spanish government suspended Golden Visa issuance for Russians, due to their invasion of Ukraine.
Other countries have been closing in on their Golden Visas
Recently, the Portuguese government announced that they are shutting down their Golden Visa scheme. This was part of measures to tackle the housing crisis in the country. If you were split between purchasing a property in Spain or Portugal, while Spain still has its Golden Visa, this might well be a deciding point for purchasing a property in Spain over Portugal.
In the same week, Ireland also announced the end of their Golden Visa.
Earlier this year, Greece revealed that they would be raising the minimum spend of obtaining a Golden Visa in certain areas of the country. In Greece, the minimum spend is €250,000. However, from May, it will rise to €500,000 in the central and south sectors of Athens in the Attica Region, the islands of Mykonos and Santorini and the municipality of Thessaloniki.
What does this mean for my property plans?
They can go ahead! At this stage, the idea of abolishing the Spanish Golden Visa is just a bill put forward by Más País. The Spanish Golden Visa is extremely popular with foreign buyers, so it is possible the government are not going to want to wave goodbye to it. So, if you are interested in the Spanish Golden Visa, don’t feel the need to stall your plans. The Golden Visa can still be your golden ticket to life in Spain.
If you need some inspiration to get you started on a hunt for a home that would qualify you for a Golden Visa, we have over 20,000 on our property portal.
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