The Spanish government has created mechanisms to promote the development, growth and internationalization of our country, which will help to stimulate the economy. To this end, it has set up various tools aimed at supporting investors in Spain. The one known colloquially as “Golden Visa” is one of them, we are going to answer the most frequently asked questions about this special residence permit.
What is the Golden Visa?
The “Golden Visa or Residence Visa for Investment” is a Spanish permit, granted to foreigners, which allows them to reside and work throughout the Spanish territory for one year and is granted by the Directorate General of Migration.
This is also known as the residence visa for the acquisition of real estate in Spain, which allows to obtain the residence and work permit for the main investor and his family members (spouse and dependent children).
What is the main requirement to obtain a Golden Visa or a Resident Visa for real estate acquisition?
The main requirement is to invest €500,000 or more in real estate. This means that the foreigner is required to prove an investment in real estate of more than 500,000 €, for each applicant.
The amount of 500,000 € does not mean that only one property must be acquired, but that several properties can be acquired, with a total of 500,000 €. This has been clarified by case law on several occasions to avoid at this point any doubt. One of the clarifying sentences is the 455/2018 of the High Court of Justice of Madrid, resolution issued on June 6, 2018, in which it is founded that:
“In this literal interpretation, the requirement that the value of the investment equals or exceeds the figure of 500,000 euros “for each applicant” already induces to consider that the objective limit established is so in terms of the personal element and not the material on which the investment falls. It follows, therefore, that the investment of each applicant must be equal to or greater than 500,000 euros and not that each real estate acquired must have a value greater than the aforementioned amount. This is also derived from the literal wording of Article 63.1.b) of Law 14/2013 … by referring said precept the value of the investment to “the acquisition of real estate in Spain”, in plural, with which it is indicating that the 500,000.00 euros need not have been invested in a single property, but it is also possible that it has been made in more than one.”
It must be clear that the taxes required from the possible sale and purchase are not considered as an investment.
The investment must be free of charges or encumbrances, which implies that the purchase of the property cannot be made with a mortgage. A mortgage may be obtained on the part that exceeds 500,000 €. That part may be subject to liens or charges.
The law does not demand the permanence in Spain to maintain the visa, it only demands the maintenance of this investment.
The documentation that accredits the investment made must be dated a maximum of 90 days before the visa application.
How do I apply for the Golden Visa?
The visa must be requested in person by the interested party or through a duly accredited representative. It should be noted that the representative is accredited as such with the granting of a power of attorney.
If you are in Spain with a tourist or other type of residence visa, you may do it by yourself or through a representative. On the other hand, if you are outside Spain, you will have to do it through the Spanish Consulate in the country where you are.
How long does the Golden Visa last?
The term of validity of the Golden Visa or Residence Visa is one year, if the property has already been acquired, or 6 months if the purchase of the property has not yet been made, but there is a pre-contract with a guarantee of performance by means of a deposit or other similar concept, formalized in a public deed.
Can I leave the country if I am renewing my residency?
Yes, you can leave the country. The renewal of the residence visa can be carried out even if there are absences of more than 6 months per year.
What taxes do I have to pay when I take up residence in Spain?
The answer to this question is very varied, since it will depend on each particular case, making it difficult to give a clear and concise answer.
In this case the first thing that would have to be resolved would be whether or not the investor is going to be considered a tax resident in Spain. In order to clarify any doubts on this matter we refer you to one of our articles: When am I considered to be a Tax Resident in Spain?
Is it possible to renew the residence permit?
Yes, you can renew it. In order to do so, you must apply for what is known as a “residence authorization”, the duration of which is 2 years, if it is carried out in Spain. Once this period has expired, those investors interested in residing in Spain for a longer period may apply for the renewal of the residence authorization for a new period of 5 years.
In order to obtain the nationality, the investor must have resided in Spain legally for 10 years. Two years will be enough in the case of nationals from Latin American countries, Andorra, Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal or Sephardic countries.
If you want more information about your Golden Visa you can do it in another of our articles whose link we leave next: How to obtain the resident permission in Spain