Golden Visa Spain. EU Residency by investment

What is the Spanish Golden Visa?

The Spanish Golden Visa grants residency to foreign, non-EU citizens who decide to purchase real estate property in Spain at a minimum of €500,000.

This residence permit is granted by the Spanish government through the ‘Law of Entrepreneurs’ to promote national investments.

The Golden Visa in Spain is an interesting solution for investors from non-EU countries (such as Uk, Canada and the United States) that decide to buy properties in Spain.

Particularly in Malaga, Marbella, and the Costa del Sol in general – the real estate market is still booming.

In addition to being an excellent business opportunity, the purchase of real estate in ​​southern Europe offers investors a quick and easy solution to getting residency permits for them and their families, and to live somewhere that’s famous for its good weather, little to almost no environmental pollution, incredible international schools and an overall excellent quality of life.

Are you interested in obtaining the Golden Visa in Spain?

Benefits of the Spanish Golden Visa

Quick application, easy renewal

Quick application processing and easy visa renewal every 5 years.

Family Golden Visa

Get a Golden Visa for you and your dependent family members.

Move with no restrictions

Move freely between Spain and other countries in the EU without a visa (Schengen).

Taxes to your advantage

Maintain a legal tax regime outside of Spain whilst fulfilling tax law requirements.

  • Acquiring legal residence and a work permit within the Spanish territory lets you extend that right to your immediate family members. The applicant and their family are not obligated to prove they have been in Spain for at least six months, not even in the case of renewals
  • Owning a home in a real estate market with significant commercial and business possibilities – for example, the leasing of tourist apartments
  • The opportunity to travel and move freely around Spain and other countries of the European Union without a visa (free movement in the area called “Schengen”)
  • Access to the best international schools in the world, quality health care and excellent communication routes
  • Maintain your legal tax regime outside of Spain.
  • Freedom of movement within the Schengen area.

It is important to note that the European Union and the Schengen area are two different areas. 

The European Union is a political and economic community encompassing 27 countries, and the Schengen area is a group of 26 countries that signed an agreement for unrestricted movement. 

Due to this reason, there are countries in the Schengen area that are not members of the European Union, such as 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, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

A Golden Visa has many advantages. You can travel freely through the 26 countries of the Schengen zone, with a maximum of 90 days in periods of 180 days, with the comfort of not having to request additional visas for each journey. Also, the right to work in Spain is automatically included in your Concession.

  • Permit for work, health, and education

The Golden Visa allows the permit holder to work in Spain. In addition, both the holder and his family can use the Spanish health and education system.

Who may get a Golden Visa in Spain?

You can apply for the Spanish Golden Visa if you make any of the following investments:

  • You invest a minimum of € 500,000 in Spanish real estate (which can be 1 or more properties of any type).

For the calculation of the initial investment, the real estate must have been acquired after the current law that governs this type of procedure, Law 14/2013, of September 27, which came into force on September 29, 2013.

Also, to acquire the Golden Visa, the investor must make the investment of €500,000 in real estate with their own funds.

If the property’s value exceeds that amount, the investor can finance the remaining amount externally, such as with a mortgage or loan. Let’s say we want to acquire a property for €750,000. The investor should pay €500,000 using their own funds, and can only get a loan amount of €250,000. 

We must point out that both a natural person and a legal entity can make the application. 

We can do it according to Spanish regulations as long as the company has invested in real estate worth more than €500,000 and is domiciled in a territory that does not have the status of a tax haven. Furthermore, the applicant must hold most of the company’s voting rights and have the power to appoint or dismiss the majority of its administrative body members. It must also be authorised by a report from the Large Companies Unit in Spain.

  • The investment of € 1 million in bank deposits of Spanish Financial Entities or shares of Spanish companies.
  • The purchase of public debt for a value equal to or higher than € 2,000,000.
  • Starting a general-interest business project in Spain.
Golden Visa Spain requirements

Requirements to obtain a Golden Visa in Spain

You can request authorization for a Spanish Golden Visa if you meet the following requirements:

  • Be of legal age (over 18 years old)
  • You don’t have an irregular situation within the Spanish territory
  • You don’t have a criminal record under Spanish law
  • You have the respective certificate(s) of ownership of the acquired property(s)
  • Payment of the corresponding fees for processing the visa
  • You have public insurance or private health insurance arranged with an entity authorized to operate in Spain
  • You have sufficient financial resources to cover personal and family expenses during your period of residence in Spain

Need a professional consultation for your Spanish Golden Visa?

Procedure and deadlines to obtain the Golden Visa in Spain

The process for getting a Spanish Golden Visa is quite straightforward since there is a department exclusively dedicated to this procedure. This means that the process is usually resolved in a short period.

According to article 67 of Law 14/2013 regulating the Golden Visa, if the purchase of a Spanish property has been proved, the initial authorization for the residence of investors will last for 2 years.

Once this has expired, those who would like to continue to reside in Spain can apply for a renewal of their residence permit every five years, as long as the requirements of the Spanish Golden Visa are upheld, i.e. the initial investment has been maintained by the visa holder.

Golden Visa Spain Maria Soledad

Maria Soledad Sala – Immigration Specialist Lawyer

If the investor is outside of Spain

In case the investor is outside of Spain, the interested party must request the investor visa at the Spanish Consulate in their country of residence.

If the corresponding official considers all the documentation to meet the requirements, they will notify you within 10 days with the result. If the officials require additional documentation, including an appointment for an in-person interview, they can modify this period. The approval will grant you a one-year visa that you must pick up within one month at the consulate.

This visa will allow you to travel around Europe and the Schengen area. Once in Spain, during this one-year period, the applicant will have the opportunity to apply for an initial residence permit for himself and his family members. This permit will be valid for two years and allow the applicant and his family to work and stay in Spain.

If the investor is already in Spain regularly

If the investor is already in Spain, they can apply directly for the residence authorization, without needing to previously process the investor’s visa.

The investment can be made both by a natural person, as by a legal person (SL or SA for example), as long as they are domiciled in a territory that does not have the status of tax haven by Spanish regulations, and meets another set of requirements.

Applications may be submitted by the investor him/herself or by an accredited representative. Because the processing is necessary through the electronic Government Headquarters, with a digital certificate recognized by the Spanish authorities, the assistance of a professional who is accredited and familiar with this type of procedures is highly recommended. You can count on the immigration specialist lawyer Maria Soledad Sala, through Tejada Solicitors.

Here, we advise you to do the process directly with the Unit for Large Companies of Spain, the Spanish organization allowed for this purpose, since the fees are less expensive here than in the Consulates.

Documents required for Spain’s Golden Visa application

The Golden Visa must be represented in-person by the individual or an authorized representative on their behalf. 

  1. The Application Form and payment of the fee.
  2. Photographs: Two recent coloured photographs, passport or ID size, with a white background.
  3. Certification of Ownership and Property Registry, issued within 90 days before the visa application has been submitted (The certification will incorporate an electronic verification code for online consultation). And a copy of the Deed of Sale.You can apply for a Golden Visa without signing a public sale deed. In such a case, the applicant investor and seller will present the signed deposit contract and a certificate verifying that an unavailable bank deposit is sufficient to fulfil the deposit contract from a bank located in Spain.
  4. Travel documents: Valid passport or travel document recognized by Spain with a minimum validity of one year. Photocopies of all pages of the passport or relevant travel document where the holder’s details, stamps, and visas appear.
  5. Certificate of criminal Record: Certificate(s) of criminal record from the country(s) of residence in the past five years, with translation into Spanish duly legalized.
  6. NIE Number: Applicants (and their family members who are also applying) for the visa must be in possession of an NIE.
  7. Economic Proof: Applicants must demonstrate that they have sufficient funds to support themselves and any family members with a visa when residing in Spain for at least one year. 
  8. Contract with medical society working in Spain: Coverage of all risks of the applicant’s healthcare and any dependents without co-payment. Tejada Solicitors can help you contract adequate private insurance for this type of procedure.

How can I certify the investment?

  • The investment of a minimum of € 500,000 in Spanish real estate (which can be of 1 or more properties of any type).
    As part of the application process for a Golden Visa, the company must submit a domain certification and charges from the Spanish Property Registry, dated within 90 days before application.
  • The investment of € 1 million in bank deposits of Spanish Financial Entities or shares of Spanish companies.If you invest in unlisted stocks and company shares, provide a copy of your investment declaration to the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation. On the other hand, if you invest in listed shares, we will provide you with a certificate from a financial intermediary registered with the National Securities Market Commission or the Bank of Spain, confirming that you have invested.
  • The purchase of public debt for a value equal to or higher than € 2,000,000.
    In this case, the applicant must provide a Certificate from the financial entity or the Bank of Spain stating that the applicant has owned the investment for a minimum of five years.
  • Starting a general-interest business project in Spain.
    You will need to provide a favourable report prior to the application for the visa or residence.
Golden Visa Spain Invest

Taxes and costs you must cover to obtain the Golden Visa

One of the main requirements to receive the Spanish Golden Visa is the purchasing of property on Spanish territory, with a minimum investment of 500,000 euros. With this, the main costs that must be covered by the investor are:

Costs related to the purchasing of a property in Spain

Any costs and taxes related to the purchasing of a property, such as Stamp Duty (Property Transfer) or VAT, Notary Fees, Land Registry Fees etc. In the following link, you can find a complete guide to the costs of the property conveyancing process in Spain.

Costs related to the processing and granting of the Golden Visa

To obtain the Golden Visa, applicants typically have to pay an application fee (depending on where the visa is processed or if it is processed in the Large Business Unit). Along with sworn translations of the official documents presented with the application, such as; the criminal record certificate, apostille, certification from the Property Registry, private medical insurance, and immigration lawyer fees.

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Do I have to reside and pay taxes in Spain if I have the Golden Visa?

Not necessarily. According to Law 14/2013 regulating the Golden Visa, there is no requirement to reside in Spain for the renewal of the Golden Visa, and so from a tax point of view, it is not obligatory to be a tax resident in Spain.

Having a Golden Visa does not require you to reside in Spanish territory, therefore you are not required to pay tax as a Spanish tax resident. If the tax rules of your country of origin are more favorable, you can opt to pay your taxes there, and pay non-resident tax in Spain.

It’s important to distinguish between the law that regulates the residence through the Golden Visa and the law that regulates tax residence in Spain. According to the rules of tax residence in Spain, and in accordance with article 9 of Income Tax Law 9, the following criteria determines whether a taxpayer has permanent residence in Spanish territory.

To be considered a habitual resident of Spain, one of the following criteria must be applicable:

  • Residing more than 183 days during a calendar year in Spanish territory – sporadic absences will be taken into account when calculating the period of time residing in Spanish territory unless the individual can prove they are a resident in another country for tax purposes.
  • The main base for activities and economic interests is directly or indirectly located in Spanish territory.
    Unless proof of residence elsewhere is presented, it will be presumed that the taxpayer is a habitual resident in Spain when, in accordance with the above criteria, the spouse who is not legally separated and the minor children dependent on the taxpayer are permanently residing in Spain.

If according to the above, holders of the Golden Visa are considered habitual residents of Spain and thus a taxpayer, they will have to pay tax on their worldwide income in Spain. Double taxation can be avoided through the double taxation agreement between Spain and the country of origin of the income. You can find out more about the tax implications as a Spanish tax resident using the following guide on Tax Returns in Spain.

On the other hand, if, according to the tax rules, holders of the Golden Visa are considered for tax purposes as non-resident of Spain, they will be taxed as tax residents in their country of origin instead.

Some of the tax implications will be:

  1. The income statement in Spain is a tax levied on the worldwide income of all taxpayers (expatriates) living in Spain. It is known as the Personal Income Tax (IRPF or Income Statement) (pensions, stocks, bonds, rental income, bank accounts, dividends, income from personal work, etc.). You can read more about these tax implications at the following link https://tejadasolicitors.com/tax-spain/tax-return-spain/Consequently, you are entitled to benefit from the double taxation agreement between Spain and your country of origin, preventing you from paying taxes twice.
  2. Check if it is necessary to complete Form 720 (you can read about this Form in the following link, https://tejadasolicitors.com/blog/form-720-spain/)
  3. The Wealth Tax is filed through Form 714 (for residents living in Andalusia), and it must include all of your global assets and economic rights. Currently, the wealth tax in Andalusia is no longer in effect; however, the state intends to make a new tax available. To read more about the wealth tax obligation, please see the following article: https://tejadasolicitors.com/blog/wealth-tax-scrapped-andalusia/Tejada Solicitors can assist you throughout the property conveyancing process. If you wish to reside in Spain, we will provide you with a detailed study of the cost of buying a property in Spain, assist you throughout the purchase process, and provide you with tax advice.

    Rosana Tejada is a tax adviser at Tejada Solicitor. She always advises her clients that before deciding to live in Spain, it is a good idea to study how much tax they will be required to pay in Spain, including the worldwide income they earn abroad. Our clients can decide if they want to move to Spain by comparing the most appealing tax option.

Golden Visa Spain: Frequently Asked Questions

The initial visa is granted for ONE YEAR if the acquisition of one or more properties for a minimum amount of € 500,000 has been proved. A residence permit may be requested within that period, which will be granted initially for TWO years.

A visa obtained at the Consulate lasts one year, after which you must apply for a residence permit in Spain for two years.

It is also possible to travel to Spain as a tourist and apply directly for a residence permit for two years. This option is cheaper since we do not have to pay Consulate fees.

Additionally, it is necessary to submit all corresponding documentation again, so we may need to request some of these documents again.

As long as you have your residence card (Golden Visa) and your passport, there is no requirement to stay in Spain for a certain number of days in order to renew your visa. Golden Visa holders (and their families) are able to leave and enter Spain as many times as they need, with no minimum stay requirement.

Article 26 of Law 14/2013 regulating the authorization of the Golden Visa states that applications will take a maximum of 20 days to be processed by the relevant body.

Once the application has been approved and processed, the applicant has one month to apply for the Golden Visa at the Spanish Immigration Office. 

Usually, the application starts at the Consulate in your region of residence and is resolved within 10 days of the submission date. However, they may extend the deadline upon request. Sometimes, they require interviews or additional documents. 

Article 26 of Law 14/2013, which regulates the procedure for obtaining the Golden Visa, stipulates that those initiated in Spain through the Large Companies Unit have a maximum of 20 working days to resolve them. Still, they can extend this period by requesting additional documentation or a personal interview.

The investor who wishes to continue residing in Spain must renew his authorization after two years initially, and then every five years.

The validity of the new residence card as an investor, provided that the requirements are met, will be of FIVE YEARS.

Yes, you can request it, if you meet the general requirements set forth in the Foreigners Act, being the most common case to have resided legally and continuously in Spanish territory for five years, allowing a maximum of leaves during that period.

No. To renew the authorization, you have to maintain the conditions that allowed you to acquire it in the first place. In the case of the investor’s visa, it’s mandatory to maintain the initial investment.

 If you remain in Spain for less than 183 days, you will be considered as a NON-TAX RESIDENT in Spain and you will retain the status of tax residence in your country of origin. As a non-tax resident when owning a property in Spain, you will be required to present the Non-Resident Tax (IRNR) annually.

Can I apply for the Golden visa through a legal entity?

You can, as long as the company has invested in real estate worth more than €500,000 and is domiciled in a country without tax haven status. Furthermore, the applicant must have most of its voting rights and the power to appoint and remove most of its management body members. The Large Companies Unit in Spain must also certify this. 

Is it possible to acquire several properties to meet the investment requirement of €500,000?

Yes, as long as the investments are not encumbered, we can add them. For example, I might have bought a house worth €300,000 and a shop worth €200,000, the sum of both for €500,000 counts towards meeting the minimum investment requirement if they are free of charge.

Regarding the real estate acquisition date, what term do we have to apply for the Golden Visa?

As far as this aspect is concerned, there is no defined term, only that you must have made the investments after the entry into force of Law 14/2013, which regulates this type of residence. In other words, from the 28th of September, all the investments made in real estate will be considered. 

Should the investment be made exclusively with your funds? Or can I get a mortgage to buy it?

According to the Law, for this type of residence permit, you must invest at least €500,000 free of costs and obligations. For example, if you purchase a property worth €700,000, you must pay a minimum of €500,000, with the rest financed by a mortgage.

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