Buying property in Spain can be a wise decision for British real estate investors. Though Spain has long been a popular choice for second residences, in today’s legal context, post-Brexit, it has adapted itself to the new circumstances in interesting ways, and now offers viable, safe and attractive means by which to obtain valid legal residency in the European Union. The proffered avenue is the Golden Visa, which allows non-EU citizens to live and work in Spain.
To learn more about the Golden Visa’s provisions, we hosted a recent Arum Talks with Oriol Mosso, an immigration lawyer well versed in the provisions of the Golden Visa and the head of the Immigration Desk at law firm NET CRAMAN Abogados. Mosso provided more details about how to obtain this permit.
What is the Golden Visa?
It is a visa that allows real estate investors to legally reside in Spain through an investment. It is a much more agile process than other types of immigration visas; it is usually granted within about thirty business days from when the paperwork was filed.
Who can apply for a Golden Visa?
Any person residing outside the European Union. That is why this permit is very attractive for British real estate investors since the United Kingdom’s break with the rest of the Union. Brexit has resulted in a series of extraordinary requirements for its citizens to be able to travel or reside freely in other countries. This is particularly complicated for the English when it comes to Spain, which has long been a popular choice, not only for holidays, but also for the purchase of second homes.
How do you apply for the Golden Visa?
There are several ways, but the most common is to buy a home as an individual or through a company, making a capital investment of at least 500,000 Euros. The Golden Visa is processed through the Spanish consulate, if the person is physically in their country, or they can request it here in Spain if they are visiting as a tourist. The Golden Visa gives you a permit to live legally in the EU for two years, and if you can show that you have maintained the investment, after two years you can renew it for five more years.
What are the other ways to acquire the permit?
Besides real estate investors making a real estate investment of 500,000 Euros or more, you can also obtain a Golden Visa by:
- Making an investment in Spanish public debt securities of more than two million Euros
- Buying one million Euros or more in shares of Spanish companies with real business activity
- Investing one million Euros or more in investment funds, closed-end investment funds or venture capital funds set up in Spain
- Depositing one million Euros or more in Spanish financial entities
- Undertaking a business venture in Spain that can be considered to be of general interest, that creates jobs, that has a positive socioeconomic impact in the region where the activity is carried out, or that makes a significant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation
Does the Golden Visa permit only apply to the applicant?
No, the residence permit is extended to family members who depend directly on the applicant, that is, their spouse and children. All members of a family unit can be included in the application with the same investment. Children can also live, study and travel in Spain and the European Union without restrictions.
Do you have to reside in Spain year-round?
No, neither fiscal residence in Spain nor residence for a certain number of days is required. The only thing you have to do is travel to Spain once a year to renew your Golden Visa. And, after two years, if the investment is maintained, the permit can be renewed for another five years.
Graduated in Law from the University of Navarra, with a postgraduate degree in International Trade Law from ESADE and more than 15 years of experience in immigration law, Oriol Mosso emphasizes the importance of seeking professional guidance when applying for the Golden Visa and being sure not to miss any requirement.
Real estate investors should also choose their home carefully, selecting a property developer that is trustworthy and has a proven record of completing projects. Solid developments of high architectural quality with the security and comforts you expect in Spain are critical to ensure a good long-term investment.