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Last Updated on 17/07/2023 by STEPHANE
How to get a Golden Visa in Spain?
How to get your real estate Visa in Spain?
How to work in Spain if you are not a European citizen?
There are many reasons for people to want to live in Europe or in Spain. People living in Europe don’t need any visa to work in Spain. People living outside Europe do need one if they intend to work or live in Spain.
Spain has a population of 51m people of which 5m are foreigners. Have a quick look at our earlier paper on that subject: Who are the foreigners living in Spain in 2018? of course, if many foreigners are living in Spain, they are as well actively purchasing properties Who are the foreigners buying properties in Spain? Our detailed analysis
Another interesting article we would recommend if you are serious about buying real estate in Spain: How to buy a property in Spain as a foreigner?
Spanish Golden Visa 1-minute video
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Too busy? Here is our quick-read summary:
Golden Visa in Spain key insights
- The Spain Golden Visa is a residency-by-investment program for non-EU citizens who invest significantly in the Spanish economy.
- The program was launched in 2013 to attract foreign investment and boost Spain’s economic growth.
- To qualify for the Golden Visa, investors can buy real estate worth €500,000 or more, invest €1 million in financial assets, or support a business project of general interest to Spain.
- Golden Visa holders and their immediate family members are granted legal residency in Spain, allowing them to live, work, and study in the country.
- The Golden Visa offers visa-free travel within the 26 countries of the Schengen Area.
- The initial residency permit is granted for two years, with the option to renew for successive periods of five years, provided the investment is maintained.
- After five years of legal residency, Golden Visa holders can apply for permanent residency, and after ten years, they may be eligible for Spanish citizenship, subject to meeting certain requirements.
- The Golden Visa program has no minimum stay requirement, making it an attractive option for investors who don’t necessarily want to live in Spain full-time.
- The Spain Golden Visa has been popular among investors from countries such as China, Russia, and the United States, who seek residency benefits and potential access to EU citizenship.
Let’s go deeper into how it works to get a Spanish Golden visa and why it is interesting.
Spain is a nice country with some really strong advantages
- Its weather and the 320 days of sun are often given as the main motive
- Strong economic recovery with one of the strongest growth in Europe, have a look at our March paper on that: Spanish GDP growth to remain strong up to 2020,
- A low cost of living,
- High quality of life and long life expectancy,
- Investing in real estate in the major cities in Spain is cheaper than in other major cities in the world,…
- Have a quick look at our paper on the 10 reasons why you would love to buy real estate in Spain if you want to know more about this.
At the same time, Spain created many ways to allow residency and work permits for people living outside Spain. Therefore, Spain wrote a Law aimed at investors, entrepreneurs, highly qualified professionals, researchers and workers who make intra-company movements, as well as spouses and children under 18 years of age.
There was a first law in 2013 which was adjusted in 2015. The law was created with a speeding-up procedure: an answer should be given within a period of 10 days for all the visas included in the law.
The residence visa issued under the present Law constitutes sufficient title to reside in Spain for one year without the need to process the foreigner’s identity card. The renewal of it could be possible if the residence period in Spain is may exceeding six months a year in the case of visas and residence permits for foreign investors or foreign workers.
If you are dreaming of Spain but don’t know where to live, have a quick look at our Spanish Costas articles covering all the nice things to enjoy in Spain.
What is Spain’s Golden Visa?
The Spain Golden Visa is a type of residency-by-investment program that allows non-European Union (EU) citizens to obtain a Spanish residence permit in exchange for making a significant investment in the country. This program was introduced in 2013 to attract foreign investors and boost the Spanish economy.
The program is open to investors from all over the world, regardless of their nationality, who meet the following criteria:
Who can apply for a Spain Golden Visa?
General requirements to meet to get a golden Visa in Spain:
- You must be 18 years or older
- You must have a valid passport
- You don’t have any criminal record in Spain or in the countries where you have resided in the last 5 years.
- You must have public insurance or private health insurance arranged with an insurer authorized to operate in Spain.
- You must demonstrate a source of income to support yourself and your dependents
- You must have public insurance or private health insurance arranged with an insurer authorized to operate in Spain.
- You must have suitable accommodation in Spain
- You must be able to demonstrate knowledge of the Spanish language
- Not found irregularly on Spanish soil.
- Not appear as rejected in the territorial space of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in this regard.
- Pay the fee for the processing of the visa.
In addition to the above criteria, you will also need to provide evidence of your investment in Spain. The type of investment required to qualify for the visa will depend on the purpose of your residence. For example, if you are applying for a business visa, you may need to demonstrate a capital investment of at least €1,000,000 in a Spanish company. If you are applying for a residence visa for the purpose of purchasing property, you will need to demonstrate an investment of at least €500,000 in Spanish real estate.
The main qualifying investments for obtaining a Golden Visa in Spain include:
- Real estate: Buying a property worth at least €500,000. This can be a single property or a combination of multiple properties totaling the required amount.
- Financial assets: Investing at least €1 million in shares of Spanish companies, bank deposits in Spanish banks, or purchasing public debt.
- Business projects: Investing in a business venture that is deemed to be of general interest to Spain. This could include creating new employment opportunities, contributing to economic growth, or promoting technological and/or scientific innovation.
The Spain Golden Visa offers several benefits to successful applicants:
- Legal residency in Spain: The Golden Visa grants the holder and their immediate family members the right to live, work, and study in Spain.
- Free movement within the Schengen Area: As a Spanish resident, the Golden Visa holder and their family can travel visa-free throughout the 26 countries of the Schengen Area.
- Pathway to permanent residency and citizenship: After living in Spain for five years, Golden Visa holders can apply for permanent residency. After ten years of legal residency, they may be eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship, subject to meeting certain requirements.
It’s important to note that the Golden Visa does not grant immediate citizenship or a Spanish passport. Rather, it provides an attractive opportunity for non-EU citizens to invest in Spain and obtain legal residency with a potential path towards permanent residency and citizenship in the future.
It is important to note that the possibility of processing the residence visa extends to the spouse and children under 18 years of age, or of age who are not able to cover their own needs due to their state of health when they meet or accompany them. the appliers. Consequently, they may apply, jointly and simultaneously or successively, for a family residence visa, after proof of compliance with the aforementioned requirements.
The presence of the visa applicant is not required, they may request and collect the residence visa through a duly accredited representative. The taking of biometric data is not required.
Complete your Spanish Golden Visa application form with our partner
We work with a dedicated lawyer for those forms. He is one of the biggest lawyers in the field and gets 100% success rate. In order to get in touch, please fill out this quick Spanish Golden Visa Application form:
Here is usually how the conversation starts with our partner
The starting point is a conversation in which the family tells us what their situation is and what they would like to achieve.
My name is Jane, I am the CEO of an IT company based in XXXX. I have XXXX nationality as do my husband and my two children, 14 and 19 years old. The little one would now go to secondary school and the older one is doing his first year of college. Our goal is to move to Madrid next spring but only if they can continue their studies there, otherwise we would wait until summer. Regarding the investment, we would be interested in acquiring a property that would provide us with a monthly income until, once established, we decide where to buy our permanent residence.
With this information, it is possible to check the feasibility of the project and adjust it to the needs of the family making the entire journey as smooth and efficient as possible.
The family receives a simple optimized itinerary that includes all the processes that take place in parallel: the administrative/legal process, the investment process, as well as those procedures related to the particular situation of the family (transfer of educational records, etc.).
After 5 months and two visits to Spain, the family obtains an investor visa valid for one year that allows them to reside and work in Spain without the obligation to spend a minimum of time in the country, as well as to travel freely through space Schengen.
From then on, every two years, they renew their permit, obtaining nationality if the requirements are met.
What are the different types of visas for foreigners looking to set up in Spain?
There are 7 different types of visas available if you are looking to move to Spain. We will develop a little bit more the Real Estate Acquisition Visa as we think that it is the most interesting one if you are a real estate investor. Please jump to visa #2 if that’s your case.
1. Residence Visa for Capital Investors, “Visado de Residencia para Inversores de Capital” or RIC
If you make an initial investment for
- a value equal to or greater than 2 million euros in Spanish public debt securities or
- a value equal to or greater than 1 million euros in shares or shares of Spanish companies or deposits banks in Spanish financial institutions.
In addition to the general requirements given earlier on, the applicant must prove having made the investment in the minimum amount required, in a period not exceeding 60 days prior to the submission of the application.
2. Residence Visa for Acquisition of Real Estate, “Visado de Residencia por Adquisición de Bienes Inmuebles” or RIV
Foreigners who prove the acquisition of real estate in Spain with an investment of 500,000 € or more may apply for this visa.
In addition to the general requirements given earlier on, the applicant must prove having acquired ownership of the real estate through certification. This certification will have to be issued within 90 days prior to the presentation of the application for the residence visa. If at the time of the visa application, the acquisition of the property is in the process of being registered in the Property Registry, it will be sufficient to present the certificate stating the validity of the acquisition document, accompanied by the documentation accrediting the payment of the corresponding taxes.
The applicant must prove to have an investment in real estate of € 500,000 free of any charge or lien. The part of the investment that exceeds the amount required may be subject to charge or lien.
a. How to submit your applications?
it will be done in person or by a duly authorized representative and by means of a prior appointment made by email to your consulate (without adding attached documents).
b. What are the requirements and the documentation needed?
1) A national visa application form duly completed in capital letters. There must be a means of contact (mobile, e-mail) for all types of notifications and requirements. Add a copy of the first page of the application that, stamped by the consular office, will be returned to the applicant as proof.
2) A recent colour photo, with a white background, between 26-35mm wide and 32-45 tall.
3) For Chinese citizens, photocopy of all pages and translation into Spanish of the “Hukou”
4) Ordinary passport with at least 1-year validity.
5) Photocopy of all passport pages that contain information. (stamps, visas).
6) Certificate of criminal record, or equivalent document, in the case of an applicant of legal age, which must be issued by the authorities of the country of origin or the country or countries in which he or she has resided during the last five years, translated and legalized (original and copy). This document has a validity of 3 months. It must be translated into Spanish.
7) Have public insurance or private health insurance arranged with an insurer authorized to operate in Spain. (original and photocopy).
8) The documents evidencing sufficient financial means for their support during the time of residence in Spain including, where appropriate, that of their family, without the need to develop any work or professional activity. The minimum amount established amounts to € 2,130.04 per month (400% of the monthly IPREM index, to be consulted in successive years), increasing by € 532.51 per month (100% of the IPREM) for each family member accompanying him.
9) Proof that the applicant has acquired the property / real estate properties / for a minimum value of 500,000 euros through certification of ownership and charges of the Property Registry that corresponds to the property or real estate. If at the time of the visa application, the acquisition of the property is in the process of registration in the Property Registry, it will be sufficient to present the aforementioned certification in which the entry form for the acquisition document is valid, accompanied by documentation accrediting the payment of the corresponding taxes. The certificate must be dated within 90 days prior to the submission of the application.
10) For relatives of these applicants, in addition to the above, to prove the conjugal bond or filiation, by a marriage certificate or birth certificate in the case of children, translated and legalized. Original and photocopy.
11) For ancestors of the applicant: points 1 to 7, plus: a) certificate of kinship notarized and legalized b) documents proving that they are in charge of the investor. If there is cohabitation, a certificate from the “district community”
The deadline to meet the requirements and documentation required is 10 business days.
This Consulate General reserves the right to request any additional documentation it deems appropriate.
Visa applications will be resolved and notified within 10 days, it’s a fast-track procedure, except in the cases provided for in art. 22 of the Visa Code.
The visa data must be verified by the applicant at the time of the withdrawal of the passport. The collection of the visa implies the acceptance of these data as correct.
3. Residence Visa for Entrepreneurs and Business Activity, “Visado de Residencia para Emprendedores y Actividad Empresarial” or REM
Under this assumption, there is room for investors to submit a business project that will be developed in Spain and that is considered accredited as general interest, as those who plan to enter and remain in Spain for a period of one year in order to develop an entrepreneurial activity.
In the first case, the interested party must submit a favourable report from the Commercial Office of the geographical demarcation area where the investor submits the visa application, in order to verify that the business project submitted includes reasons of general interest.
It must be taken into account that a significant investment of capital will be carried out by a legal entity originating from a territory that does not have the consideration of a tax haven according to Spanish regulations, and the foreigner has, directly or indirectly, the majority of the voting rights and has the power to appoint or dismiss the majority of the members of its administrative body.
In the case of Entrepreneurs, an entrepreneurial activity will be understood as one that is of an innovative nature, with a special interest in Spain, and for that purpose has a favourable report from the Commercial Office where the investor submits the visa application.
4. Residence Visa for Highly Qualified Professionals, “Visado de Residencia para Profesionales Altamente Cualificados” or TAC
The application for this visa requires that the company carry out the prior processing in Spain of a Residency Authorization for highly qualified professionals, which will be carried out in the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit. Its concession will correspond to the General Directorate of Migrations.
5. Residency Visa for Training or Research, “Visado de Residencia para Formación o Investigación” or RIN
Under this visa, cases regarding foreigners who wish to carry out training, research, development and innovation activities in public or private entities are contemplated. Such cases are:
- The Research Staff referred to in article 13 and the additional provision of Law 14/2011, of June 1, on Science, Technology and Innovation.
- The Scientific and Technical Staff that carries out scientific research, development and technological innovation work in business entities or R & D & I centres established in Spain.
- Researchers welcomed in the framework of an agreement by public or private research organizations, under the conditions established by regulation.
- Teachers hired by universities, organs or centres of higher education and research, or business schools established in Spain in accordance with the criteria established by regulation.
6. Residence Visa for Business Transfer, “Visado de Residencia por Traslado Empresarial” or TTI
It can be processed by foreigners who travel to Spain within the framework of an employment, professional or professional training relationship, with a company established in Spain or in another country.
The application for this visa requires that the company carry out the prior processing in Spain of a Residence Authorization for intra-corporate transfer, which will be carried out in the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit. Its concession will correspond to the General Directorate of Migrations.
7. Residence visa for family members, “Visado de residencia para familiares” or RFI
The new Law establishes that legal spouses and children under 18 years of age, or children older than 18 years old but who are not objectively able to provide their own needs due to their state of health, who accompany an owner of a visa may request a residence visa.
In addition to the general requirements stated above, they must prove their family relationship.
What are the advantages of having a work Visa to Spain?
- Being able to Work in Spain
- Being able to live in Spain
- Being able to have your family living in Spain
- Enjoy the high-quality life of Spain
- Get social security in Spain if you work in Spain
- Get access to the European market for your business and for yourself
- Easier investments in Spain: Business and real estate
How Long Can I Stay in Spain With a Golden Visa?
The amount of time you can stay in Spain with a Golden Visa depends on the type of visa you have and the duration of your residency permit. Golden Visas are granted to non-EU citizens who invest in Spanish real estate. The visa is valid for a period of one year and can be renewed annually.
If you have obtained a Golden Visa through investing in real estate, you will be eligible to receive a residency permit, which allows you to stay in Spain for up to five years. After five years, you can also apply for permanent residency, which allows an indefinite stay in Spain.
In addition to the residency permit, you must also adhere to the Schengen Area regulations, which apply to all European countries. This includes registering with the local police if you plan to stay in Spain for more than 90 days. The Schengen Area regulations also allow for a maximum stay of 90 days per 180-day period, which means you can stay in Spain for a maximum of three months at a time before returning to your country of origin.
Don’t miss our last update on the subject from May 2023 as Spain could change the current Golden visa program: “Spanish Golden Visa 2023 update“.
If you are looking to live in Spain but don’t know where to settle as a foreigner, check our paper on that subject: The most loved Spanish regions for the foreigners’ properties: British, French, German,…
Sources: Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación, the different visas for foreigners in Spain in Spanish , Ministerio de Asuntos Exteriores y de Cooperación, the Real estate visa in Spain in Spanish, Ministerio de Industria, Comercio y Turismo in Spanish
Stéphane, with over 20 years of experience in real estate, finance and entrepreneurship, is the co-founder of www.howtobuyinspain.com. With an extensive network of local partners in Spain, his deep commitment to the real estate sector combined with strong analytical skills and a problem-solving mentality have fueled his success. Constantly eager to learn and passionate about teaching, Stéphane believes in the power of knowledge sharing to master any subject.
What is a Golden Visa in Spain?
A Golden Visa is a type of residence permit that grants non-European Union citizens the right to live and work in Spain. The visa program was introduced by the Spanish government in 2013 to attract foreign investors and stimulate the country's economy.
What are the requirements for a Golden Visa in Spain?
To be eligible for a Golden Visa in Spain, an applicant must invest at least 500,000 euros in Spanish real estate, or 1 million euros in Spanish stocks, bonds, or bank deposits. The investment must be made with funds from outside Spain and must be maintained for a minimum of five years. Applicants must also pass a background check and demonstrate that they have sufficient financial means to support themselves and any dependents.
How long does a Golden Visa in Spain last?
A Golden Visa in Spain is initially granted for one year, after which it can be renewed every two years as long as the investment is maintained. After five years, Golden Visa holders may apply for permanent residency or Spanish citizenship, subject to certain conditions.
What are the benefits of a Golden Visa in Spain?
A Golden Visa in Spain allows holders to live and work in Spain, as well as travel freely within the Schengen Area. It also provides access to public healthcare and education, as well as other social benefits available to Spanish residents. In addition, Spain's Golden Visa program is known for its relatively low investment requirements and fast processing times.