Everything You Need to Know About the Golden Visa Scheme in Spain

Looking to move to Spain after Brexit? If you’re not already a resident of the country (and therefore eligible for the residency rules that applied before Brexit) then you’re probably already aware that obtaining Spanish residency is now much harder than it was three months ago. The good news, though, is that whilst things may be harder that doesn’t mean that they’re impossible!

There are many different types of visa you can apply for, provided you meet the criteria. One of the most popular of these is the Golden Visa scheme: effectively this means that, as a non-European, you will be granted a residency permit to live in Spain, provided you make an investment of €500K in the country. Wondering if this could be the right path for you? Here at Right Casa, we've noticed an uptick in people looking for properties on the Costa Del Sol to take advantage of the Golden Visa Scheme, so we've written a guide on everything you need to know:

Understanding the Golden Visa Scheme

The Golden Visa Scheme was introduced in September 2013, and fives foreigners who invest large sums in Spanish property, public debt and projects of general interest the right to reside in Spain. Most people applying for this visa type choose to invest in property. In this situation, the minimum investment before taxes and changes is €500,000 ($551,000) and the ‘real’ amount rises to around €600,000 once taxes and other extra costs are considered.

The main perk of this scheme is that it gives non-EU citizens access to the entire Schengen area, although it still doesn’t allow you to work in Spain.

Getting a Spanish Golden Visa

Obviously, the main aspect of this scheme is financial. It’s only right for you if you have €500k or more to invest. So first, you need to find a property (or series of properties) worth more than this amount that you wish to buy. From this point, it is important to note that:

  • The €500k must be money you bring into the country. If you plan to finance part of your purchase with a Spanish mortgage, you still have to either pay the first €500k either in cash, or pay for this with a mortgage granted by a non-Spanish bank. This sum must effectively be additional money that is being brought into the country.
  • Refurbishment costs do not count towards your golden visa: only the purchase price will be taken into account.
  • Any additional property fees do not count towards your golden visa. They are extra expenses you can expect to pay on top of your 500k investment.
  • You can divide the €500k across multiple properties.

Securing your Golden Visa Once You’ve Purchased Your Property

Once you have made an investment worth at least 500k you are in a position to obtain your Spanish Golden Visa. Doing this is a two-step process, which is outlined below:

Step 1

First, you must go to the Spanish Consulate in your home country to obtain the visa. This is a stamp in your passport that allows you to travel to Spain, with multiple entries and exits, for one year.

To secure the visa, you will need to show your purchase agreement and your property’s deed to prove that you have made the property investment, alongside the documents you would expect such as your passport, and proof you do not have a criminal record.

Moving With your Family – Spouses and dependent children under the age of eighteen years are guaranteed residency permits. Your spouse will need to show their residency permit when they are submitting their residency application, and any children will need to show their birth certificates. Any other family members that wish to move with you will need to present paperwork proving they are your legal dependents for their application to be successful.

Step 2

This step happens when you travel to Spain and must be completed within a year of step one : it is here that you will apply for your residency permit. Because your finger prints are taken at the time of your permit application, your whole party must attend this appointment in person.

When you apply for a Golden Visa, your initial residence permit is valid for two years. You do not have to live in Spain during this time, but you do need to return to renew your residence permit in person once the two-year period is expired. Once you apply for your residence permit, it takes about 50 days for the permit to be issued. This is broken down into around 25 days to complete the application process and 25 days to receive your ID card. After you have been a legal resident of Spain for five years, you are eligible to apply for permanent residency. Once you have ten years of Spanish residency, you are eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship if you want to.

What If My Residency Permit Isn’t Renewed?

There are only three circumstances in which you would have to worry about your residency permit not being renewed after the initial two-year period has expired. These are:

  • If you sell your property or transfer it into someone else’s name
  • If you have a criminal record
  • If you are not up to date on your Spanish tax payments

Have you always dreamt of retiring to Spain? Whether you’re looking for golden mile properties in Marbella or bargain property in Andalucia, our local property experts are perfectly placed to turn your dreams into a reality. Why not get in touch to find out more about how we can help you.