The Best Alternatives To The Golden Visa For Expats Moving To Spain

Many expats living in Spain, or think of moving to Spain, are still reeling from the shock news that Spain’s Golden Visa is set to be scrapped. This will significantly impact non-EU nationals considering buying a home and moving to Spain, as the Golden Visa was considered one of the easiest ways to do this, provided you had the financial means.

So, what now? Here we will look at the best alternatives to the Golden Visa for expats moving to Spain:

Will People Who Already Have A Golden Visa Be Impacted?

The good news is that, if you’re already living in Spain and have a golden visa in the country then you won’t be impacted. The Spanish authorities have confirmed that current golden visa holders will keep their residency card and this measure will not affect them.

There’s definitely reason to breathe a sigh of relief. We now know that the residency authorisation of existing golden visa holders through investment in real estate is a guaranteed right and the new law cannot take this right away.

But what if you’re not get a resident of Spain? What options are available to you? And what if you’re in the middle of your golden visa application but it hasn’t been approved yet?

What Changes For People In The Process Of Applying For Spain’s Golden Visa?

It’s hard to completely answer this question right now, unfortunately. As a general rule in Spain, applications are processed according to the law that was in force when the application was made. But this isn’t the case if retroactive measures are included in the new law.

So it’s just too early to know the answer to this question. We won’t know until the law is approved. But there is reason to be optimistic. Usually when Spanish laws change in this way  the government will define a deadline until which this visa can be obtained, so those in the process can have enough time. Which means if your application has already been made, you may find that it is still processed, and you too will have a Golden Visa that is protected.

Can I Still Buy a €500,000 Spanish Home And Apply For A Golden Visa?

This depends, but probably not. While the golden visa has a reputation for being the fastest route to Spanish residency, it takes time to find a property and home and complete the purchase process.  The golden visa can be applied for and processed in between 10 and 20 days but finding a home that you love enough to spend half a million euros on is likely to take time.

If you’re keen to gain a golden visa then now is the time to start house hunting, and fast! Applications are still open for the golden visa but we don’t know how long that will be the case.

The good news in this regard is that legislative changes in Spain always tend to take longer than expected.

What Other Visas Could You Apply For Instead?

There is no one answer to this question as it depends on your unique circumstances. Do you want to work in Spain? Are you retiring in the country?

If you don’t need to work then, after the golden visa, the non-lucrative visa is considered the easiest in the country to apply for. The non-lucrative visa doesn’t allow you to work but gives you Spanish residency if you can prove €28,000 in funds to cover your costs for the year, and €7,200 for every extra family member included on the residency application, as well as providing comprehensive medical insurance. Like the golden visa this is effectively a visa that you will need financial means to be a suitable applicant.

 If you do need to work then consider the newly introduced digital nomad visa, but it’s important to remember that the main drawback of this is that it is a relatively short-term visa. To get a digital nomad visa you will need to earn €2,646 in monthly earnings to be eligible, and the visa enables you to live in the country for five years maximum.

It may also still be possible to get a golden visa, but without buying property. It is speculated that only the property purchase category of the golden visa scheme is being removed. This means that investing €1 million in shares in Spanish companies, or €2 million in government bonds, or transferring €1 million to a Spanish bank account, will still be likely mean you can obtain Spanish residency through the golden visa for the time being.

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