Unlock your path to Spanish residency with our comprehensive guide to the Spain Golden Visa in 2024! Explore a better life!

Last Updated on April 9, 2024 by Maryam Siddiqui

Are you an investor looking for the best way to use your investment to obtain a residence permit in Spain? With the Spain Golden Visa, you can enjoy everything this beautiful country offers, from world-class beaches and indigenous cuisines to high living standards. But the big question is, how do you achieve all this for yourself and your family?

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Well, if you don’t know where to begin with the Spain Golden Visa Program, fret not; this post is for you. We attempt to provide answers to all the frequently asked questions concerning the Golden Visa. 

Let’s discuss everything from the qualification requirements, the benefits of this visa, and the application process, among many other questions. Tag along to learn more about this investor visa and whether or not it is for you!

Can expats obtain Spain’s Golden Visa?

Yes, expats can obtain Spain’s Golden Visa, officially known as the “Residence Visa for Investors and Entrepreneurs.” This visa allows non-EU citizens to obtain residency in Spain by making a significant capital investment in the country. We will discuss the types of investments that you can make later on in this post.

The Golden Visa grants you residency for two years, which can be renewed every two years thereafter as long as your investment is maintained. After five years of residency, you can apply for permanent residency or citizenship, subject to meeting a few other conditions.

Eligibility criteria

First and foremost, the Spain Golden Visa Program is specifically designed to attract expat investors outside the EU. Another qualifying requirement is on the financial front. You must possess the funds required for the specified investment and also have enough finances to sustain yourself and your family while living in Spain.

Other than that, you must provide a criminal record certificate from your country of origin and private insurance valid in Spain. Something else worth noting is that you must provide a medical certificate confirming that you do not suffer from any diseases that could have a serious public health impact.

Why Choose Spain for the Golden Visa?

Several European countries offer the Golden Visa program, so why should you choose the Spanish Golden Visa? Compared to other nations, Spain is quite popular among expat investors. 

To give you some perspective, Spain has granted over 25,000 golden visas since its inception, more than other nations have issued. 

This begs the question, is the Spain golden visa program special compared to its counterparts? Its popularity has a lot to do with the legislation behind the program.

Unlike other countries, the Spanish government has not set a minimum year of residence for the Golden Visa. Also, Spain’s real estate market offers attractive investment opportunities, especially in cities like Barcelona, Madrid, and Valencia. 

The Golden Visa program allows you to purchase property and potentially benefit from appreciation over time. This might not be possible for other countries like Portugal, which only allows real estate investment in a few regions.

Benefits of the Spain Golden Visa

As an investor who has chosen Spain as your preferred destination, what benefits can you expect from the program? Here is a quick rundown of the benefits of the Spain golden visa.

  • Residency in Spain: The Golden Visa allows you and your family to live and work in Spain, with the possibility of obtaining permanent residency and citizenship eventually.
  • Visa-free Travel: Holding a Golden Visa grants you access to the Schengen Area, allowing visa-free travel to 26 European countries.
  • Real Estate Investment: The program requires investment in real estate, providing an opportunity to invest in Spain’s attractive property market.
  • Family Benefits: The Golden Visa extends benefits to your spouse and children, allowing the whole family to reside in Spain.
  • Education and Healthcare: Investors and their families can access Spain’s public education and healthcare systems.
  • Business Opportunities: As a Golden Visa holder, you can open up business opportunities in Spain and the wider European Union.

Overview of the Spain Golden Visa

The Spain Golden Visa program was launched in 2013. It was created to attract foreign investment and stimulate economic growth in Spain following the global financial crisis. The program offers residency to non-EU citizens who make a significant investment in the country, such as purchasing real estate or investing in businesses.

The Spain Golden Visa program has been considered successful since its inception. It has attracted significant foreign investment into the country, particularly in the real estate sector, which has helped stimulate economic growth and create jobs. 

As an investor, it is worth noting that the Golden Visa is not a direct ticket to citizenship. However, if you obtain the Golden Visa and choose to reside in Spain, you could qualify for citizenship after a period of 10 years.

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Documents Required for the Golden Visa

Depending on the nature of your investment plans in Spain, you must submit various documents demonstrating your business activities and compliance with the relevant regulations. But, in all cases, these are the mandatory documents:

  • A criminal record certificate. Applicants who are of legal age must submit both the original and a copy of the criminal record check declaration issued by the country. This certificate should be from where you resided for more than six months in the last two years.
  • A valid Passport with at least one year of validity.
  • Proof of sufficient funds to cover living expenses.
  • Proof of medical insurance coverage.
  • Proof of your children’s schooling, if applicable, is issued by the relevant authorities.
  • All documents must be translated into Spanish and legalized.
  • Evidence of payment of the visa fee, which must be made in euros, the local currency.

Timeframe and Cost of Applying for the Golden Visa

The Golden Visa application process duration varies depending on your preparation level. The initial four months will involve selecting the most suitable investment for you and completing the investment process. 

Additionally, within this timeframe, you will prepare and submit your Golden Visa application form. Finally, you will need to travel to Spain for your biometrics appointment. 

During the following three months while in Spain, you should apply for a temporary residence permit, also known as the Spanish Foreign Identity Card (TIE). The UGE (Large Business Unit and Strategic Groups) has 30 days to respond. 

You will need to schedule another biometric appointment. Once everything is ready, your TIE will be available for in-person collection. You must renew your TIE before it expires, which is typically within two years.

In addition to investing in real estate or another financial transaction, you must pay the visa application fees for the initial Golden Visa in Spain. These costs include the initial government application fee and the approval fee.

The Visa fee for real estate investments is €1,910 for the person applying and €1,202 for every dependant family member. It’s only a fraction of the cost that helps improve your lifestyle tenfold via the Golden Visa.

Remember that the Spanish golden visa process fees are compulsory and should be paid when you apply for the visa.

At this point, you must also remember that you may need to renew the Golden Visa after a certain period and pay an additional renewal fee.

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Financial Requirements to Qualify

To begin with, you should expect the Spain Golden Visa to have financial implications because of the investment requirements. The amount of money you need to qualify for this investment is twofold: for your personal sustenance and for the investment itself. 

You must show that you have 400% IPREM regarding your personal sustenance funds. According to data from 2023, this amounts to €2,400 per month, plus an additional €600 per month for each dependent.

You must provide a bank statement demonstrating that you have sufficient funds to cover expenses for at least two years of living in Spain. The financial requirement for the investment will vary depending on the investment path you choose. 

Here are the popular investments that you can choose from in order to qualify for the Spain golden visa program.

Real Estate Investment Option

This option requires a significant investment in Spanish real estate, with the program’s designated amount set at €500,000. As an investor, you can choose residential, commercial, or a mix of both types of properties. The property can be rented out for income generation. Multiple buyers can pool their investments into a single property, and any amount exceeding the minimum investment can be financed through a mortgage.

Business Development in Spain

This pathway to residency in Spain through investment is more focused on directly benefiting the Spanish economy. If you select this option, you must:

  • Create jobs;
  • Ensure your investment has a socio-economic impact on the country;
  • Contribute to scientific or technological innovations.

The minimum investment required for this option is €1 million.

Capital Transfer

Another option is to invest a significant sum in Spanish Treasury bonds to take advantage of the Golden Visa program in Spain. This option is popular among applicants due to the financial security of these bonds, which the government backs. 

Investing in Treasury bonds is a relatively safe option that offers competitive returns. The minimum investment required for this option is €1 million. Alternatively, you can invest a minimum of €1 million in shares of Spanish companies or bank deposits with a Spanish financial institution.

Rights and Duties that Come with the Golden Visa

Along with the benefits of residency, such as the ability to live and work in Spain, Golden Visa holders also have certain rights and duties. Understanding these rights and duties is essential if you are considering applying for a Golden Visa in Spain.

Rights Granted

  • Residency: The Golden Visa grants residency in Spain, allowing the visa holder and their family to live and work there.
  • Travel: Holders of the Golden Visa have the right to travel freely within the Schengen Area.
  • Healthcare and Education: Golden Visa holders can access Spain’s public healthcare and education systems.
  • Real Estate Investment: The Golden Visa allows for investment in real estate, which can lead to potential financial gains.
  • Family Reunification: The visa allows for family reunification, allowing spouses and dependent children to join the visa holder in Spain.

 Duties

  • Investment Requirements: Golden Visa holders must fulfill the investment requirements specified by the Spanish government, which typically include investing in real estate or other assets.
  • Residency Obligations: Holders of the Golden Visa must maintain their residency status by living in Spain for a certain period each year, as stipulated by the requirements.
  • Compliance with Laws: Golden Visa holders must comply with Spanish laws and regulations during their stay in the country.
  • Renewal Requirements: Golden Visa holders must meet the renewal requirements to maintain their residency status in Spain.
  • Tax Obligations: Holders of the Golden Visa are subject to Spanish tax laws and must fulfill their tax obligations there.

Can family members be included on the Spain Golden Visa?

Yes, family members can be included in the Spain Golden Visa application. This program allows the main applicant to include their spouse or partner, as well as dependent children under the age of 18 or dependent adults. 

Family members included in the application will also receive residency permits and have the right to live, work, and study in Spain.

Duration of the Spain Golden Visa

The Spain Golden Visa initially grants residency for one year. After the first year, it can be renewed for two-year periods as long as the investment is maintained. 

After five years of continuous residency, Golden Visa holders can apply for permanent residency or even citizenship, subject to meeting certain conditions.

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Can I get citizenship by investing in Spain?

Yes, it is possible to obtain citizenship in Spain through investment, but the process is more complex than obtaining residency. To be eligible for citizenship through investment, you must first hold a residency permit in Spain for a certain period, typically ten years.

During this time, you must maintain your investment and fulfill other requirements, such as passing the Spanish society exam, and proving integration into Spanish society.

After the required period of residency, you can apply for Spanish citizenship. The decision to grant citizenship is ultimately at the discretion of the Spanish authorities.

Taxation in Spain for Golden Visa Holders

The Golden Visa in Spain does not require you to pay taxes; instead, taxation depends on the total duration of your residence in the country. You must declare your total income if your stay exceeds 183 days per year. As you may already know, any foreigner who stays in the country for more than 183 days is considered a tax resident.

Fortunately, the Spain golden visa doesn’t mandate you to live in the country for more than 183 days to renew your residence permit. The duration of your stay in the country will primarily determine taxation. As a tax resident, you will be subject to a progressive income tax rate ranging from 17% to a maximum of 50%.

Apart from income tax, other tax obligations include wealth tax and capital gains tax. Should you choose to stay less than 183 days, you will only be obligated to pay the non-resident income tax and wealth tax.

Application Process for the Golden Visa

The application process for the Golden Visa in Spain typically involves the following steps:

  • Investment Decision: Choose your preferred investment option, such as real estate, business development, or capital transfer.
  • Gather Documents: Collect the necessary documents, including proof of investment funds,  a criminal record certificate, health insurance, and other required documentation.
  • Submit Application: Submit your Golden Visa application along with all supporting documents to the Spanish consulate or embassy in your home country or directly to the relevant Spanish authority in Spain.
  • Biometric Data: Once your application is approved, schedule and attend a biometric data appointment at a designated center.
  • Residence Permit: Upon approval, you will receive a residency permit, which allows you to live and work in Spain.
  • Renewal: Renew your residency permit as required, typically every two years, by demonstrating that you have maintained your investment.
  • Permanent Residency/Citizenship: After five years of residency, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency or citizenship, subject to meeting certain conditions.

Do you need help obtaining Spain’s Golden Visa?

If you’re considering obtaining the sought-after Spain Golden Visa, it’s crucial to navigate the application process correctly to ensure a smooth and successful outcome. 

Viv Europe offers expert guidance and support throughout the entire process, from selecting the right investment option to submitting your application and beyond.

To get personalized advice tailored to your situation, book a consultation with Viv Europe today. Our experienced team can provide you with the information and assistance you need to make informed decisions and achieve your residency goals in Spain. 

If you want to get in touch with expats living in Portugal or Spain, be sure to join our Facebook Group – All About Portugal For Expats.

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