Fifteen months after its implementation, more than 530 people have come forth to be assigned a residential permit referred to as a golden visa in Spain after realizing a substantial investment:
- The purchase of one or more real properties for the amount of at least 500,000 euros
- An investment in bonds or shares for an amount exceeding 1 million euros
- An investment in Spanish public debt bonds exceeding 2 Million euros
- The realization of an entrepreneurial project considered to be of public interest
Spain is not only a good place to live, having a reputation for offering a good quality of life (great climate, gastronomy, communication networks, etc.), but it is also a good place to invest, especially when the economy is having such an upward turnaround (+ 1, 4% in 2014 and +2% in 2015 according to the predictions of the FMI) in regards to attractive real-estate prices. The government hopes to take advantage of this momentum to reinforce investments in Spain by facilitating the granting of golden visas through 7 measures that are being considered:
Broadening the scope of granting a residential permit
- More rights assigned. While before, only the spouse and minor children (or dependent incapacitated adult children) of an investor or entrepreneur would be entitled to a golden visa, it is envisaged that cohabitants, and dependent adult children will also be authorized recipients.
- Issuance of a short-term visa during the ongoing acquisition of one or more real properties. If the interested party wishes to acquire one or more real properties of nominal value of at least 500,000 euros, he or she will be able to obtain a short-term visa, valid for 6 months, once the contract is signed and the amount of the transaction is deposited into a Spanish bank account.
- Possible establishment of residency during the administrative process. Investors will be able to benefit from the Spanish quality of life during the entire administrative process, during both a golden visa application and its renewal.
- A longer term golden visa. It is anticipated that the residential permit will be renewable every 5 years and not the every 2 year period of the current renewal requirement.
The simplification of the administrative process
- Request the visa while in Spain. Whereas before, the foreign investor had to request the residential permit outside of Spain, the government anticipates that all procedural steps can be performed in and/or out of Spain.
- The extension of the time for requesting resident title. Law 14/2013 for supporting entrepreneurs and internationalization states that a request for a residential permit must be made within the 3 months following the realization of an investment. The government wishes to extend this period to 1 year.
- Facilitate the renewal of a golden visa. Among the areas of reform is the possibility of renewing a residential permit without having to travel to Spain. Recall that a non- Spanish citizen holding a golden visa in Spain will also benefit of the freedom of movement within the Schengen Areas.
The Spanish government wishes to make foreign investments one of its priorities. Thus, it projects to issue 2, 000 residential permits for investments a year and even 10,000 permits in the next 5 years. The sun has yet to finish shinning on Spain and foreign investments, suggesting a bright future for the golden visa.
This article is not considered as legal advice