The government is considering tightening, or even abolishing, the granting of residence permits, also known as Golden Visas, for foreign fortunes that buy a property in Spain worth 500,000 euros. Does this mean that Golden Visas in Spain have come to an end?
These residence visas for non-EU foreign investors, which were introduced with Law 14/2013, of 27th September, on support for entrepreneurs and their internationalization, are granted for three years, extendable to two after a real estate investment of at least €500,000. They can also be obtained if investments of more than €1,000,000 are made in deposits or in shares of Spanish capital companies, or more than €2,000,000 in government bonds.
In this way, the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration is considering raising the minimum investment required to obtain a residence permit or directly abolishing visas in exchange for investment in housing, which is precisely what the political group Más País demanded in a legislative proposal presented last February.
Raise the minimum investment threshold or abolish Golden Visas
In the proposal presented, the political party, which is negotiating with the government on what to do with these visas, proposes that non-resident foreigners who intend to enter Spanish territory can apply for a residence visa for investors, making a real estate investment of at least one million euros, or else it proposes eliminating this type of visa.
Following in Europe’s footsteps
However, Spain is not the first country to question the total or partial abolition of these visas. European countries such as Portugal and Ireland have already put an end to Golden Visas. In this sense, the European Commission seeks that all EU members eliminate Golden Visas, as they are seen as a «privileged way» for wealthy applicants to circumvent strict immigration rules and obtain «a free residence permit».
Almost 5,000 Golden Visas in Spain since 2013
According to the Spanish Government, 4,940 Golden Visas were issued between 2013 and 2022, including in this number not only those granted for investment in real estate, but also for capital investments and business projects.
In this regard, the government states that 45 % of these visas were issued to Chinese nationals, with a total of 2,263.
Investors from Russia accounted for 19.6 %, with 969 visas. The Executive also highlights the visas issued to Ukrainian citizens, who obtained 2.7 % of the permits, with a total of 136.
In conclusion, the draft law to modify or abolish Golden Visas in Spain is currently pending and subject to possible changes derived from the political proposals put forward.
If you have any doubts or need more information regarding Golden Visas in Spain, please contact us.
In Imont, we help you throughout the process of obtaining the documentation, making the application and obtaining the TIE once the visa has been approved.