The Barcelona's Golden Visa

13 June 2017

Golden Visa

Inspired by programmes in neighbouring European countries such as Portugal, Spain introduced their Golden Visa program in late 2013 to help attract more buyers to the Spanish property market. The programme offers a European residency permit, which then leads onto full citizenship, in exchange for a property investment of over €500,000.

Key Requirements:

Any physical or legal non-Eu resident is eligible for the programme, provided that they are over 18, hold no criminal record in Spain and are not already in Spain irregularly. Buyers domiciled in tax-havens are not eligible. Companies can also be used to purchase property, provided that the buyer is the principal shareholder.

A key requirement is that the €500,000 investment be paid in full, and that this figure is maintained throughout the residency process.  Mortgages are available for any amount over the €500,000 investment threshold.

  • Residency permits are available upon completion of the payment.
  • Provided the process is successfully completed, applicants are eligible for full residency after 5 years, and citizenship after 10 years.
  • This is with the exception of Latin American nationals, who are eligible for a 2 year residency fast-track to citizenship.
  • To qualify for citizenship, applicants must be residents in Spain for a total of 10 years - 5 years to obtain permanent residence and a further 5 for citizenship.

Golden Visas and New-Build Properties Under-Construction

For Golden Visas and residency relating to new build properties in Barcelona that are still under construction, the process is slightly different. All the money must be deposited into a Spanish bank for the applicant to be eligible A private agreement (an arras) must be signed between the buyer and the seller This entitles the buyer to a 6 month Golden Visa, If, after the 6 month period, the property is still not completed, they will have to wait till the property is completed for the full Golden Visa (which lasts initially for 2 years before requiring renewal) If the property is not scheduled to be completed within 6 months, the buyer can  apply for a NON-Lucrative Visa in the Spanish consulate, which is a residence permit that will allow you stay in Spain up to 1 year, and can be renewed.  Once the property is finished, they will then be able to apply for the Golden Visa as a real estate investor.

Key Benefits of the Golden Visa Program and Property in Barcelona

The key benefits of Spain’s golden visa program for non-Eu nationals include:

  • To be eligible for the the Golden Visa programme, applicants need only to visit Spain once in the first two years, and once in the consecutive three years.  This means that investors can remain tax residents in another country, yet still have access to European residency.
  • Applicants are entitled to 90 days of travel within the EU every 6 months.
  • Applicants for the Golden Visa residency permit can receive work permits in Spain.
  • Investors can now request reunification with both married and common law partners.
  • The program also now covers the investor’s economically dependent children – including children over the age of 18 – and parents.
  • Favourable tax treaties exist between Spain and other countries, enabling non-EU investors access to relief from double taxation and tax incentives similar to domestic property ownership. For more information, contact our specialist adviser.

The Process - 6 Steps to Citizenship

  1. Purchase a €500,000 property.
  2. Apply for 1 year visa.
  3. Move to Spain where you may legally work.
  4. Maintaining the  €500,000 threshold, reside in Spain for 5 years via your Golden Visa.
  5. After 5 years, apply for permanent residency. Once achieved, you can sell your investment.
  6. After 10 years from the beginning of the process and as a registered Spanish resident, apply for Citizenship.

The Process for Latin American citizens

  1. Purchase a €500,000 property.
  2. Apply for a 1 year visa.
  3. Move to Spain where you may legally work.
  4. Maintaining the €500,000 threshold, reside in Spain for 1 more year via your Golden Visa.
  5. After 2 years from the beginning of the process and as a registered Spanish resident, apply for Citizenship.

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