Spain

The Spanish Government introduced the Residency Visa Law 14/2013 on 27th September 2013 to support entrepreneurs and internationalization. It offers the opportunity for non-EU citizens to obtain a Residency Permit (Golden Visa) by investing in Real Estate in Spain for a minimum value of €500,000. A residence permit is issued for 1 year and can be renewed every 2 years thereafter, provided that the property asset(s) is maintained by the applicant.

The Spanish residency permit is valid for visa-free travel throughout the EU and Schengen zone and allows the holder the same options as a Spanish national for living and working in Spain. However, the amount of visa-free travel will still be dependent on the card-holder’s original passport.

Acquiring Permanent Residency and Citizenship:

It is possible to apply for permanent residency in Spain after living in the country for 5 years

Citizenship can be applied for only after living full time in Spain for 10 years.

Although the temporary residency permit (the golden visa) can be easily renewed without living in the country, the route to both permanent residency and citizenship requires the investor and their family to reside in Spain almost full-time. Due to this many investors prefer the option of Portugal where lengthy minimum stay is not required.

 

THE COUNTRY

Spain, officially known as the Kingdom of Spain is a key country member of the European Union (EU). The mainland of Spain is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and the Mediterranean on the Iberian Peninsula. Spain’s economy is the ninth largest in the world and it ranks amongst one of the best in the EU. It is responsible for creating more than half of the new employment opportunities created in the EU countries. With regards to investing and starting a business in Spain, foreign investors can target to reach to 44.7 million resident customers; foreign investors can take advantage of this huge and attractive market base. Investors can also benefit from the Spanish government’s aggressive foreign investment policies. It provides foreign investors free access to the modern infrastructure facilities for effective business activities across the EU. Additionally, it has a strong economic infrastructure, offering its residents a high standard of living with reasonable living costs, appropriate health care and a globally recognized education system. The country has an area of about 504,645 sq. km and also includes the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands and a number of uninhabited islands on the Mediterranean side of the Strait of Gibraltar. It is a member of important international organizations such as United Nations (UN), the Council of Europe (CoE), and OEI, NATO, OECD, WTO and many others. The capital is Madrid and other major cities for tourism include Barcelona, Mallorca, Seville, Valencia and the southern region of Andalusia. The official language is Spanish, but large portions of the population speak fluent English. State schooling follows the Spanish curriculum but there are also many English speaking international schools.


RESIDENCY PROGRAM

To qualify for the Spanish residency scheme, the applicant must invest a minimum amount in one of three different areas:

  • €500,000 in property
  • €2 million in Spanish Government Bonds or
  • €1 million in shares in Spanish companies

The investment can be made by either an individual or a company provided that the company is not located in a country considered to be a tax haven and the individual has control of the company’s shares.

In exchange for these investments the investor can obtain a residency visa to live in Spain and travel freely throughout the EU Schengen area.

The minimum stay requirement is just 1 day per year.

Spain is a world-class destination for investment and investors can be rest assured to earn valuable returns on their capital. After the Global financial crisis in 2008 real estate prices in Spain dropped considerably and made investing in property a very attractive and affordable proposition. The market has recovered well in many regions and prices remain attractive.

After 5 years of residency, applicants can apply for Permanent Residency provided they  have lived in the country for more than six months each year.

However, Citizenship can only be granted after 10 years of living in Spain and passing a Spanish language test. (applicants will need to have been living in Spain full-time throughout the 5-year period leading  up to citizenship).

Once applicants have acquired citizenship then they are free to dispose of their investment. In order to renew permanent residency status, applicants must prove that they have the minimum amount invested in real estate upon renewal (every 5 years).

BENEFITS

  • Residents are welcome to travel and reside freely within the Schengen Area for up to 3 months every 6-month period with the right of multiple entries.
  • No need to reside in Spain full-time, minimum stay is just 1 day per year.
  • Fast track process – only 2 to 3 months to acquire Spanish Residency permit.
  • Access to state of the art healthcare and quality education.
  • The Spanish Residency programme is open to all nationalities.
  • The residency may lead to Spanish Citizenship and a Spanish passport.
  • One of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide, therefore high demand for rental properties with property prices still very attractive.
  • Highly developed country, which enjoys a high quality of life and political stability, beautiful natural environment and a sunny Mediterranean climate.
  • Open bank accounts easily and expand investments worldwide.

DEPENDENTS

Qualifying family members include spouse and all children under 18. Children aged 18 and over and parents can qualify if dependent or in full-time education and must be unmarried.

TAXATION

Investors will only be taxed on their worldwide income if they are resident in Spain for over 183 days in any tax year. For those non-resident individuals tax is charged at 24.75% only on income derived in the country, such as rental income. This can be reduced with expenses. Capital gains tax (CGT) applies to any profit on the sale of a property. CGT starts at 24% rising to 27% for gains over €50,000. There are allowances and deductions that can be made.

Annual property taxes are payable to the local authority, typically €200 – €400 per year for an apartment and slightly more for a villa.

Other requirements:

Applicants deciding to live full time in Spain will require:

  • Medical insurance. However, families will have access to all public services including state medical care and schooling.
  • No previous refusal of visas or entry into the Schengen zone.
  • Able to prove sufficient financial means to cover any stay in Spain.

APPLICATION PROCESS

  • The applicant needs to have committed to the investment prior to applying for the visa. An application can be made once a contract for sale has been signed and prior to completion of the sale at the notary. The appointed lawyer will make sure that the investor can fulfil all government requirements before any property is purchased.
  • The funds must be ready for investment in a bank account in Spain. The application for the residency visa then takes just 10 – 15 days.
  • The Golden Visa permit is initially issued for one year, if applied for in Spain, and can then be renewed for a further two years provided the investment is maintained.
  • A typical application involves initial consultation with one of our experienced consultants followed by a 3 -7 days visit to Spain to view properties, meet with lawyers and open a bank account.
  • Once a property has been selected through our team, the appointed lawyer will handle the entire process, including conveyancing and legal work for the property.
  • The Residency “Golden Visa” application after this point can be made within Spain or at a consulate outside of Spain.
  • The Residency visas are issued to you via courier anywhere in the world.

FEES

  • Lawyers’ fees are around €8,000- 10,000 for a family application.
  • In addition, a government processing fee applies of 60 Euros.
  • Buying real estate in Spain attracts certain taxes, stamp duty and fees. We recommend investors budget for 11-12% in total, the main element being VAT (IVA).
  • In addition, there are conveyancing fees, typically 1% of the property purchase price.

Our consultants and immigration lawyers will manage the entire application process with document preparation and validation and all government formalities. We partner with the best real estate developers and agents and will arrange for the client to view the properties and get the best possible investment opportunities. Please contact us and our team will be delighted to assist you.

PROPERTIES


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