On 30th September 2013 the Spanish legal gazette – the Boletin Official del Estado (BOE) – announced the eagerly anticipated new Act for foreign investors known as the “The Golden Visa Act”. It is now possible to invest in Spain a minimum amount of 500.000 € and receive unlimited and unrestricted visa and residency permit for the applicant and his family. This is valid for Schengen Space within EU and all Spanish territory.
This measure is to promote foreign investment in Spain. The “Golden Visa” is expected to attract a large number of investors from outside the EU, especially from Russia, Norway, Switzerland, Asia and the Middle East (as already seen in Portugal and Cyprus).
The minimum investment is 500.000 € in cash, per application, and free of liens and encumbrances. Any amount invested in excess of the minimum amount may be subject to liens or encumbrances.This application covers the main applicant and his/her family.
The purchase has to be formalized in a public deed, and every movement of funds used shall be justified by legal means, according to anti-laundering money laws.
a.- Portfolio. One or several properties, with joint price of at least half a million €.
b.- Type. Of a residential, touristic, rural, commercial or industrial nature.
c.- Use. For rent, land to be developed, buildings under construction or decrepit buildings for renovation. Properties with different use can be combined.
There is no requirement that any property is intended for a specific use. Therefore, it is accepted to intend the property for leasing purposes totally or partially, or to use it for business activities of any kind. While maintaining the investment, the management of properties can vary along the time without affecting the permits.
Investor Residency Permit
The Investor residency Permit applicants must not be illegally resident in the Spanish national territory, be aged over 18, have no criminal record in Spain or other countries of residence during the previous five years, hold entitlement to public medical treatment or hold private medical insurance cover, and hold sufficient funds to support both the applicant and his/her family members during residency in Spain. They must comply with all tax and Social Security obligations. Further, they have to provide proof that the investor is the owner of the property/properties in form of an ownership certificate from the Property register and must be dated no more than 90 days prior to submitting the application.
Permanent Residence and Spanish Citizenship
After the first year, individuals may apply for a 2-year residence permit in Spain which can be extended without difficulty, provided that the value of the investment remains at € 500,000. During this period, however, the investor is entitled to sell the first property and acquire a new one, provided that this new property also has a minimum value of € 500,000.
After an uninterrupted 5-year period of residence in Spain, the investor may apply for a permanent residence permit. Five years after that, the individual even acquires the right to Spanish citizenship.
This is a truly interesting proposal for international investors who wish to invest in EU real estate. Those who buy a property in Majorca will receive not only an attractive capital investment for their money, but will also benefit from the right to EU-wide movement and residence.