Frequently asked questions
We answer all your questions
1) What is golden visa spain
Golden Visa is the procedure to obtain a visa or residence permit for non-European foreigners who make a significant investment in Spain.
The visa is an authorisation to enter Spanish territory, while the residence permit is the authorisation to be resident in Spain.
Notwithstanding the different types of visas, they are generally granted for stays of less than 3 months, while if you wish to live in Spain for a longer period of time, the ideal procedure is the residence permit.
The Golden Visa allows not only the investor, but also his or her family members (spouse and minor children) to live in Spain.
2) Does spain have a golden visa program
Yes, Spain has a Golden Visa programme. This procedure was approved by means of Law 14/2013, of 27 September, to support entrepreneurs and their internationalisation.
This law aims to attract foreign investment in Spain by granting visas or residence permits for the purchase of a property worth more than €500,000, the acquisition of €1 million worth of shares or stocks, the acquisition of €2 million worth of public debt or having an entrepreneurial project.
In the case of visas (permission to enter and stay in Spain), the decision will be taken by the Spanish diplomatic missions and consular offices abroad for a period of 10 working days.
For the processing of residence authorisations, this will be carried out by the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit and will be resolved within 20 working days. In the case of administrative silence, it is interpreted as positive, and an application must be made to obtain the residence permit definitively.
3) Golden visa spain requirements
In order to obtain the Golden Visa for investors, there are some common requirements and some specific requirements.
The common requirements are those established in art. 62 of Law 14/2013:
- not to be irregularly present in Spanish territory;
- be over 18 years of agent
- not have a criminal record in Spain, as well as in the countries in which they have resided during the last 5 years, for offences under Spanish law;
- not appear as a rejectable subject in the territorial space of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement to this effect
- have a public or private health insurance policy with an insurance company authorised to operate in Spain
- have sufficient economic resources for themselves and members of their family during their residence in Spain; and
- pay the fee for the processing of the visa or residence permit.
The spouse, minor children and adult children accompanying the investor who are objectively unable to provide for their own needs due to their state of health are entitled to apply for the visa jointly with the foreign investor. In this case, in addition to the generic requirements already identified (not only with respect to the investor, but also with respect to the investor’s spouse and children), the marital relationship or filiation must be accredited.
As specific requirements, we must consider whether it is an investment for the acquisition of real estate, for the acquisition of shares or holdings or public debt. Let us look at each case.
(i) Financial investments:
- In Spanish public debt securities for a minimum value of €2,000,000. This investment must be evidenced by a certificate issued by the financial institution or the Bank of Spain stating that the applicant is the sole holder of the investment for a period of 5 years or more.
- In shares of Spanish companies for a minimum value of €1,000,000. This investment shall be evidenced by:
- a certificate issued by the financial intermediary, duly registered with the National Securities Market Commission or the Bank of Spain, stating that the interested party has made the investment, in the event that the product acquired is listed shares;
- a copy of the investment declaration made in the Foreign Investment Register of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, in the case of unlisted shares.
- In shares in Spanish companies for a minimum value of €1,000,000. This investment shall be accredited by means of the same copy of the foreign investment declaration as provided for investment in unlisted shares.
- In bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions for a minimum value of €1,000,000. This investment shall be evidenced by a certificate from the financial institution stating that the applicant is the sole holder of the bank deposit.
In accordance with article 64 of Law 14/2013, the applicant must prove that the financial investment has been made within 60 days prior to the submission of the visa application by providing, in each case, the aforementioned documents.
(ii) Real estate investments:
The residence visa may also be obtained through the acquisition of real estate in Spain for a minimum price of €500,000 per applicant.
This investment must be accredited by presenting a certificate of ownership and encumbrances issued by the Land Registry. This certification must include an electronic verification code for online consultation and must have been issued within 90 days prior to the visa application.
For this purpose, it should be noted that the applicant may obtain financing to purchase the property, but in order to be able to apply for the visa, he/she must prove that he/she has made an investment of at least €500,000, i.e. he/she may finance the part of the purchase price that exceeds the aforementioned amount.
If the deed of sale is pending registration at the time the application for approval is made, it will be sufficient that the certificate states that the registration entry is in force and that the corresponding taxes have been paid.
(iii) Investments of an entrepreneurial nature:
A residence visa for investors may also be applied for as a result of the development of a business project in Spain that is considered and accredited as being of general interest.
For this, i.e. for the investment and the business project to be considered to be of general interest, it must:
- involve the creation of jobs (with no minimum number indicated by Law 14/2013);
- have a significant socio-economic impact in the area in which the activity is to be carried out (although the Law does not specify how this requirement is to be specified); or
- make a relevant contribution to scientific or technological innovation (a condition that is also not clearly and objectively determined).
In this case, the applicant must prove that the significant capital investment has been made by submitting a favourable report issued by the Economic and Commercial Office of the geographical demarcation in which the visa application is submitted, stating that it is a business project of general interest.
4) Golden visa spain rules
The Spanish Golden Visa requirements are flexible. There is no residency requirement to maintain the Golden Visa. You only need to visit Spain once during the first year for your biometric data collection session, and once each time the permit is renewed.
5) What we need to apply for the Golden Visa in Spain, are the following documents
- The Spanish long-stay visa application form.
- Two passport photos.
- Your valid passport. It must have been issued within the last 10 years.
- Proof of country of residence.
- Proof of investment. All documents proving the type and amount of your investment, as well as the origin of your money.
Residence visas for the acquisition of real estate:
Certification containing the domain and tax information from the Land Registry, which corresponds to the property purchased.
Residence Visas for Capital Investors:
Copy of a declaration of investment made in the Foreign Investment Register of the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, in case of investment in unlisted shares or company shares.
Certificate from a financial intermediary, duly registered with the National Securities Market Commission or with the Bank of Spain in the case of investment in listed shares.
Certificate from the financial institution or the Bank of Spain, if the investment is in public debt.
In the case of investment in bank deposits, a certificate from the financial institution.
- Criminal record. Submit this document in original, photocopied and translated. It must not be more than 90 days old at the time of application.
- Proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents during your stay in Spain.
- Medical insurance contracted with an authorised Spanish provider.
- A medical certificate confirming that you do not have any disease that poses a risk to public health.
6) How do i get a golden visa for spain?
In order to apply for a Golden Visa you will have to follow a procedure. Depending on whether you are in Spain or abroad, the procedure will have 1 or 2 different phases.
The stages of the procedure are as follows:
a)Visa application and;
- b) Application for authorisation.
In the event that you are outside of Spain and you need a Schengen Visa to enter any of the 26 countries that form part of this territory, you must first obtain it from the Spanish Consulate or Embassy where you are legally resident (Article 75.1 of Law 14/2013). You can find out everything related to this subject in our article entitled: SCHENGEN VISA.
The only difference is that in this case the resolution period is 10 working days and not 15, as is the case with the ordinary Schengen visa (Article 75.5 of Law 14/2013).
If you are outside Spain, but do not need a Schengen visa to enter Spain, it is preferable to come to the country and start the process directly from the second phase, which we will explain below.
2.2.- Application for authorisation
This phase will be explained through questions and answers, as this will make it easier to understand.
2.2.1.- Where to apply?
The authorisation of residence for investment in Spain is applied for at the Large Companies and Strategic Collectives Unit (UGE-CE) and is granted by the Directorate General for Migration (Article 76.1 of Law 14/2013).
The UGE-CE is based in Madrid and the application shall be filed “through telematic means” (Article 76.1 of Law 14/2013). Consequently, as lawyers specialising in the processing of Golden Visa applications, we will be able to file your application, regardless of where you are in Spain.
2.2.2.- How long does the UGE-CE have to decide?
According to article 76.1 of Law 14/2013, “the maximum period for a decision will be 20 days from the electronic submission of the application to the competent body for processing”.
In addition, one of the main advantages of this procedure is that, if the application “is not resolved within this period, the authorisation shall be deemed to have been granted by administrative silence” (Article 76.1 of Law 14/2013). In other words, if your application is not decided in time, by law it will be granted and the Public Administration cannot issue a refusal decision (if it does so it would be illegal and the decision could be annulled as unlawful).
2.2.3.- What can be done in the event of a refusal?
The fact that the EC-ECU refuses your application does not mean that all is lost. This is because an appeal may be lodged with the Secretary General for Immigration and Emigration within one month of notification of the decision.
All this in accordance with the provisions of articles 121 and 122 of Law 39/2015, of 1 October, on the Common Administrative Procedure of Public Administrations.
In turn, if the decision of the appeal is not favourable, a contentious-administrative appeal may be lodged before the High Court of Justice within 2 months of notification of the decision, in accordance with the provisions of article 46 and following of Law 29/1998, of 13 July, regulating Contentious-Administrative Jurisdiction.
7) Golden visa spain after Brexit
The Golden Visa is a procedure only for non-European non-residents. Therefore, before Brexit, British nationals could not obtain residence or stay in Spain through the Golden Visa.
Therefore, with Brexit, as British nationals are no longer considered European citizens, they can obtain their residence visa and residence permit here in Spain through the Golden Visa procedure.
8) Can I travel in Europe with a Spanish Golden Visa?
Yes, a Spanish Golden Visa allows you and your family members to travel within the Schengen zone without a visa for a maximum of 90 days within a period of 180 days. However, European countries outside the Schengen area have their own visa requirements, so freedom of travel is not always guaranteed.
Do you have more specific questions? We also solve them
9) Golden visa Spain do i pay tax
If you are not a full-time resident in Spain, you do not have to pay income tax. You are only considered a resident if you live there for more than half of the year (more than 183 days).
However, regardless of your residency status, if you have bought a property in Spain, you have to pay the corresponding taxes, such as municipal and income tax.
If you are not a full-time resident, you have to pay 24.75% on rental income or any other income earned in Spain.
10) How long can i stay in spain with a golden visa
The Spanish Golden Visa is valid for an initial period of one year. Afterwards, you can apply to convert your visa into an investor residence permit and obtain a residence permit valid for two years.
The residence permit you receive through the investment is valid for two years. Thereafter, you can renew it indefinitely every two years as long as you have maintained the investment.
If you really decide to live in Spain, after five years of living in Spain with a two-year Residence Permit, you can apply for a Permanent Residence Permit.
There are no stay requirements to renew the Golden Visa Residence Permit. You only have to travel to Spain when you need to apply for renewal.
However, if you intend to apply for permanent residence, then you must live in Spain for at least five years without interruption (at least six months a year). If you intend to apply for Spanish nationality, then you must live in Spain for at least ten years.
11) Spanish golden visa benefits
Some of the benefits that derive from the Spanish Golden Visa include
– You and your family members will receive a Residence Permit which will allow you to live in Spain.
– You and your family members can travel to all Schengen Zone countries without a visa for a maximum of 90 days in any 180-day period.
– You do not need to live in Spain to renew your Golden Visa.
– If you live in Spain, you will be eligible for permanent residence after five years.
– You can apply for Spanish nationality after ten years of residence (or less, depending on international treaties).
– You and your family members can make use of the Spanish health and education system.
12) Golden visa spain passport
Obtaining the Golden Visa does not imply any modification of your passport. The passport is always linked to the nationality, so that obtaining a residence or stay permit does not modify your nationality, except in the case that, after successive extensions of the residence permit, you wish to obtain Spanish nationality.
In this case, by your own free will, you can (by residing in Spain for two, five or 10 years) apply for Spanish nationality and modify your passport.
13) Golden visa spain vs Portugal
The Golden Visa programmes in Spain and Golden Visa in Portugal are very similar, however, there are differences in terms of deadlines and documentation to be provided.
Benefits of both:
- visit 26 countries in the Schengen area thanks to free movement.
- Right to live, work and study.
- To be able to benefit both the applicant and his/her family.
- Easy application.
- Spain: maximum 20 working days.
- Portugal: 3 to 6 months.
- Granting of nationality:
- Spain: in 2, 5 or 10 years depending on the case.
- Portugal: after 5 years of residence.
Period of stay:
- Spain’s requirements are flexible. There is no residency requirement to maintain the Golden Visa. You only need to visit Spain once during the first year for the biometric data collection session, and once each time the permit is renewed.
- Portugal has a minimum requirement of 7 days in the first year, and then no less than 14 days every two years thereafter.
- Spain: 24.75% tax on profits.
- Portugal: exemption.
Portugal’s Golden Visa programme offers the maximum tax residency advantage. Foreign investors intending to live in Portugal can benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Residence Tax Regime (RNH), which allows tax exemptions for its holders for up to ten years. The exemptions include income from pensions, dependent and self-employed work, capital, real estate income, capital gains and intellectual or industrial property. Portugal’s transfer tax is also very beneficial for foreign investors wishing to set up in Portugal, as expatriates end up paying the same tax rates as local residents.
In Spain, investors are taxed on their worldwide income if they live in Spain for more than 183 days a year. In the case of non-resident individuals, a tax rate of 24.75% is applied on income earned in the country, such as rental income.
14) Golden visa spain cost
The cost of the Golden Visa is in relation to the value of the acquisition of the property, shares, stocks or public debt.
To this cost must be added the administrative fees: the visa costs 80.-€ while the application for the residence permit costs 71.81.-€.
15) Golden visa spain cost
Can I use a mortgage to obtain a Spanish Golden Visa?
No, you will not be able to obtain a Golden Visa if you use a mortgage to pay for a property in Spain, at least not for the minimum requirement. You have to make a payment of at least 500,000 euros in full from your own funds, but for anything over that amount, you can use a mortgage or financing.