Launched in 2013, the Golden Visa was introduced to encourage foreign investment and to attract new entrepreneurs to the Spanish economy. The scheme offers qualified residency permits to non-EU nationals who make an investment in Spanish real estate (and other assets) valued at €500,000 or more.
Once granted, the Spanish investor visa can be renewed every two years. Permanent residency and full citizenship can be gained after 5 and 10 years respectively. It is also not necessary for the investor to live in Spain full time in order to retain or renew the investor residency visa, and entitles the holder to travel freely in the European Schengen area.
Recent improvements to the programme have also helped to create an added incentive to non-EU nationals investing in Spanish property. Under the revised scheme, investors will not only be able to obtain residency for their spouses, but can now also extend residency visas to their civil partners, children over the age of 18, and any economically reliant ascendants as well. The deadline for applications has also been extended from the initial period of 3 months to a full year.
Investors who obtain the new Golden Visa will also benefit from the advantage of not having to complete the purchase of the property in full, as they can now begin the process from the moment the contract has been signed and the transfer of the deposit funds have been made.
Though the programme has already garnered encouraging results, the modifications to the scheme are likely to add substantial benefits to the non-EU investor, further assisting the flourishing Spanish property market.