Spain Golden Visa: Top Benefits and Requirements in 2024

Seeking a pathway to live in Spain? The Spain golden visa offers residency to non-EU investors who can commit to a €500,000 investment. Discover the essentials of the visa program here, from benefits like visa-free travel and family inclusion to investment options and application processes, without wading through complexity. This article will serve as your straightforward guide to obtaining a golden visa and embracing life in Spain.
January 9, 2024
Dean Fankhauser
January 9, 2024
TABLE OF CONTENTS

Seeking a pathway to live in Spain? The Spain golden visa offers residency to non-EU investors who can commit to a €500,000 investment. Discover the essentials of the visa program here, from benefits like visa-free travel and family inclusion to investment options and application processes, without wading through complexity. This article will serve as your straightforward guide to obtaining a golden visa and embracing life in Spain.

Key Takeaways

  • The Spain Golden Visa program offers non-EU investors residency rights, visa-free travel within the Schengen Area, and a path to citizenship with a minimum investment starting at €500,000 in real estate.
  • Eligibility for the Golden Visa requires a substantial financial investment, valid health insurance, and a clean criminal background, including an FBI check and apostille for American investors.
  • The Spain Golden Visa application process spans up to 10 months and includes providing biometric data, evidence of income, and health insurance, with family members eligible for inclusion based on investment.

Understanding the Spain Golden Visa Program

Illustration of a passport and a world map

The Spain Golden Visa program, also known as the Spanish Golden Visa or Spain Golden Visas, presents a myriad of opportunities and benefits for non-EU investors. With a substantial investment in the Spanish economy, you can obtain residency rights, enjoy visa-free travel, and pave your way to Spanish citizenship. This program is particularly designed for those looking to make real estate investments or capital investments in Spanish companies, with a minimum investment for real estate being €500,000.

However, the advantages of the Golden Visa extend beyond investments. The program also grants holders the authorization to:

  • Work and reside in Spain
  • Obtain a golden visa residence permit that is valid for one year, allowing for multiple entries and exits
  • Renew the residence permit every three years
  • Have an adequate income or savings to sustain their lifestyle in Spain
  • Obtain an essential Spanish identification and tax number for non-residents, known as the NIE number.

Eligibility Criteria for Spain Golden Visa

What are the prerequisites to qualify for the Golden Visa in Spain? Apart from the minimum investment in real estate, public debt securities, or shares, there are several other important criteria you must meet. Maintaining valid health insurance coverage is one such fundamental requirement, as it ensures your healthcare needs are taken care of during your stay in Spain.

Additionally, as part of the stringent evaluation process, applicants who are of legal age are required to produce a certified criminal record check. If applicable, an FBI background check and apostille are also mandatory. This helps ensure that the program is secure and only attracts individuals who meet high standards of conduct and integrity.

Key Advantages of the Spanish Golden Visa

Beyond investment and residency, the Spain Golden Visa program entails additional advantages that make it especially attractive. One of its most significant advantages is its user-friendly application process. The process is designed to be smooth and straightforward, making it relatively easy for applicants to navigate through various golden visa programs, including the Spain Golden Visa program.

Furthermore, Golden Visa holders have the privilege of visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. This means you can freely explore and experience the diverse cultures, landscapes, and opportunities across this area without the hassle of obtaining a separate visa.

What’s more, the program allows the inclusion of family members in the application, subject to a significant capital investment. So, not only can you benefit from the program, but your family can too.

Investment Options for Spain Golden Visa

Photo of a modern office building in Spain

The Spain Golden Visa program encompasses a range of investment options, catering to diverse investor preferences. Whether you’re interested in real estate, public debt securities, or shares in Spanish companies, there are options to cater to your specific investment style.

Participation in the program necessitates a certain minimum investment in Spanish financial institutions. This can be:

  • €500,000 for real estate acquisition
  • €2 million in Spanish Government Bonds
  • €1 million in shares of Spanish companies
  • €2 million in public debt securities

It’s also possible to make a joint investment, as long as each participant contributes the minimum investment amount for the chosen investment category.

Real Estate Investment

Real estate investment remains a favored approach to securing a Spain Golden Visa, also known as the Spain investor visa or the Spain investment visa. The minimum investment requirement for this route is €500,000, which gives you a lot of flexibility in terms of the properties you can invest in.

You can choose to invest in a single property worth €500,000 or more, or you can invest in multiple properties that together meet or exceed the minimum investment requirement. Whether you prefer residential or commercial properties, the choice is yours. This flexibility makes real estate investment an appealing option for many Golden Visa applicants.

Capital Investments

If real estate isn’t your preferred investment route, there are still plenty of other options to consider. For instance, you can choose to invest in Spanish companies, shares, or bank deposits with a minimum investment of €1 million. If you’re more interested in public debt securities, a minimum investment of €2 million is required.

Regardless of the chosen investment path, keep in mind the substantial nature of these investments. It’s therefore crucial to consider your financial situation and investment strategy carefully before making a decision.

Application Process and Timeline

Illustration of a checklist with visa application documents

Upon finalizing your investment choice, you can commence the application process. This involves gathering the necessary documents, submitting the application, and waiting for approval. The entire application process can take up to 10 months and involves providing biometric data, which typically takes around two months.

After submitting all the necessary documents, the final step in the process is to wait for the outcome of the review. While waiting can be nerve-wracking, it’s worth remembering that this is a significant step towards gaining residency rights, visa-free travel, and potentially even Spanish citizenship.

Necessary Documentation

A critical aspect of the application process is the compilation and submission of the required documents. Initially, this includes filling out the application form and providing a copy of your passport.

You’ll also need to provide the following documents:

  • Evidence of income
  • Valid health insurance coverage
  • Certification of criminal record check
  • Proof of eligible investment in Spain

These documents are necessary to demonstrate your financial stability and ensure your healthcare needs are covered during your stay in Spain.

Application Submission and Approval

Following this, the application needs to be submitted. This can be done at the Spanish embassy or consulate, or you can choose to submit your application online. Once your application has been submitted, the approval process can take up to 20 days.

Nonetheless, be aware that certain factors may lead to application rejection. These could include:

  • Inadequate evidence of regular income
  • Incomplete information
  • Absence of health insurance coverage
  • Failure to meet visa conditions
  • A criminal record
  • Being assessed as a public safety risk

Family Members and Dependents

Illustration of a family with diverse members

A significant advantage of the Spain Golden Visa program is its provision for the inclusion of family members and dependents in your application. This not only provides the benefits of the program to your loved ones, but also makes the move to Spain a smoother and more enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

You can include the following family members in the application:

  • Your spouse
  • Unmarried minor children (under 18 years old)
  • Adult children who are financially dependent
  • Dependent elderly parents

This means that you can bring your whole family along on your exciting new adventure in Spain.

Inclusion Criteria

The criteria for the inclusion of family members are quite clear-cut. As long as a person is your spouse, a child under the age of 18, or a dependent parent, they can be included in your Spain Golden Visa application.

To verify these family relationships, you’ll need to provide official documentation, such as marriage certificates or birth certificates. For children over the age of 18 and dependent parents, you’ll need to show that they are financially dependent on you.

Benefits for Family Members

Family members included in your Spain Golden Visa application stand to gain considerable benefits. Like you, they will be provided with residence permits, allowing them to legally reside in Spain.

In addition, they will have the same privilege of visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. This not only makes travel within Europe easier but also broadens the horizons for your family, opening up a world of new experiences and opportunities.

Furthermore, once they have their residence permits, your dependents, including your spouse and children under 18, will be authorized to enroll in educational institutions in Spain.

Renewal, Permanent Residency, and Citizenship

Photo of Spanish citizenship certificate

Possessing a Spain Golden Visa extends beyond reaping benefits for a few years. The program also provides the opportunity to renew your visa, apply for permanent residency, and eventually become a citizen by maintaining your investment and fulfilling residency requirements.

To renew your Spain Golden Visa, you need to provide evidence of continued ownership of the assets, investments, and properties that were used to acquire the visa and demonstrate at least one visit to the country during the visa period. You can apply for permanent residency in Spain after legally and effectively residing there for five years. This marks the opportunity for long-term settlement in the country. And after ten years of residency, you can even apply for Spanish citizenship.

Renewal Process

The Spain Golden Visa renewal process is relatively uncomplicated. You need to:

  • Provide evidence that the initial investment has been upheld
  • Ensure that at least one visit to Spain has been made during the visa’s validity period
  • Renew the visa every five years.

In terms of timing, you should schedule a visit to Spain at least once within the first three years of the first residency permit. The renewal process can be initiated up to 60 days before and 90 days after the permit’s expiration. For the renewal, you’ll need to have a valid, unexpired passport and a photocopy of the page or pages containing biometric data.

Path to Permanent Residency

Securing permanent residency via The Golden Visa program necessitates the preservation of an investment of no less than €500,000 in Spanish real estate and demonstrating a dedication to residing in Spain for a continuous period of five years.

To maintain their legal residence status and qualify for permanent residency, Golden Visa holders are required to reside in Spain for a minimum of five years, with at least six months of residence per year. This consistent presence in Spain is a key factor in securing permanent residency.

Citizenship Application

After completing ten years of residency and meeting language and cultural integration criteria, holders of the Spain Golden Visa can apply for Spanish citizenship and obtain a Spanish passport through the Spanish Golden Visa application process. To demonstrate your proficiency in the language and your cultural connections to the country, you may be required to take a language assessment or a competency examination in Spanish and general knowledge.

For the accelerated naturalization process in Spain, you need to maintain legal residence in the country for a period of two years and should not be absent from Spain for more than three consecutive months. Acquiring Spanish citizenship not only solidifies your connection to Spain but also opens up a world of opportunities in the European Union.

Tax Implications and Financial Considerations

Despite the numerous benefits of the Spain Golden Visa program, the tax implications and financial considerations warrant attention. As a Golden Visa holder, you may be deemed a tax resident if your stay in Spain exceeds 183 days per year, potentially making you liable to a progressive tax rate on your global income.

Tax residency has significant implications for Golden Visa holders, as you are required to pay income tax on all worldwide income. This includes income earned within Spain as well as in other countries. The taxation for investment income varies between 17% and 50%, based on the specific region in Spain.

Tax Residency Status

Two main factors dictate tax residency status in Spain: the number of days you spend in Spain and the location of the core of your economic interests. If you spend more than 183 days in Spain in a calendar year and the core of your economic interests are in Spain, you are deemed to be a tax resident.

As a tax resident, you’ll be subject to personal income tax on your global income, with rates ranging from 19% to 21%. However, the standard income tax rate for tax residents is typically 24%, but it is reduced to 19% for EU and EEA residents.

To avoid becoming a tax resident, you can choose to stay in Spain for less than 183 days per year and ensure the core of your economic interests is outside of Spain.

Financial Planning

Financial planning constitutes a vital element of the Spain Golden Visa program. This involves considering the costs of obtaining and maintaining the Golden Visa, as well as potential tax liabilities and investment returns.

The initial expenses for the Golden Visa may vary from €1 million to €2 million, depending on your chosen investment route. The recurring expenses for renewal generally amount to slightly less than the initial investment, typically ranging between €4,000 and €5,000.

As for taxes, you may be liable for Non-Resident Income Tax (IRNR) if you reside in Spain for over 183 days annually. This includes a 24 percent tax on income derived from employment or business activities conducted in Spain.

Lastly, potential investment returns will vary depending on your chosen investment route, offering a further dimension to your financial planning.

Summary

The Spain Golden Visa program is a golden gateway to a world of opportunities. From residency rights and visa-free Schengen travel to the potential for permanent residency and citizenship, the benefits are extensive. With a variety of investment options and a user-friendly application process, the program is a compelling choice for non-EU investors. While there are financial considerations and tax implications to consider, the potential returns, freedom of movement, and the chance to become part of the vibrant Spanish community make it well worth the investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who qualifies for a Golden Visa in Spain?

Non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss nationals over the age of 18 who make a sizeable investment according to Spanish government requirements are eligible for the Golden Visa in Spain.

Is Spain getting rid of the golden visa?

Yes, the Spanish government is considering either abolishing the "golden visa" altogether or doubling the minimum investment amount required.

Is the Spanish Golden Visa worth it?

Yes, the Spain Golden Visa is worth it as it offers visa-free travel throughout the Schengen Area, allowing you to travel to 26 countries within the zone. It's a valuable opportunity for frequent travelers.

How do I get residency in Spain by 2024?

You can obtain residency in Spain in 2024 through various routes, such as a student visa, business visa, non-lucrative residency visa, work permit, golden visa, family member of an EU citizen visa, family regrouping visa, or the Arigo procedure. Each option has its own requirements and eligibility criteria.

Can family members be included in the Spain Golden Visa application?

Yes, family members such as the spouse, unmarried minor children, adult children who are financially dependent, and dependent elderly parents can be included in the Spain Golden Visa application.

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