The bill giving residency permits to property investors from outside the EU has been published in the official gazette (B.O.E) and is now law.
The law has been approved by Parliament, signed by the King, and published in the official gazette, called the Boletin Official del Estado (BOE), which means it is now in force.
Publication in the official gazette reduces any uncertainty for foreign investors. They can now be sure of qualified Spanish residency if they meet the criteria of the investment.
Everything you need to know about the new law offering qualified Spanish residency in return for investing in Spanish real estate (the so-called “Golden Visa” law), and how to use a property investment to get Spanish residency as a non-EU national:
The objective of the law is to stimulate foreign investment in Spanish real estate, public debt, and job creation. It is also intended to stimulate demand for Spanish property.
This law enables non-EU nationals to get qualified residency permits in return for investing in Spanish real estate (and other assets), leading to permanent residency in Spain if certain conditions are fulfilled. The key points of the draft law are summarised below.
Spanish residency, and the ability to travel freely in Europe as a consequence, will be a major attraction for many non-EU investors. Added to which, Spanish property prices have crashed into bargain territory, creating some excellent investment opportunities. It’s an attractive combination of residency and bargain prices for investors from outside the EU.
Property Investment and Spanish Residency Law Explained
This section explains the (draft) law the enables non-EU nationals to get qualified Spanish residency in return for investing in Spanish real estate, and other assets.
By Antonio Berdonces, Lawyer & British Honorary Consul in Murcia
The bill aimed at entrepreneurs and supporting measures for the internationalization of the Spanish economy (Proyecto de Ley de apoyo a los emprendedores y su internacionalización) has now been made law in Spain.
This law is intended to stimulate foreign investment in Spanish real estate, public debt, and job creation.
According to EU rules on visas and the Schengen Implementing Convention Agreement, the entry and residence in Spain of non-EU citizens shall be authorised for economic reasons.
The spouse and children under 18, (or older disabled children) may also apply for permits at the same time or after the principal applicant.
Types of residency permits under the draft law
Here’s how it works:
Residence visa for investors (year 1)
The first step for investors will be to apply for an investment visa that allows them to live in Spain for at least one year. There is no obligation to spend a minimum amount of time in Spain in this period.
This visa will be authorised in Diplomatic Missions and Consular Spanish Offices and can be issued for one, two or multiple entries into Spain.
These visa applications shall be processed and notification sent within 10 working days, except in case of applicants subject to prior consultation.
Residence authorisation for investors (years 2 to 5 or more)
Once an investment has been made, and after the first year, investors can apply for authorisation to live in Spain for two years, renewable for another two years after that (and on), so long as the investment threshold of €500,000 is maintained (see below).
There is no limit to the amount of times this two-year residency can be renewed.
Properties can be bought and sold during this period, so long as the investment threshold is maintained.
There is no obligation to spend a minimum amount of time in Spain, so investors can remain tax resident outside of Spain, whilst benefiting from Spanish residency and the freedom of unlimited travel and stays in the EU.
Processing and granting the residence will be done by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Applications will be responded to within 20 working days from the submission of the application. If there is no answer in this period, the application shall be considered as accepted.
Long-term residence and Spanish nationality (Year 5 onwards, optional)
After five years of continuous residence, investors can apply for permanent residence in Spain.
Likewise, after ten years of residence, Spanish nationality can be requested. In such cases, an effective justification of at least six months of residence must be provided, (unless due cause exists).
The investment threshold for real estate is €500,000 or more per investor.
To apply for residency, proof of the investment(s) must be provided with a Property Registry filing (certificate). If this certificate is not yet available, then the notarised deeds and proof that the deeds have been submitted to the Property Registry must be provided.
The investment can be comprised of:
- One or several properties.
- Of a residential, touristic, rural, commercial or industrial nature
- Rural land, developed land, buildings under construction, or decrepit buildings
Investors must use at least €500,000 of their own funds, which must come from transparent sources that comply with existing legislation on money laundering and so on. Above that threshold there is no limit to debt financing, for instance with a mortgage in Spain.
There are no restrictions on property use. Investors can use the property in anyway that is legal according to planning permission, zoning laws, and so on.
You can make the investment through a company so long as it is not based in a tax haven and you have control of the company.
- Other investments that also qualify for residency:
- Two million Euros in Spanish government bonds.
- One million Euros in stocks or shares of Spanish companies, or bank deposits in Spanish banks.
Other administrative requirements
- Not to have entered or stayed illegally in Spain, or been refused entry into any Schengen countries
- 18 years or older
- No criminal record
- Not listed as undesirable in Spain
- Public or private health insurance valid in Spain
- Economic resources to support the applicant and dependents
- Authorisation or visa processing fee.
30th September 2013.
Reproduced with kind permission of Mark Stücklin of Spanishpropertyinsight.
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