Spain Golden Visa 2022: Residence By Investment

Written By: Laliq Schuman
Fact Checked By: Richard Nathan

Jun 23, 2022

22 min read

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Spain is a destination visited by thousands of people worldwide. People are captivated by the snow-capped mountains of Sierra Nevada, Spain's diverse culture, the awe-inspiring castle Castillo de Loarre, and so much more! It is no wonder that people from all around the world are considering living in Spain. However, obtaining a Spanish residence permit in Spain can be tiresome and unexciting. If you want to get your Spain residency in Spain as soon as possible, then the Spain Golden Visa is for you.

This post will cover everything you need to know about the Spain Golden Visa program. From the eligibility requirements and different investment options to the Spain Golden Visa application process. At the end of this guide, you'll easily be equipped with the knowledge to apply for your Spain Golden Visa.

What Is A Golden Visa?

Golden passports also referred to as "second passports," are a product of the citizen-by-investment policy, allowing people to purchase Spanish citizenship by contributing money to particular internal projects.

A person who applies for a golden passport gets residency permits for themselves and their immediate family, which you can extend indefinitely as long as your investment in the country continues. In addition, the International Monetary Fund claims that possessing a second passport has many benefits, including the ability to travel without the visas that your primary passport requires or to leave your place of origin.

What Is A Spain Golden Visa?

The Spain Golden Visa program, also known as the Spanish Investor visa, is a program created for non-EU citizens to obtain a residency permit in Spain through different investments. The Spain Golden Visa is the fastest and easiest way to get a residence permit in Spain.

The program was established in 2013 by the Spanish government to attract non-EU investors and boost Spain's economy.

One of the Spanish Golden Visa requirements is that you must make an investment of at least €500,000 in one of the following:

  • Real estate
  • Business
  • Government bonds or;
  • A bank deposit.

Doing this will allow you to obtain a Spain residency visa and, in the future, Spain citizenship.

Another advantage of the Spain Golden Visa program is that it has no minimum stay requirements. The initial Spain residency card will be granted for 1 year (unless you visit Spain, then it will be granted for 2 years), and you can renew and extend your Golden Visa for Spain for 5 years. After 5 years, you can apply for permanent residency. All you need to do is visit Spain once every year.

If you wish to become a Spanish citizen, you'll need to stay in Spain for at least 6 months per year consecutively for 10 years. A reason you would want to become a Spanish citizen is that a Spanish passport is one of the strongest in the world, allowing you access to 188 countries.

The Spain Golden Visa is a perfect option for non-EU citizens who seek to pursue a life and career in the EU. Not only does it allow you to work, study and live in Spain, but you can also venture across all the Schengen countries easily and without much effort.

What Are The Benefits Of A Spain Golden Visa?

Applying for a Golden Visa has plenty of benefits for you and your family. Here are a few benefits you can enjoy with your Spain Golden Visa:

Traveling Benefits

If you have ever traveled to one of the Schengen countries, you'll know about the tedious process of a Schengen Visa. With a Spain Golden Visa program, you won't need to apply for a tourist visa or any other type of visa to visit a country in the Schengen Area. You'll be able to benefit from visa-free travel.

Imagine spending Friday in Italy, Saturday in Greece, Sunday in Malta, and Monday heading back to Spain. Well, with the Spain Golden Visa, you don't have to imagine; you can simply do it!

Here are the following countries within the Schengen Zone you can visit in Europe with your Golden Visa without applying for another type of visa:

Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Low Tax Rates

You'll be happy to know that Spain offers generous taxing initiatives for Golden Visa holders. For example, if you reside in Spain for more than 6 months in 1 year, you'll be classified as a tax resident and be taxed on your worldwide income. However, if you're in Spain for less than 6 months, you'll only need to pay taxes on the initial purchase of real estate and tax on the value of your assets in Spain.

Non-residents must pay tax on income generated in Spain, such as rental income. The tax payable is at a flat rate of 24.75% of the income generated. Capital Gains Tax (CGT) applies to any profit you make when selling a property in Spain. CGT starts at 24% and can increase to 27% for gains over €50,000.

Annual property taxes are relatively cheap. You can expect to pay around €200 - €400 per apartment.

Family Benefits

I know everyone asks the same question from time to time: "Can I bring my family members with me?" This question brings us to another incredible benefit of the Spain Golden Visa: your spouse and children are guaranteed to receive a residence permit in Spain. So now you'll be able to travel to Spain with your loved ones!

Other family members, like your parents, are also eligible to come with you. However, you'll need to prove that they're dependent on you and that you'll be able to support them fully during your stay.

No Minimum Stay Requirements

Unlike other types of visas, you don't have to meet any minimum stay requirements to keep your Spain Golden Visa. You only need to visit the country once per year to renew your permit.

Permanent Residency In Spain

The Spain Golden Visa program is by far the easiest way to get your permanent residency in Spain. Essentially, investing in Spain will grant you the fastest pathway to your permanent Spain residency permit.

Thanks to the minimum stay requirements, you only need to visit Spain once a year to renew your Spain residency permit. This means there's practically no effort involved in maintaining your residency permit status, except that you need to maintain your investments.

If you plan to live in Spain, you can apply for a permanent residency permit after 5 years of continuous residency in Spain. This means you'll need to spend at least 6 months in Spain per year for 5 years.

A Variety Of Investment Options

The Spain Golden Visa has many attractive investment options. You're able to invest in a variety of sectors such as real estate or business. Later in this post, we'll discuss everything you need to know about the different investment opportunities the Spain Golden Visa program offers.

Enjoy Spain's Educational System

With your Spain Golden Visa, you will have access to the great educational system of Spain. If you have children, you'll be able to enroll them in a state school, a partially state-funded independent school, or a private school of your choice. Moreover, Spain offers elite educational programs that provide international curricula to ensure the success of foreign students.

Another benefit for children is that they'll be exposed to one of the most used languages in the world, Spanish. So speaking and understanding Spanish has huge future benefits for your children.

Enjoy Spain's Healthcare System

Finally, and most importantly, Spain has an outstanding healthcare system for all its residents. You'll be happy to know that you can receive high-quality medical care for free. However, you'll need to register with the Spanish social security, get your Spanish social security number, and apply for a health card to be eligible for medical care.

If free health care is not for you, you have the option to apply for private healthcare in Spain.

Can I Get Spain Citizenship With The Spain Golden Visa?

Yes, it's possible to obtain Spain citizenship with your Golden Visa. However, this will require you to stay in Spain for 6 months per year, for 10 consecutive years. This might seem like a senseless requirement, but a Spanish passport is one of the top 5 passports in the world and allows you access to 188 countries.

You'll need to meet all Spain residency requirements if you plan to apply for permanent residency or citizenship.

Who Can Apply For A Spain Golden Visa?

To be eligible for a Spain Golden Visa, you must meet the following requirements:

  • You're over the age of 18.
  • You're not an illegal resident of Spain.
  • You're a non-EU, non-EEA, or non-Switzerland citizen.
  • You have valid health insurance in Spain.
  • You have not been rejected for a previous Schengen Visa.
  • You're not part of Spain's list of undesirable people.
  • You can prove that you have a clean criminal record.
  • You have sufficient funds to provide for yourself and any dependants while staying in Spain.
  • You must make a qualifying investment and provide proof thereof.

What Are The Spain Golden Visa Investment Options?

As promised, now we'll talk about the types of investments available for your Spain Golden Visa. Note that you'll need to make one of these minimum investments to qualify for a Spain Golden Visa.

Option 1 - Spain Residency By Real Estate Investment

Real Estate investments are the most popular investment options for people who want to obtain a Spain Golden Visa.

For this investment to qualify for a Spain Golden Visa status, you must invest a minimum of €500,000 in Spanish real estate. Your investment is not limited to one property in Spain; on the contrary, you can opt to make numerous property investments. As long as the total amount of all your real estate investments add up to €500,000 or more, you'll qualify for the Spain Golden Visa. Note that any amount that exceeds €500,000 may be mortgaged out.

Option 2 - Business Development In Spain

This type of investment aims to boost the economy of Spain.

The Business Development investment option needs to do the following:

  • Your investment must create employment,
  • Your investment needs to have a positive socio-economic impact on Spain,
  • Finally, your investment should contribute to scientific and technological innovations.

If you choose business development as your investment option, you'll need to invest at least €1,000,000 to qualify for your Spain Golden Visa.

You can also start a new company in Spain or invest in a business project in the country.

Option 3 - Capital Transfer

If you're looking for a safer investment option, a capital transfer is the best option for you. For example, you can invest a minimum of €1,000,000 in Spanish Treasury Bonds. These bonds are backed by the Spanish government, making them a safer investment option that generates competitive returns. Alternatively, you can choose to invest a minimum of €1,000,000 in bank deposits with a Spanish financial institution or in shares in Spanish companies.

Option 4 - Business Projects In Spain

The final option will see you investing in one of Spain's many (more than 3 000) start-up companies. The Spanish government has implemented a few tax changes to favor investment in these companies. If you want to benefit from the tax incentives, this is the option for you. Note that this option may get complicated due to its legal procedures. Therefore, we recommend that you go through the process with a professional.

What Are The Tax Regulations When It Comes To A Spain Golden Visa?

When applying for your Spain Golden Visa, you'll need to consider the following tax regulations:

  • Investors who live in Spain for more than 183 days a year will be taxed on their worldwide income. Remember this is not applicable if you live in Spain for less than 183 days per year.
  • For non-residents, the payable tax is 24.75% on income gained in Spain. For example, income received through the rental of properties will have a flat rate of 24.75%.
  • The Capital Gains Tax (CGT) only applies to profit made when selling a property in Spain.
  • CTG will start at 24%. If gains exceed €50,000, CTG will increase to 27%.
  • You can pay your annual property taxes to the local Spanish officials. So you can expect to pay around €200 – €400 yearly for an apartment.

For those who want to know more about tax in Spain, you can read more about the different Spanish tax rates on the Spanish website.

Do I Need Health Insurance Cover For Spain?

Yes, obtaining health insurance is a requirement of the Golden Visa application procedure. Even if you have no intention of ever settling in Spain, you and your family members must have current health insurance.

What Kind Of Health Insurance Should I Have For Spain?

Public health insurance is available to Spanish citizens. However, the public health system in Spain is sponsored by taxes. Therefore to access it, you must work and pay taxes there.

You must get private health insurance through a business that's authorized to conduct business in Spain if you have a Golden Visa and do not intend to reside in Spain permanently. However, you and your family can utilize the nation's healthcare system if you choose to reside there and pay taxes.

What Are The Required Documents For A Spain Golden Visa?

For your Spain Golden Visa, there are a few required travel documents you first need to get before starting your application. I recommend making a checklist of these documents to ensure you gather all the correct documents and not waste time on documents you might have forgotten.

You'll need to gather the following required documents:

General Requirements For The Spain Golden Visa

  • An Application Form filled out and signed by the applicant.
  • Your original valid passport: Your passport must be valid for 1 year, have 2 blank pages for your visa, be in good condition, and not be older than 10 years.
  • 2 Passport Photos: Your passport photos must be in color and meet these requirements.
  • Valid Health Insurance: Proof that you have valid medical insurance that provides coverage across the entire EU. It should cover your medical cost for up to €30,000.
  • Medical certificate: You'll need to acquire a medical certificate from a registered doctor. The document must include the letterhead and stamp from your doctor. Also, it must be issued no more than 90 days before your appointment date.
  • A Clean Criminal Record: You'll need to present a clean criminal record of the past 5 years to Spanish officials. The document should not be older than 3 months. This is to prove that you won't be a threat to Spain.

Financial Guarantee For The Spain Golden Visa

  • Proof Of Financial Means: You'll need to prove to Spanish officials that you can support yourself financially during your stay in Spain. There is a monthly requirement of €2.130 for the main applicant and an extra €532 for each dependent applicant. To prove you can financially support yourself, you'll need to include copies of your current bank account statements, bank deposits, savings account, and any other financial income statements.

Document Requirements For Real Estate Buyers For The Spain Golden Visa

You must purchase the property 90 days before submitting your Spain Golden Visa application.

  • A Property Registry Filing (certificate) OR notarized deeds and proof that the deeds are submitted to the Property Registry.

Document Requirements For Capital Investors For The Spain Golden Visa

Note that you must make capital investments 60 days before you submit your visa application.

  • When investing in non-publicly traded companies, you'll need to acquire a certificate issued by the “Registro de Inversiones Exteriores del Ministerio de Economía y Competitividad.”
  • When investing in publicly traded companies, you'll need to acquire a certificate from a registered broker.
  • When investing in Spanish bonds, you'll need to acquire a certificate from the Bank of Spain that accredits your investment for 5 years.
  • You'll need to acquire a bank certificate when making bank deposits.

What Are The Required Documents For Spain Golden Visa For Family Members?

The following documents are for family members you intend to bring to Spain. These family members include your spouse, children under 18 years of age, children over 18 years of age-dependent on you, and parents dependent on you. The required documents are:

  • All the documents mentioned above.
  • A marriage certificate (for your spouse).
  • A birth certificate (for your children).

How Much Does A Golden Visa For Spain Cost?

When you apply in person at the Spanish Embassy, you must pay a visa fee of €249.65 per applicant.

How Can I Apply For A Golden Visa For Spain?

During this process, I'll be referring to real estate investments as it's the most popular investment for the Spain Golden Visa. However, for other investments, the process is similar. Therefore, this guide will give you a thorough understanding of the Spain Golden Visa process and can be implemented with other investment options.

Here are a few things you should take note of before you start the application process:

  • Applying for your visa must be done in person or by a duly accredited representative.
  • You must submit your visa application 90 days before the expected travel date.
  • Your visa will be valid for a time period of:

a). 365 days, if your real estate investment purchase is formalized

b). 6 months, if the purchase has is not formalized, but there is a pre-contract with a guarantee of its compliance through deposit or other means allowed by law formalized in a public deed.

Step 1-Make An Investment

The first thing you need to do is choose one of the investment options you like. After you have selected the investment option that suits you, you simply need to invest. We recommend that you consider each investment carefully. The investment you choose should be right for you, and you must be confident about it before you invest.

If you're looking at investing in real estate, you can do so by visiting Spain. First, you'll need to apply for a Schengen Tourist Visa that will allow you to enter Spain for a duration that doesn't exceed 90 days. Then, once in Spain, you can search for the perfect property. Alternatively, you can opt to use an agency or grant a lawyer power of attorney to do it for you.

Capital investments are pretty simple. All you need to do is transfer the right amount of money to the correct place, and your investment will be made.

Note that when making any investment, you need to collect all the surrounding documents of that investment. You must get these documents notarized and translated into Spanish. Later during the process, you'll need to submit all relevant investment documents as proof that you invested in Spain.

I recommend you employ a specialist to help you with these investments.

Step 2-Get An NIE And Open a Spanish Bank Account

During the time you travel to Spain to consider your investment options (as stated above), you'll need to get your NIE and open a Spanish account.

An NIE, also known as the Número de Identificación de Extranjero, is your personal Foreigner's Identification Number. Your NIE is like your tax identification number when completing fiscal activities and transactions that involve the Spanish Tax office. This means it is used when paying taxes or making purchases like real estate. Therefore, an NIE is a mandatory requirement and should be acquired as soon as possible.

With your NIE, you'll be able to do the following:

  • Open a Spanish bank account.
  • Be a legal employee of Spain.
  • Pay taxes in Spain.
  • Buy or sell real estate and motor vehicles.
  • Be eligible for self-employment.
  • Register a business.
  • Study in Spain.
  • Utilize Spain's medical services.
  • Apply for a Spanish driver's license.

To apply for your personal NIE number, you'll need to submit an application form at your nearest Spanish Embassy or Consulate General of Spain. You're NIE can also be applied for in Spain. However, you must do this before applying for a long-stay visa, i.e., your Spain Golden Visa.

You must open a Spanish bank account now that you have your NIE number. Although this is not mandatory, it will speed up all legal transactions when completing your investments. Also, living in Spain will make your life much easier, as you'll be partaking in many fiscal activities during your stay.

Step 3-Gather All The Required Documents For Your Application

The next step will require you to gather all the documents mentioned above. You must submit all these documents during your Spain Golden Visa application process and again in Spain when applying for your residence permit. Ensure you make a checklist of all the documents you need and make copies of them. Not submitting the correct documents may cause officials to deny your visa.

When gathering your documents, you'll need to ensure that all relevant documents have an official Apostille stamp. You'll need to get an Apostille stamp for your documents when public documents are transferred between countries that are a party to the Hague Apostille Convention of 1961.

Note that the documents you submit must be in Spanish. Therefore you'll need to get all your documents translated and certified by a certified translator. Also, when submitting your documents, ensure that you have the original copies at hand.

Step 4-Submit Your Application At The Spanish Embassy

Once you have made your investment, you'll need to head over to your nearest Spanish consulate or embassy to fill out the visa application form. The details you provide on the form must be accurate and correct. If it's not, officials could deny your application, and you'll have to wait a few weeks until you can apply again.

Note that when submitting your Spain Golden Visa application, you must have the required documents at hand. Later in this post, we'll discuss the documents you need when applying for your Spain Golden Visa.

During this time you'll also need to pay the government processing fee, which is around €249.65 per applicant. Note that this amount is only an estimate and may be subject to change.

Step 5-Schedule An Appointment For Your Visa Application

As soon as you have completed the application form, you'll need to schedule an appointment. You'll have an in-person interview with embassy or consulate officials during your appointment. Here you'll need to answer a few simple questions about your visa application and also submit all your supporting documents.

Step 6-Obtain Your Spain Residency Permit

After completing the application and submitting your documents, you'll receive a one-year visa. With this one-year visa, you'll need to travel to Spain to apply for your residency permit in person.

First, you'll need to head over to the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs to start your Residency permit in person. Here, you'll need to submit your biometric information to Spanish officials. This includes your photo, fingerprints, and so on. After you've completed this, officials will process your application, and you'll be able to receive your residence card within 1 - 2 months. Note that the time you need to wait is only an estimate and may be influenced by external factors.

After you receive your residence card, it'll be valid for 2 years. After 2 years, you'll need to renew your residence card.

Step 7-Apply For Permanent Residency And Spain Citizenship

Congratulations, you now have a residence card that allows you residency in Spain for the next 2 years.

Note that you'll need to maintain any investment you have to keep your residency status.

When Should I Renew My Residency Permit For Spain?

You need to renew your residence at the end of the initial 2 years. After that, you can renew your residency for 5 years. After 5 years, you'll be eligible to apply for permanent residency in Spain. However, to be eligible, you'll need to live in Spain for 6 months per year for 5 consecutive years.

After permanent residency, the next goal would be to obtain Spain citizenship. To be eligible for Spanish citizenship, you'll need to live in Spain 6 months per year for 10 years consecutively.

For those who don't want permanent residency or Spain citizenship, you must visit Spain at least once yearly to renew your residence permit.

Moreover, you don't need to maintain your initial investments with permanent residency and citizenship. Instead, you may liquidate them if you like or keep them.

When renewing your residence card, you'll need to re-submit all the previous documents you submitted during the application process. We recommend that you make copies of all your documents and keep them in a safe place.

Can I Lose My Residency Permit For Spain?

Yes, you'll forfeit your Golden Visa Residence Permit if you cannot demonstrate that you have maintained your investment in Spain. For instance, if you liquidate your investment or sell your property.

There you go!

Now you know everything about the Spain Golden Visa, its investments, and how to apply for one! If you have any more questions, please check out our frequently asked questions travelers tend to have about the Spain Golden Visa.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Spain Golden Visa Timeline?

Month 1-2 - Preparation Time

During this time, you'll make an investment, start your Spain Golden Visa application, and visit Spain to submit your biometric data to the Spanish authorities.

Once you have submitted your application and paid the related fees, your application will be reviewed and approved by Spanish officials. During this time, you'll receive a letter confirming that your application was successful.

Your Second Year In Spain - Renew Your Visa

After the first 2 years, you'll need to renew your visa. Once you renew your visa, it'll be valid for a duration of 5 years. After 5 years, you can apply for a permanent residency permit. First, however, you must be eligible and meet the minimum requirements.

After 10 Years - Apply For Citizenship

Assuming that you meet the minimum requirements, you can now apply for Spanish citizenship.

What Language Should My Documents Be?

When applying for a Spain Golden Visa, you should ensure that all your documents are in Spanish. A certified translator can do this for you. Note that when submitting your documents, you'll need to have the original copies and translated copies of your documents at hand.

What Is The Difference Between A Residence Permit And A Permanent Residency Permit?

A residence permit, also known as a temporary residency permit, will only allow you temporary residency in Spain. Also, you'll need to renew your residence permit to keep your residence status. A permanent residency permit will allow you to live in Spain permanently without the need to renew your permit or maintain any financial investments.

How Can I Get Citizenship In Spain?

You might ask how to get citizenship in Spain. Don't worry; to get citizenship in Spain, you'll need to live in Spain for at least 6 months per year for 10 consecutive years. This might seem like a difficult task, but remember, Spain has one of the strongest passports worldwide. With a Spain passport, you'll have access to over 188 countries.

It might seem like a strict requirement, but it is worth it in the long run.

Am I Allowed To Work In Spain With A Golden Visa?

Yes. Spain Golden Visa holders will be happy to know that they can work, live and study in Spain.

How Long Is My Residency Permit Valid For?

Your residence permit will be valid for 2 years. After the initial 2 years, you can renew it for another 5 years. You can continue renewing it for 5 years as long as you maintain your investments in Spain.

Do I Still Need To Maintain My Investments After I Have Gained Permanent Residency Or Citizenship?

No. Once you have obtained permanent residency or Spanish citizenship, you can opt to liquidate your investments if you like.

What Are The Best Countries To Move To from The USA?

As a citizen of the US, you might be thinking of moving to a more affordable or secure nation. The next query is, "Which nation is the greatest for Americans to relocate to?" Fortunately, there are some countries that have a greater quality of life than the United States. Additionally, they guarantee a lower cost of living than in the US. The top countries include:

  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Greece
  • Malta
  • Montenegro
  • Thailand

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