The Spanish Parliament approved the law which allows non-EU buyers to become Spanish residents when purchasing properties above €500,000.
This measure is to promote foreign investment in Spain. Taking effect in 2014 the “Golden Visa” is expected to attract a large number of investors, especially from Asia and the Middle East (as already seen in Portugal and Cyprus).
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Summary of the new law on Residency for Real Estate Investors
Extract taken from Spanish Law 14/2013, of 27th September, on support for entrepreneurs and internationalisation, published in the Official State Gazette, with regard to real estate investments.
Article 63. Investor Residency Visas.
1. Non-resident overseas nationals wishing to come to Spain in order to invest significant amounts can apply for an entry visa, or where applicable, an Investor Residency Visa.
2. Real estate investment is understood to mean a significant investment of capital in the acquisition of property in Spain with a minimum of 500,000 euros per applicant.
3. Overseas nationals applying for this visa will also be understood to have made a significant investment where the investor is a legal entity, domiciled in a territory not considered as a tax haven under Spanish legislation, and where the applicant directly or indirectly holds majority voting rights and is authorised to appoint or dismiss most of the members of the governing body of that entity.
Article 64. Accreditation of the investment.
In order for an Investor Residency Visa to be granted, the applicant must previously accredit the acquisition of the property by way of certification of ongoing ownership and encumbrances, issued by the Property Register for the property or properties in question. This certificate will include an electronic validation code for online consultation. If at the time the visa application is made, the acquisition is in the process of being listed on the Property Register, it will be sufficient to present a certificate confirming receipt of the acquisition document, together with documentation accrediting payment of the applicable fees.
The applicant must provide evidence of an investment in property of at 500,000 euros, free of liens and encumbrances. Any amount invested in excess of the minimum amount may be subject to liens or encumbrances.
Article 65. Effects of Investor Residency Visas.
Once granted, the investor residency visa will entitle the applicant to reside in Spain for at least one year.
Article 66. Investor Residency Permit.
1. Overseas investors wishing to reside in Spain for over a year must obtain an investor residency permit, which will be valid for the entire country.
2. Investor Residency Permit applicants must:
a) Not be illegally resident in the Spanish national territory.
b) Be aged 18 or over.
c) Have no criminal record in Spain or other countries of residence during the previous five years for acts set forth in Spanish Law.
d) Not be liable to refusal of entry into countries with which Spain holds an agreement to this effect.
e) Hold entitlement to public medical treatment, or hold private medical insurance cover with a company authorised for operation in Spain.
f) Hold sufficient funds to support both the applicant and his/her family members during residency in Spain.
g) Pay the relevant application fee.
h) Hold a current investor residency visa or submit the application within ninety calendar days of expiry thereof.
i) Have travelled to Spain at least once during the period of authorisation.
j) Provide proof that the investor is the owner of the property or properties for the minimum amount required in this article. This must be provided in the form of an ownership certificate or certificates from the Property Register for the property or properties in question, and must be dated no more than 90 days prior to submitting the application.
k) Comply with all tax and Social Security obligations.
Article 67. Duration of Investor Residency Permit.
1. The initial Investor Residency Permit will be valid for two years.
2. After this period, overseas investors interesting in continuing to reside in Spain must apply for renewal of their Residency Permit for a further two year period.