Spanish Golden Visa. Supporting foreign investors

The Spanish residence permit “Golden Visa” allows foreign investors to reside in Spain and move around Europe, promoting this way the Spanish real-estate market.

The 14/2013 regulation, on support for entrepreneurs and their internationalization, introduces for the first time the possibility of obtaining visas and residence permits for investors from out of the borders of the European Union.

In the section of the regulation titled “international mobility”, there is a specific regulation about visas and residence authorizations for investors, seeking to encourage them entry into Spain, and, as a result, increase job creation.

Article 61 is related to entry and stay in Spain because of economic interests and reasons. The regulation establishes the possibility that foreigners can have their entry and residence permits when they are, among other assumptions, investors.

In addition, the Golden Visa holders not only have the possibility of living in Spain for a period of five years, but they can travel freely through the countries of the Schengen zone, 90 days for each 180.

The Schengen area is made up of 26 European countries that have eliminated passports and immigration controls from their common borders: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland.

The golden visa effects can also benefit their husband or wife, children under 18 or dependent children.

First of all, among the conditions that must be fulfilled, there are several GENERAL REQUIREMENTS for the stay or residence, apart from the accreditation of other specific requirements needed for each assumption:

–           Not being irregularly in Spanish territory.

–           Being over 18 years.

–           Lack of criminal record in Spain and other countries where they have lived in the last five years, for offenses included in Spanish law.

–           Do not appear as rejected in the countries that have signed an agreement in that sense with Spain.

–           Have a public or private medical insurance valid in Spain.

–          Investor and his family must accredit enough economic resources during the period of residence.

–           Pay fees for the visa or authorization process.

The stay or residence visa may be requested by the foreigner who makes in Spain a SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENT:

–           Initial investment greater or equal to two million euros in Spanish public debt, or equal to or greater than one million in social participations of Spanish companies or bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions.

–           Acquisition of real-estate in Spain with a value equal to or greater than 500,000 euros. In this case, it must be proven that the property has been acquired through certification with continuous domain information and charges in the Property Registry.

The applicant must also prove that the investment in real property is free of liens; at least, the part that does not exceed the minimum amount of 500,000 euros.

–           Business project that involves job creation, local economic impact and scientific or technological innovation.




Considering the MOMENT OF CARRYING OUT THE INVESTMENT, the regulation requires that financial investments (public debt, stocks and bank deposits) must be made 60 days before the visa; it does not establish a term for business investments, which must be subsequent to the law of reference; and for the real-estate ones there is no deadline. Although, we can know it indirectly because the registration certificate is required to be up to 90 days old.

In relation to VALIDITY TIME, in case of the visa, this will be a legal title to live in Spain for at least one year. Investors who wish to extend that period may be provided with a residence permit. If they want to obtain it, in addition to the general requirements, the following ones must be fulfilled:

–          Being a valid visa holder, or within 90 days after expiration.

–          Have traveled to Spain at least once during the period authorized to reside, making flexible, this way, the obligation of effective residence.

–       In case of real estate acquisition, the property must be shown in the minimum amount required, and the certificate of ownership must be provided for it.

–          Tax and Social Security obligations compliance.

This initial authorization of residence lasts for two years, but it can be renewed once elapsed, for the same period of two years.

Taking everything into account, the maximum duration of residence permits is five years. However, any person who has a legal residence permit for at least that period of time may obtain permanent residency, or even Spanish nationality, according to conditions set in the civil legislation.

TAX RESIDENCE must be established in Spain to access the Golden only if investor’s stay exceeds 183 days in a year; It is not compulsory in other cases.

To conclude, the 14/2013 regulation introduces formal MECHANISMS TO MAKE PROCEDURES EASIER:

–           Reduction of deadlines: Visa applications must be processed within 10 days business days, with few exceptions. Residence authorizations will be processed within a period of 20 days, being the effect of positive silence.

–           The introduction of the “single window” mechanism, which allows Submit the application in any public registry of Spain.

–           The possibility of carrying out the procedures related to visas and with the Residence authorization through a representative.


Raquel Escolano

Navarro Llima Abogados, S.L

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