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Spain Residency by Investment: How to Get The Golden Visa

spain residency by investment

Are you considering moving to Spain and enjoying the perks of European residency? The Spain Residency by Investment program, also known as the Golden Visa program, offers an excellent opportunity for non-EU citizens to gain residency by making a significant investment in the Spanish economy. This program is ideal for investors looking to live and work in Spain.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the Spain Golden Visa program, from eligibility requirements to the application process and beyond. Let’s dive in and discover how you can make Spain your new home through investment.

What is the Spain Golden Visa Program?

Before we dive into the details, let’s first discuss what exactly the Golden Visa is. This unique program was launched in 2013 to attract foreign investors and boost the Spanish economy. This program allows non-EU citizens to obtain residency in Spain by making a substantial investment in the country.

The primary goal of the Golden Visa is to provide a fast-tracked and straightforward route to residency for investors and their families. By investing in real estate, Spanish public debt, or other qualifying assets, you can gain the right to live and work in Spain and eventually apply for permanent residency and citizenship.

Spain’s Golden Visa stands out among similar programs in other countries due to several key advantages. There’s no minimum stay requirement to maintain the visa, the investment threshold is relatively low, and family members can be included in the application. 

Additionally, the visa grants a general work permit for Spain, allowing adults to work as employees or self-employed individuals for companies and clients both inside and outside the country—a significant benefit that’s notoriously difficult to obtain. These perks make Spain an attractive destination for investors seeking European residency while enjoying the Spanish lifestyle and economy.

Benefits of the Spain Residence by Investment Program

The Spain Residence by Investment program offers numerous benefits for investors and their families. Here’s why this program is an attractive option:

Quick Residency

The Golden Visa program provides a fast and efficient way to get residency in Spain. The application process is straightforward, allowing investors to gain residency within a few months after making their investment.

Live and Work Freely

Once you have your Golden Visa, you and your family can live and work anywhere in Spain. This flexibility is great for professionals and entrepreneurs looking to take advantage of Spain’s dynamic economy.

Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship

After five years with a Golden Visa, you may be able to apply for permanent residency in Spain. After ten years, you may be eligible for Spanish citizenship, giving you an EU passport and all its benefits.

Include Your Family

The Golden Visa program lets you include your spouse, children, and dependent parents in your application. This means your entire family can enjoy the benefits of residency.

No Minimum Stay Requirement

One unique advantage of the Spain Golden Visa is that you don’t have to live in Spain full-time to keep your residency status. This is perfect for frequent travelers and international businesspeople.

These benefits make the Spain Golden Visa program a great choice for investors looking to enhance their lifestyle and secure their future in Spain.

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Golden Visa Requirements in Spain

spain residency by investment

To apply for the Spain Residency by Investment program, you must meet several eligibility criteria. Here’s what you need to know:

Who Can Apply?

  • Non-EU Citizens: The program is open to non-EU citizens.
  • Minimum Age: The main applicants must be at least 18 years old.

Financial and Investment Requirements

  • Real Estate Investment: You must invest at least €500,000 in Spanish real estate. This can be a single property or a combination of properties.
  • Other Investment Options: Alternatively, you can invest in Spanish public debt, shares, funds, or bank deposits with minimum thresholds:
    • €2 million in Spanish public debt
    • €1 million in shares or investment funds
    • €1 million in bank deposits

Health Insurance and Background Check

  • Health Insurance: You need to have public or private health insurance valid in Spain.
  • Criminal Record: You must have a clean criminal record from the country you have resided legalyl in the past five years.

Family Members

  • Inclusion: You can include your spouse, children, and dependent parents in your application.
  • Requirements: Family members must also have health insurance and clean criminal records. Additionally, you must provide proof of the family relationship, such as marriage or birth certificates.

Proof of Financial Means

  • Sufficient Funds: You need to show proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself and your family while living in Spain. This typically involves demonstrating a regular source of income or substantial savings.

Qualifying Investments for the Golden Visa Program in Spain

Now that we’ve outlined the requirements for the Golden Visa in Spain, let’s go a little deeper into each of the qualifying investments. Here are the main investment options:

Real Estate Investment

  • Minimum Investment Amount: You must invest at least €500,000 in Spanish real estate.
  • Types of Properties That Qualify: Eligible properties include residential homes, commercial properties,garages, warehouses, storage units, chalets, apartments, and land. You can invest in a single property or multiple properties to meet the minimum investment threshold.

Investment in Spanish Public Debt, Shares, or Funds

  • Public Debt: Invest at least €2 million in Spanish government bonds.
  • Shares or Funds: Invest a minimum of €1 million in shares of Spanish companies, investment funds, or venture capital funds incorporated in Spain.

Bank Deposits and Venture Capital Funds

  • Bank Deposits: Deposit at least €1 million in Spanish banks.
  • Venture Capital Funds: Invest in venture capital funds that support innovative startups and businesses in Spain.

By choosing one of these qualifying investments, you can gain residency in Spain while also potentially benefiting financially. In the next section, we’ll walk you through the application process step-by-step.

How to Get a Golden Visa in Spain: A Step-By-Step Process

Applying for the Golden Visa Program in Spain involves several steps. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you navigate the process smoothly:


  • Decide whether to invest in real estate, public debt, shares, funds or start a business.
  • Collect all necessary documents related to your investment and personal information.
  • Hire a lawyer to help with legal matters.

Making the Investment

  • Real Estate: Purchase the property and register it in your name.
  • Public Debt, Shares, or Funds: Make the necessary financial transactions and obtain proof of investment.
  • Business: Establish or invest in a business that meets the program’s criteria.

Submitting the Application

  • Complete Application Form: Fill out the Spain Golden Visa application form.
  • Submit Documents: Submit all required documents to the Large Business and Strategic Collective Unit (UGE) or the relevant consulate.
  • Pay Fees: Pay the necessary application fees.

Required Documentation for Different Types of Investments

Real Estate Investment

  • Proof of property purchase (deed of sale)
  • Land Registry certificate
  • Proof of funds used for the purchase

Public Debt, Shares, or Funds

  • Certificate of investment from a financial institution
  • Proof of ownership of shares or funds
  • Business Investment

General Requirements for All Applicants

  • Valid passport
  • Health insurance valid in Spain
  • Clean criminal record certificate
  • Proof of financial means to support yourself and your family

Timeline for Processing and Approval

  • Initial Processing: The initial review of your application typically takes about 20 working days from the submission of the application.
  • Approval and Visa Issuance: Once approved, you will receive your visa within 10 days if applying from outside Spain.
  • Residence Permit: Upon arrival in Spain, you must apply for a residence permit (TIE) at the local police station, which usually takes a few weeks to process.

Tips for a Smooth Application Process

  • Prepare Thoroughly: Ensure all documents are complete and correctly translated into Spanish.
  • Follow Up Regularly: Keep in touch with your lawyer and the relevant authorities to stay updated on the status of your application.
  • Respond Promptly: Quickly address any requests for additional information or documentation to avoid delays.
  • Professional Assistance: Engage experienced legal advisors to guide you through the process and ensure compliance with all regulations.

What Taxes Are There for a Golden Visa in Spain?

spain residency by investment

When you invest in Spain as part of the Golden Visa program, you may be subject to various taxes. The type and amount of tax depend on how much time you spend living in Spain each year.

Taxation for Spain Golden Visa Holders

Full-Time Residency Taxation

If you spend more than 183 days living in Spain, you become a Spanish tax resident. This means Spain will tax your worldwide assets and income.

The progressive tax rate for employment income, freelance income, and rental property income can reach up to 50% in some regions, such as Catalonia.

Savings income, including interest, dividends, and capital gains, is taxed progressively from 19% to 26%.

Non-Resident Taxation

If you spend less than 183 days in Spain, you are only taxed on income earned in Spain.

The Spanish government taxes non-residents on income earned in Spain at a flat rate:

  • 19% for EU tax residents
  • 24% for non-EU tax residents

This includes employment income from work performed in Spain, rental income from Spanish properties, interest from Spanish bank accounts, dividends from shares in Spanish companies, and capital gains from Spanish assets. 

Non-EU tax residents cannot deduct expenses.

Property Taxes and Fees

When you buy property in Spain, you will encounter the following taxes and fees:

  • Transfer Tax: 6% to 10% for existing properties
  • Value-Added Tax (VAT or IVA): 10% when buying new properties

Understanding these taxes is essential for planning your investment and residency in Spain. Need guidance with your Spanish taxes? Our expert team of tax advisors is here to assist you!

Recent Announcements for the Spain Golden Visa Program in 2024

Significant changes are coming to the Golden Visa program in Spain. While the program is not ending, the government is planning to modify the investment options significantly.

Historically, Spain’s residency by investment program allowed foreign investors to gain residency by purchasing property worth €500,000 or more. However, following the Prime Minister’s announcement during the Council of Ministers in April 2024, there will be a shift in immigration and housing policies to address domestic housing challenges.

The Spanish government plans to remove the real estate investment option from the Golden Visa program, emphasizing housing as a fundamental right rather than a speculative business. This change is not expected to take effect until 2025, though the exact date has not been officially announced.

We are closely monitoring the situation and will keep you informed of any developments.

Frequently Asked Questions About Spain Residency by Investment

How long is a Golden Visa valid for?

The Golden Visa allows you to live in Spain for an initial period of three years. After this, you can apply for a renewal and continue living in Spain for an additional five years. To renew the visa, you must demonstrate that you still own your qualifying investment (property, shares, or public debt).

After five continuous years of residency in Spain, with no absences longer than 10 months in total, you become eligible to apply for permanent residency. Following ten years of continuous residency, you can apply for Spanish citizenship, granting you an EU passport and all associated benefits.

However, the most common reason for losing the Golden Visa is if the holder sells or liquidates their qualifying Spanish investment. Maintaining your investment is crucial to retaining your residency status.

Can I Change My Investment After Receiving the Visa?

Yes, you can change your investment after receiving the Golden Visa. However, you must ensure the new investment meets the program’s requirements. Failure to maintain a qualifying investment could result in the loss of your residency status.

How Does the Program Compare to Portugal’s Golden Visa?

Spain’s Golden Visa program is similar to Portugal’s in that both offer residency through investment. However, Portugal has recently shifted away from real estate investments, focusing more on fund investments and business creation. Spain’s upcoming changes may bring the two programs even closer in terms of investment options.

What Happens if I Sell My Investment Property?

If you sell your investment property, you must reinvest the proceeds in another qualifying investment to maintain your Golden Visa status. This reinvestment can be in real estate (until the expected policy change in 2025), Spanish government bonds, shares, or other approved investments.

Ready to Gain Residency in Spain by Investment?

Spain’s Golden Visa program offers a fantastic opportunity for non-EU citizens to gain residency through significant financial investments. Whether you choose to invest in real estate, government bonds, shares, or start a business, this program provides flexibility and numerous benefits.

At Lexidy, we specialize in helping clients navigate the complexities of the Golden Visa program. Our team of experienced immigration lawyers is here to guide you through every step of the process, ensuring a smooth and successful application.

Ready to get started? Fill out the form below to begin your journey towards residency in Spain through investment. 

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