‘Golden Visa’ Restrictions and Difficulties With Real Estate in Spain

by Legal Author on April 29, 2014

  • Sumo

golden visa spainThe ‘Golden Visa’ is presented as something that the Spanish government has put in place to attract wealthy foreigners, particularly Russians and the Chinese to come to Spain for residency, who will then go on to spend their money in the Spanish economy, and in turn will boost it. The only clear regulation that has been explained is that the foreign person must spend 500,000 euros on real estate.  However, many foreigners are having trouble in obtaining a golden visa due to the fact that there are a lot of underlying rules and conditions. For instance, people are now having trouble in getting the visa because Spanish officials have said that anyone trying to gain a golden visa will also need to have 50, 000 euros in your savings otherwise you will not be accepted. This therefore makes it much harder for people to gain Spanish residency, as a lot will use their savings when making the purchase of their new property.

As well as this it has also come out that you have to spend 500, 000 euros per person therefore a couple cannot buy a 500, 000 euro property together and expect to gain the golden visa: it has to be separate; a couple would have to spend 1 million euros for them both to get the visa. If the couple is, in fact, capable of spending this amount of money then they will only be entitled to a provisional visa for residency, that will only last a year and they will then have to re-apply after twelve months. You will also not be able to work in Spain as it is not included in the visa regulations, so buying a property in Spain will not allow you to practice business or work in that country.

It seems the golden visa is currently very much open to interpretation, as Anthony Bloom from a local Javea and Moraira property finders business has recently experienced with international clients. Anthony Bloom is a well-respected and experienced property finder within the Costa Blanca coastal towns of Moraira and Javea. His clients have had first hand experience dealing with the golden visa process and found it not all plain sailing. Mr Bloom explains “The Spanish rules to obtain a Golden Visa require you to spend 500,000 euros on real estate of a certain surface area and value in order to provide you with non EU member residency in Spain. But according to my clients, the Spanish authorities advised them that this amount is per person. So a husband and wife need to spend 1,000,000 euros! This doesn’t give residencia but only visado for residencia (provisional) for them and any of their children providing you can provide adequate proof of income and savings. The Golden Visa scenario sounded like a great idea but in practice it doesn’t seem to be as good as reported and open to much interpretation, especially between Spanish and Russian officials depending upon which source you speak”.

The aim of the golden visa was to lure wealthy, foreigners to come to Spain and buy property and to therefore spend money in the Spanish economy, which would, in turn, boost it, which it is in dire need of so it does not make sense for them to make it so difficult to do so.

The fact that they will not issue working permits is understandable due to the job market being the way it is, however this will not help seduce wealthy foreigners to come and bring their money to Spain. The whole scheme now feels all a bit insincere, where applicants are expected to jump through so many hoops and have to meet so many conditions that they either will not bother to do it, or will be incapable for one reason or another.  Due to the lack of on-line information about the new law and the requirements that need to be met, one is forced to pay a specialist to help obtain the “Golden Visa” and this ends up costing a small fortune to be told you have to find a lot more money than the 500,000 euros!

The Spanish authorities are also claiming that one of the outlines for earning the visa is that the person applying must be on a yearly wage of 70,000 euros but they did not specify that you would need extra savings if you have any children and this can seriously raise the price of a golden visa.

With so many regulations and conditions to ascertain a golden visa that appear to have been hidden from applicants, governments and officials clearly need to make the process of gaining a golden visa more clear and simple for applicants.

About the author:

Special thanks to Anthony Bloom for his sharing his experience and insights into Spanish golden visas.

Legal Author
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