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Spain residence by investment

You can live, work and study in Spain and travel around the European Union without applying for a visa
Residency by investment programme for the whole family: minimum investment is €500,000

Special features of obtaining Spanish residency by investment

The Kingdom of Spain is different from many EU countries in terms of its flexibility towards people applying for residency or citizenship. In 2013, Spanish authorities adopted a law regulating the procedure of granting Spanish residency to savvy and well-off foreign investors for their contribution to the national economy.

Investors and entrepreneurs obtain their residence cards without any additional requirements. That means they do not need to master Spanish or provide any proof of their education and professionalism. Several years later, they have an opportunity to get permanent residency in Spain and get the invested money back. If you have lived in Spain for ten years and you comply with certain conditions, you have a right to get Spanish citizenship.

Spanish residency by investment allows you and your family to live in Spain and do anything you feel like doing – you can study, work, set up your business or just enjoy free time. Besides, you get a great opportunity to travel around the European Union without a visa.

What opportunities does an investor have with Spanish residency?

  1. With a card of a Spanish resident, you can travel around the European Union absolutely freely, without any necessity to apply for a visa.
  2. In Spain, you will enjoy a mild climate and proximity to the sea. In fact, it will feel like you live on a resort with high quality of comfort and safety.
  3. An investor has a right to do a wide range of activities in Spain: they can set up a business, apply for a job, study or simply enjoy free time.
  4. An entrepreneur will find an open and attractive economy, well-developed infrastructure, qualified workforce and governmental support of the business sector.
  5. You will have access to a reliable banking system that is respected throughout the world as well as to cheap loans and extremely low interest rates on mortgages.
  6. Your health and health of your family members will be protected by the Spanish healthcare system that is among the leading ones in Europe.
  7. Your children will be able to get modern high-quality school education that is free of charge. And degrees earned at Spanish universities are recognised and highly respected all over the world.
  8. Five years later, you can apply for permanent residency. Ten years of living in the country complying with certain conditions give you a right to be naturalised and to be granted a Spanish passport. 

Advantages of the Spanish residency by investment programme

  • The main applicant should comply with a moderate number of requirements set by the immigration authorities in Spain. A foreign investor is not expected to take a test assessing their knowledge of the Spanish language, history, culture and traditions. They are not expected to prove their education or professional qualifications either.
  • In accordance with the rules of the residency by investment programme, you need to apply for residency for your whole family. In your application form, you can include:
    • your spouse or partner;
    • your children under 18 years of age;
    • your children under 26 years of age if they are unmarried and financially dependent on the main applicant;
    • your children with mental or physical disabilities (no age restrictions are applied);
    • your parents.
  • Most options of investing in the Spanish economy are safe for investors and some are very profitable if you decide to sell your assets and get the invested money back. A person taking part in this programme can select one out of three options requiring from €500,000 to €2,000,000 in investment.
  • Your application will be considered within a short period of time. That allows you to obtain your residence card within 2 or 3 months under normal conditions; now, this period has been extended to 4 or 5 months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • In Spain, unlike in other countries, the fact of acquiring a residence card does not mean that you must remain in the country all the time. A short visit to Spain will suffice.

If you are interested in other residency by investment programmes, you can find relevant information here.

Spanish residency – key points

spouse, children and parents
Eligible dependants

€500,000
Minimum investment

after 5 years
Investment recovered

at least 2 months
Residency processing time

in 5 years
Spanish permanent residency

in 10 years
Spanish passport

Преимущества инвестиционной программы Испании

How long is the expiry period for a Spanish visa and residency for investors?

There are two notions that are quite similar and thus are often mixed up – Golden Visa and residency for investors.

Spanish Golden Visa is granted to an investor for 365 days or for half a year if you have decided to invest in real property but your deal has not been formally established yet. Nevertheless, that is still a simple visa in your passport and not a residence card. When you hear about a fast procedure of obtaining residency by investment, it is about the Golden Visa. Another advantage of this type of visa is that you can get it in your home country, in a Spanish visa centre.

Within 6 or 12 months you and your family members will need to go to Spain and apply for residency. In Spain, investors are granted residency for 2 years and they can extend it for additional 5 years.

So if you are currently staying in Spain, you can immediately apply for a residence card. If you make investment staying in your home country, you have the following options:

  • You can obtain the Golden Visa and go to Spain to apply for residency afterwards.
  • You can apply for a short-term visa, go to Spain and apply for residency by investment. 

Requirements set up for an investor

  1. An applicant should be at least 18 years old.
  2. An applicant should have evidence that they have enough legally sourced finances acquired outside the Spanish Kingdom to be used for investment.
  3. The main applicant and their dependents that are of age are expected to provide a criminal record certificate for the last 5 years.They are also expected to have committed no violations of immigration laws.
  4. A prospective investor and their family should be in good health. They are also expected to have a health insurance policy issued by a private or state-owned company authorised in Spain.

Investment options for obtaining Spanish residency

You have three options to get residency by investment in Spain.

1. Investment in financial assets

Minimum investment

Financial asset

€2,000,000

Spanish government bonds

€1,000,000

Stocks and shares of companies located in Spain or actively involved in Spanish business activities

€1,000,000

Shareholding in investment, closed-end and venture funds based in Spain

€1,000,000

Bank deposit in a Spanish financial institution

2. Investment in real estate

In order to get a Golden Visa or residence permit, an applicant should provide documents proving real estate purchase at a cost of at least €500,000. The purchase should be free from any encumbrances or bond security.

If your investment is made in a high-cost object, encumbrance should not be extended to the part of the real estate that costs €500,000 as stated in the law.

3. Investment in business

There are no specific requirements regarding the minimum investment in business. However, your business project should benefit the Kingdom of Spain. That means it should comply with at least one criterion listed below:

  • It should create new jobs.
  • It should be in social and economic interests of the region chosen for your business project.
  • It should significantly contribute to scientific and technological innovations.

Your project is to be approved by the Trade and Industry Representative at the Spanish embassy at the place where you have applied for an investor visa.

Applying for permanent residency and citizenship in Spain

Permanent residency

Residency by investment in Spain does not require your permanent presence in the country. However, if you apply for a residence card for a permanent and legal stay in Spain, you and your family will have an opportunity to apply for permanent residency after 5 years.

Those who plan to get permanent residency should not leave the country for more than:

  • 6 months in a row;
  • 10 months in total during the five years prior to your application for permanent residency.

Other requirements set by the Spanish immigration authorities are standard: the applicant should have no conviction, should be of good health, have a medical insurance policy and be integrated into Spanish society.

Permanent residents have in Spain the same rights and duties as all Spanish citizens. You can enjoy all social benefits and financial support without losing the citizenship of your home country. However, you cannot be elected to the Spanish authorities, serve in the Spanish army or police.

Spanish citizenship

If you have permanently lived in Spain for the last 10 years and you do not have a problem with any specific features of Spanish immigration legislation, you can apply for naturalisation.

Prospective Spanish citizens should comply with the following requirements:

  1. Before they apply for Spanish citizenship, they should live in Spain for the last 5 years as permanent residents.
  2. They should provide documents proving they have been staying in the country legally.
  3. They are expected to speak Spanish fluently.
  4. They are also expected to know Spanish traditions, customs and the way of life.
  5. They should not be indebted to tax authorities or any other regulatory body.
  6. They are expected to have perfect reputation, i.e. they should have no convictions or violations of immigration laws on their record.
  7. They should renounce the citizenship of their home country.

The Kingdom of Spain does not recognise dual nationality unless the applicant’s country of origin used to be a Spanish colony. If you want to keep your first citizenship but you are not sure you can, we advise you to contact our immigration experts and book a consultation.

For many years, our experienced legal advisers have been resolving issues concerning residency and relocation to the European Union and Great Britain.

Though Spain is considered to be among few European jurisdictions where authorities encourage foreign investment and do not create any additional administrative and bureaucratic hindrances, a person who is not familiar with peculiarities of the European legal system can have difficulties in getting a Spanish residence permit without an experienced legal adviser.

Using services of Imperial & Legal, you will be able to get a residence permit easily in 4 steps:

 

1
Get in touch with Imperial & Legal
Timeframe: 1 day

We can arrange a consultation with an expert from Imperial & Legal in our office or remotely via video-calls in WhatsApp/Zoom/Skype.

When the agreement is signed, our legal advisers will consider your circumstances in detail to mitigate the risk of refusal and present your case in a most favourable light.

2
Prepare documents and submit an application
Timeframe: 2 – 4 weeks

After conducting due diligence check, our advisers will prepare all the documents necessary to provide with your application for your investor Golden Visa in Spain. Each copy must be notarised and legalised.

Our experts will help you choose the best investment option. If necessary, they will find the most appropriate investment object and open an investment account in a Spanish bank.

3
Get your Golden Visa and make an investment
Timeframe: up to 4 weeks
When you get a Spanish investor visa you will need to make investment in accordance with the scheme you have chosen. Then, the experts from Imperial & Legal will prepare and file your application for residence permit in Spain.
4
Relocate to Spain
Timeframe: up to 4 weeks
When approval of the immigration authorities is obtained, our experts can arrange relocation of your family to Spain, if necessary. In Spain, your biometric data will be collected and you will obtain your residence card.

 

FAQ about obtaining residency by investment in Spain

On the Internet, they say that obtaining Spanish residency by investment is a two-stage process. Is it true?

If we do not take into consideration the four-step plan we presented above, this procedure includes two big stages indeed. The first stage: you get an investor Golden Visa after you have invested in the Spanish economy. The second stage: you come to the country of residency, your biometric data are collected and you obtain a plastic residence card for yourself and your family.

The experienced advisers of Imperial & Legal will support you with consultation at each stage.


How long will it take me to get residency if I have already obtained a Golden Visa?

You can file an application to the police at the place of your residence or turn to the immigration authorities in Madrid in order to get a residence permit. You can do it within a year from the date of your investor visa issuance or within half a year if you have invested in real property but your purchase has not been completed yet. Besides, in accordance with the Spanish law, you will have at least 90 days after your Golden Visa expires to obtain your residence permit.


What advantages does residency by investment have as compared to other types of residence permits in Spain?

  1. To relocate, an investor does not need to learn Spanish and know its history and culture in detail.
  2. You can do any activities you like. You can find a job, study or have your own business in Spain. Restrictions apply only for those business areas where you need to obtain a licence such as medical practice.
  3. As an investor, you are not restricted in terms of choosing your place of residence. After you get a residence card, you can live outside Spain without visiting it till the renewal of your card while holders of other residence permits have to stay in the country for at least 183 days per year.

However, if you plan to get permanent residency, you should not leave Spain for a long period of time.


Which options of investment in Spanish residency are most reliable?

Imperial & Legal experts single out two investment options that are especially reliable:

  1. Buying real property at minimum price of €500,000. This is an effective investment option for those who plan to relocate to Spain as well as for those who need residency only for visa-free travel around Europe.
  2. Buying government stocks and government bonds at minimum price of €2,000,000. You are not likely to make profit on them but it is an effective way of saving your assets.

Do investors have any advantages over other candidates for Spanish citizenship?

Unfortunately, there are no declared advantages over holders of other types of residence permit in terms of application for Spanish permanent residency or citizenship.

You will have to spend in Spain at least 10 years, master Spanish and know Spanish culture and traditions – just like other candidates.

Thinking about moving to Spain?

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