The European Union wants to crack down on Golden Visa programmes. The War and the perceived abuse of the system by Russians (and also other country's citizens) bearing in mind the current situation in the Ukraine, means that the EU has decided that now might be the time to tone down the Golden Visa process.
We have been dealing with people getting the Spanish Golden Visa for years now and the vast majority of our clients being granted the Golden Visa are from North America and latterly the UK. However the crackdown may be more general rather than on individual countries. Only this week a block was put on applications from Russians looking for the Golden Visa in Spain.
So to all of our American, Canadian and British clients looking to get their Golden Visas sorted in the next year it might be worth speeding up the process just in case!
Regarding the process the EU commission put out the following statement:
“We consider that operating investor citizenship schemes that systematically offer citizenship in exchange for pre-determined payments and investments, without a genuine link with the Member States concerned, violates EU law,”
Now the truth is that the EU is looking to stop completely "Citizenship by investment" programmes as opposed to Residency by Investment. This is because certain countries have made the process so easy and cheap that people with no connections to the EU have been allowed citizenship and of course this included many Russian Oligarchs.
What This Means For You
There will be further restrictions coming in on Golden Visas throughout the EU but this will take time to be voted through. At the initial meeting about imposing restrictions the Spanish government kept quiet as the Golden Visa in Spain brings a lot of money into the country.
Currently we don't know what these new restrictions may be but we imagine it may be that the amount required to get the Golden Visa will rise or that the amount will be per person as opposed to per family group. At the moment the 500k required for someone to get the Spanish Golden Visa also allows family members who are dependent to get beneficiary status of the Golden Visa holder, for example one of the parents gets the Golden Visa and the spouse and chldren and even dependent parents can get "Beneficiary" status of the Golden Visa holder. Obviously, this means that a Golden Visa can be bought for under 100k per person in certain cases.
Equally, we don't know whether the long term consequences of the change being mooted will make a difference to the eventual goal of people to get citizenship. However, if you are already in the process, by having the Golden Visa already in place and be on the road towards citizenship it is unlikely that the new regulations that come in will be retroactive.
Advantages of the Golden Visa
We have written before about Golden Visa requirements but here are the details of the advantages it gives you.
- It can be for one or various properties
- It can be anywhere in the country, it isn’t limited to one geographic area.
- There is no time limit of getting it. You can buy one property now and add that into your 500k investment further down the line.
- Previously bought properties can be included in the package. If you already have a property in Spain that can be used as a part of the investment as long as they were bought after the cut off date (30 September 2013 is the cutoff date. Anything bought before that date doesn't count).
- It allows the whole family unit to have free movement in the Schengen area of Europe. This is a big deal. Free movement throughout Europe allows you to enjoy living and working in Spain to its fullest extent.
- You have no obligation to be in the country at all, never mind half a year. Even if you don’t spend half the year in Spain, a requirement of a normal residency visa, you will not lose your Spanish Golden Visa
- You are allowed to live and more importantly, work in Spain.
- You can apply for all dependents to join you in the country. This includes children of course but also parents if you can prove they are dependent.
- You get to live in a place considered to have one of the best climates in the World and one of the most socially cohesive places.
- Our communications both physically (Transport) and virtually (Internet) are excellent. Moving in, out and around the country is easy and fast and most places now have broadband cable internet for your external communications.
- You live in a country with a language that is spoken Worldwide so learning it is useful in other places apart from just Spain. Most of Central and South America speaks Spanish and when you ally this to English most of the business world is yours to speak to.
- Politically the country is pretty solid.
- There is little or no chance of a Spanish Brexit. Support for membership of the EU has always been high in Spain, the developing disaster of the UK’s Brexit has solidified that support in Spain and throughout the rest of Europe.
- You are fewer than three hours away from most of the rest of Europe. If you need to get anywhere you can get there fast.
- I was also reminded by Simon that you also enjoy the 90/180 days in other Schengen countries.
However there are other reasons why the Spanish Golden Visa might well work for you.
- Your children can study in any of the Schengen countries in Europe. They are not limited to studying in Spain.
- You have the opportunity to live and work in Spain permanently but there is no requirement. You can get the visa with all of its advantages and continue to reside in your home country or where you currently live.
- It is a clear route to Spanish Nationality if you wish to take it.
- You don’t have to become a tax resident of Spain if your economic interests continue to be elsewhere.
- You are fast tracked through the residency system as you only need to provide your paperwork required and prove your investment of over 500k, your deeds.
Rrequirements for Getting the Spanish Golden Visa
- You have to be a resident of a country that is outside the EU (And yes, that includes the UK now).
- You must not have a criminal record from your home country meaning you require a certificate from the police in your home country to this effect.
- You have to be over 18 years old.
- You need private medical insurance with no copayments ie you pay for your prescriptions.
- You need to demonstrate that you can support yourself when here by having sufficient funds (The current amount required is around 2450 Euros for the first person and 550 Euros for each member of the family included.)
- Make the corresponding investment in real estate of 500k or more. (You can also buy Spanish bonds, invest in a Spanish company or start up a business in Spain but let's stick to buying property as it's the cheapest and easiest way to do it.)
How Long Does it Take To Get Your Golden Visa?
Once applied for you should have the Golden Visa within 20 days to a month, as long as the lawyer applying for it on your behalf is semi-competent and efficient. Remember though you have to be in Spain to apply for it, you cannot apply for it from your home country. Therefore once your property or properties are bought get on a plane and get here to make your application.
Is The Golden Visa For You?
If you have the funds available for getting the Golden Visa then it is an excellent solution to allow you to live and work in Spain 365 days a year (or not as there is no obligation of course). As the investment can be split between various properties it is also a good way of getting a return on investments that can be considerably higher than if your money was simply sitting in a bank, live in one place and rent out the others. When you add all of the advantages it gives you above too, then for anyone with a lot of money sitting in a bank account where it is being eaten away by inflation, the Golden Visa programme is extremely attractive.
As Spain, and more specifically Valencia, is considered one of the best places in the World to live in lifestyle terms and it allows your children to grow up in a safe and welcoming place then for those with the funds the Golden Visa is a good way of investing for the future.
Valencia Property of the Week
It's unusual to fnd a townhouse that's ready to move into at this price and this close to Valencia so this one is well worth taking a look at.
Fantastic independent two-story house in Alfara del Patriarca with access to two streets. This town is less than 15 minutes from the beach (6km) and a similar distance from Valencia city. There is a metro stop less than 200 metres from the house.
The first floor of 77 meters has the traditional distribution of these townhouses, with two double bedrooms, living room and kitchen with access to the interior patio, providing lots of light to the rooms on the ground floor. The kitchen is independent and still has classic features like the poured marble basins and typical Valencian tiles and borders, in addition to being very practical and functional. There is a complete bathroom with a bathtub. From the living room we can access the interior patio, it could be used as a parking space, as there is access from the other street through garage doors. There is also a storage room and a toilet with a shower out here. There is air conditioning throughout this floor.
The upper floor can be accessed from the ground floor or directly from the street, giving the possibility of a guest area, or even to rent it out separately. Up here there is a large double room with an outside balcony and a built-in wardrobe, another single room, a space prepared to set up a kitchen-office in the future (yes, high speed fiber internet is available here) and a complete bathroom with a bathtub.
The house has a roof terrace, with plenty of space for a barbecue area, or roof garden, and one idea would be to connect this terrace to the ground floor living area below by way of a spiral staircase.
Good, ready-to-move into townhouses are hard to find, especially in such convenient locations, call us and we'll tell you more.
Coming Up On The Valencia Property Blog
In the next few weeks we will be looking at the Valencia Property team, the perspectives for Summer 2022, why you need to open a Spanish bank account before buying and much much more. Keep on coming back to the blog, we publish a blog post each week, and on Fridays each week we post on our podcast. This week's podcast can be listened to here or just listen on the embedded player below.
And if you liked this...
Just click on the images below for more of what we have written about Visas and other things.