Spain Approves "Golden Visa" Rules For Non-EU Property Investors

By Editorial 03 October, 2013

Spain has passed legislation that grants automatic and retroactive residency to non-EU nationals via property investments, which in turn will allow travel without a visa within the 26 countries that make up Europe's Schengen Area.

The new arrangement, dubbed the "Golden Visa," applies to those who spend EUR500,000 or more on residential, commercial property or land in Spain. Investors will be allowed to stay for 12 months, instead of just 90 days, and will afterwards be eligible for a two-year residency permit, renewable every two years. The required investment amount can be spread across more than one property, and a spouse and children under 18 can apply at the same time or after the initial application. However, applicants must show that they can also meet their living expenses.

The move has been welcomed by the luxury Barcelona-based estate agency Lucas Fox. Co-founder Alexander Vaughan said the company anticipated "a very positive effect on the Spanish property market," and that a new subsidiary company it has created, called Residency in Spain, is dealing with up to 30 enquiries per day. The company is a joint venture with a Spanish law firm, and can offer individual legal advice on residency through property investments, tax planning, and various legal and immigration issues.

The company says that enquires have in particular come from China and India, but that they have also heard from potential buyers from South Africa, Brazil and the Middle East.

The British Foreign Office has a website on purchasing property in Spain which, although aimed at British nationals, contains advice that is generally applicable to anyone planning to invest. It advises investors to check the registry report, title deeds, planning permission and licence of first occupancy for any property prior to purchase, and to check the registration and specialism of any Spanish or British lawyer used. The British Embassy in Spain also maintains lists of local English-speaking lawyers and qualified translators on its website.

In particular, the Foreign Office has warned of cases where Britons have purchased properties that have turned out to have been built illegally.

Tags: Real-estate | Spain | Expats | Investment | Property Investment | Travel | Invest | Investment |


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