Since 27 September 2013, Spain has allowed foreign investors (and therefore, in practice, non-EU citizens) to obtain a residence visa, commonly known as a “Golden Visa”, if they meet certain conditions. This Golden Visa also allows free travel within the Schengen Area and access to the Spanish education and public health systems.

The conditions for obtaining this Golden Visa are as follows:

  • An initial investment of at least €2 million in Spanish public debt securities, or at least €1 million in shares in Spanish companies or bank deposits with Spanish financial institutions.
  • The purchase of property in Spain with an investment value of at least €500,000 for each applicant.
  • The development of an entrepreneurial project in Spain considered to be, and accredited as being, of general interest (aspects such as job creation, socio-economic impact on the geographical area or a significant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation are considered when determining what is implied by general interest).

Obviously, since this system came into force, there have been far more investments in real estate than in securities. This has contributed to the acquisition of property by foreign communities, which in turn has contributed significantly to the increase in property prices in Spain.

Towards the total elimination of the Golden Visa?

At the beginning of April 2024, the Spanish government announced that it would amend the Golden Visa regime. The purpose of such a reform is to remove the possibility of obtaining a Golden Visa through the acquisition of a property. The announcement of this potential abolition caused a panic wave among those involved in or planning to make such an investment in Spain with a view to obtaining a Golden Visa.

However, to date, nothing has changed in practice, and the amendment of the scheme will not be effective for several weeks or even months. The Government still has to draft a new law amending or repealing the previous one.

For those interested, there is still time to obtain a Golden Visa, as the process of sourcing the property, negotiating and signing the purchase agreement can be completed relatively quickly.

At M&B, we help our foreign investors with their property purchases (drafting of deeds, negotiations, audits) and with the formalities required to obtain a Golden Visa.

To be continued: through these same channels, we will be reporting any progress made with the reform announced, along with any further information or developments in the coming months.

Virginie Molinier and Blanca Ramírez Belloch