+44 2084610699 Passport enquiry
Home » Residence investment » Spain golden visa: residence by investment Program

Spain golden visa: residence by investment Program

Spain’s Golden Visa program grants residency rights through property investment or capital investments. It has become a popular gateway to EU residency for foreign investors.

In this guide, we explain everything you need to know about the Spanish investor visa and becoming a resident through investment.

What is Spain’s golden visa scheme?

Spain launched its Golden Visa program in 2013, also known as the Investor Visa scheme. It enables non-EU/EEA investors to gain temporary residency by making a substantial financial investment in Spain.

After maintaining your initial investment and renewing your visa permit, applicants can become permanent residents and eventually apply for full Spanish (and European) citizenship.

However, the Spain golden visa does not provide direct citizenship and there are minimum legal residence requirements to naturalize as a citizen.

How the Spain golden visa program works

The process involves two stages:

1. Getting the investor visa

First, you must make an approved real estate or capital investment in Spain’s economy. The minimum is €500,000 for real estate and up to €2 million for other options.

Once you make the investment and submit a successful application, you will be approved for a 1-year multi-entry visa to Spain.

2. Applying for residence permit

Within 1 year, you must travel to Spain to submit biometrics and apply for your initial residence permit (the TIE card). This permit will be valid for 2-3 years.

You can renew this permit in 5-year increments to maintain long-term residency provided your investment remains active.

Benefits of golden visa Spain

These are the main advantages of Spain’s investor visa program:

  • Visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen Area
  • Reside in Spain with minimal presence needed
  • Work or run a business in Spain
  • Healthcare and education access for family
  • Path to citizenship after 10 years
  • Ease of processing and renewal
  • Family eligibility for dependents
  • No restrictions on nationality

Compared to other European golden visa schemes, Spain stands out for its quick processing, reasonable investment threshold, and lifestyle offerings.

The Spain golden visa offers a high quality of life in an economically and politically stable Mediterranean nation that’s part of the European Union.

Who qualifies for Spain’s golden visa?

The Spanish residency by investment program is open to applicants worldwide, except EU/EEA/Swiss citizens who already have EU residency rights.

There are no nationality restrictions, but you must meet the age, investment, proof of funds, and other requirements to qualify. Dependents like family also qualify.

People from the Middle East, China, Turkey, Russia and North Africa have shown the most interest in Spain’s residence by investment program to date.

How to apply for the Spain golden visa

1. Determine your investment amount

Decide on €500,000 property purchase or up to €2 million capital investment.

2. Make the approved investment

Invest in real estate or Spanish companies, securities, or banks through a lawyer.

3. Gather documents for submission

Have public documents apostilled and translations completed.

4. Submit your golden visa application

File your application with the required documents to your nearest Spanish diplomatic post.

5. Get your 1-year multi-entry visa

Your initial visa will be issued within around 15 business days if approved.

6. Travel to Spain to submit biometrics

You must visit Spain within 1 year to provide fingerprints and photographs.

7. Apply for your residence permit

Submit your temporary residence permit application to authorities within 30 days.

8. Collect your residence card

Your 2-3 year permit card can be picked up in person within a month in most cases.

9. Renew your investor visa as required

Renew your permit every 5 years to maintain residency status.

10. Become a permanent resident

You can get permanent residency after 5 years of residing in Spain.

11. Apply for citizenship after 10 years

Once you’ve lived in Spain for 10 years, you can apply for naturalization.

Professional assistance for your application

Trying to apply for Spain’s investor visa on your own can be challenging. There is extensive paperwork, requirements to understand, translations, appointments for biometrics, liaising with authorities, and more.

Therefore, it is advisable to work with a firm like AptCitizenship that specializes in residency and citizenship by investment programs.

We will professionally handle every aspect of your golden visa application from start to finish:

  • Selecting the best investment option for you
  • Introducing you to investment opportunities like real estate
  • Ensuring you meet all requirements and eligibility criteria
  • Compiling and translating documents
  • Acting as your representative with Spanish authorities
  • Arranging your biometrics appointment
  • Following up on the status of your application
  • Communicating updates at each stage
  • Providing ongoing support for any inquiries

This end-to-end assistance eliminates the stresses, delays and hassles involved with applying independently. Our experts know the ins and outs of the process resulting in a positive outcome.

Costs related to Spain’s golden visa

When budgeting for your application, you need to account for:

  • The base investment starting from €500,000
  • Application fees and biometrics fees
  • Professional legal and consulting fees
  • Due diligence costs for the investment
  • Document translation
  • Property purchase and transfer taxes
  • Renovations or furnishings for real estate
  • Travel and stays for biometrics appointments

Plan on investing around €550,000 for the least expensive real estate investment route for a single applicant. Costs will be higher for larger families needing dependents included.

Taxes under Spain’s golden visa program

As a Spain golden visa holder, some of the key taxes you may need to pay include:

  • Foreign income tax – Taxed on worldwide income if residing over 183 days/year in Spain
  • Personal income tax – Progressive rate up to 45% for income earned in Spain
  • Capital gains tax – Up to 23% on profits from sale of Spanish assets
  • Property taxes – Annual property taxes ranging from 0.4% to 1.3%
  • VAT and customs – On purchases of goods and services

Consult with a local tax expert to optimize your tax obligations when residing in Spain.

Why choose Spain’s golden visa program?

Here are some of the main advantages that make Spain’s golden visa an appealing choice:

  • Visa processing in 10-15 days – Very fast approval time
  • No minimum stay requirement – You don’t need to live full-time in Spain
  • Freedom of movement – Visa-free access to the Schengen Area
  • Mediterranean lifestyle – Great weather, beaches, food and culture
  • High standard of living – World-class infrastructure and amenities
  • Strong economy – 5th biggest economy in the EU
  • Lower investment minimum – €500,000 only
  • Reputable and established – Proven program since 2013
  • Route to EU citizenship – Naturalization possible after 10 years
  • Free education – Including free university for dependents

In summary, Spain’s golden visa scheme offers an excellent balance of benefits that make residency and citizenship accessible to investors and families.

Is Spain’s golden visa better than Portugal?

Spain vs. Portugal is a common comparison for golden visa applicants weighing up their options in Southern Europe.

Both offer permanent residency and a path to EU citizenship through property investment. However, here are some advantages Spain’s program holds over the Portugal golden visa scheme:

  • Lower real estate investment (€500,000 vs €350,000 minimum property value in Portugal).
  • No requirement to maintain permanent residence.
  • Purchase of multiple properties allowed to reach the minimum investment.
  • Much faster processing time of around 15 days only.
  • Free education including university for dependent children.
  • No restrictions on rental income from the real estate.

Ultimately, both are strong programs but Spain holds the edge for real estate investors seeking lower investment, quicker approval and greater flexibility.

Applying through a company rather than as individual

One strategic decision is whether to apply for Spain’s golden visa personally or through a company.

Investing into real estate or capital through an overseas company that you own can provide these advantages:

  • Asset protection and estate planning benefits
  • Tax optimization opportunities
  • Anonymity if desired
  • Ability to add or change company shareholders/directors later

While both individual and company applications work, our experts generally suggest applying via an investment company structure where feasible.

Dependents – who can you include on a golden visa?

One benefit of the scheme is that it allows you to add dependents to your investor visa application. The eligible family members are:

  • Your spouse or domestic partner (with proof of relation)
  • Minor children under 18 years old
  • Dependent adult children over 18 if enrolled in full-time studies
  • Elderly dependent parents provided you demonstrate financial dependence

All dependents must provide supporting documents proving their relation and dependency. Our immigration specialists can help assemble the paperwork.

Renewing Spain’s golden visa

To maintain your residency rights, you must renew your golden visa permit before it expires. The renewal steps are:

  • Ensure your investment remains active and ongoing.
  • Gather the required documents for renewal.
  • Submit your application for renewal 2-3 months before expiry.
  • Attend your biometric data appointment within 30 days of approval.
  • Collect your renewed residence permit card in person.

As long as your investment is maintained, renewals are generally a straightforward process. We can assist at every stage.

Requirements for obtaining Spain’s golden visa

Meeting the requirements is crucial for getting approved. Here are the key eligibility conditions:

  • Being a non-EU/EEA/Swiss national over 18 years old.
  • Making an approved investment of at least €500,000 in real estate or €1-2 million for other routes.
  • Maintaining your investment for the duration of your visa validity.
  • Having a clean criminal record with no prior deportations or travel bans.
  • Providing private medical coverage and travel insurance.
  • Proving sufficient income/funds to live in Spain with bank statements.
  • Supplying a valid passport with 2 blank pages and valid for over 1 year.
  • Paying all Spain golden visa fees.
  • Meeting health and security criteria.

How to apply for Spain citizenship by investment

The roadmap to gaining citizenship through the golden visa is:

  1. Obtain your 1-year Spain golden visa after investing €500,000+
  2. Apply for 2–3-year temporary residence permit
  3. Maintain residence compliance and renew permits
  4. Become a permanent resident after 5 years
  5. After 10 years of legal residence, apply for naturalization
  6. Pass exams on Spanish language, culture, society
  7. Attend citizenship ceremony and receive your certificate

The whole process takes at least 5-10 years depending on your nationality. We guide you through every milestone.

Fast track to Spain citizenship

Select nationalities can qualify for Spanish citizenship in as little as 2 years through a fast-track process.

This accelerated route is available for citizens of Portugal, Andorra, Philippines, Ibero-American countries, and other former Spanish colonies like Equatorial Guinea.

It requires 2 years of continuous legal residence in Spain. This is shortened from the standard 10-year path to citizenship. Applicants must also pass examinations showing integration.

Top 10 benefits of Spain’s golden visa

These are the main perks offered by Spain’s investor visa scheme:

  1. Visa-free travel – In Europe’s Schengen zone
  2. Residency in Spain – For you and dependents
  3. Healthcare and education access – Public and private
  4. No minimum stay – Not required to live full-time in Spain
  5. Work and business rights – Can undertake employment and entrepreneurship
  6. Simple renewal – Online renewals every 5 years
  7. Fast processing – Decision in as little as 15 days
  8. Pathway to citizenship – Naturalization possible after 10 years
  9. Low investment minimum – From just €500,000
  10. High quality of life – Exceptional standard of living in Spain

What is the total cost for Spain’s golden visa?

The total cost for a real estate golden visa for one applicant is approximately:

  • €500,000+ property purchase
  • €10,000-15,000 legal and technical fees
  • €3,000-5,000 application, visa and permit fees
  • €15,000 other costs like due diligence, renovations etc.

So an overall budget of around €550,000 should be planned for when factoring in dependents. The total cost rises for larger families or more expensive capital investments.

Is Spain’s investor visa a path to citizenship?

Yes, Spain’s golden visa leads to permanent residency after 5 years, and eligibility for citizenship after 10 years of legally living in Spain.

Once naturalized, you can apply for a Spanish passport and enjoy full EU citizenship rights.

Our immigration advisors assist with your entire journey from golden visa to citizenship application.

How long does it take to get Spain’s golden visa?

The typical timeline for getting a golden visa in Spain is:

  • 1-2 months preparation like finding qualifying investment etc.
  • 2-4 weeks to prepare and submit application
  • 10-15 days for visa approval once submitted
  • 30-60 days to get residence permit after biometrics in Spain

So within 4-6 months you can complete the entire process from initial research through getting your residence permit card.

Is Spanish citizenship worth it? Benefits of a Spanish passport

The benefits of getting a Spanish passport through the golden visa route include:

  • Freedom to live, work and study anywhere in the EU
  • Visa-free travel to over 180 countries worldwide
  • High quality healthcare and education system
  • Business friendly economy with opportunities
  • Excellent infrastructure and high living standards
  • Own real estate and assets freely across Europe
  • Retire comfortably in Spain or elsewhere in the EU
  • Pass citizenship to future generations

For those able to become Spanish citizens by investment, an EU passport provides huge advantages.

What are the requirements for Spain’s residence by investment program?

The main requirements to qualify for Spain’s golden visa are:

  • Being aged over 18 years old
  • Making a substantial capital investment (€500,000 minimum for real estate)
  • Having a clean criminal record
  • Providing private health insurance coverage
  • Demonstrating sufficient income/funds for living costs
  • Paying all investment, visa and permit fees
  • Submitting required documents like passport, photos, background check etc.

Applicants must also maintain ongoing compliance such as keeping their investment active.

How to get Spain’s golden visa through real estate investment

If going the real estate investment route, the steps are:

  1. Select property/properties valued at €500,000+
  2. Use a legal advisor to assist with purchase process
  3. Ensure the property purchase meets requirements
  4. Transfer investment funds for the acquisition
  5. Complete purchase and registration formalities
  6. Get certificates showing property ownership
  7. Work with your immigration advisor to collect and submit required documents
  8. File golden visa application and get approval
  9. Travel to Spain to submit biometrics for residence permit
  10. Renew investment and permit every 2-5 years

We have real estate partners that can introduce you to suitable properties and assist during the purchase process.

Why Work with AptCitizenship?

When applying for Spain’s golden visa, AptCitizenship provides the following assistance:

  • Consultation to determine the optimal investment route for you
  • Legal guidance and investment due diligence
  • Liaising with authorities on your behalf
  • Ongoing case monitoring and updates
  • Document preparation and application submission
  • Help with appointments for biometrics
  • Support throughout the application process
  • Assistance with dependents and document legalization
  • Guidance on renewal and maintaining compliance

We focus on providing exceptional client service so your investor visa process is seamless.

Is Spain’s golden visa program at risk?

While some changes may occur, Spain’s golden visa scheme remains stable and popular. There are no signs it will shut down given the ongoing interest from global applicants.

Demand remains strong especially from the Middle East, Russia and Africa. The program is an important contributor of foreign investment into Spain’s economy and real estate market.

Barring major policy changes, the investor visa has a bright future. Our law firm partners help navigate any changes that could impact applicants.

FAQs on Spain’s Golden visa program

Here are some additional FAQs about Spain’s Golden Visa program:

Can I buy more than one property to reach the minimum investment amount?

Yes, you can invest in multiple properties to reach the required €500,000 minimum investment for the real estate option. The funds can be spread across residential, commercial, tourist accommodation or other approved real estate.

If I already own property in Spain, can I use this for my golden visa application?

Yes, if you already own real estate in Spain valued at €500,000 or higher, you can leverage this for your golden visa application rather than having to make a new purchase.

How long after I get the golden visa can I apply for citizenship?

You can apply for Spanish citizenship after being a legal resident for 10 years and renewing your investor visa permits during that period. Some nationalities can get citizenship in just 2 years.

Do I need to pass any language test or exam for citizenship?

For most nationalities, no language test is required. But fast-track citizenship applicants from certain countries do need to pass examinations on Spanish language and culture.

Can I include siblings or cousins under my golden visa application?

No, only your spouse, children, and dependent parents or grandparents can be included as family members on your application. Siblings, cousins etc do not qualify.

If I lose my job, does this affect my golden visa status?

No, loss of a job does not affect your investor visa validity provided you maintain your approved real estate or capital investment. There are no employment requirements.

Can I become a tax resident in another country while holding Spain’s golden visa?

Yes, the golden visa has no restrictions on your tax residency. You just need to travel to Spain once every 5 years for renewing your residence permit in person.

Can I get a mortgage to finance part of my real estate purchase in Spain?

Yes, you can use a Spanish bank mortgage for a portion of the property purchase price. But at least €500,000 must come from your own funds.

Is the Spain golden visa a scam?

No, Spain’s investor visa program is an official legal scheme run by the Spanish government. It has been operating successfully since 2013 with thousands of applicants.

What happens if my golden visa application gets rejected?

Rejection is very rare if you work with an experienced law firm to avoid mistakes. If it occurs, you would re-apply and adjust any aspects that led to the rejection.

FYI: Getting Spain’s golden visa with crypto
Spain’s investor visa program does not directly accept cryptocurrency investments at the moment.
However, there are ways to convert your crypto holdings into fiat currency and direct the funds towards a qualifying investment in Spanish real estate or other approved investment routes.