New Immigration Law Applies in Spain

At the beginning of October, a new law came into force in Spain that grants resident status to investors from countries outside the EU who buy property for more than EUR 500 000.  

This law, nicknamed the “Golden Visa”, automatically grants resident status to all those who invest over half a million euro in Spanish real estate. Investors will be permitted to remain in Spain for a period of one year with the opportunity of a two-year extension at the end of this first year. Properties may be bought and sold and, unless the value of the investment falls below half a million euro, residency can be extended. After five years of uninterrupted residency, it is possible to apply for permanent residence.     

This law applies retroactively which means that investors from non-EU countries who have invested an amount exceeding half a million euro also have the chance to gain resident status.  

The amount of EUR 500 000 may be divided among several properties which gives investors welcome freedom while deciding. Unfinished projects and properties in bad condition may also be included in this figure, which, to a certain extent, should encourage renovation and development of less popular localities.   

Spanish resident status has yet another advantage for investors – in view of the fact that Spain is a member of the Schengen Area, such investors have unhindered movement around all Schengen member states, i.e. a large section of the EU. This law does not  stipulate  any condition of a minimum period of time spent on Spanish soil, so the investor may maintain his/her tax residency in his/her home country while at the same time being free to move around a large part of Europe, which could be a big plus for investors.

It is expected that this law coming into force will help start up the Spanish property market, and so too bring finances into the fluctuating Spanish economy. Experts warn, however, that over the coming months numerous overpriced properties may appear on the market, so potential investors should be careful and focus on hunting for quality property – gaining a residence permit is just a welcome bonus.  

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