The Spanish government is considering changing its golden visa scheme, meaning that those who want to invest in property in Spain may have to pay up more or have a limited time in which to do so.
Spain offers non-EU citizens various visas and residency permits, many of which require applicants meet certain conditions and plenty of paperwork. If applicants can afford it, one of the ‘easiest’ to obtain Spanish residency is through investment in property and the so-called golden visa.
This allows you to live in Spain if you spend €500,000 on a Spanish property (properties), or invest a €1 million in shares in Spanish companies, or invest €2 million in government bonds, or transfer €1 million to a Spanish bank account.
The golden visa’s €500,000 property option is the most popular of all of these as a means of obtaining a residence permit for a period of three years, extendable for another two.
But now the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration is considering making the conditions for this type of visa even tougher. The objective is to raise the bar, sources from the ministry confirmed.
Real estate experts and lawmakers believe that the €500,000 threshold is now insufficient, especially in Spain’s main cities, where many homes cost this amount, and therefore half a million can no longer be considered a price tag for luxury properties. Furthermore, they believe that these visas only end up driving up prices and kicking residents out of their neighbourhoods.
The Ministry of Social Security is due to hold talks with the Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Transport, which will decide the ultimate fate of these visas, whether it’s to define the new scheme, up the investment amount or phase them out completely.
The increased figure mentioned in the Spanish press is an investment in property of €1 million, twice what it is currently. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Economic Affairs is quoted in El País as saying that they are willing to address the matter but insists that currently nothing has changed.
Spain granted 2,462 residence permits in 2022 to golden visa investors who bought properties for more than half a million, which represented an increase of almost 60 percent since the previous year. Only a few dozen visas were given out to investors who used other channels.
In recent months, Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Malta have all either scrapped the equivalent of their golden visas or made the conditions much harder for millionaires who want to make a real estate investment.
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