Spain’s ‘Golden Visa’ – which will enable property investors to obtain a visa to live and travel within the European Union - is one step closer following the ratification by the Congress of Deputies.
The new act will become law once it has been signed by the King.
Under the legislation - which has not been amended from the original draft law - non-European Union citizens who invest at least €500,000 (S$845,564) (without finance up to that amount) in residential property, commercial property or land, will be able to live legally in Spain and can travel within the 26-country Shengen zone.
Applicants are entitled to buy multiple properties to meet the €500,000 qualifying level, and can be either private individuals or corporate entities provided they comply with certain requirements.
There is no requirement that any property has a specific use, allowing owners to rent out their properties for private or commercial use.
The first step for property investors is to apply for a visa that allows them to live in Spain for one year. There is no obligation to spend a minimum amount of time in Spain during this period as long as they can prove that they have visited Spain at least once.
Once an investment has been made, and before the expiry of the first year's visa, investors can then apply for a residency permit which entitles them to live in Spain for two years, renewable for another two years after that, as long as the investment threshold of €500,000 is maintained. There is no limit to the amount of times this two-year residency can be renewed.
After five years of continuous residence in Spain, applicants can apply for an unlimited residence permit. As is currently the case, after 10 years' residency in Spain, one can apply for Spanish nationality - provided that all other requirements are complied with, such as being a resident in the country for a minimum of 183 days per year.
Luxury Spain-based real estate agency Lucas Fox has established 'Residency in Spain', a joint venture with leading Spanish law firm ECIJA in response to the surge in demand from non-EU investors.
They are currently registering between 20 and 30 enquiries a week, while other agents and property developers have reported significant interest from property investors from China and throughout Southeast Asia.
Andrew Batt, International Group Editor of PropertyGuru Group, wrote this story. To contact him about this or other stories email email@example.com