Golden Visa

SPANISH VISAS AND RESIDENCY FOR INVESTORS.

With effect from the 29‐09‐2013, the Spanish Government finally fully approved the Investors’ Support and Internationalization Act 14/2013, as amended by Act 25/2015 which includes, among others measures, a Spanish residency programme that will allow investors to become permanent investors if they invest, at least, €500.000 in a property.

The law was published on the Spanish Official Gazzete (BOE) and one of the most crucial aspects of it is that it facilitates people traveling to, or residing in Spain, who intend to carry out a ‘relevant investment’.

What is a relevant investment?
According to article, 63, the following will suffice to attain residency in Spain:

* An investment of at least €2,000,000 in Spanish Government bonds.

* An investment of at least €1,000,000 in shares of Spanish companies.

* An investment of at least €1,000,000 with a Spanish‐based bank or financial entity (basically, depositing that money in a savings or fixed deposit account).

* An investment of at least €500,000 in a Spanish property, per applicant, provided the first €500,000 of the property value is unencumbered (mortgage free).

* A business investment that is to be carried out in Spain and is deemed of public interest for which purpose, at least one of the following conditions will be considered relevant:
a) jobs it will create
b) socioeconomic impact in the geographical area where the activity is to be carried out and
c) relevant contribution to technological or scientific innovation.



Investment by foreign companies also qualify for residency provided it does not originate from an offshore tax haven, as per Spanish laws, and that the investor owns, directly or indirectly, the majority of its voting rights and has also the right to designate or remove the majority of the members of the board of directors.


Investment Residency Visa and Investment Residency Authorization


The Act has created 2 types of documents to enter and reside in Spain, the Residency Visa and the Residency Authorization.



The Residency Visa is valid for up to 1 year, and the Residency Authorization is valid for up to 2 years, which can be extended for successive 5‐year periods.


In addition to meeting the conditions to qualify for the Investors’ Residency Visa, an applicant for an Investors’ Residency Authorization will have to comply with the following:

* Hold an Investors’ Residency Visa that is not overdue by more than 90 days over the expiration date.

* Prove that the investment that enabled the applicant to receive the Visa is still in place.


What other requirements have to be met?

The Act will also require that any applicant complies with the following (standard in the Non‐ Lucrative or Non‐Working Residency Authorization):

* Not be in Spain irregularly.

* Be over 18 years of age.

* Absence of a criminal record.

* Have medical insurance

* Have sufficient money or financial means to support the applicant (and family) during the period of stay in Spain: if we are guided by the prerequisites of the Non‐ Lucrative Residency Permit, the applicant will need to prove earning of at least €2,128/month, plus an additional €532/month per additional family member.

Application Process and Timescales

The Residency Visa will be applied for and granted by the Spanish Consulate of the demarcation of the applicant. The Residency Authorization will be applied for and granted by Directorate General of Migrations. An application for a Residency Visa will be resolved in a maximum period of 10 days, except where the application is subject to the EU Visa Code. The Residency Authorization will be granted in a maximum period of 20 days from application after which period, if the Consulate has not responded, the application will be presumed granted.

How would it work, in practical terms?

An applicant that wishes to apply for a Residency Visa under the Act will first need to apply for an ordinary visa, with a view to travel to Spain and investigate investment options/opportunities, meet with lawyers, real estate agents, banks, etc. Once a decision is made and the investment carried out, the Residency Visa will have to be applied for at the Consulate (which implies going back to the country of origin).
Obviously, it is possible that an investor decides to proceed with the investment operations remotely (for instance, purchasing a property via a lawyer, with a Power of Attorney) and, on conclusion of the property conveyance transaction, he applies for a Residency Visa with the required proof of his investment i.e. Property Title Deeds.
The Act does stipulate that the investment needs to be maintained during the period of the validity of the Residency Visa or Residency Authorization, and that routine checks may be carried out.

Do I have to be in Spain for more than 6 months during any year period?

Specifically, no. The Act stipulates that Residency Visa or Residency Authorization holders do not need to spend more than 6 months in Spain, with a view to renew the permit (which implies that, provided they are in Spain at least once during the period of the Residency Visa, they are pretty much free to spend their time as they wish, in Spain or in any other country).

Can I become a Permanent Resident in Spain or a Spanish Citizen through this method?

Yes. However, the law requires that the authorization card holder spends the minimum required time in Spain prior to applying for citizenship.

Can a person still apply for permanent residency without having to invest the sums in this law i.e. buying a property worth say €200,000, with a €180,000 mortgage?

The Act has not modified the 2 other main types of residency permit applications, which are:  Non‐Lucrative Residency Permit (Autorización de Residencia No‐Lucrativa)

* Self‐Employed Work and Residency Permit (Autorizacion de Residencia y Trabajo Por Cuenta Propia) This means a person can still apply for residency in Spain via the regular (and above) procedures.

Can I apply if I already have a (unencumbered) property in Spain worth €500,000?

The Act does not include investors who already had a property in Spain prior to its enactment although, nothing stops them from selling, buying again and then apply for the Investors Residency Visa and further, the Investors Residency Authorization. People that comply with the other financial criteria (having cash deposits, shares etc.) can apply.

Buying Property in Spain

There has never been a better time to invest in property in Spain. In 2017, the benefits of the strengthening economy are being felt up and down the Costa del Sol. The property market has shown steady growth throughout the year, exceeding all forecasts. Prices are starting to see modest increases, and this trend is due to continue into 2018 and beyond. British buyers have traditionally dominated the market but more recently buyer nationalities are diversifying including Scandinavian, Belgium, Dutch and French demanding higher quality products. Smart investors are once again looking to invest in Spain as a safe yet promising investment for the future.

Property Investment in the South of Spain.

You only need look at any major town on the Costa del Sol to see construction is back in full swing, with some excellent new developments going up for the first time in 10 years. Record tourist numbers along with a recovering economy are driving a resurgence in construction. Towns and municipalities throughout the Málaga province are witnessing increased planning applications for new build properties and investment projects. For many, the best investments lie in the exclusive off plan developments prominent in the towns to the East and West of Marbella; most notably Estepona and Mijas.

Once very much a part of the skyline, from 2008 onwards the cranes disappeared from the Costa del Sol as the credit crunch hit. Today is a very different story, with some of the most interesting investment opportunities coming from new off plan developments.

Bank Owned Properties

Another interesting option to consider are former bank owned developments. These are new developments which have been purchased, refreshed and refurbished by the banks and released to the market to sell quickly. They are key ready, often include complete furniture packs and are ready for immediate occupation. This is a wise option for those looking to make their gains from rental and want to reap the immediate benefits of the high holiday rental season. The Costa del Sol experienced its best ever summer season in 2017. With tourists increasingly opting for private holiday apartment rental over hotels the buy to let proposition on the Costa del Sol offers far more to gain than the domestic rental market in Northern Europe.

Bank owned, key ready properties offer fantastic value for money, but stock is increasingly limited and selling through quickly. If you are interested in this option, speak to us about arranging a viewing trip with us as soon as possible

We can show you a range of investment options on the Costa del Sol including off plan, key ready and previously owned. Each have their own merits which we can discuss with you in detail but the property market in general on the Costa del Sol is more attractive than ever for the investor.

Here are just a few reasons why:

10 reasons to buy properties in Spain

1. Tourism

Spain is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. last summer surpassed all existing tourism records in Spain. Never before have so many foreign visitors arrived in the country in a single month: 10.51 million, compared with the previous record of 10.02 million, set in August of 2016, according to the National Statistics Institute (INE). The July record comes on the back of a year-on-year rise of 10.1% in tourist arrivals. This has a direct impact on the strength on the holiday rental market.

After surveying thousands of holiday makers in popular destinations, the INE found that all forms of accommodation are on the rise, but most particularly holiday apartments which rose 23.2% for tourist apartments.

2. Holiday Rental Income

The demand for holiday apartment rental offers a fantastic opportunity for those wishing to invest in property. The majority of our clients look to buy a property that gives them both an overseas holiday home as well as highest possible return on their investment. There can be conflict between these two goals, but our experienced real estate managers deal with these scenarios on an everyday basis, and can present you properties which cover both aspects.

Thanks to the unique micro-climate that the Costa del Sol offers, there are 2 full rental seasons spanning the year. During the summer, absolutely any property can be rented, but the key to renting year round is capturing the golf market. The Costa del Sol boasts more than 80 golf courses, with the world renowned golf valley spanning the coast between Marbella and Estepona. This zone provides the key to renting for more than 25 weeks per year.

3. Economic Growth

The outlook in Spain is looking sunny in more ways than one. As of April 2017, Spain has shown 14 consecutive quarters of growth. The economy has recovered well since the government implemented a series of reforms including overhauling the banking system and reforming the labour market. Growth remains much higher than that in the Eurozone overall, thanks to tourism and exports thriving. Unemployment has fallen from a 27% high in 2013 to 18% in April 2017, and likely to drop during the summer boom months. Positive moves in employment means higher gross disposable household income. The national budget deficit is reducing and GDP is positive. Major international funds are investing hundreds of millions of Euros into the purchase of development land on the Costa del Sol. With historically low-interest rates, investment in land and development promises investment yields far greater than that obtainable elsewhere. Spain’s economy has staged an impressive turnround over the last few years after being one of the most badly-affected countries during the financial crisis.

4. Strong potential for price increases

Whilst other markets such as Germany and the UK are already at the peak of property prices, Spain has plenty of room for increases in both rentals and sales.  Much like the economy, Spanish property sales are on the rise. After 7 years of falling house prices, the market has now returned to pre-recession levels. Banks are predicting record property sales in the coming year. With confidence back in the market and demand steadily growing once again it’s inevitable that prices will increase. For investors this means there is plenty of Capital Growth opportunity over the coming years. This also means that purchases should be made, sooner rather than later to take full advantage of the gains potential.

5. Improved quality and professionalism

New buyers entering the market are finding an amazing number of new projects for sale of a substantially higher quality than in the past. A more sophisticated, experienced and caring developer has arrived. Bucking the pre-crash trend, new developers are keen to give excellent value for money to their purchasers and invest more time and effort into producing properties of a superior quality. This offers significant rewards to the buyer and developer alike. Developers with projects underway are enjoying much more interest from buyers and substantial success in sales as a result. Buyers are finally receiving an increasingly broad choice of top end properties with an incredible range of luxury features, prices and locations.

6. Attractive borrowing

Spain’s property market is a far cry from the fragile bubble that existed before the financial crisis of 2008. Increasing government regulation of financial institutions and more effective regulations on banks and lenders has prompted a culture of financial safe practice. Base rates continue to fall in the Eurozone and currently sit at an all-time record low. Mortgage rates in Spain are now cheaper than ever. In addition, lending by the banks increased by 17% in January 2017 against the previous year. This demonstrates that Spanish lenders are keen to lend to non-residents and overseas investors.

7. Value for money

You get a lot of bang for your buck in Spain.  Food, transport, housing, and services are all very reasonably priced.  Also, good for business, labour in Spain is 25 % cheaper than in the rest of the Eurozone.

8. Excellent geographical location

The Costa del Sol is a very privileged location. Enjoying over 320 days of sunshine every year, its one of the few places in Europe to enjoy warm summers and mild winters.

Malaga International airport is the 3rd largest in mainland Spain offering flights to over 100 destinations in 25 countries, increasing every year with new routes and destinations. In a globalized economy, geographical location plays an important role in business. With strong connections to all major European hubs, as well as the Americas and the Far East, the Costa del Sol provides a strong base for todays investors.

9. Quality of life

The Costa del Sol is consistently rated by foreign residents as having the best quality of life in Europe. Aside from the weather,  Spain has one of the best healthcare systems in the world, a rich cultural history, great food and over 8000km of coast and great beaches. It is a great place to raise families, with an excellent choice of international schools and provides the perfect location for retirement.