The Spanish “Golden Visa” Program, in force for almost 10 years, has not stopped attracting foreign investors since its inception: more than 35,000 in real estate; and more than 7,000 in public debt, shares, funds or deposits, whether they are Russians -before the invasion of Ukraine-, Chinese, Americans, British, Venezuelans, Mexicans or Filipinos, among other nationalities. The reason for this attraction is twofold: on the one hand, the investments themselves; and on the other, the benefits associated with them. Hence the importance, for those wishing to explore this Program, to know what it is, how it works, what requirements must be met, what advantages does it bring and how Avco Legal can help.
I. What it is
The legal framework of this Program is basically contained in Law 14 / 2013, of September 27, to support entrepreneurs and their internationalization, and particularly in its Sections 61-67 and 75-76. The purpose of this Law represents a turning point on previous regulations, since it pays special attention to a qualified type of inmigration, that of investors and specialized professionals. In order to increase their presence in Spain, it offers them different investment and entrepreneurship opportunities through agile procedures and diverse channels, with the hope that they -and eventually their families- can settle in Spain and thus contribute to the country’s economic growth and social development.
II. How it works
Those foreigners who are not residents in Spain, but wish to obtain this status, can resort to this Program to achieve it in a quick and effective way. To do this, when requesting the corresponding visa, they have to be ready to prove a significant investment, an investment that, to be qualified as such, must necessarily fall in any of the following categories:
a) An investment equal or greater than: 1) 2 million euros in public debt securities; 2) 1 million euros in shares or participations of Spanish companies; 3) 1 million euros in investment funds, closed-end investment funds or venture capital funds incorporated in Spain; d) 1 million euros in bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions.
b) An acquisition of real estate with an investment equal or greater than 500,000 euros.
c) A business project to be developed in Spain and considered as of general interest, that is, that creates jobs, has an important socioeconomic impact or contributes to scientific and technological innovation.
III. What requirements must be met
For the residence visa to be granted, the investor must comply with various requirements, such as, for example, with regard the abovementioned investments, the provision of the following documents:
-a) Investment in unlisted shares or participations: a copy of the investment declaration registered in the Registry of Foreign Investments.
-b) Investment in listed shares: a certificate of the financial intermediary stating that the investment has been made.
-c) Investment in public debt: a certificate of the financial intermediary or the Bank of Spain stating that the investor is the sole owner of the investment for a period of 5 years or more.
-d) Investment in funds: a certificate of the fund management company stating that the investment has been made.
-e) Investment in real estate: a certificate of ownership, amount paid and encumbrances issued by the Land Registry.
-f) Investment in a business project: a favourable report issued by the Economic and Commercial Office of Spain where the investor submits the visa application, stating that the project is a project of general interest.
In addition to these documents, there are others that must be provided as well, otherwise the application would be incomplete:
-1) A legible copy of all pages of the passport.
-2) A proof of the investor economic resources for his maintenance and that of his family.
-3) A public or private medical insurance entered into with an entity authorized to operate in Spain.
-4) A certificate of criminal record, legalized and translatedinto Spanish by a sworn translator officialy recognized in Spain.
-5) In case the investor is accompanied by his family -wife and/or children under 18 years of age-, a proof of the family relationship, legalized and translated into Spanish by a sworn translator officialy recognized in Spain.
-6) Payment of the corresponding fees.
IV. What advantages does it bring
Both the stay or residence visa or, where appropriate, the residence authorization, have associated various benefits, greater in the second case than in the first.
In the stay or residence visa, basically a period of stay or residence of 1 year, which gives the right not only to stay or reside, but also to work during its validity.
In the residence authorization, reserved for those investors who make the significant investments already mentioned, a period of residence of 2 years, renewable for periods of 5 years, provided that the investment conditions are maintained; the right to work, both for the investor and his relatives, on their own account or as employees and the reunification of the investor with his wife and children under 18 years of age. His only obligation, as far as residence is concerned, is to come to Spain once a year.
V. How Avco Legal can help
This general introduction to the Spanish “Golden Visa” Program should be taken for what it is, a general introduction; and not for what it is not, a legal advice. Being so, those who are interested in completing the information contained in this post can do so by clicking on the following link: https://avco.legal/en/insights/blog/835-avco-legal-s-portugal-golden-visa-property-guide . And those who are interested in receiving legal advice can do so by sending a message to the following email address: [email protected]