The official bulletin for the Spanish parliament for a change in the law to accommodate investor visas was issued the first week in July 2013. We expect it to be passed into law within the next few months. Some elements of the proposal may change. However as it stands these are the main points for investors looking to take advantage of Spain’s Golden Visa:
Eligible applicants for such visa are non-resident investors who have made any of the following investments in Spain:
1. An investment for:
- a value of more than EUR 2 millions in Spanish public debt.
- EUR 1 million in shares of a private Spanish company or in a bank deposit in a Spanish financial entity.
2. The acquisition of real estate in Spain representing a net investment above EUR 500.000. It can be for multiple properties and properties can be rented out.
- It must be cash, not mortgage finance. (except for any additional over €500,000)
- There is no required date of purchase. Just that it is fairly recent. Therefore purchases now may qualify for the resident’s visa. (In reality it takes 3 months to complete a purchase in Spain anyway).
- Investors will buy a property then apply. Applications for residency will only be denied in extreme cases. (for example a criminal record or laundered money).
- Property can be owned through a company provided the applicant shows control of that company.
3. A business project in Spain suitable to be considered “of general interest”, implying: creation of employment; socio-economic impact on the geographical area in which the activity will be performed; a relevant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.
RESIDENCY VISA AND CITIZENSHIP
Such investment will entitle the applicant to:
- Obtain a new kind of visa enabling them to enter and stay in Spain for a maximum period of 1 year thereby increasing the maximum stay period for non-residents which is currently of 90 days. The visa will enable the beneficiary’s unrestricted capacity to move within the “Schengen” area.
- Obtain a new kind of two-years residence permit renewable for further terms of 2 years. This permit will not require the beneficiaries a minimum residence period in Spain of 183 days a year to renew it. This means that the holder of this permit may be authorized to maintain its tax residence outside Spain.
- The visa lasts one year then apply for further two, then further two to ensure property is still retained. Then after five years can apply unlimited.
- Citizenship and Spanish passport can be applied for after 10 years.
- All immediate family will qualify. ie + spouse + children.
LENGTH OF STAY
- There is no minimum stay requirement. In fact family could reside and the main earner be overseas. Children could reside at university for example.
- Multiple entry and re entry is allowed.
- Travel is permitted throughout the Schengen area of Europe.
The Golden Visa programme launched by the Portuguese Authorities is a fast track for investors to obtain a fully valid residency permit in Portugal and consequently free access to the vast majority of European countries (Schengen area).
Aimed at attracting foreign investment to Portugal, the Golden Visa is a very straightforward and flexible programme, with simple and clear legal requirements. With extremely reduced minimum stay requirements, the Golden Visa is clearly one of the most attractive residency programs for investors in the world.
ADVANTAGES AND BENEFITS OF THE PORTUGUESE GOLDEN VISA
- Straightforward and flexible investment requirements
- Extremely low minimum stay requirements – 7 days first year and 14 days following periods of 2 years
- Fully extensible to family members (with no further investment requirements)
- Freedom to travel to all European countries members of the Schengen area
- Possibility of Permanent Residency after 5 years and nationality after 6 years
- No limitations on ownership of the selected investment
- No limitation on subsequent investments or employment opportunities
- Very limited number of documents required
- Residency applications quickly processed
- Access to all Portuguese Public Services, including health and education
- Transfer of funds above € 1 million
- Purchase of property above € 500,000
- Creation of a minimum of 10 jobs
LEGAL REQUIREMENTS PROPERTY INVESTMENTS
- Minimum investment of € 500,000
- One or multiple properties
- All property types qualify
- Possibility of co-ownership
- Freedom to use, rent or lease
- Minimum investment of € 1 million
- Transfer of new funds to Portugal
- Funds transferred to a bank in Portugal
- Freedom to invest the fund’s
- Investment in company share possible
GENERAL REQUIREMENTS FOR ALL INVESTMENTS
- Creation of a minimum of 10 jobs
- No minimum investment value
- No limitation on areas/activities
- Compliance with Social Security obligations
- Possibility of grants/incentives/benefits
- Investment maintained for a minimum period of 5 years
- Funds for investment should come from abroad
- Residency application only approved after investment
- Entry in Portugal with a valid Schengen visa
- Absence of flags in Portuguese Immigration and Schengen services
- Absence of conviction of relevant crime
The application for the Golden Visa requires the investor to submit the following documentation as part of process:
- Proof of Investment
- Passport & Valid Schengen Visa
- Portuguese Fiscal number
- Criminal Record from country of residency
- Portuguese Criminal Record
- Declaration from the Tax Department proving the absence of debts to the Tax Authorities
- Declaration from Social Security proving the absence of debts to Social Security Authorities
- Declaration from the investor confirming compliance with the investment requirements
- Health Insurance valid in Portugal
- 2 passport-type pictures