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The Golden Visa – of interest to non-EU buyers in the UK and abroad
For people outside the EU interested in buying a property, investing or indeed residing in Spain, the Golden Visa scheme offers a convenient way of acquiring legal status.
Before proceeding, we should define the Golden Visa as a path to obtaining Spanish residence for British and other non-EU citizens. The access and rights once granted to British subjects were withdrawn when the UK left the European Union along with the free movement of people within its boundaries; now effectively outside of this zone, the same rules broadly apply to them that also govern relations with the citizens of many other of the world’s nations. However, the Golden Visa offers a way of attaining residence rights and the ability to conveniently own property, invest in and also reside within Spain.
The main requirement to qualify for a Spanish Golden Visa is rather straightforward. One merely has to own a property within Spain with a minimum net value (excluding any charges) of €500,000. The second requirement is to be able to prove to the satisfaction of the country’s authorities that you have the means to support yourself in Spain without the need to work here, thus waving any responsibility of the state for your financial wellbeing. The aim of this is twofold:
1. To encourage investment in Spain
2. To ensure that any non-EU citizens residing in the country are financially independent
Where the person on whose behalf the application is made is a minor, it will have to be proven that he or she is economically supported by their parents, who will then have to qualify for the financial requirements.
The application process for the Spanish Golden Visa requires one to be physically present in the country, as your passport will have to contain a date stamp of entry. While a lawyer or gestor may submit the application on your behalf, you have to therefore be present during the process and up to its completion.
As is standard in such cases, a certain amount of documentation is required and has to be submitted in a specific manner. Some documents, such as your passport, will already be in your possession, while others will have to be requested in your home country in advance of your Golden Visa application in Spain. As these will be issued in your mother tongue, an official translation of all such documents by an accredited sworn translator will have to be prepared in Spain before submitting both sets (the original and translated versions) for scrutiny. Make sure you have both the original versions and copies available. Your lawyer or gestor will be able to assist you with all of this.
Moreover, all documents have to be legalised and bear the Apostille of The Hague – and remain valid for only three months from the date of issue.
The documents needed for your Golden Visa application are:
• Passport and copies of all its pages (including blank ones)
• Non-criminal record certificate
• An updated marriage certificate (if applicable)
Documents to be requested in Spain:
Health Insurance in Spain
Proof of valid full health coverage, and if this needs to be contracted through a health insurance company the lawyer or gestor will be able to assist.
Certificate issued by the Land Registry
This certificate confirms that a Spanish property is registered in your name with the Land Registry, and that it is owned by you free of outstanding charges or encumbrances. This too can be obtained on your behalf by your appointed lawyer.
Bank Certificate – in your home country
This certificate documents the current balance of your account in your home country, as well as its average annual balance. In addition you will be required to provide an extract of bank account movements going back six months from the date of application. Both these documents need to clearly identify the holder of the account and the matching account number, so as to confirm that it is indeed your account and your money.
Spanish Bank Certificate
The above also applies for your Spanish account, with which a lawyer or gestor can once again be of assistance.
Proof of travel
This usually entails flight tickets to enter and leave Spain, with the latter dated after the submittal of the application for a Spanish Golden Visa.
Once all the above documentation has been correctly compiled and submitted, the Spanish government has 21 days to respond with a definitive answer. If your application is successful, you will have to come to Spain within around a month of a positive decision to have your fingerprints taken at police headquarters.
You will then receive the Residence Card approximately six weeks later, and again, it has to be collected in person.
Length of Validity
From the moment it is granted, the Spanish Golden Visa is valid for a period of two years, after which it should be a formality to be renewed and extended for periods of five years at a time, until one ultimately becomes eligible for indefinite residency status.