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April 1, 2024
6 min

Spain Residence by Investment for US Citizens: Complete Guide

Kenley Henderson

Quality and relatively cheap health care, a pleasant climate, and a rich cultural heritage attract cosmopolitans from all over the world to Spain.

Americans are not an exception. According to the statistics, the number of US citizens living in Spain has been growing constantly since 2019. About 42 thousand American expats resided in Spain in 2022.

However, the Spain Golden Visa application process is quite tedious. No worries — this article gives you an ultimate guide to Spain Golden Visa for US citizens.

Spain Residence by Investment for US Citizens: Complete Guide

Spain Residence by Investment for US Citizens: Complete Guide

Spain Golden Visa: an Overview

The government of Spain established the Spanish Golden Visa program in 2013 to boost investment in the country’s economy. From that time till November 2022, Spain granted 5,000 resident permits to investors.

The European Union harshly criticises Golden Visa programs, so prosperous individuals are rushing to obtain Spanish Golden Visa before it is closed, or the government may increase the investment amount from 500,000 to 1 million.

In 2022, as a result, 2,462 investors got residence permit cards for their contributions to Spain’s economy. It is almost half of the total number of granted residence permits for investment since 2013. The interest in a Spanish Golden Visa has never been a surprise as it gives its holder many opportunities.

Benefits of Spain Golden Visa

Let’s consider the main advantages of the Spain Investor Visa.

Residence permit for an investor and his entire family. An investor can include in the application his spouse or an unmarried partner, unmarried dependent children, and other hanging-on investor relatives in the ascending line.

Creating a “safe haven”. A foreigner with a Spanish residence permit can enter Spain even if the borders are closed.

Visa-free travelling. Globetrotting will be more accessible with a residence permit card acquired by investing in the Spanish economy. As a Spanish resident, an investor can travel freely across the Schengen zone and stay in any European country for over 90 days within half a year.

Access to high-standard education and healthcare. With a residence in Spain, the investor and his family become eligible for the educational and medical systems of the country, both public and private.

The right to work and do business in Spain. Unlike the other Golden Visa programs, a Spain Investor Visa allows its holders to work and run a business in Spain.

No requirements for residing or language proficiency. The investor doesn’t have to stay in Spain or prove language skills to maintain the status of a resident. It is necessary to visit the country just to prolong the residence permit card.

EU citizenship in ten years. After ten years of residing in Spain, the investor can become a citizen of the country. A Spanish passport allows one to enter 125 countries visa-free and 42 with a visa on arrival.

Wide range of investment options. Spain offers six investment options to the participants of the Golden Visa program. Some countries don’t allow the program participants to choose how to invest money or make the investors choose between non-refundable contributions or bonds.

Investment Options for Spain Golden Visa

The Spain Golden Visa program investment options start from €500,000 for real estate purchases. There are six ways of getting Spain permanent residence by investment.

Buying real estate. An investor can purchase residential or commercial property for at least €500,000 or about $530,000. An applicant for a Spain Golden Visa has to buy one or several property objects to become a Spanish resident.

Unlike other countries that offer Golden visas, Spain allows investors to rent out their bought property. They are even allowed to sell it.

Three options require investment of €1,000,000 or $1,060,000:

  • opening a deposit in a Spain bank;

  • purchase of Spanish companies’ stocks or shares;

  • investment in Spanish funds.

Purchase of government bonds. Investment in public debt securities demands at least 2 million euros or around $2,120,000.

Business investment isn’t supposed to have any minimum investment. The business project in which the investor contributes his money must create jobs, affect the geographical area where it is carried out positively or contribute to science or technology.

Spain Golden Visa Requirements for US Citizens

The investor has to be:

  • not from the EU, EEA or Switzerland;

  • over 18 years old;

  • with no criminal record or debts in Spain;

  • with a capital earned outside Spain.

The investor can include his family members in the application. The following members can be added:

  • the investor’s spouse or an unmarried partner;

  • children under 18 and unmarried adult children financially dependent on the investor;

  • the investor’s relatives in the ascending line are in the investor’s care.

To apply for a Spain Golden Visa, an investor must prove a regular income source. The least required sum equals 400% of Spain’s Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator (IPREM), around $32,000. For each family member included in the application, the investor proves 100% of the IPREM, which is about $8,000.

The investor also pays fees for processing the application. The visa fee is $190 for U.S. citizens.

The investor also pays taxes associated with different investment options. For example, when buying property, it is necessary to pay VAT and stamp duty if the property unit is residential and purchased on the primary market.

How to Apply for a Spanish Golden Visa by Purchasing Property

To apply for a Spain Golden Visa is possible in the Consular Office. My Golden Visa lawyers accompany our clients from the beginning of the application process to the moment they receive their residence permit card. The application process consists of 4 steps we’ll help you to take.

1

1—2 days

Preliminary Due Diligence

Before signing a contract with our clients, we carry out a preliminary Due Diligence check. It is a confidential assessment run by a special Anti Money Laundering Officer, which allows for reducing the risk of refusal to 1%.

To pass such a preliminary check, an investor provides a passport.

2

1—4 months

Purchasing real estate

Our real estate specialists help an investor to choose a property unit or several ones to buy. An investor may choose real estate remotely via the photos and videos of the objects or in person, having come to Spain.

An applicant grants our lawyer in Spain power of attorney so that the lawyer can act on the client’s behalf.

In Spain, the lawyer receives an individual taxpayer number for the investor, checks the chosen property, and prepares a sale and purchase agreement that the investor or the lawyer signs.

After signing the agreement, the lawyer submits it to the Land Registry and receives an ownership certificate for the investor.

3

3—5 weeks

Gathering the documents for the application

While buying real estate, the lawyer and the investor prepare the documents for a Spain Golden Visa application.

The whole list of necessary documents for an investor is:

1. National visa application form duly filled and signed by the investor.

2. A photo taken recently, passport size and colour.

3. A passport valid for at least 1 year after the application. It must contain biometric data and two blank pages. The consular doesn’t accept passports issued more than ten years ago.

4. The investor’s certificate from the Land Registry is issued no more than 90 days from the date of application.

5. A bank statement proving a sufficient amount of money of about $32,000 for the investor and $8,000 for each dependent.

6. A criminal record check certificate issued by the U.S. Department of Justice — Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

7. Health insurance certificate.

8. Proof of legal residing in a consular district, e.g. U.S. driving license, state ID or university student ID.

9. Proof of the representative’s of the investor identity and capacity is needed in case the lawyer submits the documents.

10. The receipt proving that the visa fee is paid.

The documents for additional applicants include all the papers mentioned above except the investor’s certificate and a bank statement. Parents sign minors’ visa applications. Required documents for family members also include:

  • documents proving family relationship with an investor, such as birth or marriage certificates for children and spouses and any documents proving an unregistered partnership in case the couple isn’t married;

  • adult children have to provide documents which prove their financial dependence on the investor and their civil status;

  • dependent relatives in the ascending line must submit the documents proving they are in the investor’s care.

The lawyer translates all the documents into Spanish, fills out the forms, and helps pay fees and taxes.

The program supposes that at the moment of application, the investor and his family are already in Spain, so that they can enter the country with a Schengen or other type of visa. The lawyer applies online on behalf of the investor.

Then, the investor and his family submit their fingerprints at the police station.

4

Up to 20 days

Getting residence permit cards

The period for reaching a decision is 10 days after the application date, but this period can be extended when additional documents are necessary.

The investor collects the residence permit card in person at the police station in Spain accompanied by the lawyer.

The Period of Validity of the Spain Golden Visa

The Investor Visa is granted for a year. It accredits residence in Spain during its validity period, making obtaining a Foreign Identity Card unnecessary. However, the investor may apply for this card and renew it after it expires.

How to Get Spain Citizenship by Investment

There is no direct route to becoming a citizen of Spain by investment, but the Spain Golden Visa grants a person Spain residency, which can be renewed every year. To obtain Spanish citizenship and become an EU national, a resident must live in the country for ten years before applying.

With a Spanish passport, one can enter 125 countries visa-free and 43 states with a visa on arrival, access the European healthcare system and high-standard education, and enjoy 3084 miles of Spanish coastline with 629 Blue Flag Beaches.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How much money does one need to get a Golden Visa in Spain?

    The investment amount in Spain Golden Visa starts from €500,000 in real estate. There are five more investment options: opening a deposit in a Spanish bank, investing in stocks, shares or Spanish funds, purchase of government bonds and business investment.

  • Is Spain Golden Visa worth it?

    Spain Golden Visa grants its holders opportunities to create a “safe haven” for themselves and their families, provides access to high standard European healthcare and education, travel freely within the Schengen area, work and run a business in Spain and obtain EU citizenship in ten years.

  • Can I get residency in Spain if I buy a house?

    To get Spain residency, an investor has to buy a commercial or residential real estate for at least €500,000. Unlike in other Golden Visa programs, the owner can rent out and sell the property. There are no special requirements for the number of property units for purchasing: it can be one object or more.

  • How long can I stay in Spain if I own a property?

    The Spain Golden Visa obtained by property purchase lets the investor and his family stay in the country for a year. After the visa validity period has expired, the residence permit can be renewed.

  • How to get residency in Spain?

    There are a lot of ways to get residency in Spain. One of the fast tracks to residence is the Spain Golden Visa. Six investment options start from €500,000. To meet the program’s requirements, an investor has to make a significant contribution to the Spanish economy and prove an annual income of $32,000.

  • Who can be included in the application for a Spain Golden Visa apart from the investor?

    The investor can include these family members in the application: his spouse or unmarried partner, children under 18 years old and dependent on the investor, and adult children who have not created a family unit. The investor’s relatives in the ascending line, who are in the investor’s care, can also be added to the application.

    To include family members in the application, the investor must provide documents proving family relationships, such as birth or marriage certificates for children and spouses and any documents proving an unregistered partnership in case the couple isn’t married. Adult children and dependent relatives must provide documents proving their financial dependence on the investor.

  • How long is the residence permit acquired via Spain Golden Visa valid?

    The investor visa is valid for one year. There is no need for the investor to obtain a residence permit card. However, the investor may get this card to renew it when it expires.

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