Spanish Residency FAQ
1. Can I request a mortgage on investing €500,000 in Spanish real estate?
Yes, but only for the excess above €500,000. The law only requires that the first €500,000 is unencumbered – meaning the equity threshold must be free. The excess can be indeed financed through a mortgage loan if necessary. What is important to understand is that the first half million euros must be mortgage-free. So an investor is expected to have the financial means to come up with these funds unassisted by a lender, whether national or foreign.
2. I have read that I need to spend in Spain more than six months to qualify for residency. Is this true?
Generally yes. However this new law specifically targets affluent individuals who will normally be residing elsewhere. The law purposely waives this requirement and only requires that a would-be investor has travelled to Spain at least once during the validity of the visa (and is able to support it through evidence). So residing six months is not necessary for the specific case of a so-called Golden Visa applicant. In fact, as can be surmised from what I’ve written, an applicant may be out of the country for more than six months and still be able to qualify for it. However if you are aiming for Spanish citizenship your main business interest must be located in Spain despite not having to reside in the country continuously for six months. Prolonged absences of over six months will not prejudice the right to attain permanent residency (five years onwards).
3. Can I attain permanent residency or even Spanish citizenship through this law?
Yes eventually, assisted by lawyers specialising in residency.
4. Does this law preclude pre-existing ways to apply for permanent residency?
No it doesn’t. Existing permits and procedures are still valid. This law is specifically tailored for affluent non-EU investors and basically helps to cut the red tape.
5. Is this proposal retro-active? I already have invested €500,000 (or more) in Spanish real estate. Can I still qualify?
No, sadly you cannot. The law came into force on the following day of being published in Spain’s Official Law Gazette (B.O.E.) which was on the 28th of September 2013. Any investment made prior to the said date will not qualify for the purposes of Law 14/2013.
6. Just the investor, or investor and family?
The law specifically requires that each applicant makes an investment. However a husband/wife and children under 18 can be considered included under the same application (art 62.4).
7. Are taxes included in the investment threshold?
Short answer is no i.e. you buy a new home for €460,000 plus 10% IVA = €506,000
The applicable VAT (€46,000) would not count towards being above the €500,000 threshold. So the application would be turned down on grounds of not meeting the threshold.
8. Do holders of the so-called Golden visa have unrestricted access to move within the European Union?
Holders of a Spanish Residence Permit will not require a visa to enter the Europe Schengen area. They can transit and enjoy free movement within the Schengen area for a maximum period of three months (90 days) per half-year from the date of first entry. However, please be advised that not all countries within the European Union are party to the Schengen Agreement i.e. the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland maintain opt-outs.
9 - How long do I have to stay in Spain?
With the golden visa, you only need to visit Spain once during each residency period.
10 - How long before I can get a Spanish passport?
As we interpret this new law, the golden visa will not get you on track to obtain a Spanish passport. To receive Spanish citizenship, you need to have lived to have lived in Spain 183 days per year for a minimum of 10 years. If after obtaining your golden visa, you decide you want to work towards citizenship, please talk to us.