It’s looking more and more likely that a Brexit deal will be passed by the upcoming 31st January deadline, but if you are concerned about no-deal – or if you are buying from outside the EU – you will be pleased to know that Spain runs a successful residency-by-investment programme, or ‘golden visa’.

Portugal’s golden visa might be better known, but it’s not alone. Spain offers a five-year residency to any qualifying applicant from any country in the world, regardless of not being in the EU – after which, if you meet certain conditions, you could convert it to citizenship. As a resident, you also have access to the entire Schengen Agreement area. This week, we’re looking at how it works, who can apply and what you get in more detail.

Who can apply for the Spanish golden visa?

Nationals of any non-EU country can apply for a golden visa in Spain (EU nationals technically can’t, as they already have the right to residency). You need to be over 18 and not have a criminal record during the last five years. You’ll also need to be able to show that you have sufficient means to support yourself and your family while you’re living in Spain, and that you have access to either private or public healthcare.

How do you get a Spanish golden visa?

So, if you meet the basic personal requirements, then it’s time to investigate your options for actually getting the visa. There are a few pricey pathways, including investing €1,000,000 in Spanish shares or depositing that amount in a Spanish bank account, but the most popular choice is by investing €500,000 – in other words, by buying a €500,000 home.

If you buy a property worth more than €500,000, you can take out a mortgage on that amount, but the original half a million needs to be ‘unencumbered’ (so it is entirely funded in cash). Note also that the €500,000 doesn’t include IVA – it must be that amount plus IVA (Spanish value-added tax).

What are the benefits of a Spanish golden visa?

Once your application is approved, you will gain one-year residency in Spain, without the need for a job offer – ideal if you want to move for retirement, or to live for part of the year. You can renew this residency indefinitely (as a formality, as long as you still meet the personal requirements) once every two years. You only need to visit Spain once, and you don’t need to actually live there afterwards. In other words, you could buy your property and rent it out as an investment opportunity, and then even use your residency to go elsewhere within the Schengen zone.

Another big plus of the Spanish golden visa is that your family (your spouse and any children under 18) can also claim residency through you. In other words, you could also give your children under 18 access to an excellent education and lifestyle in Spain, all for the purchase price equivalent to that of a small apartment in many of the world’s major cities.

Make your move to Spain as smooth as possible and learn how to find your dream home with expert advice in our comprehensive, free Spain Buying Guide.

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