Spain's Golden Visa Law

A businesswoman from Shanghai who spent 520,000 EUR on apartments in Barcelona and Madrid has become one of the first Chinese investors to gain a Golden Visa in accordance with the new so-called 'Golden Visa Law'

First Golden Visas Issued to Foreign Investors in Spain

A businesswoman from Shanghai who spent €520,000 on apartments in Barcelona and Madrid has become one of the first Chinese investors to gain a Golden Visa in accordance with the new so-called 'Golden Visa Law' that allows non-EU nationals the opportunity to apply for a Spanish residency visa if they invest €500,000 or more in Spanish property¹.

To guide her through the process, she invested her money via the 'Emigration Centre at Shanghai International Studies University (SISU), which has a programme to help Chinese nationals invest in residency schemes abroad'. The SISU was able to aid her bid for a residency visa by putting her in contact with a team of Spanish solicitors, who could be her legal counsel on matters of conveyancing and help her with any questions regarding residency.

According to statements made to the Spanish press, this firm expects that 'more than 100 operations of this kind' will be conducted in 2014: this number of applications for the visa would represent a value of more than €50 million to be invested in the Spanish economy.

And it certainly seems that interest in the Golden Visa is strong enough to make this prediction a reality. Figures published by the Spanish government indicate that around 661 residency visas or permits have been granted to non-EU national entrepreneurs and foreign investors in Spain since the inception of the law. Most frequently the permit has been requested by investors from China, Singapore, Japan, the United States and Russia, as well as South American countries and the Middle East². Such data certainly seems to suggest that the legislation is having the desired effect: encouraging foreign investment in Spain.

The number of enquiries about Spanish real estate and the level of interest of property in the country has also responded to the introduction of the legislation. Since the introduction of the Golden Visa Law, there has been a massive surge of interest in Spanish property from non-EU nationals looking to buy real estate abroad. Middle Eastern property hunters have shown the most interest in Spanish real estate as a result of the new law: figures show that Middle Eastern interest in Spanish property grew by around 2500% since its inception. Asian and Russian property hunters have also shown renewed interest in property in Spain since the new legislation was brought into effect: Russian interest in particular has grown by 190% since 2012.

As interest in Spanish real estate increases in response to the Golden Visa Law and investment is incentivised by the Golden Visa itself, property experts and the government alike are hopeful that the coming months will see further foreign property hunters invest their money in Spain, bolstering the Spanish property market and the economy as a whole.

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Sources

¹  'First Chinese Property Investors Get Their 'Golden Visas'' (18th February 2014), Spanish Property Insight.

²  'First months in force of the Golden Visa in Spain, new type of residence permit: an encouraging balance' (14th April 2014), GoldenVisa.net.

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