Latest Update on Spanish Golden Visa
The latest data until October 2015 regarding the evolution of the Spanish Golden Visa granted to investors show that up to this date a total of 11,411 authorizations were processed. Concessions to foreign investors buying property were 1,141, 17.4% of the total, according to the ministry. However this type of visa, granted for buying property above 500,000 euros, represents the biggest investor level, adding 820.29 million euros. Russian and Chinese lead the market, with 34% and 30%, respectively. In 2014, Russians spent an average of 880,000 euros, while the amount from Chinese citizens was 645,000 euros.
Housing investment has also improved because now, amongst other things, the presence of the visa applicant is not required if they have a representative in Spain, neither for the initial grant nor for the renewal. Also, the holder of this permit may maintain their fiscal residence outside Spain, unless they stay more than 183 days a year in Spain. Most of the investors are heading for the coast, which is split by areas of preference; Russian buy mostly in Alicante, Valencia is the favourite destination of Chinese, the Costa del Sol is preferred by the Arab community and Latin American investors opt more for the Canary Islands, especially Venezuelans.
Many of the people that are applying already know Spain as a holiday destination or retirement. They are planning to have a permanent residence because they are in love with the country but also because it gives them access to other EU states. Also, the fact that it only takes about two months to fix all the paperwork and that they don`t need to prove a minimum stay to maintain the visa are contributing factors.
The income proof required by law must show financial resources of 2,130 euros per month for the Golden Visa applicant, plus 532 euros for each family member, as well as proof of a private health insurance. Since the law does not specify that the investment must be of a certain type of property, in addition to housing, investors can also buy rustic plots or even hotel rooms.
The remaining residence permits granted are linked to the entry of highly skilled professionals, researchers and entrepreneurs, representing the importing of talent to the Spanish economy. According to the Ministry of Economy, visas issued to highly skilled professionals have accounted for 39% of total approvals, while those granted for intra-company transfers were 1,815 and accounted for 27.6%.
Visas relating to the entry of researchers and workers who come to train to Spain amounted to 872 visas and 165, respectively, 13.3% and 2.5% of the total. The Ministry of Economy estimated investment for the granting of such authorizations in 376.57 million euros, while they could generate 10,199 jobs.
Latest figures also show that 12,915 permits have been issued in November 2015, 6,565 for skilled workers, students and professionals, and 6,350 for their relatives.
Spain, in any case, is still trying to attract foreign capital, especially from China. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has announced that this month twelve offices receiving requests for Schengen visas (short-term, with a maximum duration of 90 days per semester) will be opened in the cities of Chengdu, Jinan, Hangzou, Nanjing , Fuzhou, Changsha, Shenyang, Kunmig, Chongqing, Xian and Shenzhen. The government hopes to get more visitors and tourists, businessmen and Chinese investors to Spain, which would have a “very positive impact” on bilateral economic flow.