Spain to End Golden Visa Programme

09 Apr 2024

Spain's Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, has committed to abolishing the 'golden visas' scheme, which allowed foreigners to acquire Spanish residency by purchasing properties worth €500,000 or more. This move impacts those considering moving to Spain, as it changes the pathway to residency in the country.

Under the previous Golden Visa system, non-nationals could secure a three-year residence permit, renewable for an additional two years, by investing at least €500,000 in Spanish property, not including any debts or mortgages. This provided a significant avenue for obtaining residency in Spain, particularly appealing to those looking to move to Spain.

Property Investment in Spain

The scheme also encompassed investments exceeding €1 million in shares or deposits of Spanish companies, or over €2 million in Spanish government bonds. This initiative was not just about real estate but also allowed investors to contribute to the Spanish economy in various ways while securing their residency.

Initiated in 2013 following the Euro crisis and a slump in the housing market, this programme aimed to revitalise Spain's property sector through foreign investment. The connection between property investment and residency in Spain was a key feature of this scheme, offering a clear path for those moving to Spain and looking to invest in the country's real estate market.

Moving to Spain

In a press conference in a suburb of Seville, Sanchez announced his government's intention to discontinue this policy. He noted that 94% of these visas were linked to property investments in major cities like Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, and Valencia, areas where the property market is under strain, affecting the process of moving to Spain.

The leader of the PSOE Socialists expressed, "We reject a speculative investment model in housing." This stance signifies a shift in how Spain views investment and residency, impacting individuals considering moving to Spain and the overall approach to tax in Spain for foreign investors.

Tax Considerations

In 2022, Spain issued 2,462 residency permits to investors for properties above €500,000, a 60% rise from the previous year, reaching a total of 11,464 individual visas and 19,805 for family reunification since the inception of the scheme. These figures highlight the scheme's popularity and its role in Spanish residency and tax considerations for foreigners.

Following the cancellation of similar schemes in Ireland, Portugal, and Greece due to concerns over housing affordability, Spain is now considering a similar move. However, some experts warn this could deter crucial investment from European neighbours into the Spanish economy, affecting the tax landscape in Spain and options for obtaining residency.

Residency Queries

For those with queries about Spanish residency, especially in light of these changes, it's important to stay informed about the evolving landscape of moving to Spain, the implications for tax in Spain, and the overall process of securing residency in the country.

The Gibro Group's independent associated businesses can advise on all aspects of residency, including schemes available in Gibraltar, which include CAT-2 status and HEPPS applications. 

To find out more, please do not hesitate to contact us further for a no-obligation discussion and quote.

David Revagliatte
Director of Marketing, Communications and Digital

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