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Visas For Members

Spain's soon-to-end golden visa: Can I still apply and what if I have it already?

Esme Fox
Esme Fox - [email protected]
Spain's soon-to-end golden visa: Can I still apply and what if I have it already?
Spain's soon-to-end golden visa. Photo: thibaultjugain / Pixabay

Last April, Spain's government said it intends to axe its property-based golden visa scheme, but is it too late still apply, how long does it take and what happens if you have the visa already? The Local spoke to an immigration lawyer to find out.

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The golden visa programme, also known as the visado de residencia para inversores in Spanish, grants non-EU nationals residency in Spain when they buy a property in Spain worth €500,000. 

It can also be obtained by investing €1 million in shares in Spanish companies, or €2 million in government bonds, or having transferred €1 million to a Spanish bank account. 

In early April, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced he was axing the property-based golden visa, although there's no new law in place yet.

READ MORE: What the end of Spain's golden visa means for foreigners

More recently the government’s junior coalition party Sumar had said that they have now filed an official bill in the hope they can scrap it as soon as possible.

Sumar spokesperson Íñigo Errejón told journalists that the visas are a privilege that must be scrapped "immediately" because they have an inflationary effect on the housing market.

All of this means that those still interested in still getting the visa are confused. They don’t know when the scheme will end, if they still have time to send in applications and what will happen to those who are already in the process of applying.

In order to help answer some of these pressing questions, The Local Spain contacted María Luisa De Castro from CostaLuz Lawyers in to find out more. 

Q: When will the Golden Visa scheme officially end?

A: “The exact date for the official end of the Golden Visa scheme has not been fully detailed yet. Initially, changes would be implemented in the near future, potentially within the next few months. Some optimists believe it might be a bluff by the government and that it may not be implemented after all.”

READ MORE: When will Spain's golden visa scheme officially end?

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Q: Has the process of applying changed?

A: “As of now, the process remains unchanged, so it’s exactly the same as before.”

 

Q: Can people still apply for now?

A: “Applications are still being accepted. However, given the recent announcement, it is advisable for prospective applicants to act swiftly.”

 

Q: What will happen if I’m in the middle of the application process?

A: “For those currently in the middle of the application process, their applications will still be processed under the existing rules. Once the new regulations come into effect, it will very likely come with some transitional provisions to handle ongoing applications.”

 

Q: What about those who want to invest instead of buy a property?

A: “The visa remains available for other investment options such as investments in companies, public debt, etc.”

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Q: What if I already have the golden visa through property investment, will I be able to renew it in the future?

A: “Our opinion (and that is what we will defend) is that renewal rights are acquired when the visa is granted and therefore cannot be subsequently reduced, as this would constitute a retroactive limitation of individual rights. The Spanish Constitution prohibits retroactive application of laws that are not favourable or that restrict individual rights once they have been acquired.”

Q: How quickly can I get the golden visa?

A: This depends on where you apply from. According to the CostaLuz Lawyers, if you’re applying outside the countryYou should apply at least 90 days before you plan to travel to Spain”. If you’re inside Spain, you can apply through the Unidad de Grandes Empresas. This could take anywhere between 20 and 60 days.

CostaLuz Lawyers argue that it’s not necessary to wait until the property purchase has gone through, that you can apply with your initial contract or a statement from your bank in Spain, certifying that you have deposited at least €500,000.

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