Do you need a Golden Visa?

The Spanish program called the Golden Visa offers a real estate investment in order to reside freely in Spain. This program in Spain is working since September 2013. Although the Golden Visa program it’s flexible in terms of the family options it offers, it’s quite restrictive regarding the route to citizenship. The government fees are low and the process is quick so it’s perfect for those who want to live in Spain but not so much for the ones that need a second passport.

Which is the best way to obtain the Golden Visa? We will explain every single one of the steps that you should take to get the Golden Visa below. Since the law of “golden visa” was approved in Spain, we have been receiving lots of questions and inquiries.

How to get the Golden Visa step by step

What is the Golden Visa?

The Spanish residency permits or “golden visa” program is the Spanish law that aims to encourage foreign investors to invest in the country.  This means that any eligible foreign investor who can invest at least 500.000 € in real state, is offered a quick and easy way to reside in Spain.

Is it permanent?

Yes, eventually. Permanent residence is a step-by-step process, although it has been greatly simplified with the entry into force of the new law. If you are planning to invest, the first step must take is acquiring a residence visa that is valid for a maximum of one year.

After this, the second step is to apply for a 2-year residence permit which can be renewed every two years (as long as your investment still stands). If you have spent at least 6 months in Spain each year, after 5 years you will be able to apply for a permanent residence of 5 years and after 10 years you can even request the Spanish nationality.

When do I need it?

The Golden visa for Spain is directed toward non-EU investors. If you live outside the EU, a Spanish residence permit is a very easy way to get free travel rights within the EU, without having to spend too many days residing in the country.

What are the main benefits of the Golden Visa?

Obtaining a Spanish residence permit provides you several advantages. In general, many red tapes are eliminated. Some of the most important benefits about obtaining a Golden Visa in Spain are:

  • Entry into Spain and the other 26 EU countries (Schengen zone)
  • You only have to visit Spain once a year so you can keep the permit and you still don’t need to stay for a long time.
  • The permit can be easily renewed every two years.
  • The right to work as an employer or employee it is guaranteed once you get a 2-year permit.
  • Can be applied to the applicant’s direct family

What about taxes?

When you buy a property and obtain a residence permit in Spain, you will be subjected to some type of tax. What kind of tax and how much will depend on the time you spent in Spain during the year? If you stay in Spain for more than 6 months, you are considered as a Spanish resident and your assets and income worldwide will be taxed in Spain. However, if you have planned to stay for a shorter time, you just have to pay taxes on the initial purchase of your real estate and, thereafter, on the value of your assets in Spain.

What are the requirements to obtain a Spanish residence permit (Golden visa)?

As mentioned at the beginning, if you want to gain a golden visa for Spain, you must first apply for a one-year residency visa by making any of the following investments:

  • 500.000 euros investment in properties from Spain. It can be one or more properties of any type.
  • One million euros investment in bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions.
  • One million euros investment in Spanish companies shares.
  • An investment of two million euros in Spanish Public Debt.
  • Start a business project in Spain of general interest in order to create employment and contribute to technological and/or scientific innovation. If not, it has to have a socio-economic impact at the local level.
  • Criminal record
  • Health insurance
  • Sufficient economic means to cover any stay in Spain

After getting a 1-year residency visa, you are able to apply for a 2-year residence permit. To do this, you have to fulfil the following requirements:

  • The investment you made to obtain the Golden residence visa must be in effect.
  • Have travelled at least one time to Spain during the year before the application.


Attorney’s fees will be applied for processing the Golden visa for the applicant and his family. These rates will vary depending on the composition of the family and the situation. We recommend providing around 8.000 euros for a family application. In addition, a government processing fee of 70 euros per applicant is applied.

To purchase of real estate in Spain attracts certain taxes, stamp duties and fees. We recommend to investors a budget of about 11-12% in total, being VAT the main element. Besides this, you can find transfer fees, which usually are around 1.0% of the purchase price of the property.

Where can I apply the Golden Visa?

You can apply for the initial residence of the visa at the nearest Spanish Consulate in your country. You can do it yourself, but if you can’t attend personally, sometimes it’s possible to take care of the matter through a representative, depending on the consulate.

What documents are needed for a Real Estate Investor Visa?

To prove that you have invested 500.000 euros or more to complete the application for the Spanish residence permit some documents are needed. Make sure you have it:

  • A presentation in the Land Registry (certificate) or notary deeds and proof that those deeds have been submitted in the Land Registry.
  • A valid passport for at least one more year
  • Two photographs
  • Financial solvency test
  • If your spouse applies: a marriage certificate
  • If your children apply: birth certificates
  • Proof of valid health insurance in Spain
  • Proof that you have no criminal record

How long does it take?

The Spanish investor residence permit has been designed with the aim to open the way for non-EU investors. Therefore, obtaining a gold visa in Spain is processed relatively quickly. The residence of the visa will be resolved in 10 working days. After that, you can immediately apply for the Spanish residence permit of 2 years or wait for the expiration of the 1-year visa to request it.

The application for the 2-year residence permit should be delivered to an Immigration Office in Madrid and the process takes 20 days.

Others visits and residence permits os the Golden Visa

If you don’t have the requirements to obtain a gold visa, you should know that there are other ways to access Spain, either as a tourist or to live in Spain. Most non-EU foreigners who make real estate investments in Spain usually get a multi-entry tourist visa or, if they want to live in Spain, a non-profit residence. Finally, for those who want to start a business, they can apply for an entrepreneur’s residency.

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