The Golden Visa was launched amid high levels of interest in September 2013 as a way to help reactivate the Spanish economy by encouraging foreign investment. The Spanish newspaper El País has reported that the government is now studying the possibility of making modifications to the scheme in order to improve its efficacy.
So far 530 foreigners from outside the EU have used the programme in order to gain residency and 490 of those have done so by making their investment in a property worth over €500,000 and, although the government is relatively happy with the results so far, they believe that the scheme could be improved by making further changes.
As a result of the proposed changes, investors would be able to obtain residency for civil partners (no longer only spouses), children over the age of 18, and ascendants who are considered economically reliant on the investor. Also, the time period from the date of the investment within which one can claim the visa will be increased from 3 months to 1 year.
Another important change for those specifically looking to obtain the Golden Visa through a property purchase is that investors will not have to have completed the purchase in order to be able to claim the visa and will be able to do so with just the deposit contract having been signed and the funds having already been deposited.
The minimum stay requirement could also be abolished as it could be the case that a foreign investor may want to use the benefits of free movement within the Schengen visa area without visiting Spain. In addition to this, the time limit for renewals of the visa may be increased from 2 years to 5 years.
If implemented, these measures could make the Golden Visa an even more attractive opportunity for non-EU investors and may help further stimulate the luxury property sector in Spain. For information on our Golden Visa service, and to request more information on the services we offer Non-EU Buyers, please click here.