Golden Visa: Spanish for the grace of the brick

This year more than 2,000 foreigners will become Spanish residents almost at the same time they sign their property purchase contract. With a minimum of half a million euros in residential investments, a non-EU citizen can obtain a Spanish passport: a great advantage for those who want to live in the sun or transit through the European Union freely.
Since 2013, Spain has in force the so-called “golden visa program”, a procedure that grants a quick residency for non-EU people with a special talent or who invest a minimum of 500,000 euros in the real estate sector. According to data from the State Secretariat of Commerce, in 2016, 2,236 people have benefited from this visa program, with 2,157 million euros in investment, three times the money invested in the first year of the program.
Chinese and Russian citizens are the main applicants to this fast track towards Spanish residence, which over time can be translated into the granting of Spanish citizenship. In the Chinese case, this type of dual nationality has served in the past for the exit of the so-called “hot money”, capital that the wealthiest Chinese take out of the country to avoid controls in operations such as gambling in casinos and reduce risks.
The good reception that the “golden visa” program has had, is leading real estate and legal advisory companies to offer information services for those who want to bring their money to Spain, buy a home and at the same time apply for Spanish residence.
The Spanish real estate sector shows clear signs of recovery, the Spanish residential sector is particularly attractive for young families and retirees from non-EU countries, as they can easily access Spanish schools, universities and the health system.
Investors who want to open their way to becoming Spaniards by the grace of the brick now benefit, in addition, from a rising real estate market, which also allows easy rental of property in tourist areas, which lowers the financial threshold for those who want to make the leap.
*This is a translation from the original IDEALISTA in Spanish by Next Door Bcn*
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