With effect from the 29th of July, 2015, an important modification on the Spanish Golden Visa (Act 14/2013 of support to entrepreneurs and their internationalization. Section on international mobility) was approved. The modification until now has largely gone unnoticed.

The Act corrects some of the issues that until now have discourage foreign investment and puts Spain at the head of the most advantageous options on the global scene in relation to conditions for obtaining Golden Visa or Investor.

The new regulation facilitates people traveling, residing and working in Spain (art. 65. “The issuance of an investor residence visa shall be legally sufficient to reside and work in Spain during its validity”), who intend to carry out an initial investment with a value equal to or greater than:

  1. -The acquisition of real estate in Spain with an investment value equal to or greater than EUR 500,000 per applicant.
  2. – EUR 1,000,000 in bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions.
  3. – EUR 1,000,000 in  investment  funds,  closed-end  investment  funds  or venture capital funds constituted in Spain, included within the scopeof application of Act 35/2003 regarding Collective Investment Institutions or of Act 22/2014, which regulates venture capital entities, other closed-end collective investment entities  and  the  management  companies of  closed-end collective investment entities, which amends Act 35/2003.
  4. – EUR 1,000,000 in company shares or stock of Spanish capital companies that maintain an actual business activity.
  5. – EUR 2,000,000 in Spanish public debt securities.
  6. – A business project intended to be carried out in Spain that is has been deemed and proven to be of general interest, being necessary to be considered as such the fulfilment of at least one of the following conditions:

1) The creation of jobs, or
2) Making an investment with relevant socio-economic impact in the geographic area in which the activity will be carried out, or
3) A relevant contribution to scientific and/or technological innovation.

It shall also be understood that a foreign national applying for a visa has made a significant capital investment when the investment is carried out by a legal person established in a territory that is not considered a tax haven under Spanish law and on which the foreign national directly or indirectly holds the majority of the voting rightsand has the power to appointor dismiss the majority of the board of directors.

If the investment is carried out by persons in a community property marriage or similar situation and the amount does not reach, at least, twice the thresholds, it shall be considered that it has been made by one of the spouses and the other may apply for a residence visa as family member under the terms established in the law.

Other important aspects regard who can requested the visa along together with the applicant: the spouse or person with an analogous affective relationship, children who are minors or those of legal age who, being financially dependent on the holder, have not formed a family unit for themselves and the parents in their charge, who accompany or join the foreign nationals, may apply, jointly and simultaneously or successively, for an authorization and, if applicable, a visa.

Investment Residency Visa and Investment Residency Permit

The Act has created two types of documents that make it possible to enter and reside in Spain: the Residency Visa and the Residency Permit.

The Residency Visa is valid for between 1 and 5 years (“the validity period of this visa and the length of the authorized stay will be decided on the basis of the examination conducted pursuant to Article 21 of Regulation (EC) 810/2009, of the European Parliament and of the Council, of 13 July 2009”, and the initial investor residence permit will have a length of validity of two years. Once this time period has expired, those foreign investors wishing to reside in Spain for a longer period of time may apply for the renewal of the residence permit for successive five year periods, provided the conditions generating the right are maintained. This is an important distinction because 5 years of continued residency entitles the beneficiary to reside permanently in Spain.

Another advantage, which also will be a differentiator over existing regulations in other countries, is the abolition of the requirement until now contained in art. 66.2.b) that required that a person “has traveled to Spain at least once during the period authorized to reside” so that there is no longer an obligation to visit Spain even for one day in order to apply for or renew residence.

In addition,the initial investor residence permit will have a length of validity of two years. Once this time period has expired, those foreign investors wishing to reside in Spain for a longer period of time may apply for the renewal of the residence permit for successive five-year periods, provided the conditions generating the right are maintained.

Another novelty is the possibility of obtaining a visa or provisional authorization for 6 months forthe  foreign  national, who has  not completed the  purchase  of a property  or properties but for which there is a pre-contract with enforcement guarantee, such as a deposit or any other means permitted by law formalized in a public deed. In such case the applicant can submit, together with compliance with the requirements indicated in the Act, the pre-contract with guarantee together with a certificate from a financial institution established in Spain stating that the applicant has a non-accessible bank deposit with the amount necessary

for the acquisition, fulfilling the agreed contract of the indicated property or properties, including encumbrances and taxes. The amount of the deposit can only be used for the final purchase of the property or properties indicated in the pre-contract. In this case the  interested  party may receive  an  investor residence permit  with  a maximum validity of 6 months.

If the effective purchase of the property or properties indicated is completed, the interested party may apply for an investor residence permit. General requirements for stay or residence or work:

a) Not be in Spain in an irregular situation.
b) Be over 18 years of age.
c) Have no criminal record in Spain or in the countries in which the applicant has resided for the past five years, for criminal offenses defined in the relevant Spanish legislation.
d) Not be subject to an alert issued for the purposes of refusing entry in the territorial space of countries with which Spain has signed an agreement in this regard.
e) Have a public or private health insurance policy with an insurance company authorized to operate in Spain.
f) Have sufficient financial resources for himself/herself and for the members of his/her family during residence in Spain.
g) Have paid the visa or authorization processing fee.

It is possible to request it directly here in Spain as long as the investor residence permit applicantis legally in Spainand not in possession of an investor residence visa, he/she shall also certify, in addition to compliance with the above general requirements stipulated, the implementation of a significant capital investment pursuant.

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