Spain attracts thousands of foreigners year after year. We are talking about foreigners who just wish to visit the country for a couple of weeks , while others want to settle in and start their new life in a new country. Then, of course, one question arises: how can I do it from a legal standpoint? How can I get residency?
The Spanish immigration law offers many alternatives for that, and the answer is not always easy. Many expats who are aware of the residency programs in other European countries wonder if you can get the residency in Spain after buying a property.
Undoubtedly that would be an ideal path, as it is usually the one with fewer legal requirements. In this article we will solve this doubt with all the related details.
Yes, you can get residency in Spain after buying a house, and that is thanks to the golden visa scheme.
Since 2013, non-EU citizens who purchase a property in the Spanish territory can get a 2-year residence permit (that can be renewed) as long as the property investment is at least € 500.000.
Some important facts about this procedure.
First, we must stress the fact that you can’t use a mortgage to finance the purchase (or at least not for the first 500.000€), and that the property must be free of encumbrances.
On the other hand, those 500k don’t need to come from one individual source. You could purchase a property and a garage (for example), and as long as the sum of both amounts is higher than 500.000€, the residency would be yours.
Therefore, after investing that minimum amount in the country, you will be able to start the application process for your legal residency, something that you can do directly from Spain after entering the country as a tourist (you will have a total of 3 months to buy the house and apply for this residency).
As we will now see, apart from the real estate one, are other available investment opportunities that would grant you this same permit.
Main advantages of the residency for real estate buyers
This special type of permit was created with the main goal to attract foreign investment to the country. Hence, it offers a wide range of advantages when compared to the rest of the Spanish permits:
- It offers a fast-track resolution. As you can apply for this visa directly from Spain during your 3 months as a tourist, the application process is quite straightforward, being able to obtain a positive response in less than 25-30 days
- This residency will grant you the possibility to legally live and work in the country, as it implicitly has a work permit
- You can easily include your relatives in your application and move to Spain with your family (and they will get their residency too simply because you, the main applicant, met all the requirements)
- Opposite to the vast majority of permits in the country that are granted for 1 year, the residency for real estate buyers is granted for 2 (and once that period is finished, you can renew it as long as you keep your investment in the country)
- Years under this visa count towards permanent residency (which can be obtained after 5 years in the country) and towards Spanish citizenship (after 10)
- In order to renew the golden visa, you will just need to visit the country once per year. There is no need to stay for a long period of time or become a resident (something that is required for the other permits)
- Finally, you will be allowed to freely move within the Schengen Area
Do you have any doubts so far? Keep reading for more information or ask anything to our lawyers here:
Which are the main requirements?
First and foremost, the most crucial requirement you must meet for a successful application is to demonstrate the real estate investment.
That is done through the certificate of ownership from the Land Registry, and the deed supporting the purchase of the property or properties. You can find more information about how the property purchasing property works in Spain here.
Even though the most common path is buying a property (as then the required investment amount is lower, 500.000€) there are also other options as buying shares of a Spanish company or purchasing Spanish debt.
Nevertheless, then the minimum investment rises to over 1 million euros.
On the other hand, we find some extra requirements; even though those are really attainable.
If you want to get residency after buying a property, you will have to hire private health insurance with a Spanish company. Usually costs range between 50 and 70€ per month, even though you may find discounts for families.
Also, you will have to submit your criminal records certificate, showing an absence of entries.
Bear in mind that all foreign documents must be legalized and legally translated into Spanish.
The process is divided into 2 different steps: applying for your visa/residency, and then obtaining your residency card.
In that sense, within the first step, you have 2 different options to complete the application process. No matter which of the 2 options you choose, the process will always start with the property purchase:
Apply for a visa from your country of origin
While still being in your country of origin, the first option you have is to request a visa, which would be granted for one year.
Once you obtain this visa, you will be able to travel to Spain, where you are allowed to change this 1-year visa into a 2-year residence permit.
Apply for a residence permit, directly from Spain
On the other hand, you can also request this investment residency while already being in Spain (as a tourist, with a student visa, or with any other residence permit), without requesting the visa beforehand at the consulate.
This is something that we recommend, as you will obtain your resolution much faster.
Get your physical card (TIE)
Once you are in Spain with your visa or residence permit, the next and final steps are 1. registering at the city hall (something called “empadronamiento”) and 2. visiting the immigration office and registering your fingerprints so you that they can issue your physical residency card (called TIE).
And, basically, this has been the most important information about the residency obtained after purchasing a property. If you need extra information our would like our immigration lawyers to guide you step by step, do not hesitate to reach out through the following link: