Since the entry into force of Law 14/2013 and its most recent amendment through Law 25/2015, non-resident foreigners from non-EU countries intending to enter Spanish territory to make a significant capital investment may request a residence visa. If the requirements are still met after one year, the investor can obtain a residence authorization for a period of up to five years, with the possibility of then applying for permanent residence.
In order to get residence rights in Spain – and the European Union – the law requires a significant capital investment in Spain. That is understood to be an investment that fulfills any of the following requirements:
An initial investment of at least:
- Two million in Spanish public debt securities; or
- One million in shares of Spanish companies with real business activity; or
- One million in investment funds or venture capital funds established in Spain; or
- One million in bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions.
An acquisition of real estate in Spain with an investment of at least 500 thousand per applicant. A business project to be developed in Spain and considered as being of general interest by the Economic and Commercial Office for one of the following reasons:
- Creating jobs; or
- Making an investment with relevant economic impact in the geographic area in which the activity will take place; or
- Significant contribution to scientific innovation and/or technology.
Recent modifications allow application before fully formalizing the investment in certain cases, as well as the possibility of applying from within Spain and obtaining a work permit with no further requirements. The modifications also include a wider list of potential beneficiaries, including common-law spouses and economically dependent descendants who have reached legal age of majority.
Attracting investors from China and Russia
As experience has shown in the past two years, these investors’ visas are very appealing for nationals of countries not belonging to the European Union, especially for nationals of China and Russia. Having a residence permit issued by Spanish authorities automatically allows its holders to travel and establish their residence in any country of the European Union. Additionally, compared to other European states offering similar programs, Spain has some of the lowest investment requirements, especially for real estate, which makes it by far the most popular investment option.
For geographic, economic, linguistic and cultural reasons, Spain is considered not only a gateway to Europe and North Africa, but also as the main hub to Latin America, offering investors a great opportunity to penetrate those markets.
These investors’ visas are very appealing for nationals of countries not belonging to the European Union, especially for nationals of China and Russia.
Fernando von Carstenn-Lichterfelde