The Spanish Golden Visa for UK Residents – Beat the 90/180 Day Rule

Recently we posted articles related to buying a home in Spain post-Brexit. In these posts, we described the Biggest headache British property owners and would-be owners in Spain face – the 90/180-day rule. For decades now, this legislation has been in place and states that non-EU residents can only spend a maximum of 90 days out of every 180 days in the Schengen Area. Now Britain has left the EU, this rule applies to UK citizens, including those who already own a home in Spain.

The Spanish Golden Visa Could Be A Solution

Spain began its golden visa programme in 2013 to coax property buyers to invest in the country after the market crash of 2009. A €500,000 investment in a property will gain the investor and their family residency. 

You can renew the golden visa every two years, and it is possible to get a permanent residency permit after five years, and after ten years you may apply for citizenship. You are not required to live in Spain to hold or renew the golden visa. 

The caveat is the property must cost at least €500,000. This can be a single investment in one property, or you can invest the €500,000 in several properties, providing the total sum is equal to or above €500,000. 

In addition to the half a million euro investment, you must also fulfil further requirements.

You must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Not have a criminal record history
  • Have full health insurance valid in Spain
  • Not have previously been denied a Schengen Visa in the past

The Golden Visa Is Retroactive

The Spanish golden visa is retroactive, which means even if you already own property and did not apply for a golden visa because, at the time of purchase, the UK enjoyed the freedom of movement within the EU, you may still qualify. As a current Spanish property owner, you can ask for a golden visa if your purchase meets the following requirements:

  • You bought the property after September 28th, 2013
  • The 500,000€ spent on the property is under a single name (if a couple buys the property in joint names, this counts as a 250,000€ investment per person and does not qualify)
  • The 500,000€ invested was mortgage and loan free. (If you bought real estate for 600,000€, and only 100,000€ of this was paid with a mortgage, you will qualify)

You could be kicking yourself if, for example, you bought a property for 475,000€ in 2015. To rectify this, you could buy another cheap property, a plot of land, or parking spaces for at least 25.000€ and be legible for a golden visa.

Benefits of the Spanish Golden Visa

There are many benefits to obtaining a golden visa if you are a British citizen.

These include:

  • You can enter and leave Spain as often as you like
  • You can stay in the country for as long as you need to
  • If you travel to another country in the Schengen Area, the time spent in Spain will not count towards your 90-day allowance
  • You can include children under 18, elderly parents, and your spouse on your visa
  • It isn’t necessary to be in Spain to apply for a golden visa; a lawyer or other professional can do it on your behalf
  • You can work and live in Spain legally
  • You do not have to live in Spain to hold the Visa

Are there any other ways to get a Spanish Golden Visa?

Yes, there are, but all require a significant investment. Purchasing real estate is the cheapest and most straightforward way, and if you buy in 2021 you can expect an excellent return on your investment as there are plenty of bargains on the Spanish property market right now due to the drop in sales caused by the pandemic.

Other ways to get a golden visa include:

  • Ivestmenting €2,000,000 or more in the Spanish public debt
  • Buying shares in a company for at least €1,000,000.
  • Depositing at least €1,000,000 in a Spanish bank of 
  • .Investing in a new business that provides employment opportunities or technological innovation and has a positive socio-economic impact in the local area,

Note: The information in this article is intended as a guide only, as with any legal process in Spain, we always advise you to seek a lawyer’s help.

If you would like further advice on the Spanish Golden Visa, please contact us.

Or click here to find qualifying properties.

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