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Spain Golden Visa

4 min read

Spain Golden Visa

Ah, Spain. The running of the bulls in Pamplona. Paella. The temperate climate. Who wouldn't want to live there, at least for a little while? Factor in the ease of learning Spanish (at least compared to other languages), close proximity to the rest of the EU, one of the lowest costs of living in Western Europe, and you get a very desirable location for an expat to set up shop.

Spain offers a very good investment option. However, it does require a good amount of funds for it. The smallest investment available is around $530,000 USD for real estate investment. So applicants should set aside the funds for these investments. Below I will give more details on their investor visa, residence visa, and document and certificate applicants will need to apply for the Spanish Golden Visa. But don't be discouraged by investment costs; the benefits are well worth it.


Spain's Golden Visa

Also officially known as the Spanish Residence Permit Program or the Spain Investment Visa, it was established in 2013 by the Spanish government to encourage foreign investors outside the EU to invest in the country’s economic prosperity.

It's no secret that there is tremendous demand for residency in the European Union. Europe is an excellent destination for expats, rich in culture, architecture, and history, and pretty high up there when it comes to personal safety. One way to gain a residence permit in the EU is by obtaining a Golden Visa from Spain.

Spain's Golden Visa is not available to everyone, but there are a number of different ways that you can qualify and the process isn't very complex.

  • You can contribute €2,000,000 ($2,124,590 USD) in government bonds.

  • Buy real estate in Spain with a value of at least €500,000 ($531,147 USD). Please note that you must own this real estate outright, and/or you must have a minimum of €500,000 ($531,147 USD) of equity. By means of reference, a nice condo in a major city is probably going to cost around €300,000 ($318,688 USD) or €400,000 ($424,918 USD).

  • Deposit €1,000,000 ($1,062,295 USD) in a Spanish bank or buy shares in a company of that value.

  • There is also one other way to qualify for this visa, which is to invest in a business that is engaged in important scientific research or that will have a positive impact in terms of employment and other factors in the community at large. There isn't a precise dollar value attached to this final qualification; instead, it is presumably a subjective evaluation on the part of the board which is overseeing the visa application.

Aside from the investment itself, there are some further considerations and documents.

The primary applicant must:

  • Hold a clean criminal record this means you need a background check.

  • You must be 18 years or older.

  • You must not have been denied a visa to the Schengen area in the past.

  • You must purchase health insurance in Spain while you are living there.

The visa is only valid for one year, but as long as you keep your investment in place, your visa can be renewed indefinitely. There are no requirements for how long you have to be present in Spain on a yearly basis, so you can spend as much time as you want travelling.


Related content: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency


benefits of Spain's golden visa

One benefit of the Spanish Golden Visa is that you can work, live, and do business in Spain. So if you have some lucrative business or hands-on investment opportunities there that you want to look after or are interested in, then you can do so without any concern about legalities. Since the golden visa can be renewed automatically as long as your investment is in place, you can pursue these business opportunities indefinitely.

Another benefit to this visa is that you can bring your family members with you. This includes not only your spouse and any children you may have but also dependent parents. Being close to family members is important for many reasons, and Spain's Golden Visa will allow your entire nuclear family to stay together in Spain as long as your investment remains in place. And it's not only minor children that can accompany you; any dependent adult children can also be included in the application.

Spain's Golden Visa is also an excellent pathway to permanent residency or even citizenship after five and ten years, respectively, if you fall in love with Spain and are looking to spend the rest of your life there. In order to settle permanently, you need to get your two-year residence permit and live in Spain on that permit for five years.


Related content: Spain’s New Digital Nomad Visa


Map of Spain

Map of Spain


You only have to pay the income tax in Spain if you are a full-time resident there, which is to say you spend more than half of the calendar year (183 days) in Spain. That being said, you may have some tax liability from your investment. For example, if you invest in real estate, then you will owe property taxes on your investment, and if you rent out your property, then you would owe rental income taxes to the Spanish government. The Spanish tax rate for individuals who are not full-time residents is a flat 24.75% on any income that originates within Spain.



Spain, like any country, has its pros and cons as a place to settle. Compared to most developed nations, Spain has a relatively low cost of living. You get all the benefits of living in a first-world country, but without having to pay full price. Spain is one of the main cultural centers of Europe, and Spanish culture is one that promotes health and well-being. Spain has many wonderful beaches for you to enjoy and is also very close to some amazing travel destinations, such as Portugal, France, and Morocco.


Related content: Montenegro - How To Get A Second Passport


Spain’s Golden Visa is an excellent choice if you are looking to move to Spain and want to make a sizeable investment like purchasing a home. The most important benefit of the Visa is the flexibility it offers. You can stay as long as you want, so long as your investment remains in place, and you can stay as little as you want throughout the calendar year if the wanderlust takes you.

Spain is a remarkable expat destination, but like anywhere else, you take the good with the bad. Overall the Spanish Golden Visa serves a definite need for a certain subset of expats who value freedom, flexibility, and residency in Spain.


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I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of your home country (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap; however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional firm like ours, the results will be worth it.



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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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