After the 2008 global financial crisis, many European countries attempted to overcome their budget deficits through programs commonly referred to as Golden Visas. This program includes a real estate purchase in exchange of a European residency permit that can be renewed and that allows the foreign investors to work but also apply for the citizenship of the country where they are living after 5 years.
Nowadays, almost all the EU countries are in a stable financial situation so these programs are becoming a very controversial subject in European politics. Some political leaders believe that European citizenship cannot be bought, others consider this program to be a front-runner for foreigners to launder their money, and others protest about the ever-increasing real estate prices for local citizens especially in big European metropoles such as : Barcelona, Madrid, Lisbon, Dublin or Athens.
Ireland ended its program in February 2023, Greece announced that it would double its investment threshold to €500,000 in several locations, including Athens, Santorini etc. The Portuguese government affirmed a few months ago that it would end the residence permit program for foreigners (ARI) as well.
What About Spain?
Since the law came into force in 2013 11,464 golden visas have been issued, which makes a total of 31000 ; if we count the 19,805 authorizations of family reunifications through this visa. Nowadays the Spanish economical situation has become more and more challenging especially with the current situation that is marked by inflation and rising interest rates. Which has made the access into housing and real estate rough for Spanish citizens. On the other hand more than 94% of the golden visas issued in the country stem from residential investments, a thing that makes the situation more complex.
According to Íñigo Errejón, leader of the political party Más País “It is easy for men to come and ask for a residence permit and buy a house with half a million euros”. The Spanish government is now considering toughening conditions for its golden visa by raising the minimum amount of investment from 500 000 euros to 1 million and adding more conditions that makes the insurance of this visa very limited or might also abolish this process definitively.
Marfour International Law Firm will keep you updated on all the news about this process, for the moment all our applications are being processed without any problem. We also encourage you to contact us as soon as possible if you are thinking about applying for the Spanish golden visa to avoid any unexpected decisions taken by the government.