Photograph by Khamkéo Vilaysing
The start of 2020 marked a new era for Europe as the United Kingdom formally left the European Union via the mechanisms of Brexit. In the run up, during and even after, speculation was rife as individuals questioned the possibility of a new life under the continental sun. After decades of simply getting on a plane without the hassle of any administration woes, the burning question remains as to how this bureaucracy and red tape will affect people’s relocation dreams.
With Spain one of the most-popular global expat destinations for Brits, and the popularity of the Balearic Islands surging, the relocation path is now undoubtedly complex with language barriers, unfamiliar laws and visa conditions to contend with. The proof is in the statistical pudding whereby an estimated 397,194 Britons were registered with Spanish authorities ten years ago, however the latest data for 2022 shows a fall to 290,372 confirming cold feet amongst potential expats. Clearly, the necessity of specialist advice has never been so important, with visas in particular an often-murky space for the average Joe.
As leaders in the space, Next Stop Ibiza is here to take the administrative aches and pains away for you, with the aim to ensure your visa application is successful and your dream move a reality. Forming an editorial series dedicated to visas, we’ll be providing insight into the main visas options starting with Golden Visas. We’ll also keep you up-to-date with a new visa emerging amongst the ranks aimed at digital nomads and set to be announced by the Spanish government soon.
Photograph by Henry Thong
What is a Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa, officially named the Spain Investor visa, is essentially a residence permit issued to non-EU citizens who make a significant investment of €500,000 (£437,000) in Spain. Investments can be in the form of a real estate purchase, a company investment or an investment that supports the creation of new employment opportunities for Spanish citizens, that will also contribute to innovation across the technology or science sector, making a significant socio-economic impact too.
What are the benefits of a Golden Visa?
The benefits of a Golden Visa however are bountiful, to include that both you and your family members will receive Residence Permits, allowing you to live in Spain. You can also travel to all Schengen Zone countries visa-free for up to 90 days in a 180-day period. You and your family members can also make use of Spain’s health and education system once your Golden Visa has been granted. After five years of living in Spain under the Golden Visa, you will become eligible for permanent residence after five years and after ten years of residence, you can apply for Spanish citizenship after ten years of residence. Above all, you don’t actually have to live in Spain to renew the Golden Visa to result in this visa being one of the most flexible to choose from.
What are the downsides of a Golden Visa?
Where individuals were once granted time to settle, assimilate into a new country and make significant financial decisions, the process has been flip reversed with regards to Golden Visas. Associated investments have to be finalised before an individual permanently sets foot in Spain, with it recommended before the visa application has commenced. In addition, Golden Visas are largely considered exclusive to the wealthy who have ready and secure access to money pots of half a million Euros.
When exactly do I apply for a Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa application should begin after the individual has invested the required finances in Spain. Though the investment doesn’t have to be finalised at this point, the individual must be committed, alongside supporting evidence, they are committed to the investment. Individuals can apply to a Golden Visa no earlier than three months of their intended arrival date to Spain.
Photograph by Samuel C
What are the conditions of a Golden Visa?
For an individual to apply for a Golden Visa, they must satisfy all of the conditions below:
Evidence of one of the investment options.
The individual is aged 18 years plus.
Evidence of a valid health insurance certificate in Spain.
Evidence they have sufficient finances to sustain themselves and any family members or dependants.
Evidence of a clear criminal history in countries or territories they have previously resided.
The individual does not feature on Spain’s list of undesirable people.
Evidence the individual is not associated to a rejected Schengen Visa.
With each condition ensuing various demands and challenges, a specialist relocation firm or visa agent can assist in providing advice on key elements. In particular, the individual’s property purchase and associated property searches - services Next Stop Ibiza uniquely offers to its clients to ensure the process as stress-free as possible for clients.
How do I apply for a Golden Visa?
The Golden Visa can be applied from the individual’s current country of residence and by lodging their application at the Spanish embassy or consulate. Should the individual already be in Spain on a long-stay visa, they can file the application from Spain.
Photograph by Green Chameleon
What are the steps in applying for a Golden Visa?
There are four key steps. The individual must first make one of the eligible investment options which may in turn require the individual to travel to Spain on another visa, likely the Regular Spain Visa, throughout this period in order to finalise their investment. The Golden Visa application can then be lodged within three months of this investment for all documents and supporting evidence to be submitted once complete. Once the visa has been granted, the individual must then exchange their visa physically in Spain for a resident permit, which also requires additional biometric information to be submitted.
Hiring a lawyer to act as a legal representative to complete all bureaucratic and technical requirements of the visa is key. Elements such as overseeing the completion of your Spanish property and the process of visa application can be incredibly complex for those unfamiliar to Spanish rules and regulations. With this article barely touching the surface of all considerations associated to a Golden Visa, our recommendations are to seek professional advice as early as possible.
“If you’re considering relocating to Ibiza and would like to discuss your visa options, including Golden Visas, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Next Stop Ibiza. I myself have called Ibiza home for many, many years with my own move being one of my best life choices. I find so much fulfilment in making this dream possible for others. Unfortunately I have seen a lot of heartbreak with individuals attempting the visa process on their own and being unsuccessful. It’s really imperative to seek the services of a professional, particularly since Brexit”, PaddyAnne McAllister, founder of Next Stop Ibiza.
Contact PaddyAnne McAllister, founder of Next Stop Ibiza, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org