What is the Spanish Golden Visa and how do I apply for it?

  • Jun 22, 2021

What is the Spanish Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa allows expats to come to Spain and stay in the country without time limitations, and also includes the right to work, start a business(es) or manage companies in Spain under the same conditions as Spaniards or EU-citizens.

The Golden Visa programme was introduced in Spain at the end of 2013 and is becoming increasingly popular among non-EU nationals who want to move to Spain due to the great advantages it offers. According to the latest data, the nationalities that most apply for it are Russian and Chinese, but now that the UK is no longer in the EU, it’s sure to become popular with Brits too. 

What are the requirements to apply for the Spanish Golden Visa?  

The reason why the Golden Visa in Spain offers so many advantages, and can be obtained without the usual bureaucracy, is because it is an incentive to attract foreign investment, requiring the expat to make a significant investment in Spain.

The Spanish Law foresees that this investment can take various forms, the most affordable being the purchase of real estate for a value of at least €500,000, without using external financing. It is important to highlight that the investment does not have to be in a single property, since what is relevant is that the sum of the real estate investment reaches €500,000, which can therefore be made in one, two or more real estate properties.

This is the most common form of investment that allows you to obtain the Golden Visa in Spain. Please note that this requires the completion of buying a property in Spain, for which it is advisable to have legal assistance.

However, it is also possible to obtain the Spanish Golden Visa by investing €1,000,000 in Spanish company shares or in investment funds incorporated in Spain, as well as by investing €2,000,000 in Spanish public debt.

In addition to the investment, it is mandatory to have health insurance in Spain, as well as sufficient financial resources (approximately €2,000 per month) and no criminal records.

What are the benefits of the golden visa?

One of the main advantages of the Golden Visa is that it can be applied for all the family members, even if only one investment is made. Thus, the person making the investment can include in their application their wife or husband, partner, as well as their minor children. Adult children as well as the investor ́s parents can be also included if they are economically dependent on him and every family member will also have the same rights of residence and work in Spain.

The possibility of working, developing business and managing companies in Spain is a great advantage compared to other visas that are usually used, such as the non-lucrative residence, which does not authorise the expats to carry out any lucrative activity in Spain.

On the other hand, the Golden Visa has an initial duration of two years and once this period has expired, it is renewed for five-year periods. In contrast, the other authorisations only last for one year and are renewed for two-year periods.

Unlike other visas, to maintain the Golden Visa, it is not necessary to actually stay in Spain for a certain period of time. It is enough to keep the investment in Spain and to visit Spain at least once a year. This means that you can have the Golden Visa and therefore stay for long periods of time in Spain or work in Spain, without the obligation to become a tax resident in Spain.

Finally, we should also mention the quickness and flexibility with which the visa is issued. In contrast to other visas, it is not necessary to go to any office to apply for the Golden Visa as it does not need to be requested personally by the investor and their family, as long as it can be submitted through a representative in Spain, and it usually only takes the the Administration up to 20 days to provide a response.


This short guide to the Spanish golden visa, was compiled by Guillermo Alcalá, lawyer at Lexlite. 


If you spend more than half the year in Spain (183 days +) you will be considered a Spanish resident, and therefore a Spanish tax payer. Although there are exceptions depending on your personal circumstances, such as family and work.