Spain continues to be the most popular destination for British nationals retiring abroad and the Spanish Golden Visa option is an extremely viable option for British retirees. The Golden Visa is an investment visa and there are a number of investment options that permit access to a Golden Visa. The most popular option for British nationals retiring is the purchase of real estate.

The Golden Visa arose from the Entrepreneurial Support Act of 27 September 2013. An applicant can make an application from Spain when visiting on a tourist visa. The individuals applying must fulfil the following personal requirements:

  • An applicant must be over the age of 18
  • An applicant must have full-coverage health care insurance in Spain
  • Applicants must always be able to support themselves and any dependent family members that accompany them.
  • An applicant may not have a criminal record.

The investment provisions aimed at businesses are as follows:

  • Two million euros in Spanish public debt securities,
  • One million euros to be invested in company shares or stock of Spanish capital companies that are active and currently doing business.
  • One million euros to be invested in closed-end investment funds or venture capital funds set up in Spain, that are included either within the scope the Act releated to Collective Investment Institutions, or the Act 22/2014, of 12 November that regulates venture capital entities, other closed-end collective investment entities
  • One million euros in the bank deposit of a Spanish financial institution.

An applicant intending to start-up a business under the recent Start-ups Act that came into force in December 2022, particularly businesses deemed to be of general interest that will have a socio-economic impact in the environment around the site of the business or an enterprise that may make a scientific or drive a technological innovation are now able to make an application for a Golden Visa which will extend for three years.

The criterion that is most suitable for British nationals retiring to Spain is the purchase of a property valued at €500,000 or more that is mortgage free. A property valued at over €500,000 can be mortgaged for the amount in excess of the qualifying sum, so provided the first €500,000 is paid for in cash the remainder of the purchase price can be acquired with a mortgage.

Andreu Marin Muñoz, a senior associate in the Barcelona office, commented "for people planning on retiring to Spain that already havea property to the value of €500,000, provided that they bought the property after 2014 they will fulfil the investment requirement for a Golden Visa." Andreu further pointed out "if you apply for a Golden Visa but are not planning to retire just yet the residential requirement for a Golden Visa is minimal and relatively easily achieved"

Giambrone & Partners expert Spanish lawyers can assist with many aspects associated with life in Spain including assisting with a property purchase where we can provide support throughout the entire process and smooth out any problems at an early stage to ensure that your purchase is not held up and there have been no detriments in the property's initial planning permission and the property is as it is described.

There are no restrictions preventing foreign nationals from buying property in Spain and our English-speaking lawyers have had years of experience in assisting British nationals to buy property in Spain. We will help you with opening a bank account and guide you on the taxes you will need to pay. All foreign purchasers must obtain a Número de Identification de Extranjero ("NIE") which must be included on all documentation related to the purchase as it identifies the person wishing to buy a property. Our lawyers can help you apply. Once the contract, the Contrato de Reserva, has been drafted and signed it will reserve the property for you and the purchase can proceed.

Another important aspect to your new life in Spain is ensuring that your Spanish assets will not be subject to the Spanish laws of succession should you die intestate whilst resident in Spain. Our well-regarded wills and probate lawyers have considerable experience in drafting and will under the law of England and Wales to ensure that you will avoid the forced heirship that applies in Spain whereby your relatives would inherit your estate in strict percentages according to their family connection with you which could result in a spouse being left in a difficult financial position as children are prioritised and automatically receive two-thirds of an estate. For the avoidance of confusion is it recommended that an English will be drafted supported by a Spanish will that confirms your estate is to be dealt with under the laws of England and Wales.

Our expert lawyers will be by your side to assist you at all times with all aspects of any legal matters that impact on your new life in Spain.

Andreu Marin Muñoz has extensive experience in immigration law in Spain having had many years of experience dealing with a wide range of immigration cases. His comprehensive knowledge has enabled him to resolve complex issues relating to a wide range of types of visa applications. Andreu's expertise has enabled him to successfully assist clients obtain visas and legal status within Spain.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.