Author: María Gracia Moreno Vegas
As we mentioned in our previous article on the Golden Visa, this is a way of obtaining a visa to reside in Spain which, in turn, is an incentive for international investment (property, real estate or business) in Spanish territory for non-EU entrepreneurs, i.e., who are not residents or citizens of the European Union.
The incentive for foreign investors that Law 14/2013 of 27 September introduces, with this “golden visa”, is the right of permanent residence and, as a means of legal residence in Spain, it can even serve as a bridge to citizenship.
In case the investment related to obtaining a “golden visa” is real estate, the requirements will be:
- Investment of at least €500,000:
- Excluding taxes. 500.000 € plus VAT or Transfer Tax and expenses that are not included in the price.
- 500,000 per investor or family unit and on a property or several properties that together reach this minimum amount. Neither spouse nor children need to invest.
- This initial investment of a minimum of €500,000 must be totally free of charges and encumbrances. The investment amount exceeding €500,000 can be encumbered, e.g. with a mortgage.
However, what happens after the application and approval of this type of visa?
STAY IN SPAIN AND EUROPE
However, according to the sixth additional provision of Law 14/2013, of 27 September, on support for entrepreneurs and their internationalisation (hereinafter Law 14/2013): “the renewal of residence may be carried out even if there are absences of more than 6 months per year in the case of residence visas and authorisations for foreign investors”.
The latter is a major difference with respect to the rest of Spanish visas and residence permits, since all of them require as an irrevocable condition a constant stay in Spain for at least 6 months per year. In contrast, the periods of stay allowed by the Golden Visa grant greater freedom of movement, both for personal reasons and in pursuit of economic activity.
Likewise, with regard to entry into Europe and other countries of the Schengen Area, it is not necessary to request a visa, even if the nationality of the applicant would warrant it, as the Golden Visa will guarantee entry into that territory.
IDENTIFICATION CARD FOR FOREIGNERS (TIE)
Legally governed by Organic Law 4/2000, of 11 January, on the Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain and their Social Integration (article 4), the Regulation of Organic Law 4/2000, approved by Royal Decree 557/2011, of 20 April (articles 205 and 210) and Organic Law 4/2015, of 30 March, on the Protection of Citizen Security (article 13), the Foreigners’ Identification Card (TIE) is the document used to accredit the legal status of the foreigner in Spanish territory.
The documentation required for its processing is:
–Application form on the official model (EX-17), duly completed and signed by the foreigner. This form can be obtained on this page.
–Passport or travel document or, if applicable, registration certificate, original and valid.
–Proof of payment of the original fee Model 790 Code 012 of the Ministry of the Interior. The copy must be correctly printed in its entirety, and under no circumstances may it be printed without the lower part of the document showing the annotation “Copy for the Administration”. The form can be downloaded from the Police website, via this link.
-A recent coloured photograph, on a white background, passport size.
-If there has been a change of address, an updated municipal registration form or certificate of census registration less than three months old (original and copy).
In turn, the application procedure will follow these steps:
–Subject entitled to submit the application: the foreigner in person.
–Place of submission: the Single Office for Foreigners or, failing that, at one of the Documentation Units of the National Police in the province where he/she is domiciled, by making an appointment through this link.
–Minors must be accompanied by their duly accredited legal representative and with original and valid identity documentation, or by the person authorised by them.
–Deadline for presentation: one month from entry into Spain or from when the authorisation is granted or becomes valid or, where applicable, from the time when the card was stolen, lost, destroyed or rendered unusable.
–Fees: Model 790 Code 012 for issuing the identity card: the amount of the fee depends on the authorisation documenting the card.
-The identity card shall have the same period of validity as the authorisation or recognition of the right that justifies its issue, and shall lose its validity when the validity of the aforementioned authorisation expires.
-In order to issue the foreigner’s identity card, the interested party must prove that he/she is the addressee of the document.
DURATION AND RENEWAL OF THE GOLDEN VISA
The Golden Visa has a duration of 2 years and “once this period has expired (…), they may request the renewal of the residence permit for successive periods of 5 years” (Article 67.1 and 2 of Law 14/2013).
In this way, the Golden Visa is an option with more long-term guarantees than other types of visas that have a duration in Spain, as a general rule, initially for 1 year and their renewals for 2 years. Some examples of this can be found in non-profit residence, residence and work as an employee or residence and work as a self-employed person (Articles 49.2, 51.7, 63.5, 72.1, 104 and 109.7 of the Regulation of Foreigners and Migrations de Extranjería).
To obtain the renewal of the Golden Visa, two basic requirements must be met:
-Demonstrate continued possession of assets/investment/property above the same minimum value and which were credited towards obtaining the card in the first place (or now at an even higher value).
-Proof of having visited the country at least once during the period of validity of the visa (although there is no minimum length of stay required for each stay).
PROCEDURES REQUIRED FOR RENEWAL
As mentioned above, the Golden Visa must be renewed two years after the first issuance of the document, and every five years after the first renewal.
Renewal may be requested during the 60 calendar days prior to the expiry of the authorisation or within 90 calendar days thereafter, without prejudice to the possibility of the corresponding sanctioning procedure being initiated.
This request for renewal must be submitted to the Large Companies and Strategic Groups Unit (UGE-CE) of the Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration, which will issue a decision within 20 days of the submission of the request. Once the renewal has been favourably resolved, an appointment must be made at a foreigners’ office to re-register the applicant’s fingerprints, and return after 30 days to collect the renewed residence card.
Who can carry out the renewal? The process can be carried out through a representative, even if the investor is in Spain or outside the national territory. For this purpose, it is best to seek the advice of an accredited lawyer with power of attorney or special authorization for this matter.
HOW TO OBTAIN THE SPANISH NATIONALITY?
Spanish legislation contemplates different ways of acquiring Spanish nationality, among which we find the acquisition of Spanish nationality by residence.
This form of acquiring nationality requires the person to have resided in Spain for ten years legally, continuously and immediately prior to the application. There are shorter periods for persons of certain nationalities, among others.
Our legislation allows nationals of certain countries, such as Filipino nationals or citizens of the central and southern American continent whose official language is Spanish or Portuguese (“LATAM clients”), to have access to a “reduced” period of 2 years for the granting of nationality through residence in Spain.
This fact, together with the possibility of obtaining an initial residence permit for investors for a period of 2 years (“Golden Visa”) is a successful and competitive formula for obtaining residence through investment and later on, nationality.
The requirements for obtaining Spanish nationality by residence are set out in Article 22 of the Civil Code. From its reading, 3 requirements can be deduced, which are as follows:
- Legal residence, continuous and immediately prior to the application;
- Good civic conduct and;
- Sufficient degree of integration into Spanish society.
Continuity is the key determining factor when it comes to obtaining the residence permit for investment, if the purpose is to obtain a Spanish passport, since one of the most acclaimed advantages of this residence for investment is the fact that it is not compulsory to reside in Spain for a certain period of time.
If one intends to obtain the Golden Visa as a vehicle to acquire Spanish nationality, it is imperative to reside in Spain for at least 183 days per year and, therefore, to acquire not only legal residence but also fiscal residence.
Reviewing the concept of “fiscal residence”: a person is considered a tax resident in Spain, and therefore obliged to pay contributions in our country, if either of the following two conditions are met:
1) Spending more than 183 days in the country during the calendar year (sporadic absences are not taken into consideration).
2) That the main core or base of their activities or economic interests is located in Spain, directly or indirectly. The legal system understands that the core of vital interests is in our country when the spouse (not legally separated) and the minor children who depend on the taxpayer have their habitual residence in Spain.
If you would like to know more about the characteristics of the Golden Visa for real estate investment, or to receive a study of your case as a candidate for this, please contact us.