Changes in Spanish migration legislation: what awaits non-resident investors registering a residence permit in 2016?
The growth of the attractiveness of Spain for investment is closely linked with the conditions for providing citizenship and residence. Therefore, the authorities are doing everything possible to attract the attention of non-residents from EU and CIS countries.
The reform of immigration legislation, which was initiated by the Spanish government in 2013, allowed the country to attract more than 40 major investment companies. According to information published by the local finance ministry, the total volume of capital investments exceeded €1bn.
A logical continuation of the policy of ‘investment openness’ was the introduction of new amendments to the residence permit law when buying a property. The changes, which came into force in June 2015, significantly expanded the benefits for non-residents from CIS and some non-EU countries.
Special conditions for investors
Buying a property in Spain gives a lot of advantages regarding citizenship or residency. Russians who decide to invest in the country’s economy in 2016, by buying an apartment, house or suburban villa, can count on:
- increasing the residence permit’s period of validity from 2 to 5 years. In addition, leaving the country is no longer needed for its extension. All documents are drawn up by employees of the Russian Embassy and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
- obtaining resident status for family members. These, under the new legislation, include both official spouses and civil partners. In addition, the investor’s parents and both minor and adult children who are financially dependent on the investor will also be able to move to Spain.
- employment permit. The property owner will be able to not only live in Spain, but also be employed, engage in entrepreneurial activity, and so on.
Before being issued a 5 year residence permit, the investor receives a temporary document, which is valid for 6 months from the date of the preliminary agreement. During this time he has to fully comply with all terms of the transaction, and transfer the amount specified in the contract to the seller.
‘Golden Visa’ and approval conditions
The minimum cost of housing for the registration of a residence permit in Spain is €500,000, but there may be another way to get a permanent residence permit:
- invest €1m in shares of local companies or banking assets;
- buy government bonds worth €2m.
All benefits that are applicable to the owners of real estate are valid for people with Spanish papers. The main condition for the extension of residence permit is the saving of investments over a 5 year period.
Positive dynamics of the market
Since the beginning of 2016, the Spanish property market has seen a significant increase in sales. The number of transactions has increased by 12% (compared tom the first quarter of 2015), with a demand for both residential and commercial sites, offices and so on.
According to experts, property prices in Spain will grow steadily over the next 2-3 years. This is facilitated by the active promotion of mortgage loans by banks, and the overall improvement of the economic situation in the region.