Since Brexit, British citizens have had a more difficult time coming to live in Spain. However, as in other neighbouring countries, Spain has certain measures that facilitate residence in our territory. And this time we are going to talk about the Golden Visa.
Golden Visa is how the investment visa is known. An immigration policy aimed at attracting foreign investment by simplifying immigration or establishment procedures. Although it is only available to those who have a certain level of capital, this is the fastest and easiest way for UK citizens to obtain legal residence in Spain.
Brexit: can British citizens live in Spain?
Until now, the free movement of people between the UK and Spain has been very fluid. Not only because they are neighbouring States, with attractiveness among them mainly because both countries were members of the European Union. But now the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union, and this implies that the general immigration regime applies to its citizens.
Those who already lived, worked or studied in Spain before January 1, 2021, will retain their rights. But the rest of the citizens of the United Kingdom who want to move to Spain permanently or for a long period of time will need to obtain their corresponding residence authorization.
Procedures to obtain legal residence
To legally reside in Spain, it is necessary:
- Prove sufficient linkage.
- Obtain prior authorization.
- Process the entry visa in the country.
Although the visa is dispensable through bilateral or multilateral agreements, citizens of the United Kingdom will need to obtain their authorization if they want to spend more than 90 days in Spain.
In general, obtaining this authorization implies the accreditation of having sufficient resources to survive. These can be economic (income or capital) or an employment contract in Spain.
Depending on the situation of the foreign citizen, the procedures to be completed will be one or the other. But broadly speaking, they will always consist of the formulation of an initial or extension request, accompanied by the justification of having financial resources for themselves or for their family.
Note that the residence permit does not necessarily entail the work permit. In such a way that it could be the case of being able to establish long-term in the country without being able to develop work, professional or business activities.
When the temporary residence has been extended for a period of five years, the foreign citizen may request a long-term residence permit. Once this permit has been obtained, they will be able to reside and work in Spain under the same conditions as any national citizen.
Golden Visa: the fast way for UK citizens to settle in Spain
The Golden Visa is a mechanism used by different states to attract foreign investment. It is generally granted in exchange for acquiring real estate or investing in public debt or companies.
Although there are those who criticize them, for assuming advantages derived from the beneficiary’s purchasing power, the truth is that more than half of the European states have this type of visa. And among them is Spain.
Through Law 14/2013, the State introduced measures that favoured the immigration or establishment of investors, entrepreneurs and highly qualified professionals, such as research personnel. Thus, the Golden Visa is presented as the best option for citizens of the United Kingdom who have sufficient resources and want to come to live in Spain.
Requirements for obtaining the investment visa
The gold visa requires that at least one of the following investments be made:
- Real estate investment. The value of the properties acquired must be equivalent to at least 500,000 euros per applicant.
- Business projection. You can also request the Golden Visa if it is proven that you are going to develop a business project of general interest in Spain. In this case, it must be proven that jobs will be created, the socioeconomic impact of the project or its relevant contribution to scientific or technological innovation.
- Capital investments. In this case, the investment will depend on the field to be capitalized:
- Public debt. Those who invest two million euros in public debt can apply for the Golden Visa.
- Bank deposits. Those who make deposits worth one million euros in Spanish banks also meet the requirements.
- Companies and investment funds. The same amount is required for those who prefer to invest in Spanish companies, mutual funds and other collective investment entities.
Procedures to get the Golden Visa
As with any other administrative procedure, the application for the Golden Visa begins with the presentation of an application, where the permit will be requested, and it will be proven that the above requirements are met. The application will be accompanied by all the necessary documentation (passport, background reports, medical insurance or affiliation to the British public health system, payment of fees …).
After reviewing the documentation, the competent body will approve the visa or deny it, opening the door to present the corresponding appeals, first by administrative means and in case of not being successful, by judicial means.
It is a highly regulated procedure. However, its high formalism can pose obstacles for the citizen unfamiliar with the Spanish bureaucracy.
That is why the most advisable thing in the case of opting for the Golden Visa is to contact Spanish lawyers. In addition to helping with obtaining a residence permit, they will be able to advise on investment and tax matters. From BCV LEX we have helped many citizens of the United Kingdom to move to Spain permanently or for a long time.