How to get EU residency for you and your family with Spain’s Golden Visa

This article contains everything you need to know about Spain’s Golden Visa. It was updated on April 26, 2022 so contains the latest information about Spain’s Golden Visa Program.




Spain has arguably the best Golden Visa program in Europe. Contrary to some rumors, post Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the program is still going strong. As long as you are not Russia,  you can get a Spanish residency permit (this is the correct bureaucratic terminology for Spain’s golden visa) if you purchase property in Spain. This will allow you to live in Europe, as long as it is in the Schengen Area. There are two challenges: (1) you must invest at least 500,000€ and (2) the paperwork. Keep reading to learn the details.

Buy a property valued more than 500,000.00€ and take advantage of Spain’s Golden Visa

In 2013 Spain passed a law that gives residency permits to non-EU citizens in exchange for a property investment of 500,000€ or more. They instigated the program to attract foreign investment and create jobs. This will stimulate the economy and reduce public debt.

We have many clients that have taken advantage of Spain’s Golden Visa. In this article we address their most frequently asked questions. We explain the difference between a visa and a residence permit, details about the type of property purchases that qualify, timing and more.

Spain's Golden Visa

Q: Is Spain’s Golden Visa program at risk of getting cancelled, post Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

A: No. The program has been too successful for this to even be on the table.

Q:Have there been any changes to Spain’s Golden Visa program in 2022?

A: Yes. If you are a Russian citizen, you can no longer participate in the program. Similar decisions have also been taken by authorities in Malta, Portugal, the United Kingdom and Greece due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As part of international economic sanctions against Russia, the EU required the bloc’s countries to refuse visa applications of Russian diplomatic and political persons. Spain made the decision to extend that to all Russian citizens.

Before the sanctions, Russians were large property buyers in Spain. According to data provided by the Spanish Registrar, in 2021 Russians purchased 159 properties in Spain with price tags over 500,000€. This was more than purchased by American and Chinese buyers.

Q: Can I apply for Spain’s Golden Visa with more than one property if each property is less than 500,000€?

A: Yes. You can use more than one property to qualify for Spain’s Golden Visa as long as the amount invested is equal to or greater than 500,000€. However, we have found that purchasing a one property generally helps you optimize your Golden Visa property purchase.

Q: Is there a certain period in which the purchases must take place? Suppose I buy one property now and another, say, a year later?

A: Currently there are no requirements on the timing of your purchases. The only potential problem would be if the Spanish Government modified the law. Please note that this type of thing has been known to occur. Spanish laws do respond to external factors. For example, the law that created Spain’s Golden Visa was established in 2013. At that time there was a deep economic crisis, caused by the collapse of Spain’s housing bubble. There was a large inventory of unsold properties that were seized, or slated to be seized, by Spanish banks. These weighed heavily on public and private debt. Since domestic housing demand was virtually non-existent, the country did everything it could do encourage foreign investment.

Like any law, this one could undergo changes. For example, if the government decided it was more interested in infrastructure development, as opposed to selling real estate, it could increase the minimum floor for real estate investment and offer more advantageous programs for infrastructure investment. If this were to happen before you submitted your application, it could be negatively impacted.

In our opinion, this law will not suffer important changes in the next five to ten years. However, it is important to know that there is a small chance that the law could change. To talk more about this, call us today.

Q: Can the law regarding the right to have a Golden Visa be changed retroactively?

A:  One of the cornerstones of the Spanish legal system is that laws don’t have retroactive effects. This achieves legal stability with respect to acquired rights. Thus retroactive change is only applied in very exceptional cases.

Q: How long does Spain’s Golden Visa last?

A: Please note that there are two steps to this process. First you obtain the visa, which is a stamp in your passport issued by a Spanish Consulate. It allows you to travel to Spain, with multiple entries and exits, for one year. Within this year you should travel to Spain and apply for your residency permit. You must apply for this in Spain.

Q: How long are the residency permits valid?

Residency permits are initially valid for two years. After this period you can renew it. This renewal is valid for five years. You can continue renewing it every five years as long as you own properties in Spain. You do not have to reside in Spain in order to be allowed to renew your residency permit.

Q: How do I start the process?

A: In order to start the Golden Visa/Residency Permit process you must first purchase properties in excess of 500,000.00€.  You will need the purchase agreement(s) and the deed(s) to prove that you have made the investment(s). For information on how to obtain your title and other documentation, read 5 steps to take after purchasing property in Madrid.

Q: How long does the process take?

A: Once you apply for your residence permit, it takes about 50 days. Roughly 25 days to complete the application process and 25 days to receive your ID card.


Spain's golden visa

Q: Does the Golden Visa only apply to me or can I extend it to family members?

A: Spain’s Golden Visa extends to immediate family members.  As Spain is one of the best places in the world to raise children, this is an attractive option if you have a family. Spouses and dependent children under the age of eighteen years are guaranteed residency permits.  For all other family members you must present paperwork proving they are your legal dependents.

Q: Can I get a mortgage to purchase my property?

A: Yes, but it has to be from a foreign bank. The logic is that will bring 500,000.00+€ of foreign investment into Spain. If you borrow money from a Spanish bank, you are not bringing money into the country. Our recommendation is to either pay in cash, or have your financing lined up before you purchase. Ideally, this will be with a bank you’ve done business with for years.

Q: If I buy property through a company, can I still get a Golden Visa?

A: Yes you can. All you have to do is prove that you, directly or indirectly, hold the majority of the voting rights and have the power to appoint or dismiss the majority of the board of directors. This needs to be demonstrated through official documents such as your company’s articles of incorporation. These documents should be notarized and translated into Spanish. Moreover, you can save up to 50% on Madrid real estate taxes if you set up a company to purchase your property.

Spain's Golden Visa

Madrid has some beautiful properties. Contact us today for a free consultation to learn how to purchase one.

Q: Are there any scenarios under which the immigration authorities will deny renewing your residence permit?

A:  There are two scenarios under Spain’s Golden Visa program where you would be denied renewal. First, if you sell your property or transfer it into someone else’s name. Second, if you have a criminal record. If you have a criminal record you will not receive an initial residency permit.


When you purchase property in excess of 500,000.00€ you will receive a multiple entry visa which is valid for one year. Within this year you must go to Spain and apply, in person, for your residency permit. It is valid as long as you keep your Spanish properties in your name. You do not need to reside in Spain, but will have to come here each time you need to renew your residency permit. This is because you have to personally apply for your Spanish ID card.

If you decide to live in Spain, you are eligible for permanent residency after 5 years. nce you have a permanent residency permit you do not need to renew it. You just renew your ID card which is very fast and easy.

As you may of heard, navigating the Spanish bureaucracy can be time consuming, tricky and frustrating! We at Moving2Madrid have recommend the best to help for many Golden Visas and residence permits for our customers and can make the process very easy for you.   Given the time and headache we can save you, we think you will find using our services a very worthwhile investment. Please click here to schedule a  Free Consultation.




Posted on 14 April, 2022 by Pierre-Alban Waters in How to buy, New? Start Here


13 responses to “How to get EU residency for you and your family with Spain’s Golden Visa”

  1. Admin says:

    Hi Stephen,
    You might still be eligible, depending on some technicalities. Do contact us at our email so we can forward you to our specialist lawyer.
    If your fiscal residence is Spain, as in any country, your worldwide earnings have to be declared there, yes.
    There are solutions to make sure your country of tax declarations is the right one as there are different criteria.

  2. Admin says:

    Hi Emilio,
    unfortunately, you need 500 000 euros to obtain the golden visa.

  3. Emilio Khoury says:

    Dear Sirs,
    can I get citizenship in Spain, if I bought a house with between 40.000 and 60.000 Euros

  4. Stephen Blank says:

    Hi, I bought a property for 510,000 eur two years ago using a mortgage which I have now paid off in full. Would I still be eligible to get a golden visa. Also is it correct that if you spend a day over 6 months you will have to pay Spanish tax on all your worldwide earnings.

  5. maryclare says:

    Hi! Once you get residency, you are eligible for a health card which gives you access to Spain’s excellent public healthcare system. Or you can get private insurance, which is not that expensive (around 50€ per month). Here is an article with more information:

  6. Max Wright says:

    Hi, if I move to Spain permanently under the golden visa arrangement, is there healthcare available to temporary residents or permanent residents (after 5 years as temporary resident)? Where can I find more info on healthcare options? Thanks!

  7. […] Click here to learn more about Spain’s Golden Visa program, and why it is the best in Europe for retirees. […]

  8. […] Many US buyers had been watching the exchange rate closely, waiting for an opportunity to purchase euros. Moving2Madrid has one client that had been tracking the dollar/euro exchange rate for months. The dollar hit a high, she bought a lot of euro and started seriously shopping for an apartment in Madrid. She had been “kicking the tires” on a number of flats for months, so was poised to buy when the exchange rate turned in her favor. She has already placed an initial offer on a property (contrato de arras) and will close in September, 2018. Then she will immediately start the paperwork to obtain her Spanish Golden Visa. […]

  9. […] Are you considering moving abroad, but you are not a citizen of the European Union? Or perhaps you are British and are worried about losing your EU residency and/or right to work in the EU? If so, Spain offers what is arguably the best Golden Visa program in Europe. To learn more about how to obtain a Golden Visa for you and your family, read here. […]

  10. […] REMEMBER: If you purchase Spanish property in excess of 500,000€, you will automatically get Spanish residency through Spain’s Golden Visa program. […]

  11. […] factor that could increase demand for Madrid housing is Spain’s appealing Golden Visa system.  If one buys Spanish property valued at 500,000€ or more, they automatically get Spanish […]

  12. […] the past we’ve written about Spain’s Golden Visa program. However, we’ve recently received a number of calls from UK citizens, particularly those working […]

  13. […] Spain’s Golden Visa was created to encourage non EU citizens to purchase homes in Spain. It is arguably the most attractive in Europe, only requiring a purchase of 500,000€ to obtain Spanish residency (including permission to work). Unlike Portugal’s visa program, one is not required to reside in Spain to retain their residence permits. […]

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