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Golden Visa scheme has attracted more than €2bn investment into Spain in just three years

Author:   |  April 26th, 2017

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Wealthy non-EU nationals keen on gaining EU residency have warmly welcomed the Golden Visa scheme.

Wealthy non-EU nationals keen on gaining EU residency have warmly welcomed the Golden Visa scheme.

Spain’s Golden Visa – introduced in 2013 to attract wealthy non-EU investors to the country – has brought in a whopping €2.16 billion into the country in just three years, according to official government data…

Since the Golden Visa’s introduction in 2013, some 27,301 residency permits have been granted by the government.

The scheme grants residency in Spain for any individual and their families that invest large sums of capital. The required amounts range from a minimum of €2 million in treasury bonds, €1 million in stocks or deposits, or at least €500,000 in the Spanish property sector.

Typically, most investments have been made in real estate – either commercial or residential property – with 72% of the €2.16 billion that the scheme has attracted going into the property sector.

In terms of actual Golden Visa numbers, only 12,891 have been issued, but the actual residency permits far exceeds that because most wealthy individuals have secured residency for their family as well as themselves.

Broken down by nationality, it is the Chinese and Russians who have mostly taken advantage of the Golden Visa scheme, with these two nations comprising 60% of all investors.

China leads the way with 714 Chinese nationals securing Golden Visas since 2013 after investing €716 million in Spanish property, financial assets and business ventures.

Russians have invested €567 million in these same sectors, with 685 Golden Visas granted.

The Golden Visa scheme got off to a relatively slow start, attracting just 530 investors in the first year. In 2015, in order to increase the uptake of the scheme, the Spanish government loosened the criteria to allow direct family members – including spouses, children and elderly relatives – to be included on the visa, while also extending the period of residency from two to five years.

According to the data provided by the Spanish government, more than 1,700 properties have been bought under the scheme, of which around half – 893 – were purchased in Barcelona, followed by 348 bought in the Málaga province, which includes the Costa del Sol.

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