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What Does it Mean For Those Looking To Immigrate to Spain?

Spain has announced the end of its Golden Visa program, a scheme that allowed non-EU citizens to gain residency by making significant investments in Spanish real estate.

This decision, driven by a need to address the housing shortage and rising property prices, will mark a significant shift in Spain’s approach to attracting foreign investment.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez stated that the program was primarily contributing to real estate speculation rather than addressing housing needs. Approximately 94% of Golden Visas were linked to property investments, with significant concentrations in major cities like Madrid, Barcelona, and tourist hotspots​.

Despite the controversy, it’s noted that the program had a minimal impact on the overall housing market, accounting for less than 0.1% of total home sales between 2013 and 2022.

For those still interested in moving to the country, the Spanish Non-Lucrative Visa remains a viable alternative. This visa is particularly attractive to retirees and individuals who can financially support themselves without engaging in local economic activities. Unlike the Golden Visa, the Non-Lucrative Visa does not require any investment in property or businesses.

Key Features of the Spanish Non-Lucrative or D7 Visa

  • Financial Independence: Applicants must demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support themselves during their stay in Spain. This typically means showing a steady income or substantial savings.
  • No Work Permit: Holders of the Non-Lucrative Visa are not allowed to work in Spain, making it ideal for retirees or those with passive income streams.
  • Renewability: The visa is initially granted for one year and can be renewed for two additional periods of two years each, after which holders can apply for long-term residency.
  • Family Inclusion: Applicants can include their spouse and dependent children in their application, allowing the entire family to reside in Spain.

Spain (Still) Awaits You

In summary, while the end of the Golden Visa program signifies a policy shift, Spain still offers attractive pathways for those seeking to enjoy its rich culture, beautiful landscapes, and high quality of life through alternative visas like the Non-Lucrative Visa. Go ahead and set up a consultation with us to help you navigate the visa application process and map out your options.

David Poole is a South African entrepreneur and businessman, and founder of Consult Immigration.