Golden visas: Taylor Wimpey España talks with Spanish lawyer

  • Uptick in enquiries from Britons highlights appetite for freedom of movement
  • Golden visa holders can live and work in Spain just as they could pre-Brexit
  • Spanish investment visas provide flexibility as well as freedom, all for €500k

In this post-Brexit era, golden visas are increasingly being sought by British families looking to maintain the same freedom to travel around Spain that they enjoyed up until 31 December 2020. At present, without a golden visa, Britons can spend 180 days per year in the Schengen area (two periods of a maximum of 90 days). With a Spanish golden visa, however, there is no restriction on how much time the holder can spend in Spain (the 180-day rule will still apply to the rest of the Schengen Zone).

Several countries offer British families the opportunity to invest a certain amount of money to obtain a golden visa, as they do to property buyers from other locations outside the EU. Spain, as a long-time favourite for British second homeowners, is one country whose golden visa scheme is particularly popular.

Spain approved 1,422 golden visas in 2019 and a further 845 in 2020, despite the pandemic (without which, the 2020 figure can reasonably be expected to have been much higher).

We’ve seen many more buyers from the UK take an interest in golden visas since freedom of movement was curtailed. Without a golden visa, those buying a second home in Spain are restricted to spending just 180-days per year in the EU – whether in Spain or anywhere else. Those with a golden visa, on the other hand, can enjoy unrestricted access to Spain for as many days per year as they wish, just as they did prior to Brexit.”

Marc Pritchard, Sales and Marketing Director of Taylor Wimpey España

Leading Spanish home builder Taylor Wimpey España is not the only company to have noticed the increased interest in golden visas since Brexit. Spanish lawyer César Garzón has also noted an uptick in enquiries.

“British families with a golden visa are no longer trapped by the restrictions placed on tourist visas. They can spend as much time in Spain as they wish. Or as little – they only need to visit Spain once per calendar year. There is no obligation to spend more than six months in Spain, so they can avoid being taxed as Spanish residents if they prefer.”

César Garzón, Principal, Spanish Lawyer

According to Spanish Law 14/2013, foreigners investing in Spain can obtain residence there. Investment forms vary, with article 63.2.b including the purchase of Spanish real estate worth at least €500,000 per applicant. The investment can be in either residential or commercial property. It can also be split across more than one property, as the wording refers to “bienes inmuebles” or real estate in general terms, according to Garzón.

One of the things that makes Spanish golden visas so attractive is the fact that they apply not just to the applicant, their spouse and children who are minors, but also to unmarried partners, children of legal age who are financially dependent on the applicant and parents who are in the applicant’s charge.

“Family members can accompany the investor and apply jointly and simultaneously for a residence permit or join the investor and apply successively. This provides plenty of flexibility for families looking to move to Spain post-Brexit. Family members of legal age can also live and work anywhere in Spain, as can the main applicant.”

César Garzón, Principal, Spanish Lawyer


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