Can I Buy Permanent Residency in Spain as an Expat?

Expats can get a Spain residence permit by investment to live permanently in Spain.

The legal duration of stay for foreigners is determined as 90 days in 180 days in Spain. A residence permit is a type of permission given to foreigners who want to live in Spain for more than a 90-day period or permanently.

There are few occupation-related visa options that allow non-EU citizens to live in Spain. For example; student visas, researcher visas, internship or employee visas also provide limited-time residency in Spain.

However, these visas only provide permission to reside in the country regarding the related condition. When the education, research, and internship period ends, or in case of unemployment; foreigners may lose their privilege.

How Can I Apply For a Long-Term Residency in Spain?

According to Article 30 of the Organic Law 4/2000, a Spain permanent residence permit can be requested by those who have resided in Spain for five years.

To live for at least 5 years in Spain legally, expats should apply for a temporary residence permit first. After residing in Spain for 5 years with extended temporary permits, foreigners can apply for a long-term residence permit.

Here are the legal residency options that allow individuals to live in Spain for 5 years and then apply for permanent residency:

  • Non-Lucrative Residence Permit
  • Golden Visa Program

Non-Lucrative Residence Permit in Spain

The non-lucrative or non-working residence permit allows foreigners to live in Spain for specific periods of time. This permit must be renewed from time to time, is granted for a maximum of 5 years, and can be extended with a long-term residence permit for up to 5 more years.

But here is the catch: The non-lucrative residence permit does not provide permission to work in Spain. The applicants are obligated to submit proof of sufficient sources of income.

The expat is required to have sufficient financial means to make sure that they can maintain their life efficiently. The minimum amount for living is calculated according to the latest IPREM (Indicador Público de Renta de Efectos Múltiples).

IPREM index is the main indicator that determines the minimum limit of monetary funds. To obtain a non-lucrative residence permit in Spain for Non-EU citizens, the sufficient fund must be %400 of the latest IPREM index. An additional fund amount equal to %100 IPREM is required for each additional family member.

Here’s a tip: If you want to increase the chance of approval, do not settle for the minimum sufficient fund amount. If you can prove that you have the financial means and additional savings, that would promote your application. So it would be better to have a little more than the least amount.

What Kind of Privileges Does a Non-Lucrative Residence Permit Provide?

Non-working residence permit in Spain allows the first-time applicant to live in Spain for one year. The permit holders can renew it two more times up to a total of 5 years.

The dependent children and relatives, spouses, or partners of applicants can also obtain the same permit simultaneously. The applications for minors must be submitted by their parents.

The non-working residence permit holders can benefit from the advanced education system in Spain and even do internships.

The non-lucrative permit holders can travel freely in the Schengen area. There are 26 countries in the Schengen Area, from Belgium to France, Italy to the Czech Republic. People who live in Spain with a Non-Lucrative residence permit can freely travel in the Schengen Zone.

Renewal of Non-Lucrative Residence Permit in Spain

First-time applicants are granted a 1-year residency. At the end of the first year, the Spain residence permit should be extended for 2 more years. The renewal application must be made 60 days before the end of the permit validation date of the first year.

After 3 years of residency, the permit can be renewed one last time for 2 more years. The extended residency is limited to a total of 5 years. After living in Spain for 5 years with a non-lucrative residence permit, expats can apply for a long-term residency.

The long-term residence permit allows foreigners to live in Spain for 5 more years. This permit does not need to be renewed within 5 years. An expat who has spent 10 years in Spain can apply for citizenship, which provides the full rights of a natural-born Spaniard.

Golden Visa Program

Golden Visa is an investment-based program that provides permission for both working and residing in Spain. Non-EU citizens who meet the required investment conditions can apply for a Golden Visa. They can benefit from its privileges as long as they keep their investments held in reserve. It is also called an “Investor Visa” or “Investment Visa”.

Any Non-EU citizen over 18 years old who has no criminal record and has not been barred from any Schengen country can apply for a Golden Visa.

What Does Golden Visa Provide?

The Golden Visa program provides extensive rights to an individual who has made a big-budget investment in Spain. In comparison to the Non-Lucrative residence permit, the Golden Visa is a bit more comprehensive authorization.

  • Residency and work permit in Spain. Visa holders can earn their living by finding a job in any autonomous region. Family members who are granted a Golden Visa through the joint application are also allowed to work according to the fourth additional provision of Law 14/2013.
  • Travelling freely in the Schengen Zone. Foreigners who are granted Golden Visa can travel to 26 countries in the Schengen Zone with a valid travel document. The duration of travel must not exceed 90 days in 6 months.
  • Joint-application opportunity including the dependent children or relatives, and unmarried partners or spouses. Similar to the Non-Lucrative residence permit, first-degree family members can apply simultaneously for a Golden Visa. The application for the minors must be submitted by their parents.
  • Right to benefit from public services including education and healthcare. Golden Visa holders can both study and get medical support in Spain.

What Are the Investment Instruments to Apply for a Golden Visa?

There are 4 types of investment instruments that are eligible for a Golden Visa: Real estate, Spanish company shares, Spanish Public Debt securities, and Spanish capital funds.

• The least purchase amount for the real estate investment is determined as 500.000 €.
• The minimum investment amount for the stocks or shares of a Spanish company is determined as 1.000.000 €.
• The minimum amount for a Spanish capital fund is determined as 1.000.000 €.
• The minimum investment amount for the Spanish Public Debt securities is determined as 2.000.000 €.

Foreigners can buy property in Spain and get residency, but the real estate must be worth at least 500.000 Euros. The 500.000 € does not have to be invested in a single property. Investors can buy multiple properties worth at least 500.000 € in total.

Also, the whole investment must be self-funded and paid in full. If mortgage loans were used as a finance source for property investment, your Golden Visa application may be refused.

In addition, having financial means is also among Spain residency requirements while applying for Golden Visa. Same as for the Non-Lucrative Visa conditions, the applicants are obligated to submit proof of sufficient sources of income.

The stated sufficient fund must be %400 of that year’s IPREM index. An additional fund amount equal to %100 IPREM is required for each family member.

Renewal of Golden Visa and Applying for a Permanent Residence Permit in Spain

In order to get a permanent residence permit in Spain investors and their family members must complete the 5 years of Spain residency by investment that the Golden Visa provides. The applicant can renew their permits if they won’t dispose of their investments and still meet the other conditions.

At first, the applicant and their family members are given an investor visa which is valid for one year.

Secondly, the applicant should apply for an initial permit to live in Spain for 2 more years. This residence permit will be valid for two years and can be extended further.

After living for 5 years in Spain, the applicants should apply for a long-term residence permit that provides 5 more years of residency. If the expat has lived for at least 10 years in Spain legally, they can apply for Spanish citizenship.

Get Your Residence Permit with TekceVisa in the blink of an eye!

We suggest that these hard-to-follow legal procedures must be managed with a legal advisor step-by-step. The guidance of a trusted advisor would ease the process and increase the chance of approval by a lot.

The professional and experienced team of TekceVisa is ready to guide you through the whole process. Contact us to take the first step on this exciting journey that leads you to your dream life in Spain!

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