Spain to Revoke “Golden Visas” for Foreign Real Estate Investors: Changes and Alternatives

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The Spanish government has initiated the process of abolishing the “Golden Visa” program for foreign real estate investors, which grants a three-year residency permit with the possibility of extension.

During the Council of Ministers meeting on April 9, 2024, ministers reached a consensus to cease issuing residency permits in Spain in exchange for purchasing real estate worth €500,000 or more. The purchase of real estate has been the most sought-after option for obtaining a Spanish Golden Visa. Visa holders are entitled to live and work in Spain for three years with the possibility of extension for another five years, after which they can obtain permanent residency in Spain.

According to Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, 94 out of every 100 visas issued under the program are linked to real estate investments. The Prime Minister emphasized during a press conference that this decision was made to make the housing market more accessible to local residents, and obtaining a Spanish Golden Visa through real estate purchases should cease this year.

It is noted that the majority of issued visas were associated with the purchase of homes in cities such as Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, Malaga, Alicante, and the Balearic Islands. All of these regions are experiencing significant housing market pressure, making it extremely difficult to find affordable housing for local residents. Limited supply and high demand for real estate have led to a sharp increase in property prices in Spain.

Despite this news, the program remains available to investors, and the timeline for its implementation has not yet been determined. The consequences of abolishing the most popular investment option of the Spanish Golden Visa program could be significant for foreign investors. Investors who were previously interested in obtaining Spanish residency through real estate purchases are now forced to reconsider their strategies.

Available Alternatives to the “Golden Visa” in the EU

It is expected that Greece, Cyprus, and Malta – which offer their own programs for obtaining residency through real estate purchases – are now attracting even more attention from foreign investors.

Cyprus presents an appealing alternative to the Spanish Golden Visa program. You can obtain a Cyprus residency permit for the whole family for a period of ten years by investing a minimum of €300,000 in residential or commercial real estate.

The Cyprus Permanent Residency through Real Estate Investment program has the potential to become a leader among similar programs in the European Union, and here’s why:

1. Indefinite residency in the EU for the whole family.

2. No requirement for the investor to reside permanently in Cyprus: you can live in Cyprus or visit the country at any time for leisure while maintaining resident status.

3. The program allows for property rental, providing a stable income.

4. Cyprus’ tax system enables investors to legally minimize their taxes.

5. Pathway to EU citizenship within 5 years.

 

More information: Permanent Residence in Cyprus Through Investment in 2024

The Golden Visa Greece Program offers the opportunity to obtain residency in the Schengen Zone for five years for the whole family.

To qualify, an investment in Greek real estate ranging from €250,000, €400,000, to €800,000 is required, depending on the zoning.

In 2024, this program ranked second in the list of the most attractive investment migration programs worldwide.

Key benefits include obtaining residency in the Schengen Zone for the entire family (including children, parents, or parents-in-law), the possibility of acquiring EU citizenship within 7 years, remote application options, and no residency requirements in Greece.

The Malta Residency Program offers the opportunity to obtain a resident card for five years with the option of renewal. To participate in the program, an investment in real estate starting from €300,000 is required.

One of the main advantages of this program is that it extends to four generations: the applicant, their spouse, children, and parents. This means that members of your family will also receive residency status in Malta.

Furthermore, the program does not require mandatory permanent residence in the country, making it particularly attractive for those seeking to maintain flexibility and mobility without being constrained by strict residency requirements.

Malta also offers a citizenship-by-investment program. This program provides unique opportunities for fast-track citizenship in a European Union country with numerous privileges and prospects. One of the main advantages is the possibility to become a citizen in as little as 1 or 3 years, whereas in other countries, the naturalization process can take at least 5 years or more. The investment amount for this program starts from €690,000, including the purchase of real estate.

For selecting the optimal program, reach out to the lawyers at our international firm, Feod Group!

Our team comprises experienced attorneys and immigration specialists ready to provide assistance and guidance to clients seeking residency status in the European Union.

We also offer ancillary services, including support in business matters, taxation, investments, and real estate acquisition.

 

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    ALSO READ:

    🔹 Golden Visa. Immigration to Europe through Investments

    🔹 Permanent residence in the EU. How and where to get permanent residence in 2024

    🔹 Increase in Golden Visa Greece Prices in 2024: Latest Changes and New Rules

    🔹 Property taxes in Europe in 2024. Countries with high and low property taxes

    🔹 Non-Domicile Tax Residency Status in Cyprus. Tax optimization in Cyprus

     

    Article author

    Tetyana Lementarova Managing Partner
    Ukraine
    In 2004 Tetyana Lementarova graduated from the University of Nottingham Trent, London (UK) qualification of Bachelor of International Business (BA Hons) and in 2006 received an MBA from the European School of Economics Rome (Italy), Marketing Management specialisation. Has work experience in UK, Ita...
    In 2004 Tetyana Lementarova graduated from the University of Nottingham Trent, London (UK) qualification of Bachelor of International Business (BA Hons) and in 2006 received an MBA from the European School of Economics Rome (Italy), Marketing Management specialisation. Has work experience in UK, Italian and Cypriot companies. 2005-2009 co-founder of an Italian company tour operator New Lands (Rome, Italy). Since 2001, Mrs. Lementarova works as representative of Feod Group abroad. Participates on behalf of the company in international seminars, trainings and conferences on education, immigration and property acquisition abroad. Tetyana Lementarova is an expert in the field of:
    • planning an academic career abroad;
    • organisation of new business abroad and purchase of ready business;
    • obtaining immigration status;
    • selection of investment projects.
    Speaks Russian, Ukrainian, English, Italian, French.
    read more
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