The European commission is looking into this regime which favours foreign investors.
Many countries in Europe, including Spain, offer investors an opportunity to acquire what is known as a Golden Visa, which relaxes general migration rules, heavy with restrictions, in exchange for a major investment.
In Spain the conditions are quite generous, as an investment of 500,000 euros in real estate, for example, or 1 million euros in shares give investors the right to apply for a residence permit for themselves and their families, provided they can maintain themselves while in the country and do not have a criminal record (for further information, see Tip).If you need any further information, please contact us. We should be happy to advise you on the regulations and limitations governing the Golden Visa. www.ecovis.com/spain/
The Golden Visa exists not only in Spain but in many other Member States of the European Union too, although with different regulations in each country. Once you have acquired a residence permit from any Member State of the European Union, you are allowed to travel freely for three months through most countries of the Union, so the Golden Visa regulation has implications for all Member States of the European Union.
This is the reason why the European Commission has recently issued a report on this matter, expressing its worries about the different regulations and the loophole this has created in the common immigration and security regime, and stating the need to harmonise the different rules.
Does this mean that the Golden Visa will end immediately or in the near future? No. The Commission has admitted that it does not have direct competence to regulate this matter. However, the Golden Visa is now on the radar of the European institutions, so that major changes may come (medium-term, as the European institutions work surely but very slowly).
Our advice to clients: do not panic if you are planning an investment in order to acquire a Golden Visa. However, since these major investments take some time to organise, if you are interested in the Golden Visa, start contacting your Ecovis partner in the country where you want to invest so that you are ahead of any restrictions that may come in the future.
Christian Koch, lawyer, partner, ECOVIS Legal Spain v. CARSTENN-LICHTERFELDE ABOGADOS, Madrid, Spain