Has the end of the Golden Visa in Spain arrived?

Last week, the President of the Spanish Government, Pedro Sánchez, announced that he would begin the procedure to eliminate the Golden Visa program, as he believes this measure would help improve access to affordable housing.

“We are going to take the necessary measures to ensure that housing is a right and not just a speculative business,” Sánchez stated, as reported by El País.

Let’s remember that, in general terms, the so-called “Golden Visa” allows obtaining a residence permit, and subsequently, Spanish citizenship, starting from an investment of 500,000 euros, usually through the purchase of properties. In the case of Spain, it originated from a law approved in 2013, within the framework of the financial crisis in the real estate sector, aimed at attracting foreign capital.

The discussion so far has revolved around increasing the investment amounts, considering that the minimum of €500,000 is no longer a significant barrier, or completely eliminating the Golden Visa regime.

The government’s announcement has not been without criticism.

The President of the Chamber of Commerce of Spain, José Luis Bonet, described the measure as “a demagogic and misguided gesture.” He stated to the press that Spain “has become the second home of millions of Europeans,” and that hindering foreign investment seems “exorbitant.”

Criticism has also come from the real estate sector, arguing that ending the Golden Visa “would not impact lowering housing prices,” but rather affect the luxury market. María Matos, director of studies at the real estate portal Fotocasa, argues that ending the program “would not have a real impact on the common residential sales market,” and that it “would lead to a significant decrease in foreign investment and real estate operations in our country.”

What are the most immediate effects of this announcement?

First, it is essential to remain calm. The entire legal framework of the Golden Visa remains in force. Processes that are already underway are not threatened.

Furthermore, it is not uncommon for countries with residency and citizenship programs for investment to modify them, as has happened several times in Portugal and Greece. In Spain, the regulation has remained almost unchanged since 2013.

In any case, the normal time required for an initiative to complete its processing in the Spanish parliament is at least 6 months to 1 year. As an example, the recent Housing Law took 5 years from its presentation to its entry into force.

In very exceptional situations, the government may use emergency measures to make temporary changes while the regulation is still being discussed in congress. However, it must be emphasized that this would be exceptional and not the general rule.

The important thing is to understand that Spain’s Golden Visa is in good health, and its benefits can still be accessed. At AIM Global, we believe it’s best not to postpone this decision and start the procedures right away.

Don’t leave this matter to the last minute; schedule a meeting with our team. We want to know what your projects are; we have the technical and human capacity to help and accompany you throughout the process.

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