As the second case study, I have chosen the topic Golden Visa through real estate investment.
INTRO: GOLDEN VISA
The Golden Visa through real estate investment allows non-EU citizens who have purchased a property on Spanish territory for at least 500,000€ to apply for a visa and/or residence permit. The applications are presented either at the Consulate or Embassy or online to the Large Business and Collectives Unit in Madrid. The investment has to have been realised without financing and after the Law 14/2013, of 27 September, on support for entrepreneurs and their internationalisation came into force on September 29th 2013.
The Golden Visa allows the holder to reside and work in Spain without having to spend a certain amount of time here to maintain it. It also comes with a permit to travel to other Schengen countries for 90 out of 180 days.
The case I want to tell you about was that of a couple from Australia who wished to apply for this permit. Both over 60, they had spent some holidays in Spain and now wanted to move here and enjoy their retirement travelling through Europe.
First step: Property Purchase
The first step to take ist the investment itself. So I put the clients in contact with trustworthy real estate agents that showed them properties and helped them find their dream home by the sea. Once they found the perfect property, we realised a due diligence to make sure everything was in order and they proceeded to go through the property purchase process.
The couple was married under a separation of property regime where each of their assets stay separated after getting married. In this case, we decided that only one of them should buy the house and later apply as the main applicant for the Golden Visa with the other as their accompanying family member. This was the safest way to go, since, if they had both appeared as buyers on the deed for the 500,000€ property, the Spanish authorities would have interpreted this as each of them investing 250,000€ which would not suffice to obtain the Golden Visa.
We first obtained the non-resident NIE (foreigner identity numbers) for the husband who was going to be the buyer.
After having signed the private contract, the so-called "arras" agreement and signing the public deed of purchase at the Notary Public's office, the deed was presented to the property registry for registration. This last step was what took the longest, in their case three weeks, since the registry did not ask for any additional documents and any taxes etc. had been paid and all the forms presented correctly.
Second step: Preparation of the Golden Visa Applications
Once the couple received the certificate of ownership from the property registry, we proceeded to prepare their application for their Golden Visas.
Gathering their marriage certificate, criminal records etc. took some time, since their documents had to get legalised to be presented in Spain. The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), through the Australian Passport Office in their capital city, certified that the official Australian public documents they had to present were genuine by attaching the apostille in accordance with the treaty of The Hague.
Afterwards, they had to get their documents translated into Spanish by an official translator. We recommended the translators we usually work with and everything was done a few days later.
Third step: Presentation of the Applications
In case of the Golden Visa, there are two different ways to go about presenting the applications. In case the applicants are outside of Spain when applying, they apply personally for an initial 1 year visa at the Consulate or Embassy of their place of residence. In this case the clients had already travelled to Spain and were here still within their allowed stay of 90 days as tourists. This allowed us to apply for them online for the 2 year residence authorisation.
The Large Business and Collectives Unit responded favourably within the deadline of 20 business days and our clients were granted the Golden Visas.
Last step: Request of the Foreigner Identity Cards
As a last step, we got the clients appointments at the police station to request their foreigner identity cards. They had their fingerprints taken and presented passport pictures. After one month they collected their cards.