Spain To End the Golden Visa Program for Real Estate Investors

  • April 8, 2024

Spain To End The Golden Visa Program

Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez made a significant announcement regarding the country’s real estate policies, as reported in several reputable news sources. The decision to end the Golden Visa Program, which grants residency rights to foreigners making substantial investments in Spanish real estate, marks a crucial shift in Spain’s approach to housing and foreign investment.

History of the Spain Golden Visa Program

Introduced in 2013 as part of efforts to revive the country’s property sector post-financial crisis, the Golden Visa Program allowed non-EU citizens to obtain residency permits by investing at least €500,000 in Spanish real estate without taking out a mortgage. Over the years, the program attracted significant interest, with thousands of visas issued to investors, primarily from China and Russia.

Reasons Spain Ended the Golden Visa Program

Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, in his address, cited concerns over the speculative nature of real estate investment and its impact on the housing market. He emphasized the need to prioritize affordable housing as a fundamental right rather than a speculative business. The decision reflects a broader policy shift towards addressing housing affordability and inequality in Spain.

The problem with the claim of ending the Golden Visa program for the real estate market is that Golden Visa holders represent less than 0.7% of real estate purchases.

Impact of ending Golden Visa Program on Expats and Foreign Investors

The termination of the Golden Visa Program will have implications for expats and foreign investors seeking residency in Spain. Previously, the program provided a pathway for residency through property investment, attracting individuals primarily from China and Russia. With its cancellation, those interested in obtaining residency will need to explore alternative avenues. Current visas will remain valid the law change only affects future applications.

Political and Economic Implication of Spain Golden Visa

The decision to end the Golden Visa Program aligns with the priorities of Sánchez’s Socialist-led government, which aims to address housing affordability and inequality. While critics argue that the program’s termination could deter crucial investment, particularly from European neighbors, the government prioritizes ensuring access to affordable housing for its citizens.

Pattern of EU Countries Ending Golden Visa Programs

Spain’s move follows similar actions taken by Portugal and Ireland, which scrapped their own golden visa schemes linked to real estate investment. These decisions highlight growing concerns over the potential risks associated with such programs, including money laundering and housing market speculation.

The decision to end Spain’s Golden Visa Program marks a significant shift in the country’s real estate policies, prioritizing affordable housing over speculative investment. While the move may impact foreign investors and expats seeking residency, it reflects the government’s commitment to addressing housing affordability and inequality. As Spain moves forward with this policy change, it underscores the importance of balancing foreign investment with the needs of its citizens in shaping its housing market and economy.

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