On April 8th, 2024, Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced his intention to wind down the Spain Golden Visa Program. Introduced in 2013, the program allows investors to obtain residency permits in exchange for a minimum investment of €500,000.

The decision to eliminate the program was made due to concerns that the program was contributing to the rise in real estate prices and money laundering.

Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said the decision was made to make affordable housing “a right instead of a speculative business.” He added, “Today, 94 out of every 100 such visas are linked to real estate investment…in major cities that are facing a highly stressed market and where it’s almost impossible to find decent housing for those who already live, work, and pay their taxes there.”

Spain-City-LandscapeThe Spanish government will start rolling back the scheme together with the Housing Ministry. The first discussion on the matter is slated for the weekly cabinet meeting on Tuesday, 9 April 2024.

“I want to announce that tomorrow’s Council of Ministers [this Tuesday] is going to study a report submitted by the Minister of Housing and Urban Agenda to amend the law, passed by the PP in 2013, which allows obtaining a residence visa if one invests in housing in our country. We are going to take the necessary measures to ensure that housing is a right and not merely a speculative business,” Sanchez told reporters on Monday.

At present, the Spanish government has not initiated the formal process to eliminate the scheme. In accordance with the typical legislative process in Spain, proposals for new laws or changes to existing laws typically take between 6 months to 1 year to finalize. This means that any changes to the Golden Visa program will require approval from Spanish Members of Parliament.

According to official records, between the inception of Spain’s Golden Visa program in 2013 and November 2022, Spain granted nearly 5,000 visas. The scheme saw the most substantial investments from Chinese and Russian investors, who collectively injected over 3.4 billion euros into the country.

This influx of investment, however, has raised concerns highlighted in a 2023 report by Transparency International. The report scrutinizes the extent of due diligence performed by Spanish authorities on the origins of these funds. Despite the substantial financial figures associated with the golden visa scheme, its impact on the property market seems minimal.

Data from the real estate portal Idealista suggests that properties purchased under this program account for less than 0.1% of the 4.5 million homes sold during the same timeframe, indicating that the scheme’s effect on Spain’s overall property market is likely negligible.

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments. 

We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application. 

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