2017 – Spain’s “golden visa” scheme brings in €2.16 billion in first three years

Government has handed out 27,301 residency permits in program designed to attract wealthy foreigners

In 2013, the Spanish government introduced  Legislationoffering residency permits to large investors and highly qualified professionals. Three years on, 2,236 investors have benefited from the proposal, bringing in €2.16 billion, of which 72% has gone into Property. The total number of people granted residency in Spain under the so-called Entrepreneur’s Law is now 27,301, including family members.

Chinese and Russian millionaires make up 59.4% of total investment pumped into Spain through the scheme; 714 Chinese nationals  have been granted a golden visa since September 2013 after investing €716 million in property, financial assets and business projects. Close behind come Russians, with 685 visas. This group has invested €567 million.

Issuing so-called golden visas has become widespread throughout the European Union over the last two decades, notably in Portugal, Ireland, the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

Some 12,891 foreigners have been issued with residency permits under Spain’s Entrepreneur’s Law, and they have brought a further 14,410 family members to live in Spain. Of this total, 5,315 permits have been issued to highly qualified professionals. Among them are 665 Venezuelans, 530 Chinese, and 453 US citizens. More than 3,500 executives posted to Spain by multinational companies have also been granted residency. Finally, 1,483 visas have been issued to foreigners involved in research or training in Spain, led by Colombians, Indians, Chinese, Mexicans and Iranians.

During the first year of the scheme, only 500 or so investors applied, providing around €700 million. Given the limited uptake, in 2015, the government eased the conditions, allowing spouses, children and elderly relatives to be included on visas, as well as extending the period of residency from two to five years.

The latest figures show that the number of investors has risen fourfold since 2014, with the amount they have invested increasing three times in the same period.

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