If you are thinking of buying property in Spain and you are from outside the European Union you now have the choice to buy a property or properties to the value of 500,000 Euros or more and it is granted automatically, see the requirements here. However that does not mean that people who spend less than 500,000 Euros but want to get a visa and the right to live here can no longer do it. They can and the rules remain the same as they were prior to the new automatic visa coming in.
Here is the process for getting a visa by spending less than 500,000 Euros. One thing though, you have to be aware that even when you follow all of the steps correctly and do everything you are supposed to do then the granting of the visa is not automatic, you may be refused. We have had some twenty clients from China in the last year or so and all but one of them have been granted the visa. The problem is that the Spanish consulate in Shanghai doesn’t let you know why you may be refused although it is almost always to do with not having enough money in a bank account and proving it is yours. So no guarantees but all probabilities.
The process is slightly different if you are inside or outside the country when you start but let us assume you make a visit to look for properties as a first step to start off with.
1) You make a visit on a temporary visa to look for a property. Whilst here you give power of attorney to a lawyer to apply for your NIE number and you open a bank account to receive your money. With the POA the lawyer/trustee can apply for the NIE number and avoid you having to queue for what possibly could be a very long time.
2) Once you find a suitable property you place a deposit (Once the lawyer has checked out that it is all legal and above board with no debts or encumbrances on the property) and then you have a contract. This contract has a time period on it. That can be anything from one month up to and including a year. The usual is one to three months and if you get a longer period you will usually be required to place a higher deposit.
3) Within the stipulated time period you transfer funds to your account in Spain for the purchase and cost of taxes, notary, registry etc… and your POA purchases the property for you. The deeds of the property and the keys are then sent to you in your country.
4) Get your POA to purchase a medical insurance for you in Spain or buy one in your own country that covers medical services in Spain.
5) You must also make sure that you can prove you have means to support yourself when you come to Spain so your bank account in your home country must show that there is money available to live on when you come to Spain. This amount is not stated but in our experience anything over 50,000 Euros equivalent in the local currency is usually accepted. (One client of our lawyer was refused because even though they had 100,000 Euros in their account it had only been transferred into the account two days before providing details to the embassy and it came from their father. This was too obviously not the client’s money but was given by a third party and despite that third party being a family member their residency application was refused as a result)
6) You must also prove that you have no criminal record. This is true for all non EU nationals even if they have previously been living in another member state of the EU for a period of over a year. If this is the case then you have to prove that you have no criminal record in the member state during your time period there.
7) With the NIE number, the medical insurance, criminal record check, passport and the property deeds in hand you make an application in your home country at the Spanish embassy/consulate for a visa. Because you have already made the purchase, have set up your bank account and got your NIE number the embassy sees you have the intention to live in the country and they issue the visa for a period of one year.
8) At the end of the first year you will be required to renew the visa which will be granted for another two years then after two years the same will happen again. At the end of this initial period of five years a permanent visa will be granted. (This is usually granted automatically as long as conditions of the original application have not changed). Finally the applicant can apply for Spanish citizenship at the end of ten years.
Once the visa is granted then there are a series of actions you need to take to get yourself registered. We will cover those in a further post.
If your circumstances are different, if you have any questions, want to know any more or want to start the process yourself do not hesitate to get in touch with us on firstname.lastname@example.org