Prior to Brexit, British residents had the freedom to live, work and travel anywhere in the EU, subject to local requirements, but those wishing to move to an EU country since 31.12.20 face a number of hurdles. Fortunately, there are two schemes that make a move to Spain much easier than would otherwise be the case, which is good news for those who have held long-cherished hopes of a retirement in sunnier climes!
Both schemes have similar basic requirements:
- You must not be a citizen of an EU or EEA state, or of Switzerland, and must be over 18 years of age
- You cannot have a criminal record (past 5 years)
- You must have health insurance, either via a state scheme or from a Spanish insurer
- You must not have entered or stayed in Spain illegally
Coming from the UK, you will of course not be a citizen of an EU state, but you would need to comply with the other points above and certain others, depending on your situation. The most important aspect is that you must purchase a property in Spain for at least €500,000, without using a mortgage or other loan, and that you can demonstrate you can support yourselves financially. No specific amounts are quoted, but clearly you must be able to prove that the cost of running a property of this value plus general living expenses can be met, the figures mentioned below being a useful guideline.
There are alternatives – rather than investing €500,000 in property, investments of €1million in a Spanish bank deposit or in a Spanish company, or €2million in Spanish bonds, will also qualify you for a Golden Visa.
What are the benefits?
- The Visa will apply to the main applicant and his/her spouse, plus minor children. Adult children or dependent parents can accompany them, but full details will need to be provided
- It allows the holder to work in Spain, subject to meeting local requirements
- The Visa holder does not need to reside in Spain or spend a certain amount of time here in order to renew it
- The Visa provides a residency permit for one year initially, and can then be renewed for a further two years and then 5 years. After 5 years, you can apply for permanent residency and, after 10 years, Spanish citizenship (if you have actually resided in Spain during that time)
- The Visa allows travel within the Schengen area for 90 days out of any 180 (the same as the current restrictions for those resident in Spain)
- The property can be sold once permanent residency is obtained