February 16, 2019 – Spain’s residence-by-investment program is seeing record demand having recently passed 24,000 golden visas issued since its 2013 launch.
Figures suggest 2018 broke the record set in 2017 for the most visas issued through the program in a year. The 2017 record stands at 5,876, with the first 10 months of 2018 seeing 5,778 golden visas issued.
The investment threshold is €500,000, with streams for real estate and business projects.
Spain vs Other EU Programs
One of the 13 EU countries offering a permanent residence or citizenship-by-investment program, the Spanish version has certain unique traits compared to options offered by the likes of
Unlike other programs, investors favour Spain’s stream aimed at business projects as opposed to real estate.
Buying a home and qualifying for permanent residence is the global preference for investment immigrants. Yet, Spain seems to be an exception to this norm.
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Spain has witnessed increasing demand each year since the program’s introduction in 2013. While other programs have also seen growth in demand, there have been sharp variations in the preference of investors.
Spain has commanded investor attention right from when the program was introduced, attracting foreign capital into the country to aid economic revival.
High Chinese and Russian Demand
China and Russia are the biggest sources of demand for the program. Since its introduction, close to 4,650 Chinese and around 2,000 Russians have qualified for golden visas.
Others in the top seven countries with highest demand for the Spanish golden visa are USA, Brazil, India, Venezuela, and Mexico.
Most applicants prefer to settle in urban centres like Barcelona and Madrid. However, Russian investors prefer alternative destinations like Costa Blanca and Marbella.
Despite the program’s popularity, critics have raised concerns about potential misuse by criminals to gain access to the country.
That such programs may be used as a tool to facilitate international money laundering or tax evasion is one of the biggest concerns of the European Parliament.
There also are doubts about whether countries offering such programs conduct the required due diligence, given the importance of the investment dollars.
This obvious contradiction has raised concerns, especially among EU member nations that allow visa-free access to citizens and permanent residents of other EU nations as a part of the Schengen Agreement.
Critics also highlight the ethical issues involved in allowing those buying their way to fast-track permanent residence to qualify for citizenship.
The Spain program has been very popular since its inception and, considering the record high witnessed in 2018, is likely to continue attracting investors in the years to come.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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