There was considerable excitement across Spain about the introduction of the Golden Visa scheme back in 2013 – specifically, about its potential to boost the property sector. The Golden Visa scheme offers residency rights and travel in the Schengen area if buyers have invested at least €500,000 in Spanish property. There was some initial disappointment after its launch, however, as despite the scheme’s potential benefits it ultimately didn’t attract as many buyers as expected.

Now though, this early phase of disappointment is being rectified thanks to adjustments to the scheme’s requirements in July 2015. This last year has seen an increase of 63% pick up in investments made under the Golden Visa, equating to €1.71 billion in real terms – 94% of which of transactions were in Spanish property. This is a considerable increase compared to the €1.07 billion invested in 2015, clearly indicating the growing interest in Spain’s Golden Visa.

Russian and Chinese investors are currently the two nationalities getting the most use out of the scheme. Chinese investments came to a whopping total of €469 million between October 2015 and October 2016 in a total of 666 real estate purchases.

Spain’s rise in popularity with Chinese property investors is thanks to new barriers preventing buyers from investing funds in Australia, USA and Canada, which have previously been their countries of choice. While Chinese buyers are currently focusing on purchasing property in and around Madrid, Russian investors strongly favour the Costa del Sol – notably, the Marbella area. In 2016 Russian buyers invested €480 million in Spanish property, with an average expenditure of €786,000 per transaction.

In total, 24,500 visas have been issued since 2013 while the number of principal investors is 11,774, with the disparity accounting for partners and children of investors. Buyers are also able to apply for a Golden Visa retrospectively for property purchased prior to the schemes introduction – provided, of course, that the investment meets the required criteria.

Requirements of the Golden Visa for investors in Spanish property are:

  • The applicant must be aged 18 or over
  • They must not have a criminal record in Spain or their country of residence in the five years prior to the application
  • They must have medical insurance
  • They must be able to pay the application fee
  • They must have the financial means to support themselves and any family while they are in Spain
  • They must not already be living in Spain illegally


If you are looking for a property in or around Marbella, or would like to find out more Spain’s Golden Visa scheme, we would be happy to assist you in your search. Please call us on +34 952 765 428 to find out more and to arrange a viewing.