We are often asked about Spanish citizenship and immigration through the investor visa scheme. It is important to point out the difference between residency and citizenship by investment in Spain. The new visa scheme allows residency for anyone investing over 500,000 Euros in a property in Spain. That grants the right to reside in Spain and travel in Europe but not work or gain benefits that the Spanish state offers.
The investor does not need to reside in Spain although his or her immediate family can reside in Spain and go to school and university. Citizenship grants a person the same rights as any Spanish national. Typically through the investor immigration scheme residency can be renewed after one year and again after three years if the investment is retained. Then residency becomes permanent.
Then the investor may apply for citizenship which allows the issuing of a Spanish passport. It is important to make this distinction as many real estate agents are advertising citizenship with the new golden visa programme in Spain. It is residency and not citizenship that is offered. Our lawyers will be glad to advise individual cases.
What are the conditions of Spanish citizenship
You need to have resided in Spain almost full time for 10 years before you can apply for Citizenship. This means becoming tax resident as you would be spending over 183 days in the country per year. It’s not the quickest option for citizenship in Europe. If you main goal is obtaining citizenship then we would also suggest looking at other routes such as Portugal, which only requires you to reside for an average of 1 week per year for 6 years to get a passport.
I have a young daughter. With the Golden Visa and resident status, does she pay local tuition? And as a resident of Spain, can she study in other EU countries and qualify for local/EU fee? And does the resident status give me the right to work in Spain and other EU countries?
Residency status allows one to live, work and study in Spain. You can study in a local school which is usually free, but of course if you choose to study at a private international school or college there will be extra costs involved. Residency will allow you to travel freely throughout the EU Schengen zone, however if you wish to live, work or study in any other EU country you will need full EU citizenship. Studying and working in another country in the EU may be possible with Spanish residency, but additional student or business visas would usually be required.
As far as acquiring citizenship is concerned, if I am married to a Spanish lady, how long do I need to apply for the citizenship? And do I have to reside in Spain? Does the process take long from the time of applying till acquisition?
Thanks a lot!
We just deal with the Spanish Golden Visa Programme which requires a property investment of €500,000. I am afraid we do not deal with other types of Spanish immigration so are unable to advise on citizenship through marriage.