A European Union directive published in 2011 means anyone granted the golden investor visa for Spain will be able to live and work anywhere in the EU Schengen visa zone. Investors in Spanish property are first issued a one year residency visa when spending over €500,000 on a property purchase in Spain. After one year the visa can be renewed and again every every two years indefinetly. It is at that point, after the first 12 months, that the European residency rule will allow investors and their families to live and work anywhere in the Schengen visa zone in Europe, as long as the investment in Spain is maintained and the visa renewed every two years.
The draft investor visa legislation is set for debate in the Spanish parliament next week. The main points of the draft have already been published and discussed on this website and lawyers don’t expect too many changes to the draft. The government in Spain is keen to push this residency legislation through. That’s why they have a 20 day limit for response to any application – otherwise the visa is automatically issued.
Once passed we expect high demand, particularly from countries such as Russia, China and India. Likewise countries throughout the Middle East. I read recently that over 1000 Chinese buyers have invested in Cyprus in the last year to obtain the investor visa!
Considering Cyprus is 1500 miles from the centre of Europe but only 100 miles from Syria and unlike Spain is not part of the EU Schengen visa zone that’s quite an achievement. Especially as conditions for the residency visa in Cyprus include investing €30,000 per family member into a bank account in Cyprus in addition to a property purchase. Followers of the Cypriot banking crisis may agree that’s not for the faint hearted!
Still, it demonstrates the incredible demand for investor visas in Europe and bodes well for demand for the Spanish “golden visa”.