Only 136 residence permits have been issued on the basis of a real estate investment in Spain in 2022, which is 72 per cent lower than the 497 visas issued by the Spanish consulates worldwide a year before, in 2021.
Data provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to Spanish nonprofit newspaper The Objective also show that before the outbreak of the Coronavirus pandemic, in 2019, 681 visas were issued to those purchasing homes and other types of real estate in Spain, or 80 per cent more than in 2022.
In spite of the low number of visas issued in 2022, the Íñigo Errejón, leader of the Spanish left-wing political party, Más País, wants to end the practice of issuing residence permits to people simply for purchasing a property in Spain, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In mid-February, Errejón has submitted a bill to the Congress which required the termination of the Spanish Golden Visa by purchase of property, arguing that the practice has affected the increase of housing prices in the country.
“How easy it is for some gentlemen to come and request a residence permit and buy a house with half a million euros. It looks almost colonial. We have presented a very simple reform, to eliminate this class advantage that is given to some, which is bad for transparency and for containing housing prices,” Errejón had said during an interview for News and Online Radio Cadena SER.
According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, there are four ways through which one can get a golden visa for Spain, with the first being purchase of real estate in Spain worth at least €500,000.
This type of residence permit for Spain can also be obtained by making an investment in the Spanish public debt of at least €2 million or buying shares in a company/buying a deposit in a Spanish bank of at least €1 million.
The last type of investment through which a Spanish Golden visa might be obtained is by investing in a new business that “will offer employment opportunities, contribute to scientific and/or technological innovation and have a relevant socio-economic impact in the area where the business will be undertaken.”
Data by the Spanish Ministry of Inclusion, Social Security and Migration shows that 2,148 Golden visas were approved in 2020, while another 2,656 were approved in 2019, 2,273 in 2018, and 1,805 in 2017.
While in 2015, in total, there were 429 Golden visa holders in Spain, this number increased to 7,425 in 2021.
The majority of beneficiaries, in terms of nationality, are Chinese citizens, who account for 28 per cent Golden visas issued, followed by Russian citizens who make up a quarter of such visa holders.
Errejón’s request to partially end the Golden visa, follows the termination of the Irish golden visa, while a day later, Portugal had also scrapped its golden visa. Both countries have presented different reasons behind the move, while its is expected that more EU Golden visas will see their end, due to frequent criticism by EU institutions.
Source：schengen visa information