Residency in Spain

What does it mean “residence” or “to reside” in a country?

The residency or legal residency is the legal situation or status under which a person is entitled to remain for a long or indefinite term in a country.

Thus, the entry or mere visit is not residency if it is short (up to six month).  RDT Abogados offer a comprehensive service to clients seeking residency in Spain.

Can I become a resident of any country I wish?

No, unfortunately not. The countries as sovereign entities can set the rules and / or requirements for foreigners to enter, reside or access nationality.

Due to international turmoil and conflicts, the requirements are becoming stricter. The residence or residence leave must be applied for formally and be authorised by the local authority.

The renewal terms must also be observed.

Is residence the same as nationality?

No: “residence” or “legal residence” is the right to live in a country for a long period, and nationality is the legal status that entitles a citizen of a given country the rights and liabilities of the same country.

A person can have residence in a country without being a national of that country.

Being a resident of a country for a period of time, in many cases entitles a person to access automatically (or at least more easily) citizenship of that Country.

It is important to note that there are varying conditions which will obviously differ from person to person depending on personal circumstances.

How do I apply to be resident in Spain?

For those applying from outside of Spain, the application should be submitted through the Consulate in the country you are currently in.

Those already in Spain with some sort of entry or tourist visa should go to a solicitor, as dealing with intricate requirements particularly in a different language does make things difficult on most occasions.

What are the routes to getting residence in Spain that might suit me better?

The increase of international conflicts and the number of refugees expelled from their countries or forced to leave, the growing number of mafias dealing with illegal emigrants, the reduction of travelling costs amongst some other reasons, have provoked virtually all the Western countries to set in place very strict rules to entry and reside.

However, the Spanish legislator has set out some routes which facilitate residence in Spain by means of investment.

On 24th May 2013, the Spanish government approved a preliminary bill to enable non-EU citizens to qualify for Spanish residency through investment in property.

Foreign nationals will therefore be able to apply for a specific residence VISA for investors. The terms of the act stipulate that the purchase price of the property should exceed €500,000 (five hundred thousand euro).

In order for the residency VISA to be granted the investor must meet the following requirements:

  • Investor should not have a criminal record.
  • Investor should have private health insurance
  • Have access to funds to cover living expenses for themselves and family members.
  • The property should have €500,000 of equity at time of purchase. A mortgage may be obtained for funds in excess of this amount.
  • Property should be registered in investor’s name.
  • If the property is purchased via a company, the applicant must hold the majority voting rights.

How long will the VISA be valid?

The residence VISA will be valid for two years.

The VISA will be renewable at expiry. The investor will be required to provide evidence of continued ownership of the property in Spain and ability to support themselves and their immediate family members.

Are there any other routes I can follow?

Yes there are.

Another possible route is setting up a business in Spain which might create job positions. This route is very flexible but requires a business plan and fresh funds to invest in the project in Spain.

There is no minimum amount required, but around €100,000 or more is usually accepted.

RDT Abogados are able to assist both private and corporate clients, with a comprehensive service to ensure both the property purchase and residency application are processed promptly and efficiently.

RDT offer a fixed fee package for investors which includes:

  • Conveyancing (purchase).
  • Searches and land registry verification and registration.
  • Residency application.
  • Spanish bank account.
  • Spanish will.

Initial consultations are offered to clients without charge.  Please don´t hesitate to contact us today to discuss your situation.

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