Spain to End Golden Visas for Foreigners Buying €500,000 Homes

Spain’s Prime Minister has made a bold move to abolish the controversial ‘golden visa’ scheme, which granted residency to foreigners who invested a minimum of €500,000 in Spanish real estate. The scheme, introduced in 2013 to stimulate the property market following the housing crash and Euro crisis, allowed investors to obtain a three-year residence permit, extendable for another two years.

Spain to End Golden Visas for Foreigners Buying €500,000 Homes

Critics of the scheme have long argued that it leads to inflationary pressures and serves as a gateway for illicit funds to enter the Spanish economy. In a recent press conference in Dos Hermanas, the Spain’s Prime Minister announced the government’s decision to put an end to the program, citing that 94% of approved visas were linked to property investments in expensive regional capitals like Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, and Valencia.

The timing of this announcement is crucial, as local elections in Catalunya and the Basque Country loom ahead. The Spain’s Prime Minister emphasized his commitment to ensuring affordable housing for all citizens, with a goal of limiting housing expenses to no more than 30% of their income.

In 2022 alone, Spain granted 2,462 residency permits to investors who met the €500,000 property investment threshold, marking a 60% increase from the previous year. Since its inception, the golden visa scheme has led to a total of 11,464 individual authorizations and 19,805 family reunification authorizations.

While some countries like Ireland, Portugal, and Greece have already scrapped their own versions of the golden visa scheme due to concerns about housing affordability, experts warn that Spain’s decision could have negative repercussions on the economy. Foreign buyers accounted for 15% of all home purchases in Spain last year, reaching an all-time high.

As the debate continues, the future implications of ending the golden visa scheme remain uncertain. Stay tuned for more updates on this developing story.

Spain to End Golden Visas for Foreigners Buying €500,000 Homes

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