Spain To Axe "Golden Visa" System – Media

Editorial Staff 9 April 2024

Spain To Axe

In recent years, the market for so-called "golden visas" has risen, catering for a desire by HNW individuals and families to live in safer, less heavily-taxed jurisdictions, among other reasons.

Spain will scrap its residency-by-investment programme, Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez was quoted as saying yesterday by media outlets (Reuters, others). 

Ending the scheme would help make access to affordable housing "a right instead of a speculative business," Sanchez said.

The programme awards non-EU citizens investing at least €500,000 ($541,250) – without taking out a mortgage – in Spanish real estate a special permit, allowing them to live and work in the country for three years.

These programmes – known as the “golden visa” – are part of a global market for residency/citizenship which has mushroomed to include scores of nations in recent years.

They can be controversial. In Portugal, the country altered its scheme in response to political anger about high residential property prices. The UK axed its scheme days after Russia invaded Ukraine. These programmes have been accused of being vulnerable to money launderers. Malta, for example, has been attacked by the European Union (Malta is an EU member) for its regime in recent years.

"Today, 94 out of every 100 such visas are linked to real estate major cities that are facing a highly-stressed market and where it's almost impossible to find decent housing for those who already live, work and pay their taxes there," Sanchez is quoted as saying by Reuters.

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