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Spain set to scrap Golden Visas for foreign investors

MADRID, April 12, 2024

Spain is set to scrap its 'golden visa' programme that grants residency rights to foreigners who make large investments in the country's real estate in the country, reported Reuters, citing its Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez.
 
The programme awards non-EU citizens investing at least 500,000 euros ($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.
 
Ending the scheme would help make access to affordable housing “a right instead of a speculative business,” Sanchez told reporters.
 
“Today, 94 out of every 100 such visas are linked to real estate investment… in 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 said.
 
He added that the government would launch the process to eliminate the scheme at Tuesday’s weekly cabinet meeting after studying a report submitted by the Housing Ministry.
 
From the start of the golden visa scheme in 2013 until November 2022, Spain issued almost 5,000 permits, government figures show.
 
Chinese investors top the list followed by Russians who invested more than 3.4 billion euros, according to a 2023 Transparency International report that questioned whether authorities investigated the origin of the funds.
 
The measure is unlikely to affect the property market since less than 0.1% of 4.5 million homes sold during that period were purchased under the scheme, according to property website Idealista. 



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