Fewer than 100 of the world’s super-rich have taken advantage of the Spanish government’s offer of a residency permit in return for investing in the national economy or buying property in Spain. The so-called “golden visa” scheme was introduced in September 2013, aimed at foreigners buying properties worth more than €500,000; investing €1 million or more in shares of publicly traded Spanish companies; depositing at least €1 million in a Spanish bank account; or making a major business investment leading directly to meaningful job creation, or having significant socioeconomic or technological impact.
Almost half of the new residents are Chinese and Russian millionaires, with the remainder coming from Ukraine, Lebanon, Ecuador, Qatar, Egypt and Iran, among others.
The new visas do not come with a work permit, or include family members or spouses (though these may apply separately); nor are beneficiaries required to live in Spain – although they must visit the country at least once a year. They will, however, be allowed to move freely through the Schengen Area.
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