Spain’s ‘Golden Visa’ is in danger of being abolished under a new bill submitted to Congress, potentially affecting one hundred thousand expats property investors.
The Residence by Investment scheme, introduced in 2013, allows foreigners to obtain a Spanish residence permit by purchasing real estate worth at least €500,000 in the country.
Left-wing political party Más País said this type of investment drives up housing prices, making it difficult for locals to purchase their own homes, while the government does not carry out checks on the provenance of the funds, opening the door for crooks and fraudsters.
The bill submitted to Congress would limit the Golden Visa to foreigners who launch a business project with job creation or innovation that contribute to the growth of Spain’s economy.
This is in opposition to simply purchasing property, which they argue does not create jobs or bring any other economic benefits and increases inflation.
“It is not about the origin of the people, but the fact that the EU has already warned us that this is a shady business,” the leader of the Más País, Íñigo Errejón, said in an interview with Radio Cadena SER.
“The Spanish government does not check where this money comes from, nor how it was earned or what the rest of the relatives who come get up to. It is basically a class shortcut.”
“There are parts of Spain that are being colonised by people who do not want anything to be regulated.
“There is a huge difference between foreign workers who come to contribute, to work and make an effort and follow the rules, and the ease with which some gentlemen come and request a residence permit by buying a house with half a million euros.”
“It seems almost colonial.”
The news will come as a further blow to expat investors already reeling from the collapse of luxury property developer Otero, many of whom were relying on their investments to gain a visa to reside in Spain.