So, how does foreign residency work in Spain?

Gaining the right of “residency” in European countries is now becoming easier for foreign citizens like Americans, or people from Hong Kong, China and the far east.

Late in 2012 the Spanish government decided to provide foreigners residency with certain conditions… Currently European Union nationals already have the freedom to live in Spain, and from now on so do people from outside Spain who spend a minimum of 160,000€ on property.

This latest residency offer is one of many attempts from the Spanish government to restore its “flagging housing market” and wider economic climate. Other schemes have worked well with temporary VAT cuts on new house transactions from 2011 (ends December 31st 2012).

Spain’s housing market requires all the aid it can get — property prices fell just over 15% in the year to the end of the 3rd quarter 2012, according to the National Stats Institute. This was the 18th consecutive quarter of rate falls. Supply and need run out kilter, with 200,000 repossessed homes being contributed to about one million unsold, freshly constructed houses. Buyer numbers are well below what they were before the credit crunch –

Positive Builder Thoughts … most developers are excited about this new reign of foreign investment — as most will purchase new build property rather than the tired ‘old’ glut of repossession properties that will linger around for a long time.

This new Spanish residency deal is the most generous provided yet by any EU country. To obtain residency in Ireland and Portugal, a foreign nationwide should spend at least 400,000€ and 500,000€ respectively on homes in these countries.

A potential issue for immigrants who buy homes in the Spanish area of Catalonia is exactly what happens if it states self-reliance? Will residency rights be taken out? In November 2012, the Catalans voted for pro-separatist parties in its regional elections, so a referendum on whether to declare freedom is expected in the next couple of years.

Catalonia is home to three locations preferred with foreign home buyers– Costa Brava, Costa Dorada and Barcelona, its capital city.

For potential foreign purchasers fearing Catalonia’s future these will benefit housing markets elsewhere in Spain, as overseas buyers who want Spanish residency may decide to play safe and buy homes regions like Costa Blanca, Costa Almeria and Andalucia instead.

160,000€ will gain residency into Spain …

Related reading:
Spanish Visa Residency Property

Government have now released the new visa requirements (October 2013) – see:- for full qualifying rules.