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Goodbye Golden Visa: Cloud Nine’s Sean Woolley on the alternatives if you want to live in Spain

Sean Woolley, managing director of Cloud Nine Spain sought clarification on the situation with the Golden Visa scheme in Spain from Miguel Manzanarez, CEO of Manzanares Lawyers in Marbella in a recent video released on the Cloud Nine Spain YouTube channel.

Miguel confirmed that it has been decided that the Golden Visa for real estate will be scrapped and this has been confirmed by the Prime Minister. But so far, the details have not been added to the official state gazette (BOE) and therefore we don’t know how it’s going to be regulated, or when it’s going to happen.

Sean finds the following issues are front of mind:

• When is it going to happen?
• If I’m in the process of house hunting at the moment with the express intention of getting a Golden Visa, will the law change before I get it?
• Will they allow applicants who are already in the stages of application to go on?
• And then, of course, the other issue for a lot of people is, “Okay, I have my Golden Visa, but if they’re stopping it, does that mean I can’t renew it in the future?”

Unfortunately, we don’t yet have the answers to these questions, but we do know that there are already other options available for people who want to buy property in Spain, or move over to Spain from outside of the European Union.

What are the other options for people who want to buy in Spain?

If you’re not expecting to exceed 90 days out of every 180 days in Spain, you have already a very easy, straightforward way to be in Spain for half of the year. For most people that’s enough.

However, if that’s not enough for you, there are still options.

The Spanish system has three other ways to become resident, which are straightforward and simple.

• There are the lucrative and the non-lucrative residency options. The lucrative visa is right for people who want to stay in Spain and build a business. If you want to come and start a business, you have to apply to the Spanish government and provide a business plan, to prove you have a solid plan to come to Spain and run a business. This requires extensive documentation and proof that you can support and fund your business and potentially create employment.

• Another way to live in Spain long-term is the non-lucrative visa, which you can have if you don’t need to work, or are coming here to retire. It is important to be able to demonstrate that you can support yourself and the best way to do that is to be able to demonstrate regular income and savings.

The minimum required amount is equivalent to 400 percent of the IPREM (Public Multiple Effects Income Indicator) in Spain, with an additional 100 percent of the IPREM for each dependent. Ideally, you’ll be able to prove an income of 30,000 euros per year and have significant savings or a large private pension.

This dual-proof strategy effectively ensures there are no ambiguities regarding the applicant’s financial stability and their ability to sustain themselves without working during their stay in Spain. You also need to have a clean criminal record and health insurance in place.

• There’s also the recently introduced Digital Nomad Visa, which is for any foreigner planning to live in Spain as a resident, working remotely as a freelancer, or working for a company in another country.

It is also possible to get a non-lucrative visa and then create a business. You can set up a company and you can employ people, but not be employed yourself with a non-lucrative visa. So that can be interesting for entrepreneurs who want to semi-retire and enjoy the life here in Spain, but aren’t ready to totally stop and see a business opportunity here.

However, it is now more difficult to come here and just get a job.


The good news is that there is hope and there are alternatives to the Golden Visa. You can be in Spain 90 days out of every 180 days, just on a tourist visa. Then you can choose between the lucrative and the non-lucrative visa options or get the digital nomad visa if you want to make the permanent move and commit yourself to Spain.

Of course, if you are an EU citizen, none of this concerns you at all and you’re feel free to travel and work here and do what you like. It’s just the people outside the EU zone that are being affected.

Author Details

Sean Woolley is the Founder and Director of leading real estate agency Cloud Nine Spain. With 23
years’ experience of helping clients buy and sell properties in Spain, he has become known as “The
Property Doctor” and has contributed to a host of publications, offering practical advice and common-sense.

Miguel Manzanares is the CEO and founding partner of Manzanares Lawyers. Manzanares Lawyers
provides legal services and solutions, mainly focused on the areas real estate, immigration, fiscal
and building law.


See more about Golden Visas here in Dispatches’ archives.

See more from Sean here.

Cloud Nine

Cloud Nine Spain is a real estate firm based in Marbella, Spain specializing in luxury properties.

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