How to obtain a Spain Golden Visa: Step by Step

Spain golden visa

In recent years, an increasing number of Americans have been drawn to the idea of moving their families to Europe potentially under a Spain Golden Visa, particularly Spain. This migration can be attributed to several factors, including the desire for a more relaxed lifestyle, favorable weather conditions, and the renowned Spanish cuisine. In contrast, factors like political drama, the rising cost of living, and security issues in the United States have spurred this exodus.

Step 1: Understanding Your Visa Options

When it comes to obtaining residency in Spain, there are several avenues to explore. These include the Digital Nomad Visa, Non-Lucrative Visa, and the focus of this guide: the Investment Visa, often referred to as the Spain Golden Visa. The Golden Visa program offers residency to those who make substantial investments in real estate, businesses, or long-term bank or stock deposits. Among these options, real estate investment is the most common and the one we will delve into here.

Step 2: Preparing for Your Spanish Adventure

Before diving into the Spain Golden Visa Visa process, it’s essential to plan your trip to Spain. This journey involves thorough research, as Spain will become your new home. Consider the legal and financial implications of this transition, ensuring you’re well-prepared for the move. Consider reading our Ultimate Spain Relocation Checklist to move to Spain, in our comprehensive PDF Settling in Spain.

Step 3: NIE Number and Financing

As your journey begins, obtaining an NIE (Número de Identificación de Extranjero) is a crucial step. Think of it as Spain’s equivalent of a social security number, tracking your financial activities, including taxes. To secure your NIE, you’ll need to visit the Spanish consulate and validate your documents, a process that typically takes 3-4 weeks.

Another important aspect is financing your property investment. While the Spain Golden Visa requires an unencumbered property, meaning no loans, you’ll likely need financial assistance. Consider options like bank financing and be prepared to provide documentation like passports, proof of income, tax returns, and credit score reports.

Step 4: Meeting the Investment Threshold for the Spain Golden Visa

The Golden Visa program sets an investment threshold, which, at the time of this article, is 500,000 Euros. You can reach this threshold by investing in one or multiple properties, as long as the total amount meets or exceeds this requirement. However, be aware that there may be discussions about increasing this investment amount in the future.

There is also the option to reducing this treshold to 350.000€ when investing on commercial property instead.

Step 5: Documenting Your Investment for the Spain Golden Visa

Once you’ve paid for your property, you can begin the Spain Golden Visa application process. Gather essential documents, all dated within 90 days of your application. These documents include a certificate from the land registry, title deeds that reflect property ownership, proof of payment, FBI background checks or Police Checks for all adult family members, and apostilles for these background checks, all translated by sworn translators.

If you’re married, ensure that your title deed reflects the property as community property, as only one applicant can apply for the Visa. The other spouse and any children can be added as dependents. You’ll also need marriage certificates and additional documents, such as state background checks if required.

Step 6: Financial Security and Health Insurance

Demonstrating financial security is a vital aspect of the application. You’ll need to prove financial resources of at least 400% of IPREM, which is currently around 32,000 €. For each family member, add 100% of IPREM, making it roughly 36,000 € for a married couple for one year.

If you plan to work remotely or continue working in the US, you can use pay stubs to show income, with a monthly amount of 3,000 € (36,000/12 months). Some consulates may also require proof of a bank account with a minimum balance, as decisions can vary based on the consulate.

Health insurance is a must, showing coverage for at least one year, ideally starting around the time of your application submission. Completing the application form and having documents officially translated to Spanish are essential components of this step.

Spainguru offers you the best value/money insurance, from the largest insurance company in Spain, compliant with all visa applications here.

Step 7: Initiating the Spain Golden Visa Application

Contact your nearest Spanish consulate to initiate the Golden Visa application. Craft a comprehensive application request, including your personal information, passport number, date of birth, and a photograph of yourself holding your passport. Expect instructions and guidance from the consulate, and be prepared to follow their specific procedures.

Step 8: Waiting, Arriving, and Settling in Spain

While waiting for your Visa approval, manage your expectations regarding processing times. Address any additional requests or clarifications promptly. Stay informed about potential changes to Visa requirements, as these can impact your application.

Within one year of receiving your Visa, plan a trip to Spain. Here, you’ll need to register as a resident at the local town hall, presenting your passports, Nota Simple, and a utility bill with your name on it. You must also make an appointment at a local police station to obtain your TIE (Residency Card). Consider hiring a service to help secure an appointment, as they can be challenging to come by. Keep in mind that the required photographs are smaller than standard passport size.


Upon completing these steps, you’ll have achieved legal residency in Spain. Even if retirement isn’t imminent, pursuing the Golden Visa process now can be a wise decision, given the potential for future changes or increased investment thresholds in Spain’s residency program.

This article is no legal advice and is based on Spainguru’s investigation. If you wish to stay updated and get legal and financial advice, and free webinars on the Spain golden visa program here.