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Spain Ends Golden Visa Program's Real Estate Option Amid Housing Concerns

Spain has made the decision to discontinue its Golden Visa Program route, which allowed wealthy foreign nationals to acquire residency by purchasing property valued at €500,000 or more. President Pedro Sanchez confirmed this move, emphasizing Spain's commitment to ensuring housing as a fundamental right rather than merely a speculative venture.


Spain Ends Golden Visa Program's Real Estate Option Amid Housing Concerns

"I want to announce that tomorrow’s Council of Ministers is going to study a report submitted by the Minister of Housing and Urban Agenda to modify the law, approved by the Popular Party in 2013, which allows obtaining a residence visa if you invest in housing in our country," said the Spain's President, Pedro Sanchez.


The decision raises questions about the future of alternative residency options for wealthy individuals in Spain.


Among the most well-known pathways to a Golden Visa in Spain was through real estate investment. Foreign investors were required to purchase property worth at least €500,000, including residential, commercial, or land properties. Cities such as Madrid, Málaga, Alicante, Palma, Valencia, and Barcelona were particularly popular for such investments.


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The Golden Visa Program was introduced in 2013 by the People’s Party Government of Mariano Rajoy during Spain’s financial crisis to stimulate economic growth. However, the program has faced criticism for alleged involvement in illicit activities such as corruption, money laundering, and tax evasion.


“Spanish Golden Visas are 'European shame.' This is staging first- and second-class citizens. We are glad that they listen to us by eliminating this measure,” said Minister of Culture of Spain, Ernest Urtasun.


Last year, the left-wing political party Más País introduced a bill to abolish the real estate investment option from the Golden Visa Program, arguing that it did not bring significant benefits to Spain.


Following in the footsteps of Portugal and Greece, Spain's decision to discontinue the Golden Visa Program route aligns with recent changes in other European countries. Portugal removed the real estate investment option from its Golden Visa scheme, while Greece increased the minimum investment for its Residency by Investment Scheme (RIP) and imposed restrictions on short-term rental properties acquired through the Golden Visa Program.

By fLEXI tEAM

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