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Spain Golden Visa vs Cyprus Golden Visa: which is more advantageous?

Spain Golden Visa vs Cyprus Golden Visa: which is more advantageous? Publicado: 02-07-2024

For those who have always dreamed of living the Mediterranean lifestyle, with its pleasant climate, delightful cuisine, and warm culture, this article is for you. Learn about how the Golden Visa programs of Spain and Cyprus can make this dream a reality. Continue reading for an explanation of Golden Visas more generally, followed by a discussion of some of the key similarities between the programs in Spain and Cyprus. 

What is a Golden Visa? 

A Golden Visa refers to a type of residency permit that is acquired by making a qualifying investment. These residency-by-investment schemes make it possible for individuals who are not citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland to acquire a residency permit that confers several benefits, depending on which country issues it. 

Which countries offer Golden Visas? 

There are several countries in Europe that offer different versions of a Golden Visa. This article will provide information regarding Spain and Cyprus`s programs. For information on other countries, our specialized team in Immigration Law will be delighted to provide you with additional information and personalized guidance. 

Why obtain a Golden Visa? 

Both the Golden Visa of Spain and that of Cyprus offer several benefits, among which the following stand out: 

  • Live and study: Golden Visa holders in both Spain and Cyprus have the ability to live and study in the country for which they have obtained the visa
  • Family inclusion: both programs allow the applicant to bring their family
  • No tax residency requirement: neither program requires that the individual establish tax residency 
  • No minimum time requirement: there`s no obligation to spend a minimum amount of time in the country 
  • Flexibility: this gives visa holders incredible flexibility to spend as much or as little time as they want in the country 

Spain`s Golden Visa allows holders to travel freely within the Schengen Area, significantly simplifying travel throughout Europe without the need to apply for additional documentation. Additionally, Spain`s Golden Visa authorizes the holder to work legally in the country. This can be a significant advantage for those seeking a more permanent relocation and who wish to continue working. 

Who`s eligible for a Golden Visa? 

The key eligibility requirement for the Golden Visa is a qualifying investment. In addition to the investment, there are some general eligibility requirement as well. The types of investments that qualify and the requisite amounts are discussed in more detail below. 

To apply for a Golden Visa in either Spain or Cyprus, the applicant must be 18 years or older and not a citizen of the EU or EEA, or Switzerland. 

Additional Requirements: 

  • Private health insurance: applicants need to have private health insurance
  • Clean criminal record: a clean criminal record is required for all applicants
  • Proof of sufficient economic means: Spain and Cyprus also require applicants to prove that they have sufficient economic means to support themselves. For Spain this amount is calculated as 400% of the IPREM plus 100% of the IRPEM for each additional family member. 400% of the IPREM is currently 2.400€ per month. Cyprus requires the applicant show proof of 50.000€ annual income (generated abroad) for the main applicant, plus 15.000€ for the applicant`s spouse, and 10.000€ for each dependent.

Cyprus-specific requirement: applicants applying for the Cypriot Golden Visa must sign a declaration not to work. The exception to this, is that they may still serve as the director of a company. 

What investments qualify for a Golden Visa? 

Both Spain and Cyprus offer several different investment opportunities. However, before discussing further, please note that Spain has recently announced changes to its program which will impact the qualifying investments.

Spain`s president recently announced that he planned on ending the purchase of property as a qualifying investment. While the president has publicly made this statement, it has not yet been passed by Congress so it is uncertain when the change will go into effect. For the time being, it is still possible to use a real estate purchase as a qualifying investment. 

The current investment options in Spain are: 

  • Real Estate Purchase +≥ €500.000
  • Deposit into Bank Account ≥ €1.000.000
  • Purchase of Spanish stocks or investing in private investment funds ≥ €1.000.000
  • Purchase of Spanish Public Debt ≥ €2.000.000

The investment options in Cyrpus are: 

  • Real Estate Investment of ≥ €300.000
  • Investment of ≥ €300.000 in a Cypriot company that employs at least 5 people, or in units that are part of a Cyprus Collective Investment Organization

How long is the residency authorization valid for and it is possible to eventually obtain citizenship? 

Both countries grant Golden Visa holder the opportunity to establish permanent residency, and eventually citizenship. However, they have different timelines. 

In Spain, the first residency authorization permit that the applicant obtains will be valid for 3 years. At the end of these 3 years, the applicant may then renew the permit which will be valid for 5 more years. If the applicant desires, they may apply for permanent residency after 5 years. Citizenship may be applied for after 10 years of residency in Spain, with exceptions allowing for citizenship application after one year, two years, or five years of legal and permanent residence in Spain. 

In Cyrpus, the permit confers an indefinite right to reside in the country, however the physical residence card will gave an expiration date of 10 years from issuance. Minors included on the application will be eligible to reside in the country until they are 18. Citizenship may be applied for after 7 years of residency, provided that the applicant has lived in Cyrpus for a full year prior to the time of application. 

Can the investor`s family members also qualify for the Golden Visa? 

Yes! Both Spain and Cyprus allow for the primary applicant to include qualifying family members on the application. 

For Spain, family members who meet the requirement include: the spouse, minor children, dependent adult children, and dependent parents over 65 years of age. 

Cyprus allows the visa to be extended to one`s spouse, minor children, and children 18-25 if they are students and are not married. 

If you want to take advantage of the current Golden Visa opportunities in Spain or Cyprus, our expert attorneys at Gentile Law can address your concerns and assist you in the process of obtaining the visa swiftly and securely. At Gentile Law, our team of highly qualified bilingual professionals will provide you with the necessary guidance to ensure you feel confident in your investment and guarantee a smooth process. 

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