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Current Spanish immigration law[1] does not require any specific amount to issue an investor visa.  A self-employed person may be issued a temporary residence visa valid for a period of ninety days to five years if the proposed investment is proved to be appropriate and will provide jobs for Spanish workers.[2]

In order to create more demand for real estate and foreign investment, the Spanish government has approved a major bill to enhance the economy and promote business that is now pending congressional approval,[3] and this bill proposes new provisions on investor visas.[4]  In addition to other measures, the new law would allow the issuance of long-term residence permits to non-European Union citizens who invest in real estate of at least €500,000 (about US$664,500) in value; invest at least €2 million in Spanish public bonds or at least €1 million in deposits in Spanish financial institutions or the same amount in shares or participation in Spanish companies;[5] or start or participate in a business to be developed in Spain that would create jobs, have a positive socioeconomic impact in the region where it would operate, or add relevant scientific or technological innovation.[6]

In recent years, investment in real estate by foreigners in Spain has increased significantly, mainly from Russia, Norway, the United Kingdom, and Sweden.[7]  Real estate agents are currently seeing interest from Chinese investors who are attracted by the low prices in Spain and the expectation of the availability of a new visa that would facilitate those investments.[8]

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Prepared by Graciela Rodriguez-Ferrand
Senior Foreign Law Specialist
August 2013

[1] Ley Orgánica 4/2000 sobre Derechos y Libertades de los Extranjeros en España y su Integración Social [LODLE] [Organic Law 4/2000 on the Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain and Their Social Integration], Jan, 11, 2000, Boletin Oficial del Estado [B.O.E], Jan. 12, 2000, as amended by Organic Law 2/2009, art. 37,; and Real Decreto 557/2011, por el que se aprueba el Reglamento de la Ley Orgánica 4/2000, sobre derechos y libertades de los extranjeros en España y su integración social, tras su reforma por Ley Orgánica 2/2009 [RLODLE] [Royal Decree 557/2011, Approving the Regulation of Organic Law 4/2000 on the Rights and Freedoms of Foreigners in Spain and Their Social Integration, After Its Reform by Organic Law 2/2009], arts. 103–105.3.c and d, B.O.E. Apr. 30, 2011, 2011/BOE-A-2011-7703-consolidado.pdf.

[2] Id. (both LODLE & RLODLE).

[3] Proyecto de Ley 121/000052, Boletín Oficial de las Cortes Generales [B.O.C.G.], July 3, 2013,

[4] Id., arts. 60–64.

[5] Id. art. 60.2.a.

[6] Id. art. 60.2.c.

[7] La Venta de Viviendas a Extranjeros Creció un 15% en 2011 con 10,300 Transacciones, El Mundo (Aug. 18, 2012),

[8] Los Extranjeros Obtendrán la Residencia al Comprar un Inmueble de más de 500,000 €, El Mundo (May 24, 2013),