Spain has often been dubbed The California of Europe, and for good reason. In terms of its warm climate, breathtaking coastline, favorable cost of living and natural resources, Spain is the total package, and the closest Europe had to the Golden State.
Spain ranks third globally in its annual number of visitors behind France and the US. While many are drawn for commercial and business reasons to Spain’s twin powerhouse cities of Madrid and Barcelona, the majority of Spain’s 65 million annual visitors come for its sun, sea and sand. Spain has almost 5,000 KMs of coastline, much of it beautiful beaches that make up the ten legendary Costas that include the Costa Brava, Costa Blanca, Costa Tropical and most famous of all, the Costa del Sol.
Beautiful Yet Spacious
Spain’s population of 46 million is the fifth largest in Western Europe, but significantly lower than that of Germany (80 million) , France (66 million), the UK (64 million) and Italy (60 million), while its land mass is the second largest in Europe behind only France.
This equates to a spacious country filled with breathtaking scenery – both coastal and inland – and a nation of warm, friendly tolerant people. Like California and Australia, Spain is the perfect country for sporting development, and it’s no surprise that since the country became a democracy in 1975, Spain has produced a steady stream of world title winning sportsmen and women in soccer, tennis, basketball, cycling, golf, athletics, motor racing (both cars and bikes) and combat sports to name just a few. Spain’s rich vein of sporting success is testament to its climate, standard of living and overall health of its citizens.
Spain’s Golden Visa Program
Spain shares the Iberian peninsula with Portugal, and like its neighbors it has introduced a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program called the Golden Visa. For a minimum financial investment of 500,000 usually used by the applicant to purchase real estate a Golden Visa residency will be granted. This gives the holder the right to live and work in Spain.
After five years, permanent residency will be granted to applicants, which gives them the right to live, study and work anywhere within the EU . They are also free to sell off their investment if they so choose. After five further years of residency, applicants can then apply for full Spanish citizenship and a passport.
The Spanish government’s residency requirements are minimal, with applicants only needing to prove they entered Spain twice in the initial five years of their Golden Visa process. However, Spanish citizenship is a painfully slow process compared to other EU nations offering Citizenship by Investment, and a ten year wait for a Spanish passport makes Spain’s Golden Visa by far the most drawn out of all CBI programs.
The Portuguese Option
The Portuguese Golden Visa was introduced in 2012 and already there have been more than 1000 successful applicants, many of the them high net-worth Chinese investors looking for a more secure, stable life in the West and access to the bets European schools for their children.
The Portuguese and Spanish Golden visas are similar in several aspects; both require a very little actual residency from the applicant, with the Portuguese government requiring just one week in the initial year from its Golden Visa applicants followed by one week in the following three years. Both require a minimum real estate investment of 500,000.
The biggest difference is that Portuguese citizenship and a passport is granted after six years of residency a full four years quicker than Spain’s program.
The Portuguese passport is the sixth most powerful in the world, according to 2ndPassports.com’s World Passport Rankings for 2016. A passport’s power is determined by how many countries the holder can access visa-free worldwide. The Portuguese passport has access to 172 countries visa free, just three less than the Spanish passport, which is ranked joint-third in the world.
If you are interested in either the Spanish or Portuguese Golden Visa programs or indeed any of the excellent CBI programs featured on 2ndPassports.com and would like further information, we are here to help. Feel free to contact us via email, or if you prefer, using WhatsApp or Telegram. If you would rather chat to one of our expert representatives direct, you can call us using our encrypted phone and Skype lines. All of our contact details are listed at the top of the 2ndPassports.com homepage.
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