Buy Property in Spain and get Citizenship

Read the all-in-one Buy Property in Spain and get Citizenship how-to from our Spanish legal experts on Property and Immigration Law.
Article Published: 08 Nov, 2020, Updated: 25 Jan, 2023 under Golden Visa (Non-EU)

For those relocating to Spain, getting an NIE number can be a bit of a challenge but it is not always the first necessary step as many may think or have been advised. You can buy the property and get an NIE number after, if you know how to do it. Another of the pitfalls is the legal background of the property, you can encounter a number of problems such as:

  1. the property is not registered at all as such and does not appear legally anywhere except of course physically wherever it is located
  2. there are debts or encumbrances or bills to be paid that nobody knows about or wants to admit
  3. there are 7 or 8 siblings fighting over the property for the last 17 years not being able to decide what to do with it because their father or mother left no will and now they are all entitled to a share of it
  4. it is on non-urbanised land and parts of it have never been declared or legalized, the swimming pool might be under Town Hall demolition order or the neighbour might have a claim to half of the olive and trees you thought you bought
  5. if you wish to rent it out as a holiday accommodation, you need special licences that may never be obtained from the Town Hall because it never issued it in the first place and you will have to go through a time and money consuming process just to obtain something similar to the First Occupation Licence.
  6. There are complex 'flying freehold' problems to resolve - for example where a part of the property overhangs the property of a neighbour (such as a room overhanging a shared-passageway) -  in order to register them as part of the property
  7. They will try to sell you a piece of land with a property on it that once you buy it should be separated from another piece of land belonging to the vendors but it doesn't have the necessary extension to be legally separated and so will never be registered in your name
  8. If you buy a farm and house, you might find that there are all kinds of problems with the water and electricity supply.

Other than that, buying a property in Spain is plain sailing! So Buy Property in Spain and get Citizenship, so now the questions is...

How to get Spanish citizenship?

Ways to acquire Spanish nationality :

  1. Applying for it after 10 years of residence in Spain.
  2. By birth, even if you or your Spanish parents were born outside Spain
  3. You can also acquire Spanish nationality by getting married in Spain, to a Spanish citizen

But before considering Spanish citizenship, there are advantages to having the Spanish residency because in the first case you would have to surrender your citizenship of origin.

How to get  permanent residence in Spain

EU nationals can apply and get the Spanish residence following a few easy steps, provided they have all the documents necessary. Before Brexit in December 2020 UK expats can get a Spanish residence card applying for it at the Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) in Spain. Non-EU nationals who have legally lived in Spain for five years uninterruptedly, can apply for an EU long-term residence permit. This would allow them to stay in Spain indefinitely under the same conditions as Spanish citizens, giving them the right to work freely and enjoy social security benefits. You will need to apply for an EU long-term residence permit from the Foreigner’s Office (Oficina de Extranjeros) in Spain. The only problem is that appointments are very difficult to come by these days. If you are able to get an appointment, you can consider yourself very lucky, even luckier than those who are able to find a parking place close to the seafront on a Saturday evening!

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Service Details

Golden Visa (Non-EU)

Available in the following locations: Barcelona, Benidorm, Castellon de la Plana, Cordoba, El Campello, Estepona, Fuengirola, Granada, Jaen, La Manga del Mar Menor, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, Los Alcazares, Los Cristianos, Malaga, Mallorca, Mazarron, Motril, Murcia, Nerja, Orihuela Costa, Oviedo, Puerto del Rosario, Seville, Torrevieja, Valencia, Velez-Malaga, Vigo, Yaiza

* If your local town is not listed, a lawyer from our nearest office will be happy to assist you.

Who Is This Service For?

Introduced by Law 14/2013, the Golden Visa programme in Spain offers high net-worth individuals and their families the possibility to live and work in Spain.

The Visa is initially valid for two years, renewable for 5 years and eventually a permanent residency visa and even naturalisation to become a Spanish citizen (after 10 years residency) is an option.


  • Main applicant must be over 18 years of age
  • Valid passport
  • Valid Birth Certificate
  • Suitable private health insurance
  • No criminal record in Spain or in country of Origin
  • Evidence of having made one of the approved investments

Approved Investments

The most popular qualification route is the purchase of property valued at €500,000 (without a mortgage).

The visa permits the holder to enter and exit Spain as and when they wish, without any requirement to spend a minimum period of time in Spain, as is typically the case with other residency visas issued in Spain. Other options include:

  • A significant business investment that either involves meaningful job creation or is likely to have a significant socioeconomic impact in the area where the investment takes place or is an innovitave business with technological or scientific impact
  • €2 million on Spanish Treasury bonds
  • €1 million on Spanish company shares
  • €1 million in investment funds
  • €1 million in bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions


  • Expedited Process (much simpler than other visa application processes)
  • Goldent Visa holder may leave and return to Spain as often as they wish without restriction
  • This visa confers a right to both live and work in Spain
  • Longer residency approved initially with less renewal requirements
  • Ability to bring your family

Potential Issues

Unfortunately, it is common to see applications fail because the applicant failed to provide the detailed information that the local authorities demand to receive before granting approval.

This can of course be avoided by contracting an experienced immigration lawyer to manage the process on your behalf.

What Does This Service Consist Of?

  • An initial discussion with lawyers highly experienced in making successful applications for a Golden Visa
  • An application for visa by property purchase is prepared, and all other documents required for a successful application are assembled under the guidance of your lawyer
  • Your lawyer makes the application to the appropriate governmental bodies (Large Business Unit in Madrid), on your behalf, in the correct time-frame
  • You will be informed of the success of the application
  • Once approved, your lawyer will assist you to collect your TIE (foreigner identity card)

Free Support Services Included

When combined with the free and innovative Advocate Abroad support services you can be sure that you are obtaining completely transparent legal services from registered and regulated English-speaking lawyers abroad.These support services include:

  • Verification of the regulatory status of your professional.
  • Fees as recommended by the Local Professional Body
  • Fees specified in advance and legally guaranteed.
  • Service levels agreed in advance and guaranteed.
  • All professionals must hold professional indemnity insurance.
  • Professionals' proficiency in English monitored.
  • Continuous quality controls and reviews.

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