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Spain Revokes Golden Visa Program for Wealthy Individuals

Madrid. The Spanish government, led by socialist Pedro Sánchez, has decided to eliminate the option of obtaining a golden visa through real estate investments exceeding half a million euros (9.5 million pesos). This visa allows legal residence for at least three years and immediate repatriation of family members and spouses. This measure, introduced in response to the 2013 economic crisis, has been utilized by 368 Mexicans, including former president Enrique Peña Nieto, who obtained his residency in 2020 and renewed it until 2028.

Need for Foreign Investment

The golden visas are specifically designed for wealthy individuals seeking temporary residency in Spain. This initiative was launched during an economic crisis when the country required foreign investment, especially to address the surplus of empty homes, many of which were owned by banks as a result of loan defaults. The then-right-wing government under Mariano Rajoy introduced these visas to attract capital from abroad and reinvigorate the real estate market.

These visas are fast-tracked, enabling applicants to obtain all necessary documentation within 30 days to live, work, and invest in Spain. This process is significantly quicker than traditional residency visa applications, which can take months or years to process.

The requirement for a golden visa typically involves a minimum investment of 2 million euros in public debt, 1 million euros in stocks, funds, or deposits, 500,000 euros in real estate, or the presentation of a business project approved by relevant economic authorities.


The government is moving to eliminate real estate investments as a qualifying factor for the golden visa due to concerns about money laundering from organized crime, drug trafficking, or corruption. Data from the Ministry of Housing shows that since 2013, over 14,000 visas have been issued for real estate investments, with the majority going to citizens of China, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, Ukraine, Iran, Venezuela, and Mexico.

Most of these investments have been concentrated in popular locations like Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Alicante, the Balearic Islands, and Valencia. It is suspected that many of these properties are used as second homes by non-EU citizens seeking legal residency in Spain.

The repeal of this law, expected to take effect in the coming months, aims to address these concerns and offer a tailored solution to the issue.


The majority of Mexicans who obtained the golden visa did so to change their residence or acquire a second home in Spain while securing legal residency for at least three years in the European Union. Among the beneficiaries are prominent figures like Carlos Slim, Nicolás Carrancedo, and the Amodio brothers, who have made significant investments in the Spanish real estate market.

With the impending changes to the golden visa program, these individuals may need to reconsider their investment and residency plans in Spain.

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