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After much dithering, the Spanish Central Government has let it be known that it plans to raise the residency-permit investment hurdle to €500,000, which will buy non-EU nationals the right to reside in Spain for the duration of their investment. The Spanish Government is reported to have prepared a new draft law granting qualified residency permits (with strings attached) to non-EU nationals who spend half a million Euros or more a home in Spain, according the Spanish press ( The draft could become law as early as this summer.

This means the Government is finally doing something about the residency-permits-in-return-for-property-investments idea it floated last November, which met with stiff criticism. Back then the investment hurdle for a residency permit was just €160,000, which some said was too low and made Spain look cheap. Under the latest draft, non-EU nationals – predominantly Russians and Chinese – would get a residency permit (with strings attached) for them, their spouses and children, upon spending €500,000 or more on a property in Spain. That would bring Spain in line with countries that have introduced similar incentives, like Portugal and Ireland. Investments tied to residency permits will no longer be limited just to property. Permits will also be obtained with investments that create at least 2 jobs, or by investing in financial assets like Spanish government debt, say press reports.

The news will go down well with affluent buyers from outside the EU, particularly the Russians, who have already flocked to Spain as house prices dropped, and are now the third biggest group of foreign buyers by nationality.

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