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Is sun shining on Spain's 'Golden Visa' regime?

Is sun shining on Spain's 'Golden Visa' regime?
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Spain’s ‘Golden Visa’ scheme has been helping to bolster a recovery in parts of the country’s luxury property market.

Launched in 2013, the scheme grants Spanish residency to investors who spend at least 500,000 euros on property in the country.

It is one of several such schemes across Europe to encourage foreign investment. The UK, Ireland, Portugal, Malta and Cyprus have implemented similar programmes.

“We have helped anyone who wants to come and invest in Spain, to invest capital, to boost job creation in Spain – and we definitely want that,” explained Spain’s Secretary General for Immigration and Emigration, Marine del Corral Tellez.

House prices in Spain fell by more than 25 percent between 2007 and 2013 according to the country’s statistics bureau.

In some of the wealthiest neighbourhoods – such as Madrid’s Salamanca and Passeig de Gracia in Barcelona – residential property has already recovered more than 20 percent in lost value, primarily driven for foreign demand.

Maria Belen Bianchi lives in Switzerland. Her parents emigrated from Spain, and she decided to get back to her roots with a new company.

“The ‘Golden Visa’ law proposed by the Spanish Government gave me the idea to create House Invest Spain (her company). I saw a demand from Swiss investors, but also from other countries to invest in my home country,” she explained.