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Spain battles Cyprus for overseas property investors

Cyprus is in competition with Spain for overseas property investors as the Spanish government plans to offer residency visas to third country nationals investing more than €160,000 in property.

Cyprus and Spain fight for investors
IN EFFORTS to offload the massive debts that are crippling the Spanish banks, the country’s government plans to offer residency permits to overseas property buyers who spend more than more than €160,000.

Spain is targeting Russian and Chinese investors but it is believed that the scheme will be made available to all third country nationals (those from outside the EU).

In an article in the ‘The Times’, Spanish Trade Minister Jaime Garcia-Legaz was reported as saying “We have proposed to the other ministries that for residents who acquire a home in Spain for more than €160,000 that will automatically entail a residency permit.”

So far Spain has issued temporary visas to third country nationals enabling them to stay in the country for 90 days. The exact details of the proposed scheme have yet to be published, but it looks certain that the 90 day period will be extended for those who spend more than €160,000 on purchasing property.

Cyprus has a similar residency scheme for third country nationals. But the minimum investment in property has been set at €300,000, almost double that proposed by Spain; it is also targeting wealthy investors from Russia and China.

Both Cyprus and Spain have similar problems resulting from their banking sector’s high exposure to the property market, which surged at the start of a decade and which collapsed in 2008.

According to reports, the number of overseas investors who bought in Spain in 2011 was up 6 per cent compared with 2010. Purchases by Russians accounted for almost 28 per cent of foreign sales with the Chinese accounting for 4 per cent.

Readers' comments

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  • Investor20 says:

    I am sure all the British are going to be worried about this visa, well first of all UK also offers residency with a £200k investment in property – but its a bit tricky the UK residence visa is called entrepreneur visa, and if you invest most of our funds in a commercial property to show that you use that property as business premises then you can qualify for UK citizenship.

    You just need to show some fake business in the property for three years that’s all. However the real fact is many wealthy investors have ZERO interest in the UK. It’s an ugly country with no culture, no good food, too much crime and worst of all no freedom of movement in the Schengen zone if you are a British resident.

    All the others concerned about investors misusing this sort of visa – why would they need to? If someone has 160k to invest and maintain a property its like a security deposit against them for getting a basic right to live in Europe and keep spending more money in the continent….these are not asylum seekers or refugees who don’t work and have no money….and how many such investors would come anyway? A few thousand at the most….not millions like the refugees who have come to Europe for free and made a mess over here.

    Also rich investors are invisible people….they don’t threaten the way of life or culture in Europe in any way….the poor beggars do so watch out for those instead.

  • @Curmudgeon – You can read about the rules when travelling in Europe and the documents required at EUROPA – Travelling in Europe – Documents you will need.

  • Curmudgeon says:

    @Nigel – I’m sure your comment ‘they will not be granted EU citizenship or an EU passport will be circumnavigated once they start shouting the odds about their human rights. Brussels is dead keen on that.

    Also, once they have been a resident of an EU country for a qualifying period, won’t that give them the right of entry into other EU country?

  • @Hector – my understanding is that although 3rd country nationals may obtain residence permits in Spain or Cyprus, they will need a visa to visit other EU member states – they will not be granted EU citizenship or an EU passport.

  • Hector says:

    It’s basically a ‘buy your EU passport and citizenship’ scheme. I doubt whether many who buy property under this, whether in Cyprus or Spain will actually live in the properties they buy so the local economies won’t benefit.

  • steve says:

    Can you get your title deeds in Spain??? If so Spain will win hands down!

  • The views expressed in readers' comments are not necessarily shared by the Cyprus Property News.

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