January 2014 Archive

Golden Visa

How do non EU members obtain Spanish residency with the new "Golden Visa"

The Golden Visa scenario sounded like a great idea but in practice it does not seem to be as good as reported and open to much interpretation, especially between Spanish & Russian officials depending upon which source you speak to.

I have some Russian clients and there experience is proving to be really difficult, even having consulted various Spanish lawyers, Embassies and Consulates in both countries, they all seem to have little hands on experience as to how the actual process works and can not guarantee anything, consequently my clients have been knocked from pillar to post by the system both in Spain and in Russia which is most unfortunate for them as they have wealth which the new law was said to attract!  The main problem is that you can not find any official information and the Spanish consulate does not have any of the actual requirements on their website regarding Golden Visas. If they did it would save a lot of time for both Applicants and consulate staff. The whole situation forces the applicant to work with private agencies, whom apparently have access to the information and people within the consulate that know about it.

The Spanish rules to obtain a Golden Visa say that if you spend 500,000 euros on real estate of a certain surface area and value they will give a non EU member residency in Spain. But according to my clients, they are advised by the Spanish authorities that this amount is per person, so man and wife need to spend 1,000,000 and it doesn't give residencia but only visado for residencia (provisional) for them and any of their children providing you can provide  adequate proof of income and savings.

Apparently, the requirements per adult person applying for residency is said to be 70,000 annual wage but did not advise they needed extra savings per child.
However, in addition to this the Spanish Consulate in Russia say that you must also provide an additional 50,000 euros savings in your bank account per adult and 30,000 per child. We are not sure if this is fact or incorrect interpretation.

Even if all of these requirements are met, the Spanish authorities have said that they  will not give a work permit, especially for the first year because of the enormous unemployment level in Spain, so you can live in Spain but you can't work and that the residency when issued is only valid for one year, upon which you have to re-apply and then you get another for two years and then three. After this they may decide to give you a five year residency. As for a work permit it is very unclear when they will allow you to work but you may get one after twelve months. 

It would be most helpful to know the exact requirements to obtain the Golden Visa including the whole load of documents, in Russian and Spanish, legalised with the apostilles.

We get the impression that they create these extra difficulties to diminish the number of applicants. 

If there are any officials or lawyers reading this that would like to help, we would be delighted to pass on your advice and contact details.

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Posted by on Thursday 9th January 2014

Spain’s export success in 2013

As we revealed in our last article, most economic pundits reckon that Spain’s gradual move into financial wellness, relates to a change of strategy of its businesses. The more inspired  and aware CEO’s realized that their home market had shrunk disastrously and there was no alternative but to sell their products and services overseas…

A prime example of this is Pretty Ballerinas, a Menorcan family owned shoe manufacturer that still produces all its goods on the pretty island. Thanks to setting up a fast growing chain of stores around the world, revenues grew by 20% in the period of economic crisis – 2008 to 2012.

Exports now account for 63% of their business, and their bosses just give a Hispanic shrug and declare there was no other way of surviving and succeeding in such a dire economic climate with a plunging home market.

For innumerable Spanish firms, and for the country’s economy overall, exports have emerged as the bright light in a land ravaged by rocketing unemployment, with demand from consumers business and the Government, falling like a stone.

Today, overseas sales of car parts, Rioja wine, textiles, machinery, construction materials, and sophisticated computer software all appear high on the list of exporting successes, and the figures fuel the optimism that Spain can export its way to economic stability.
Exports from Spainwill grow by 4.1% this year according to the European Commission. That’s the greatest increase of any EU country and is much superior to that of the European Champions of Exporting – Germany.

Prime Minister Mr Mariano Rajoy and his advisors argue that the export surge has been aided by the austerity and structural reform measures, implemented despite such widespread criticism. The reforms made it cheaper for firms to reduce workforce levels, and easier to agree wage deals at factory level. The Government claims this made it possible to lower wages.

Mr Jaime Garcia – Legaz, the Secretary of State for Trade in the Economy Ministry, has stated "Spain has been able to regain the competitiveness it lost during the property boom years. Over the past year we have seen the achievement of dramatic competitiveness gains due to wage moderation.” He also said "while many of Spain’s best run companies have long enjoyed success abroad, others saw little need to focus on exports during the boom years. Companies were so comfortable just selling their goods and services to the domestic market that they were not interested in external markets. That has changed dramatically. Spanish companies have realized that to survive they have to look for other markets.”

This attitude change is illustrated  by Inditex, the group that owns the Zara fashion chain. Last year in the middle of Spain’s crisis it hiked up net profits by over 20% through store openings in other countries. By contrast, the number of retail outlets in Spain fell, for the first time ever, and no new Spanish openings are planned for next year.

A deep change in philosophy can also ,be seen at Acciona, one of Spain’s construction sector leaders. In 2007 (the boom to bust year), the home market provided no less than 76% of their order book. Now, some half of its backlog of construction and engineering orders comes from outside of Spain.

However, the successful management of Pretty Ballerinas warns that it’s not easy for a business with no history and experience of exporting. Somehow, Government has to make available expertise and financial muscle to support even more small businesses and get them on the export road

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Posted by on Saturday 4th January 2014