The short answer: yes.
In fact, it is highly encouraged by the Spanish government given the value of foreign investment injected into the local real estate market from foreigners buying property from abroad in Spain.
You are not alone if you’re considering buying property in Spain as a non-resident. Many ex-pats and foreigners own second-holiday homes and enjoy residual revenue from a holiday let rental income, often premium-priced during the holiday peak season.
Basically, if you are planning to stay less than 3 months in Spain, you will be under stay or short-stay visa status. The residency is granted to those who want to live in Spain for more than 3 months. This is the main difference between the residency and the stay status.
How Long Can You Stay in Spain if You Own a Property?
The short answer: 90 days every 180 days.
The long answer: Property ownership and immigration status have no correlation and the answer also depends on your country of origin. As Spain is an EU member country, the immigration laws regarding residency follow the European Union. That means as a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you only need to show your valid identity card or passport to enter Spain. And as a general rule, with your tourist visa, you can stay for 3 months in Spain. After three months, you must get your European Union Certificate.
If your family members are not citizens of the European Union, the EEA, or Switzerland, they must apply for a residence card for relatives of EU citizens if they plan to stay in the country with you for more than 3 months.
The good news: EU citizens can apply to have their non-EU citizen family members stay with them where all EU immigration laws apply.
After you arrive in Spain, you have a period of three months in which to apply at the Non-nationals’ Office [Oficina de Extranjeros] or a police station for registration in the Central Register of Non-nationals [Registro Central de Extranjeros].
You will need to present your valid passport or identity card and pay a fee. The Office will give you a registration certificate with an NIE (non-national resident identification number). This procedure has replaced the former Community resident card system.
For identification purposes, any non-national wishing to pursue any economic, professional, or social interests in Spain must have a personal, unique, and exclusive NIE (non-national resident identification number). This number is provided automatically when a person applies for registration in the Non-nationals Register, but it may also be applied for separately.
If you’re not an EU citizen, from Switzerland or an EEA member country, you require a residence permit to live in Spain. After the 90-day expiry from your date of entry, you’ll need to apply for your residency permit to remain in Spain for a longer time.
How Do I Apply for Residency in Spain?
The easiest ways are to apply for the Spanish Golden Visa or Non-Lucrative Visa. The Golden Visa allows you to legally work and live in Spain by real estate investment. The minimum value of your investment should be €500.000.
If you do not have enough budget for Golden Visa, you can apply for the “Non-Lucrative Visa” by buying real estate for less than €500,000. It is also known as the “Retirement Visa”. We have covered the question in detail in Residence Permit in Spain.
Is It Worth Buying a Property as a Foreigner Without Residency in Spain?
Many property owners in Spain are not residents, so you will be in good company. Like you, they buy overseas property for sale in Spain to enjoy the best of both worlds; the Spanish laid-back lifestyle, beautiful weather, Europe’s sunniest climate, and over 600 blue flag beaches to choose from. Not to mention one of Europe’s most affordable costs of living and premium-priced holiday demand for property rentals.
Do I need a Spanish bank account to buy a property in Spain?
Theoretically no, but in practice yes. Having a local Spanish bank account will make your life easier (and save bank fees and potential foreign exchange costs) because you will need to routinely pay your local property tax and utility bills.
If you have a mortgage from a local Spanish bank, you will need to make regular mortgage payments. If your overseas property investment is within urbanization (community development), then community fees are also recurring payments.
If you do decide to open a local Spanish bank account, you will need an NIE - Spain’s equivalent to a tax identification number, officially known as Número de Identificación de Extranjeros. If you’re a UK national - post-Brexit - you will need a TIE (Tarjeta de Identidad de Extranjero) which is essentially the equivalent of the NIE and the same process to obtain.
Can You Buy Property in Spain Without NIE?
While you can buy a property in Spain without becoming a resident or opening a local Spanish bank account, you will need an NIE. Your NIE is mandatory to undertake any transactions in Spain - especially property purchases as your NIE will appear on your title deed. At Spain Homes, we can help you obtain your NIE/TIE. Read the page Getting an NIE Number for more details.
Want to Buy Real Estate in Spain Without Being a Resident?
Spain Homes can help you apply for your NIE/TIE and offer you an obligation-free discussion on buying your dream house in Spain. Our friendly team of professionals is more than happy to help.
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