Surge in Demand for Luxury Property as Spain's New Residency Law is Given Green Light

Barcelona, Spain, July 26, 2013 --( Leading luxury international estate agency Lucas Fox has registered a tripling in enquiries from non-EU property investors following the Spanish government's approval of a new law to fast track Residency permits. The company, which is based in Barcelona, is receiving up to 30 enquiries a day from foreign investors, mainly from the Far East, India and Russia. The new legislation states that investors outside of the European Union who spend half a million euros or more on property in Spain will be granted automatic residency for a maximum of 12 months before having to renew it. The law is expected to be enforced by the end of the summer.

In anticipation of the surge in demand from non-European investors, Lucas Fox has established a new company, "Residency in Spain," a Joint Venture with leading Spanish Law firm ECIJA. The company will offer tailor-made advice and support on obtaining residency through property investments, tax planning and associated legal and immigration issues.

The draft law sets out the criteria necessary to be eligible and also to what exactly the residency permit will entitle investors.

The residency visa will:
- entitle investors to stay in Spain for a maximum of one year before having to renew their permit (currently 90 days)- enable the beneficiaries unrestricted capacity to move within the "Schengen" zone
- obtain a further two-year Residency permit, renewable every 2 years. Investors will not have to reside in Spain 183 days a year to renew the permit, thus allowing tax residency outside of Spain
The applicant must fulfill the following requirements:
- not to have previously entered or stayed illegally in Spanish territory
- be 18 years or over
- not have a criminal record
- not to have been refused entry in any of the Schengen countries
- have public or private health insurance authorized to operate in Spain
- have sufficient economic means to cover personal and family living expenses
- prove ownership of one or more immovable properties in Spain with an overall net investment contribution above EUR 500,000. Financing is possible for amounts in excess of EUR 500,000.
-proof of the investment must be made through a Property Registry certificate proving ownership of the property . Or, if the ownership title is not yet registered, via a copy of the public deed of purchase and proof that the deed has been filed in the Registry.

The draft law has been sent to the Spanish Parliament and the definitive bill is not expected to be substantially different.
Lucas Fox International Properties
Antonio Esposito
(+34) 933 562 989