On the 27th of September 2013 (law 14/2013) within the law of Entrepreneurs, the Spanish government created a Golden visa scheme to attract non EU citizens to Spain mainly Russian, Chinese and Arabs: results are so far close to a failure with only 530 investors from October 2013 to January 2015 with a total investment of 447 million euros compared to results achieved in Portugal. The idea of the Executive with such permits was to attract foreign investment and reduce the huge stock of housing that was in Spain.
The Spanish scheme currently offers Spanish residency for 2 years with no right to work in return for an investment of 500 K euros in Spanish real estate. A year and three months after its entry into force, the program has only allowed to sell 490 properties of 830,000, according to the National Statistics Institute.
In Portugal, around 1 649 golden visas have been given during the same period for a total investment of 1 100 million euros.
The Spanish Government has recently improved the regulations on the last 29th of july in the official newsletter no 180 to make the scheme more attractive which would include: residency for common law partners, parents, children, and the right to work in Spain, and less red tape by being able to request residency from Spain without getting an investor visa from abroad, extension to 5 years instead of 2 years for the residence period. Spanish citizenship will be given after an additional five years of permanent residency.