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Home > Immigration, Scams > Buyer Beware: Spanish Residency Frauds

Buyer Beware: Spanish Residency Frauds

We all know fraudsters never sleep, just like money; in fact when our guard is down the fraudster can be at his most damaging.

And this is exactly what is happening as a result of the irresponsible press release issued by the Spanish Government last November, when they propagated the lie that they would be offering residency (automatic) for anyone who bought a property worth €160,000 and above.

The above innocent release triggered a desire by tens of thousands of potential buyers eager to move to this part of the world, whether to be able to start a better life away from war zones or potentially conflictive areas, move the family to better education or living conditions and where the choice was for the Coastal areas, get the enviably famous weather. For many too, it was a way to be able travel more effectively without the hindrance of waiting in queues to be dealt by unfriendly Consulate staff for visas and for a few, for reasons of privilege and even social status.

And confusion was compounded by ignorant journalists who mistook residency for “citizenship”.

So in the wake of all the above, professional conmen saw an opportunity to try to trick desperate families into buying a property and on the back of it, get permanent residency for all the family. One of such companies, Green Planet EU residency, most probably run by former timeshare resale scammers, is offering a package where you pay €220,000 and you get, for the privilege, a property and a residency card. To make things look legit, they resort to the Costa conman manual and pick novice lawyers generally based in Fuengirola to receive the payment (whether the lawyers are aware of the scam or not is unknown to us).

Far from it. There is no approved norm, law, act, ruling or otherwise, in Spanish law, that will allow you to get automatic residency by buying a property worth €160,000 and above, for one simple reason: it was never approved.

The latest move by the Spanish Government has been to announce that, after much consideration, they will grant residency to families buying a property worth €500,000 and above, as was approved on Friday the 24th of May. But beware, this pre-law has not been published in the official gazette ( so even after this press release, professionals in the sector need to be cautious because as of yet, buying a property over 500,000 (cash-no mortgage) will yet not secure residency, and it is not going to be retrospectively applied!


About Antonio Flores

Antonio Flores is the head lawyer at Lawbird, a Spanish law firm specialised in property and litigation. More on .

Immigration, Scams , ,

  1. george clark
    July 15th, 2013 at 20:56 | #1

    Hi Antonio
    Good timely article. I happened across it whilst spending many hours researching a potential move to Spain as a retirement plan with my wife.
    I have seen other news items that still cling to the belief that the figure for residency was 160,000 euros, so I`m glad you have put that to bed.
    I looked at the Green planet web page after you mentioned it and it is a disgrace and a real potential con for those poor and probably desperate people that it is aimed at. Luckily as a UK citizen I would not have to apply via this route for residency however I think this web site should be reported and taken down. You are so right it smacks of former time share sales people. It is misleading dishonest and surely illegal.Notice how they heavily advertise the ability of anyone signing up being able to reside in the UK,France or Germany. This is wrong as residency of Spain will not give EU wide residency. I have emailed them as a prospective client and asked them to confirm that 160,000 Euro is the threshold. I do not expect a response. Good work..

  2. Antonio Flores
    July 16th, 2013 at 09:00 | #2

    Thanks for this George, your input is greatly appreciated.

    Regrettably, Spain is a country where fraudsters “feel at home” because of the very light pressure applied by the authorities to these sort of actions, even more where it is foreigners scamming foreigners when, disgracefully, the interest is nil.

  3. Lilibeth
    April 10th, 2014 at 21:40 | #3

    Hola Antonio,

    I am a Panamanien National. If I buy a home in Spain to live permanently, and it is more than 500,000 euros to qualify for permanent residency, am I going to be ‘required’ to ‘file’ tax forms with the Spanish government if I have 50,000 euros or more in assets in another country, like Panama or other???

    I read recently a lot of people were leaving Spain due to this invasion of privacy.

    Also, what if the assets were held in a trust, or a Personal Interest Foundation? If I am the founder of such an entity, and not the actual ‘owner’ of the funds or assets being held by the foundation, would I still be required under Spanish law to ‘declare’ these types of assets??

    These are some serious concerns, and recently I was excited to possibly buy a home in Barcelona under this new residency option for foreigners.


    Lilibeth G.

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