Spain and Austria Residence Permit: What are the Differences?

Spain and Austria Residence Permit: What are the Differences?

There are many schemes to obtain residency available in many countries. Each of them sets its own specific requirements for applicants. Indeed, there are many similar parameters, but fundamental differences play a very important role. Often they are the ones that influence the choice of region.

In addition, there can be differences in the paperwork process, time, and cost. Thus, the Austria Residence Permit has several nuances that distinguish it from a similar Spanish program.

Features of Spain Residence Permit

Spain Golden Visa provides applicants with more than just the opportunity to enjoy the seaside climate or to travel around Europe without special permits. Participation in the scheme entails investment in several ways:

  • the purchase of apartments;
  • securities;
  • a deposit in a local bank;
  • business.

The applicant must choose one of the naturalization routes. The minimum purchase price in this residence by investment scheme is 500 thousand euros.

An adult foreigner whose income is legal can apply for the document. It is also essential that the money has not been earned in Spain. The presence of debts in the host country or legal proceedings may be grounds for refusal. You can include your spouse or partner and children under 18 years old on the application along with the lead applicant. If there are heirs over 18 years old but unmarried and have no children, they can also appear on the application to receive a similar document. There is also a condition for adult children and parents of the applicant: to be dependent.

Spain residency does not require a mandatory stay in the region or language skills. According to its terms, even investment apartments can be rented out. In this way, the applicant can make a profit. After five years, foreigners may apply for permanent resident status and, after another five years – for citizenship. The latter, however, is possible on the condition that they give up their native passport.

Features of Austria Residence Permit

The Austrian scheme is implemented within an average of three months. It has global differences from many other regions. The state has a defined application deadline of early January. In contrast to the previous region, the applicant must reside in the territory for slightly more than 180 days per year. This document does not entitle the holder to work in Austria.

The government can only accept 450 foreigners per year under the terms of the program. It is essential to understand that this is not one application but one permit. One person is one quota. The permit is issued for one year and is renewable after that. In addition to the standard requirements, the lead applicant must know the German language. The demands are minimal; the authorities accept applications with A1 level. Spouses and children between 14 and 18 also have to take a language examination. There are no special requirements, only for children up to 14.

Under the terms of the scheme, apartments can either be owned or rented by the applicant. However, the choice is influenced by the composition of the family. The layout and square footage depend directly on the number of people living in the same area. 

Differences between Spain and Austria Residence Permits

According to Immigrant Invest specialist Victoria Atanasova, the differences between the programs of the two regions are very significant. It is worth taking the time to study all the nuances in depth to understand them better. The two lands, which are similar in terms of opportunities for foreigners, have global differences:

  1. Time limits on the application process. The Spanish government does not impose a time limit, whereas Austria finishes accepting applications at the beginning of the year.
  2. Cost. The minimum investment amount under the Spain golden visa is 500 thousand euros; different implementation methods are available. In Austria rp investment costs are influenced by the composition of applicants in the application form.
  3. The minimum investment amount under the Spain golden visa is 500 thousand euros; different methods of implementation are available. In Austria rp investment costs are influenced by the composition of applicants in the application form.
  4. Obligatory stay and language skills. According to the Spanish scheme, it is not mandatory to know the language and to reside in the region. At the same time, the Austria residence permit requires the knowledge of German, at least at A1 level, and to live in the country for at least half a year.
  5. Quotas. The Austrian authorities allocate a certain number of quotas that can be issued with this permit. At present, there are 450 quotas per year.
  6. Relatives. Spain allows husbands, wives, heirs, and older children under certain conditions. Austria residency is only available to spouses and their minor children.

Therefore, the differences are significant. It may not be possible to understand them on your own, so experts advise you to seek help from a consultancy company.


The granting of a residence permit for investment is a standard procedure. Wealthy foreigners often choose sunny Spain and mysterious Austria for this purpose. By fulfilling the conditions of the schemes, applicants receive solid benefits. Free movement within the European Union is one of them.

In addition, they are entitled to get a quality education in prestigious universities and medical care in highly qualified clinics. Such changes also have a positive impact on the future of their children. Furthermore, a residence permit allows for the possibility of obtaining a permanent residence permit and citizenship in the future. These processes also require attention and study.

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