Industries: Art & Entertainment, Immigration

Criteria to obtain a Cultural Golden Visa

Since 1st July 2015 the “transference of capital with the value equal to or greater than 250,000 euros, that will be applied in investment or support to artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage, via services of direct central and peripheral administration, public institutions, entities that are part of the public business sector, public foundations, private foundations with statute of public utility, intermunicipal entities, entities that make up the local business sector, municipal associative entities and public cultural associations in the area of artistic production, recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage” is considered investment activity eligible for the obtainment of a Golden Visa.

However, despite having legal existence since 2015, this investment option was only incorporated into law in March 2017. And even then, only at the end of 2019/ start of 2020 did the first project evaluation requests start to be submitted to GEPAC.

The reason for the low level of popularity of this investment option appears to be, on the one hand, the fact that it relates to a non-refundable investment for the investor (who will not recover the investment made) and, on the other hand, an investment that only investors who have a real link to the artistic sector choose – whether that be architecture, theatre, cinema etc.

However, since 2019 the end of the eligibility of the real estate investment for the purposes of the Golden Visa is spoken of, meaning that the market has turned towards other options, among those the so-called “Cultural Golden Visa”.

Up until the present date, there are 7 (seven) investment projects that are due for approval by the Ministry of Culture or are in the process of being approved, which demonstrates the growth of this option. Above all if we take into account that this number refers to last year.

The process of execution of the investment starts, as with any other investment, with a meeting of minds between an entity that intends to raise investment and an investor that has a particular interest in the sector in question.

When this meeting of minds happens, a project easily arises. However, it’s necessary that this project is structured taking into account that it must have a positive impact in the beneficiary entity for five years.

Once the project is structured, the beneficiary entity will have to submit the appropriate form to the GEPAC – Cabinet of Strategy, Planning and Cultural Evaluation. The GEPAC will then refer the evaluation request to the competent service or organism under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture in the area in which the investment is intended, which will have a timeframe of 10 working days to be assessed.

Once the eligibility of the project is verified, then the investor may advance with the execution of the investment, sending the receipt of the transference done, among other documents, to the GEPAC, so that this cabinet can emit a declaration that the investor must submit their Golden Visa request to the SEF.

With prejudice of not having yet had any residence permit for investment (Golden Visa) approved based upon this investment option[1] (which may also be owed to the difficulties in travel that the world currently faces) we hope that during 2021 the first Golden Visas based upon this investment option are granted, as this will certainly lead other investors to also pursue this option.


[1] According to the SEF statistical map as of January 2021.

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