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According to Law 8/1975, and the RD 689/1978  that develops it, for acquisitions of properties Inter vivos and mortis causa by national citizens of States that do not belong to the European Union (included in the Schengen Area),there is a requirement to previous obtaining written authorization from the Spanish Ministry of Defence.

Therefore, this law currently applies to nationals of countries such as the USA, UK, Canada, Mexico, Argentina, Venezuela, Colombia, India, China, the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, etc.

This requirement does not apply to the entire Spanish territory, but rather to different areas that, due to their strategic placement of defense  require certain control in operations to be carried out with foreign citizens. Among these protected territories are the Balearic Islands, all the Galicia Coast (Coruña, Lugo and Pontevedra), all the bordering territory with Portugal, Cadiz Goulf, Algeciras and Gibraltar, Murcia, Cartagena and Alicante South (South Torrevieja, Orihuela Costa, La Zenia, Playa Flamenca, Pilar Horadada, San Pedro del Pinatar, San Javier, Sucina, etc).

Thus, in the case of inheritance, the national heirs of these countries who inherit assets located in these territories must submit said authorization within 3 months from the acceptance of the inheritance. In case of not doing so, they must sell the property within a maximum period of ONE YEAR.

It also applies to Spanish companies whose share capital is made up of more than 50% by national partners of these countries.

Therefore, any national citizen of a country that does not belong to the European Union, or to the Schengen Area, must require this authorization, whether for the acquisition of a property by purchase, by donation, or by inheritance.

What type of properties are affected by this military authorization obligation? ONLY RUSTIC LAND PROPERTIES

In many territories protected by this law, the obligation to obtain a military permit extends to all types of properties located in said territories, whether they are apartments, villas, etc., both urban and rustic.
However, for the Balearic Islands, this obligation is restricted exclusively to properties that are located on rustic land (“non-developable land”). With which, for the peace of mind of national investors from these countries, said authorization will not be required for them in the event that they acquire properties in urban areas, or in urbanizations.

Does it apply to UK citizens?

Attention: since the departure of the United Kingdom – UK – from the European Union, all British citizens are considered as “foreigners” for the purposes of this law, and therefore must obtain said military authorization to acquire, buy, or inherit property in the protected territories .

What is needed to obtain the Military Authorization?

Along with the authorization request to the Ministry of Defense, the following must be attached:

A) Identification of the Buyer:

1. Certified/apostilled photocopy of the valid passport.
2. NIE
3. Criminal certificate from the country of habitual residence, translated by a sworn translator and apostilled.
4. If Spanish residents, a certified photocopy of your residence permit.

In case the buyer is a Spanish company with more than 50 % in hands of Non EU nationals:

1. Deed of incorporation, including its bylaws, and its possible modifications.
2. Certification issued by the person to whom the administration or representation of the entity corresponds, regarding the participation of foreign natural or legal persons in the capital and in the corporate bodies.

B) Scale plans of the terrain, with the distance to the coast or to the nearest military installation.

C) Plan of the plot at a scale of no less than 1/500. If you plan to build or carry out works, the corresponding draft of the works, or the project, as well as the supporting and descriptive report of the works must be attached.

How long does it take to obtain this authorization?

The obtaining process is slow and complicated. It usually lasts from 5 to 7 months (even longer).
Therefore, in the event that you are in a position to acquire a rustic property (not developable) in these areas, it will be advisable to take this obligation into account so that it can be completed with enough time.