Golden Visa programs are gaining popularity all around the world. These programs offer residency or citizenship by investment. Each country entails different requirements for applicants.
Countries like Portugal, Greece, and Spain offer Golden Visa programs providing EU residency. These are known as a residency by investment programs as well. Countries including Malta, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, or Antigua and Barbuda offer citizenship by investment.
Golden Visa programs have provided a second residency for thousands of investors all around the world.
Let’s get to know about these programs in more detail.
What Is a Golden Visa?
Golden Visas are residence permits offered to investors in exchange for a qualified investment. The residence permits can lead to citizenship after a certain period. In the meantime, your immediate family members can apply with you.
Golden Visa programs offer different investment types. Each Golden Visa country entails its own requirement. However, the most common investment options include real estate investment, capital transfer, donation, and fund subscription.
When you decide on the investment type, you can start applying for your Golden Visa.
Benefits of Golden Visa Programs
Golden Visa program offers a broad range of benefits. For example, you can live, work and study in the Golden Visa country you choose.
Furthermore, visa-free access to Schengen countries is available in most Golden Visa programs. Family reunification is another advantage of these programs. In this way, you don’t need to live separately from your family. Some countries even offer the inclusion of grandparents or parents-in-law as well.
Mostly, there’s no or a little stay requirement imposed by Golden Visa countries.
Citizenship application is also possible depending on the country’s residency requirements.
Application for citizenship can also become possible based on the country’s residency requirements. You can find more details about the specific durations below.
Requirements To Get a Golden Visa
Some countries may entail specific requirements while applying for a Golden Visa program. However, the most common requirements are as follows:
- Having a clean criminal record
- Keeping the investment for a certain period of time. This period varies depending on the country
- Proof indicating that you’ll use your own funds to make the investment
- Proving that you’ve acquired your funds legally
Steps To Get a Golden Visa
The first step is to decide on the investment type. Real estate investment has been the most popular investment option until now. However, in Portugal, for example, fund subscription has gained popularity recently. A donation, capital transfer, and job creation are also among your options.
After you make your investment, you can start the application process. You’ll collect necessary documents and visit the related country for biometrics and/or property visit. Usually, the whole process takes between two to nine months until you get approval.
List of the Golden Visa Countries
Portugal, Spain, and Greece offer Golden Visa programs in Europe. You can find similar other programs offering similar benefits as well below.
Golden Visa programs in Europe offer access to the Schengen area, the EU market as well as quality education and lifestyle.
Let’s start with Portugal.
The program is very popular among investors worldwide. Around 10,000 investors have obtained from it since 2012. Quality lifestyle and affordability are the main attractions of Portugal.
You can apply for the program if you’re a non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
The residence requirement of this program is around seven days per year.
It usually takes around six months to get a Portugal Golden Visa.
You can find the qualifying investments below:
- A minimum investment of €500,000 in any type of property in Portugal. If the location is a low-density population area, it drops to €400,000
- A minimum investment of €350,000 in property of at least 30 years old. It must be rehabilitated, too. If the location is a low-density population area, the amount drops to €280,000
- Capital transfer of €1 million to Portugal
- Creation of jobs: A minimum of new 10 full-time jobs in a registered Portuguese company
- Fund investment: Investing a minimum of €350,000 in a qualifying Portuguese venture capital fund
- An investment of €350,000 to scientific or technological research in Portugal
- A minimum donation of €250,000 to national heritage, arts, or culture.
Since 2013, Spain has been offering a Golden Visa program. Like Portugal, Spain also accepts citizens who are not from an EU/EEA country or from Switzerland. One entrance each year is enough to maintain your Golden Visa in Spain. It usually takes one to two months to get Spain Golden Visa.
Investment options for Spanish Golden Visa include:
- A minimum investment of €500,000 in real estate in Spain
- A capital transfer of €1 million in Spain
- €2 million investment in Spanish government bonds
- A minimum investment of €1 million in a Spanish company
Greece Golden Visa application is an easy and fast process.
You can buy a property of at least €250,000 and become eligible for Greece Golden Visa.
It also offers extended family inclusion. You can include your spouse, children, parents, and parents-in-law.
Greece doesn’t entail a stay requirement to maintain your Golden Visa. Also, you can renew your residence permit every five years.
Citizenship by Investment Programs
The citizenship by investment programs are as follows:
The investment consists of two steps. You choose one contribution option out of two. Then, you choose another investment option:
- Either a property purchase or
- A lease agreement.
In total, the minimum required investment amount is €690,000.
St. Kitts and Nevis
The minimum required investment amount is $150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). You can also make an investment of $400,000 in real estate as an alternative.
You can either:
- Make a donation of $100,000 to The Economic Diversification Fund (EDF), or
- Make $200,000 investment in a government-approved real estate project. You need to keep the investment for a minimum of five years.
The minimum investment amount is the purchase of a real estate of at least €250,000. You can also purchase government bonds, lead to job creation, or make a capital investment.
Antigua and Barbuda
- A contribution of $100,000 to the Antigua National Development Fund, or
- A $400,000 investment in a government-approved real estate project can qualify you for this program.
You need to keep the investment for a minimum of five years.