Golden Visa programs around the world are getting more popular day by day. They’re also known as a residency by investment programs. Some others are citizenship by investment programs.
Here is a quick definition of Golden Visa: A way to get residency and/or citizenship in another country by investment.
Today, European countries like Portugal, Greece, and Spain offer this program for the acquisition of EU residency. Countries like Malta, Turkey, and Dominica offer citizenship by investment programs as well.
Thousands of investors have benefitted from these investment programs globally. Golden Visa countries have also benefited from this program thanks to the foreign investment inflow. They have also contributed to the markets such as real estate.
Golden Visa: A Brief Definition
A Golden Visa is essentially a residence permit granted to foreign investors. Investors invest in one of the required investment types of the related country. When their application is approved, they get a residency right in that country. Mostly, they can include their dependent family members to the program. Citizenship is also possible depending on the conditions of the Golden Visa program.
Investment types like real estate, donation, and capital transfer are common ways to get a Golden Visa.
The application process starts when you choose your investment type and prepare the necessary documents.
Advantages of Golden Visa Programs
One of the most attractive aspects of Golden Visa countries is that you don’t need to move to these countries. The residency requirements are mostly very low, and sometimes none. In this way, you can create an alternative plan for your future while still residing in your home country.
Another benefit is that you get the right to live, work and study in your Golden Visa countries. In addition, your family members also benefit from these rights.
Most Golden Visa programs also offer visa-free travel within the Schengen zone.
Requirements To Get a Golden Visa
Note that each country has a specific list of requirements. Yet, the requirements below are the most common ones among all Golden Visa programs:
- You need to have a clean criminal record
- You need to prove that you’re using your own funds for the related investment
- You need to retain your investment for the required amount of time
Main Steps To Get a Golden Visa
First you choose the investment type. Following your investment, you’ll prepare the necessary documents for your application. In general, you need to visit the country for biometrics. You may also need to visit the country for a property visit as well. On average, it takes around six months to get approval. It may take less or more than this depending on the country.
Which Golden Visa Countries Offer Residency or Citizenship?
In Europe; Golden Visa countries like Portugal, Greece, and Spain provide residency by investment. They offer visa-free access to the Schengen area and EU citizenship after a certain period.
Portugal is nearly the most popular Golden Visa program worldwide. More than 10,000 investors have obtained residency in Portugal until now.
Only non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens can apply for the program.
You need to stay around seven days per year in Portugal to maintain your Golden Visa.
Qualifying investments for Portugal Golden Visa include real estate investment, fund subscription, and creation of jobs. Donation and capital transfer are other options as well. For real estate, the minimum required investment amount starts from €280,000.
Greece’s Golden Visa is gaining popularity day by day. It’s possible to buy a property worth at least €250,000 in Greece and become eligible for Greece Golden Visa.
You can include your spouse, children, parents, and parents-in-law while applying for the program.
No residence requirement is necessary under Greece Golden Visa Program.
Spain requires only one entrance each year to keep your Golden Visa.
Investment types of this program include real estate and capital transfer. The most affordable option is to buy real estate worth at least €500,000.
Citizenship by Investment Programs
The following countries offer citizenship in exchange for your investment
Malta requires two steps to get citizenship. First, you choose one contribution option out of two. Following this, you choose another investment option:
- Either a property purchase or
- A lease agreement
In this case, the minimum required investment amount is equal to €690,000.
Turkey offers real estate investment, job creation, and capital transfer to be eligible for the program. The most affordable investment option is to buy real estate worth at least $250,000.
St. Kitts and Nevis
You can invest $150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) in St. Kitts and Nevis, and become eligible. Investing $400,000 in real estate is another option to get St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship.
Dominica offers two options. One is to donate $100,000 to The Economic Diversification Fund (EDF). The other is to invest $200,000 in a government-approved real estate project.
Antigua and Barbuda
You can make a contribution of $100,000 to the Antigua National Development Fund. Or,
invest $400,000 in a government-approved real estate project.