Before looking at which European Countries (EU) offer the best Golden Visa, we need to understand what the term Golden Visa represents. This is a Permanent Residency Visa issued to individuals who come into a country intending to invest in businesses or purchase a property in the issuing Country.
The Golden Visa is also called the Immigrant Investor Visa Program or Golden Passport Program. Ideally, it is designed to attract affluent foreign business people who bring with them investment capital, and in return, they are afforded an Investment Visa or the right of residence.
Many countries around the world administer these programs, but they can be permanent or partial. They also vary in the amount one pays to be granted to access the Country ranging from around 50,000 USD to 1,500,000 USD on the higher side.
This review will mainly focus on countries in Europe offering Golden Visas, highlighting the price of each Visa, the length of residence in the issuing state, and other requirements. Also, we will look at the History of the Golden Visa, which necessitated its administration, and the qualities that make this Visa such an attractive prospect to individuals.
A Brief History on Golden Visas
The underlying foundations of Golden visas can be traced back to the 1980s when expense asylums in the Pacific and Caribbean started “money for-identification” programs that encouraged visa-free travel and gave charge focal points. For instance, in 1984, St Kitts and Nevis began its program, which offered changeless residency as well as citizenship to far off countries.
The issue of golden visas extended significantly during the 21st century, with around 25% of all nations giving such visas starting in 2015. Insights on the giving of brilliant visas are scant; however, the IMF assessed in 2015 that by far, most of the brilliant visas are given to Chinese nationals.
Qualities That Make Golden Visas an Attractive Prospect
Processing Is Done Quickly
While a visa can take quite the while when it comes to procurement acquire, a Golden Visa application measure is smoothed out. You can hope to get your residence permit in a matter of several months.
For instance, Spain has a legitimate prerequisite for its administrators to deal with each Golden Visa application in 20 business days or less. This, in turn, will draw more investments towards the country.
Ease of Accessibility
While citizenship by venture programs have rigid due diligence procedures and extensive arrangements of qualification rules, Golden Visas are substantially more accessible.
As long as you are a high-net-worth person, of good character and decent health, no state down your investment dollars because the aim is to grow the economy more.
This likewise makes it not quite the same as getting a regular visa, since countries are very strict on the individuals they permit to apply. They are also stringent on an individual’s profession and the amount of income they get per annum.
Simplicity is vital with regards to Golden Visas. The more unmistakably its terms are spread out (preferably on an official government site), the more probable it is to attract investors.
Regardless of whether there are numerous investment options accessible to foreigners, there is an official source that determines the base investment sum for an individual, a schedule of all payable charges, just as the eligibility criteria for the candidate and that of a family as well.
Simplicity and cleanness are the key markers of a genuine Golden Visa program. Then, an alleged program that has a tangled cycle and numerous hoops to jump through, or a package that sounds too good to be true, could be a scam to defraud unsuspecting individuals of their money; hence it is always advisable to tread carefully.
The Best Countries in The EU to Get A Golden Visa
You can fit the bill for Portugal’s Golden Visa program by making a donation to scientific research or to Portuguese artistry and culture, by putting resources into or opening a business and creating jobs, or by making a land buy. The latter is the most effective.
When investing in Portugal real-estate, put 350,000 euros in a property that is older than 30 years or 500,000 euros in a newer property, and then you’ll meet all requirements for residency. These sums can be diminished by 20% in the event that you purchase in a low populace territory.
To maintain the Portugal Visa, you ought to spend seven days in the nation the primary year and 14 days every two years afterward. The Country, as of late, brought down the residency prerequisite before you’re qualified to apply for naturalization from six years to five years, making the program much more appealing.
For you to morph into a Portuguese resident, you’ll need to complete an assessment in Portuguese on the nation’s history. Portugal offers one advantage most countries with Golden Visa programs don’t. Its ineffectively named Non-Habitual Resident assessment program can mean decreased or even no duty on your earned pay if you qualify.
Spain’s Golden Visa program is Europe’s most pricy, requiring a land acquisition of at least 500,000 euros. What’s more, you need to renew your residency license every two years. In other countries, the renewal period is after five years. This is an investment for citizenship.
On the plus side, Spain’s program does not necessitate you to stay in the Country. However, Spain charges non-tax inhabitants on the credited rental income of land possessed in the Country. Consequently, if you purchase some property to qualify for the
Golden Visa program that you don’t live in and don’t lease, you will be taxed as though you were getting rental income.
Spain allows for naturalization following ten years of residency. You should be fluent in Spanish to qualify. Also, the Country doesn’t permit double ethnicity except if you’re from Andorra, Portugal, or one of Spain’s previous colonies.
To fit the bill for residency and citizenship in Cyprus through real estate acquisition, you need to spend 300,000 euros on a property. The catch is that it must be a novel property in a state-approved development.
Most states require land ventures made to fit the bill for residency to be held legitimately in the applicant’s name. This makes estate planning and dodging probate more puzzling. Cyprus, in any case, allows for the property to be held in an entity with the primary claimant for residency (and spouse, if any) as the beneficial proprietors.
The stay-in prerequisite is simply once every two years. You can apply for naturalization following seven years of residency. You should be in the state for a whole year prior to applying for citizenship. After you’ve been naturalized, you’re expected to live within the Country indeterminately. This does not mean you should be in Cyprus 365 days a year for the rest of your life, but rather have the intention to stay stateside once you acquire Cyprian citizenship.
At 250,000 euros, Greece’s base investment requirement is lower than that of most other European residency programs. Real estate prices in numerous regions of Greece are undervalued, as the nation is merely starting to recuperate from its decade-long national debt crisis, which means the 250,000-euro purchase in for this Country’s Golden Visa program does a lot.
Indeed, you could experience difficulty spending it. However, this is a non-issue as Greece (like other countries offering these projects) permits you to join property acquisitions to arrive at the 250,000-euro threshold.
Greece’s program has no stay-in necessity, which means you could invest in a property in Greece warranting you to get residency, and afterward, move around the while never stepping foot in Greece again if you would prefer not to (you would need to visit once to finish the residency desk paperwork and get your permit).
However, if you require a Greek visa, you’ll have to plan to spend time stateside even if it’s to familiarize yourself with the language, a prerequisite for naturalization. You don’t have to be acquainted but merely capable. This means learning a new alphabet altogether.
Additionally, note that Greece mandates military service for Greek men younger than 45. This may not be an alarm for you, but keep it in mind if your second-citizenship plan includes your offspring.
Latvia was once hyped as the best and most effortless spot in the EU to fit the bill for residency. Initially, this Country’s base real estate necessity was 160,000 euros. Today, it’s 250,000 euros in addition to a 5% application charge dependent on the property rate.
You just need to visit the nation once every year to keep up your residency status; at the same time, if your aim is acquiring a second passport, you will need to commit more time, including staying in Latvia full-time throughout the 12 months before applying for naturalization.
Following five years as a permanent resident of Latvia, you can apply for citizenship, yet the primary residency license will be temporary for the initial five years. That implies the promoted five-year time period before qualifying for naturalization is, in reality, a minimum of 10 years.
Just like Greece, Latvia requires familiarity with the Latvian language for you to morph into a Latvian Citizen. Also, the Country doesn’t recognize binary citizenship. Getting residency in Latvia possibly bodes well in the event that you intend to live there and are prepared to surrender your present citizenship and identification.
While this state doesn’t have a Golden Visa program per se, Montenegro offers residency to any individual who purchases property in the nation, with no expressed minimum required amount. However, the least reasonable amount is 50,000 euros, making this by a wide margin the cheapest available option for acquiring residency status.
One drawback to Montenegro’s program is that you should renew the residency license every year, making the admin factor a significant inconvenience to many.
Furthermore, since Montenegro isn’t officially a participating member of the EU (it applied for recognition in 2008 and could be registered as early as 2025) or the Schengen Zone, having residency in Montenegro is not a gateway to Europe, as it is when you acquire residence in other states
Montenegro is anything but a decent alternative for naturalization. This is because this Country, like others such as Latvia, does not allow applying individuals to hold binary citizenship. They need to relinquish the previous one.
Malta’s Citizenship by Investment Program permits you to apply for naturalization following a year of residency in the event that you make a Real estate purchase for 350,000 euros or more, invest 150,000 euros in government securities, and donate 650,000 euros to the National Development and Social Fund.
An extra donation of 25,000 euros is required on the off chance that you are applying with a partner. Moreover, you must have lived in Malta for at least half a year in those 12 months. This brings the total for applying for residency in Malta, just under 1.2 million Euros. This is regarded as the Fast Track Program
However, you can fit the bill for residency with real estate acquisition of 320,000 euros (270,000 euros if you purchase on the Maltese island of Gozo), in addition to a venture of 250,000 euros in Maltese government bonds and a state donation of 30,000 euros. While the real estate and the government securities could earn you a significant return on investment, the donation is in itself an expense to you. It is, by all means, non-refundable.
Maybe the most significant benefit about Malta is the Country’s approach to tax collection. If your Foreign sourced income meets all requirements it could attract a flat tax rate of just 15%. What’s more, one of the Country’s authentic dialects is English, which is a language many are proficient in.
To sum it all up, we have looked at several countries offering Golden Visas in the EU. They all have their rewards and drawbacks, so it is up to an individual to determine whats suits them best.