Golden visas help fulfill the dreams of many people who wish to move abroad. These visas, which may grant residency in the European Union (EU), are highly sought after and can be life-changing for those who receive them. From celebrities to business executives, Europe’s Golden Visas have become increasingly popular over the last few years – but what exactly are they, and how do you get one?
What Is A Golden Visa?
Golden visas open up access to a world of opportunities that could never be achieved with just an ordinary visa. With this newfound freedom comes financial security, tax benefits, and cultural experiences beyond anything imaginable.
The concept is simple: investing a certain amount of money in specific economic areas or acquiring real estate in a European country can provide access to its respective Golden Visa Program. This visa grants those who apply with a residence permit that allows them to live, work and study throughout Europe while retaining their original nationality (unless they choose otherwise).
When it comes to the world of residence and dual citizenship opportunities, no other program has gained as much traction and attention as Europe’s Golden Visas. Many foreign investors are looking into these programs not only for the chance to gain a foothold in one of the most prosperous regions of the world but also because they can offer permanent residency or even full citizenship.
While each country has different requirements regarding investment amounts or type of investments required, some countries have become more attractive than others due to their generous terms. For example, Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is highly sought-after among foreigners since it grants access to Portuguese Citizenship.
What Are The Benefits Of A Golden Visa?
A golden visa offers all sorts of benefits: everything from free movement around Europe and exclusive tax rates, right down to attaining the full rights associated with being an official citizen of your chosen nation.
Depending on how much money they’re willing to invest, investors are rewarded with residence permits of varying lengths, from temporary residency permits to permanent ones and even citizenship by investment programs. Many golden visa holders have access to exclusive tax advantages while they reside in their new country of choice.
Moreover, applicants can also receive a passport – referred to as a ‘Golden Passport’ – which grants full rights within the Schengen Area and across much of Europe. As such, this investor-friendly scheme has become increasingly sought after by those who wish to take advantage of multiple benefits offered under European residency schemes.
Countries Offering Golden Visas In Europe
When looking at the countries offering golden visas in Europe, Portugal stands out as one of the most popular destinations. The Portugal Golden Visa program provides access to residency and citizenship opportunities through real estate investment.
Beyond Portugal, countries such as Spain, Italy, Greece, and Cyprus have implemented similar investment plans for foreign investors seeking alternative routes into the European Union. These programs typically provide various levels of unrestricted access to EU markets and services (including healthcare and education), making them particularly appealing for high-net-worth individuals from non-European nations.
Portugal’s Golden Visa Program
The Portuguese Golden Visa program has become increasingly popular for those looking to gain permanent residency in Europe. Portugal’s real estate market and attractive investment options have made it an appealing option for many people from around the world. With its relaxed residency requirements, a range of attractive benefits, and eligibility for citizenship status after five years, it is easy to see why so many people are drawn to Portugal’s golden visa program.
To qualify for the Portuguese golden visa program, applicants must invest in one of several categories, which include:
- Bank deposits
- Capital transfer
- Exchange for investment
- Purchase of property
Once approved into the program, an individual will be granted temporary residence. This can then lead to permanent resident status after 5-6 years, depending on how long they remain in Portugal during that period.
Spain’s Golden Visa Program
The golden visa program in Spain allows foreign citizens to obtain Spanish citizenship and permanent residence status if they make an eligible real estate purchase or invest in certain government-issued bonds.
Investors interested in obtaining a golden passport through this program must have a valid international passport, be at least 18 years old, and submit all the necessary documents to acquire their residence visa with the proper authorities. The required investments can range from 500,000 euros to 2 million euros, depending on what kind of bond or property is purchased.
In exchange for their investment, investors receive several benefits such as access to quality education and healthcare systems plus the freedom to travel within Europe’s Schengen Area countries without having to go through lengthy immigration procedures. These factors make Spain’s golden visa program highly attractive to potential applicants looking for a secure way to gain residency rights in Europe while enjoying many other advantages associated with it.
Greece’s Golden Visa Program
The advantages of a golden visa program in Greece include no restrictions on traveling throughout the European Schengen area, relatively free healthcare across the entire EU region, tax exemptions on global income sources, and much more.
Unlike many other countries offering similar residence by investment programs, there is no requirement for investors to stay in Greece for any particular amount of time each year. This makes it an ideal choice for those who want to maintain ties with their home country while having all the benefits associated with being part of Europe. In addition to economic reasons such as low taxes and business-friendly regulations, new residents will find themselves immersed in a rich history dating back thousands of years.
Cyprus’s Golden Visa Program
The Cyprus Investment Program has been designed with a clear purpose: to facilitate non-EU citizens who wish to invest in real estate property on the island and receive an EU passport. This path to citizenship offers numerous benefits, including access to several visa schemes and opportunities for acquiring European citizenship through investment.
The requirements for obtaining this golden visa are relatively straightforward:
- An investment of €300,000 into approved real estate properties
- Proof of sufficient funds available to cover living expenses while staying in the country
- Confirmation of having a legitimate source of income outside of Cyprus
- A valid travel document such as a passport
Once those criteria have been met, applicants will be able to apply for the golden visa which grants them not only indefinite residence rights but also full freedom of mobility in the European Union. With its unbeatable combination of low taxes, beautiful scenery, and a fast track toward EU citizenship, it’s easy to see why more people than ever before are investing in Cypriot properties.
Malta’s Golden Visa Program
Malta’s golden visa program is an attractive option for those seeking a path to citizenship in the European Union. Those who are accepted can enjoy several benefits such as travel within Schengen area countries without needing visas, access to top education services, and more.
The ultimate goal of this program is to grant successful applicants full citizenship after 12 months of holding their residence permit and meeting certain criteria.. It’s also necessary to live in Malta for an average of 183 days each year while maintaining financial commitments throughout the process.
Requirements To Obtain A European Golden Visa
European golden visa programs provide a path to permanent residence and potentially citizenship for investors. The requirements for obtaining one of these visas vary from country to country.
The most common ways an individual can obtain a golden visa include:
- Investment programs: Most countries require that interested parties invest in real estate properties or government-approved bonds as part of the application process. This varies depending on the rules set forth by each nation, but typically it ranges between €250,000 and €500,000.
- Visa schemes: Certain countries may also ask that applicants partake in certain visa schemes. This allows citizens from outside of Europe who have sufficient funds and meet other criteria, like language proficiency tests and background checks, to become residents with full rights.
- Citizenship applications: Once applicants have met all necessary requirements outlined by their chosen country’s immigration laws they can begin applying for citizenship. As long as they continue meeting eligibility criteria throughout this period, they should be able to obtain citizenship within five years or less.
- Purchasing real estate property: In addition to investing money into a property or bond fund, many countries require that foreign investors purchase at least one real estate property before being granted permission for permanent residence status and/or eventual citizenship. Depending on location, these prices can range anywhere from €150,000 euros to several million dollars per unit purchased.
Financial Investment Requirements For A Golden Visa
Applicants must meet certain minimum investments when applying for a golden visa within the European Union. For example, investing in real estate property located in low-density areas or buying government bonds may qualify you for a residence card. There are also those who choose to invest directly into a business operating inside the country they wish to become residents of.
Citizenship by Investment programs typically require more substantial investments than other types of visa schemes available in Europe. However, with these larger payments come greater rewards, such as:
- Permanent residence
- Longer stays without needing renewal
- Access to education and healthcare systems
- Ability to travel freely within Schengen countries
- Path to citizenship
- Legal right to work anywhere in the EU territory
- Eligibility for passport and voting rights after 5 years
- Tax deductions on mortgages and maintenance fees
- Increased value over time due to appreciation
Processing Time For A European Golden Visa
In some countries, individuals are able to obtain their visas within days. However, others may take as long as six months or more before they receive their residence card from the government. This delay can be attributed mainly to bureaucracy and other legal matters which must be addressed prior to final approval by authorities in each respective country of residence. Furthermore, applicants should factor in additional delays due to changes regarding immigration policies and regulations.
How To Apply For A European Golden Visa
To begin the process of applying for a Golden Visa in any European country, you will need assistance from a qualified professional who specializes in immigration law and/or international taxation. This person will guide you through each step of the application procedure while ensuring that everything is done correctly according to government regulations. Additionally, they can help negotiate better terms on behalf of their clients.
Want To Get A Golden Visa?
A European Golden Visa is a great opportunity for those seeking long-term residence in the EU. With a range of options and requirements, it’s no surprise that they are highly sought after by investors from around the world. If you’re considering applying for one of these visas, JH Marlin can help you achieve your goals. Thanks to our vast expertise in immigrant investor programs, we can guide you across every step of your golden passport scheme.