As Covid-19 transforms our 2021, some elite families are contemplating health care options, pandemic responses, and potential safe havens to ensure they have a backup plan for the future. There has been a steady increase in the interest towards the Golden Visa programs in this regard. Several countries offer Golden Visa programs where wealthy individuals can invest in a country in exchange for citizenship or residency. It can range from real estate to donating to charities, depending on the country. The Golden Visa program is a residency-by-investment program. These programs are available in many European countries, such as Portugal, Greece, Spain, and other Caribbean countries. There are different types of investments available in each country. We can, however, group these investments under specific categories. Among these are:
- Purchase of real estate
- Transferring certain amounts of funds to associated countries
- Contributing some amounts to the related institutions, bonds, and funds in the country.
- Depending on the country you choose, the minimum investment amount varies.
- Through these programs, you can travel to over 150 countries. The exact number varies by country. You must obtain citizenship before you can travel visa-free. As an investor, you can include family members as dependents in these programs.
- The residency requirements for Golden Visas and citizenship programs are generally very low.
Let’s take a look at some of the most popular golden visa programs in the year 2021.
Montenegro Golden Visa Program
Montenegro Citizenship by Investment started accepting applications in late 2019. The program requires that you are 18 years old, healthy, and free of criminal records to qualify. A contribution to the government’s development fund is also required as well as investing in government-approved real estate projects. There is a current limit of 2000 applications that will be accepted within the program’s first three years. The following are the main features of the program:
- In addition to Russia, Singapore, and all Schengen countries, Montenegrins have visa-free travel options to over 120 countries.
- Global income, capital gains, gifts, wealth, and inheritances are all tax-free.
- Additionally, you will have access to world-class healthcare systems and the right to attend schools and universities in Montenegro.
- There is no physical residency requirement. No visit is necessary prior to or following the application.
- The citizenship(s) you currently hold do not need to be renounced.
Greece Golden Visa Program
Greece is one of Europe’s most influential countries due to its success and its picturesque countryside. Its largely mountainous terrain earned it the nickname “Cradle of Western Civilization.” The country is also a member of several international organizations, including NATO, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Trade Organization, and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.
Greece’s residency permit provides many benefits, including visa-free travel within Schengen and free health and education services. An ex-pat can only apply for a Greek passport after living in Greece for 10 to 12 years. Greece residency program by investment was established in 2013. Interested applicants can become citizens of Greece by buying real estate valued at EUR 250,000 under this program. As part of the residence permit, the applicant obtains a “Golden Visa,” which allows them to travel every six months to an EU country for 90 days. Greece Golden Visas have a validity of five years from the time they are obtained.
Malta Golden Visa Program
Maltese Residence and Visa Program (MRVP) was introduced in August 2015 to help non-EU nationals obtain a valid European residence permit quickly and easily. The Malta golden visa program allows non-EU citizens to swiftly acquire a Malta residence permit, allowing them to enter Malta, live there with their families, and do business there. It is also possible to travel freely within the EU Schengen area, including Switzerland. Maltese residency permits do not require Schengen visas for EU countries like Germany, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, or Greece. Interested investors must either rent or purchase a property in Malta or contribute to the country’s infrastructure. to qualify for the Malta residency program. Those interested in investing in real estate must buy a property in Malta for at least €350,000