Golden Visa in Europe: the best Golden Visa programs in the EU

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Multiple European countries offer Golden Visas to those that fulfill the necessary requirements and pre-set criteria. This blog post will discuss the EU countries that offer a Golden Visa program, and what we consider the best choices for individuals looking for residency in Europe!

What is a Golden Visa?

Although there is not a single definition, generally, a Golden Visa is an immigration program that offers foreign investors special privileges, such as expedited citizenship or residency, with the associated benefits, including access to other jurisdictions, healthcare, banking, etc.

To qualify for a Europe Golden Visa, one must make a qualifying investment in a European country. The requirements for each country vary, but they typically involve investing in real estate, businesses, or government bonds.

Some of the benefits of having a Golden Visa include:

  • The ability to live and work in the country without restriction
  • Expedited citizenship
  • Visa waivers for travel to other countries
  • Preferential treatment when it comes to business opportunities
  • Lower taxes
  • Ability to add family members

Some programs may come with an instant residence permit, while others enable one to apply for citizenship, either immediately or after a number of years of holding residency.

Not all countries in the EU offer a Golden Visa program, with only a handful of countries that currently have an active program. These countries, including those that offer an EU Golden Visa, are:

  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Switzerland
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Germany
  • Bulgaria
  • Ireland

Of all of these, we would like to highlight the programs of Portugal and Greece, as these are the most complete solutions for investors looking to acquire residency by investment in Europe.

Greece

The Greece Golden Visa Program, which began in July 2013, allows non-EU citizens and their family members to obtain permanent residence status in Greece. Residence permits may be renewed five years after the date of issue.
To be eligible for a Golden Visa for Greece, you must make one of the following investments:

  • Purchase a real estate property worth €250,000 or more
  • Invest €400,000 or more in a company that is registered in Greece
  • Deposit a minimum of €400,000 in a Greek bank
  • Sign a lease agreement with a tourist establishment or hotel for a minimum of 10 years
  • Make an investment worth €400,000 in Greek government bonds.
  • Invest in corporate or government bonds worth €800,000
  • Invest €400,000 in bonds or shares of real estate investment companies

While it’s ideal to be in Greece when finalizing the deal on your investment, you can also do it remotely by granting Power of Attorney to a legal representative like Passport Legacy.

Portugal

Portugal’s Golden Visa program is one of the most popular residency by investment programs in Europe and worldwide. More than 10,000 applicants have received their Golden Visas since the program’s debut in October 2012.
You are only eligible for a Golden Visa in Portugal if you make one of the following investments:

  • Purchase a real estate property that is worth at least €500,000. The investment amount for purchasing in a low-density area is €400,000.
  • Make an investment worth a minimum of €350,000 in a qualifying Investment Fund. The investment options, which are regulated by the Portuguese CMVM (Securities Market Commission), typically feature venture capital investment in start-up tech or real estate companies.
  • A property investment worth a minimum of €350,000 in an urban regeneration area of Portugal. Investing a minimum of €280,000 in a low-density area that has been qualified for investment by the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Services – SEF is also possible.
    • Create at least 10 job opportunities for Portuguese nationals.
    • Deposit a minimum of €1 million in a Portuguese bank account.
    • Purchase at least €1 million worth of a Portugal company’s shares.
    • Make a capital transfer to either public or private scientific research institutions of at least €350,000 for research activities in science or technology.
    • Make an investment worth a minimum of €1 million in a Portuguese company.
    • Invest at least €350,000 to create a commercial company or reinforce the share capital of an already existing commercial company through which you make at least five full-time jobs for Portuguese nationals.
    • Donate €250,000 or more to initiatives that support the arts or national heritage reconstruction.

    How to apply?

    For a smooth and hassle-free visa application experience, get in touch with us at Passport Legacy today. Our immigration experts will review your options and provide end-to-end guidance throughout the process!

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