Today’s interconnected world is characterized by increasing demand for global mobility. More investors or wealthier people from different countries are looking for a way to increase their breadth of vision, discover new avenues, and enjoy diverse cultures. Whether you are interested in personal growth and learning, starting a new business, finding a different way of life, or engaging in educational programs, the right to travel has become essential. The golden visa program is one of the best routes to get residency through an investment that may potentially lead to citizenship by naturalization, having earned much attention and prestige.
With this proposal from various European countries, it’s an appealing chance to acquire residence status within any of these nations. This is well suited and called “Golden”, as it unlocks a world full of opportunities for individuals and families to get access to visa-free travel to many countries.
What is a Golden Visa?
The word Golden Visa is all about having a residency by investment permit allowing individuals (and their families) to settle in another country. Today, several European countries provide golden visa programs for foreigners who want residency and even citizenship after living in the country for a required period.
Investment figures will always different, but those programmes usually focus on property acquisition (residential or commercial), investment in funds, direct investments, donation or subscription into special purposes vehicles, and other similar vehicles for investing. After deciding on which type of investment to pursue, you start the application procedure in the name of the primary appellant.
Almost all Golden Visa programmes include family inclusion options that enable you to bring benefits to your nearest and dearest. Some countries even allow for grandparents and parents-in-law to be included on parental leave.
Benefits of Having a Golden Visa
The holder of a European Union golden visa and his family gain numerous benefits. These benefits can be categorized into several key areas:
- Visa-Free Travel: The major advantage of a Golden Visa is that you get visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. This means 27 European Union countries without internal borders can travel freely.
- Residency Rights: holders of Golden Visas have the full legal right to live in the host nation along with access to work or education in certain countries. It is a flexibility that allows people and their family members to go after diverse opportunities.
- Access to Education: With golden visas often comes access to good quality education in the host country, including public educational institutions. This advantage is very attractive for families in search of excellent education for their kids.
- Healthcare Benefits: With many golden visas come rights to access several countries’ healthcare systems, providing visa holders and their families with access to good, necessary medical treatment.
- Business Opportunities: Golden visa investors can look at the various business possibilities, including setting up or contributing towards businesses of their choice, potentially resulting in wealth accumulation and entrepreneurial achievements.
- Real Estate Investment: It can be of interest to potential real estate investors as Golden Visa programs give options to buy property in the host country and sometimes appreciate the value of the property or can even generate rental income.
- Family Inclusion: In most cases, a golden Visa also extends its benefits to the extended family, including partners and dependent kids who will possess similar privileges and chances.
- Path to Citizenship: Sometimes, having a Golden visa also opens up paths to permanent residence or naturalization in the country that issues it. It allows for full incorporation into society and integration over time, enabling a person to join in civic life.
5 Most Popular Golden Visa Programs in 2023
|1. Portugal Gold Visa||2. Spain Golden Visa||3. Malta’s Citizenship by Investment|
|4. Greece Golden Visa||5. Cyprus Golden Visa|
We will explore the Top 5 European Golden visas in more detail in 2023. All five of these residency and citizenship-by-investment programmes offer special features, investment opportunities, and benefits, making them popular picks with international investors and would-be settlers.
1. Portugal Golden Visa
Since its launch eleven years ago in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa Program has been one of the most popular European residence-by-investment programs. If you’re not a citizen of the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you can take part in this program if you make an accepted qualifying investment in Portugal.
The Portugal Golden Visa program has long been a favourite among investors due to its flexibility and attractive conditions:
- Minimum Investment: There are several investment opportunities to choose from in order to be eligible for this program. With recent changes to the program, one can choose between investing cultural and scientific patronage, with a minimum investment of €200,000; investing in private equity funds, with a minimum investment of €500,000; or creating at least 10 permanent job posts.
- Residency and Travel Benefits: A successful Portugal Golden visa recipient can easily become a resident in the EU country and travel around the Schengen Zone as much as he sees fit. It allows access to travel to 27 European Union nations for business or leisure.
- Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship: Investors who have held the residency permit for at least five years can then apply for permanent residency and/or citizenship, provided that the language requirement is met.
- Family Inclusion: The programme covers the Investor’s family, such as spouse and dependent children, and also dependent parents and parents-in-law.
- Education and Healthcare: With a Golden Visa, one can avail of Portugal’s excellent education and health systems, making it an ideal choice for the family.
- Low Stay Requirements: minimum stay of an average of 7 days per year.
2. Spain Golden Visa
Spain’s Golden Visa program combines cultural richness with investment opportunities:
- Minimum Investment: Investors must commit to an amount of 500,000 EUR in real estate or 1,000,000 EUR in Spanish government bonds to be eligible. Or they can invest in Spanish stocks for €2 million or put €1 million into Spanish bank deposits.
- Residency and Travel Benefits: Those who are awarded the permit get temporary residence, giving them the right to live in Spain and visit countries in the Schengen Zone (without needing further visas).
- Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship: After 5 years of physical residency, you can reapply for permanent residency. Citizenship by naturalization is possible after 10 years of physical residency in Spain.
- Family Inclusion: Benefits are extended to the parents of the Spanish golden visa applicant.
- There are no stay requirements under the Golden Visa.
3. Malta Citizenship by Investment
Malta’s Golden Visa program provides a gateway to Mediterranean living. Malta’s legislation provides a pathway to citizenship through naturalization for individuals and families from around the world who make significant contributions to the country’s economic growth. This grants them citizenship in a prestigious European Union member state. Thе Malta citizеnship by invеstmеnt application procеss is known for its еxcеptional еfficiеncy, and thе Maltеsе government is unwavеring in its commitmеnt to upholding thе highеst standards of duе diligеncе and scrutiny whеn еvaluating invеstor applicants. This stringеnt approach еnsurеs that only individuals of impеccablе rеputation and charactеr arе grantеd еntry.
Thе Malta citizеnship by invеstmеnt process еmphasizes on еstablishing a gеnuinе connеction bеtwееn applicants and thе country. Succеssful candidatеs arе confеrrеd Maltеsе citizеnship through a Cеrtificatе of Naturalization, which can also bе еxtеndеd to includе thеir familiеs. Oncе citizеnship is grantеd; individuals gain thе opportunity to еstablish businеssеs in Malta and acquirе a Maltеsе passport. This passport facilitates visa-frее travеl to ovеr 160 countries worldwide, including thе Unitеd Statеs.
- Minimum Investment: The minimum requirement is an investment of at least €600,000 into the National Development and Social Fund. Furthermore, you need to either purchase a property worth at least €700,000 or lease for at least €16,000 per year.
- Residency and Travel Benefits: Maltese citizenship affords its holder the right to travel to 184 countries without requiring a visa, plus the right to settle in any country within the EU.
- Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship: Investors need to maintain legal residency in Malta for at least one year before being able to apply for citizenship.
- Family Inclusion: The Malta Citizenship by Investment program allows both spouse and dependent children; however, what makes this program different is that it extends through the whole family; parents and grandparents can also become residents of Malta because of this residence-by-investment visa scheme.
- Language: Malta also has two official languages, Maltese (a Semitic language) and English. This fact makes it a more appealing choice to anglophone families and their investors.
4. Greece Golden Visa
Greece’s Golden Visa program offers a blend of history and investment potential:
- Minimum Investment: Investors must invest at least €250,000 in property or purchase government securities worth €400,000 to be eligible.
- Residency and Travel Benefits: Successful applicants receive permanent residency and may reside in Greece and freely travel the Schengen Area without needing additional travel documents.
- Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship: Investors can apply for permanent residency after 7 years of physical residency. A language and cultural test will be required for this purpose.
- Family Inclusion: It provides benefits to the dependents of the investor, i.e., the spouse, dependent children, and parents.
- Cultural Heritage: From ancient historical monuments to breathtaking Mediterranean landscapes, Greece provides an immersive cultural experience.
- No minimum stay requirements under the Golden Visa.
5. Cyprus Golden Visa
Cyprus’s Golden Visa program is known for its business opportunities and Mediterranean lifestyle:
- Minimum Investment: One must acquire a property in Cyrpus for at least €300,000 and settle the applicable taxes.
- Residency and Travel Benefits: Successful applicants will be granted temporary residency in Cyprus and free movement rights within the Schengen Area upon approval.
- Path to Permanent Residency and Citizenship: After continuous residency for 5 years, investors are able to apply for permanent residency. After 7 years as a resident, one can apply for citizenship. There are no language proficiency requirements.
- Family Inclusion: It consists of the investor’s wife or husband (Spouse) and their direct descendants (Dependents).
- Business Opportunities: Cyprus’s strategic location and its welcoming regulatory environment create opportunities for entrepreneurs to start or grow businesses in the island nation.
Residency-by-investment is a tool used by many countries to attract foreign capital — often in the form of real estate, property or the requirement for new business setups that employ a certain number of national staff.
As with other investment-based residence programs, these schemes enable foreign nationals to acquire permanent residency in the host country, allowing the applicant’s spouse and children to join him/her in his/her studies or work within the country.
In general, the eligibility criteria for Golden Visas encompass the following:
- The funds to be invested must be from the Investor’s own money.
- The investment has to be held for a set amount of time.
- The source of funds must be properly documented.
- A clean criminal record is required.
- You should have enough funds to sustain yourself and accompanying family members, regardless of whether you plan to stay in the host country.
There will be further conditions that may pertain to the Golden Visa program that you opt for.
After completing our detailed article on the Top 5 best European Golden Visas in 2023, one thing is clear: the way towards global mobility has never been easier! These programs offer individuals and families excellent possibilities for personal and professional growth.
Nowadays, holding a European Golden Visa is proof of your vision towards the world and your expectations. It’s not just about Visas; It’s the way towards new encounters, chances and an existence without outskirts. As you begin your path toward securing a golden visa, you need to remember that this global opportunistic time will open the door to your dreams of living internationally. Choose the right residential citizenship program with Passport Legacy.
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