Contact Us

How to move to Europe, Asia or the Middle East as a part of your backup plan

Second citizenship or residence permit helps to prepare a “safe harbour” in the Schengen countries, Turkey, or the UAE. The statuses allow you to go abroad quickly and stay there for a long time.

Learn more about the opportunities provided by residence permits and passports and programs unsuitable for your “plan B”.

Residency in EU countries and the UAE

Investments: €150,000+
Obtaining period: 2+ months

Countries. Residency by investment programs operate in Portugal, Greece, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, and the UAE. An investor doesn’t have to look for a job or another reason to get a residence permit; it is enough to invest in the economy of the chosen country.

Benefits. Investors usually establish conditions for a plan B in the country of the second residence: they buy real estate and create a financial airbag in a local bank to relocate in case of emergency.

Family members get residence permits together with the investor. In case of relocation, children will be able to study at schools and universities in the host country. Some statuses, like Portugal’s residence permits, allow you to work and do business in the state.

Program conditions. Investors are not required to reside permanently in the country. Each state has its own rules: for example, you need to spend seven days a year in Portugal or come to Cyprus every two years, while you don’t have to live in Greece or Malta. Therefore, these programs are suitable if you need a backup plan, as you won’t have to move abroad without a need.

Terms and conditions of getting residence permits by investment in European countries and the UAE

CountryInvestments and time framesQualifying family membersBenefits for your backup plan

Portugal residence permit

8+ months

Children under 26

Living, studying and doing business in Portugal

Travelling to other Schengen countries visa-free for up to 90 days out of 180

Greece residence permit

6+ months

Children under 21

Living and studying in Greece

Travelling to other Schengen countries visa-free for up to 90 days out of 180

Malta permanent residence
If renting a property for 5 years

4+ months is the application processing period

Children of any age

Parents and grandparents
Living, studying and doing business in Malta

Travelling to other Schengen countries visa-free for up to 90 days out of 180

Cyprus permanent residence

3+ months

Children under 18

Children up to 25 if students

Living and studying in Cyprus

Investors can’t work in the country, but they can be shareholders of a registered Cypriot company and hold an unpaid position of a director

Spain residence permit

2—3 months


Living, studying and doing business in Spain

Travelling to other Schengen countries visa-free for up to 90 days out of 180

UAE residence visa
AED 750,000+ ($204,000+)

2+ months

Children under 18

Unmarried sons under 25 and unmarried daughters of any age
If investing at least AED 2,000,000
Living, studying and doing business in the UAE

Children over 18 and parents usually must be financially dependent on the main applicant. Only children who aren’t married and don’t have children of their own at the time of obtaining the status can participate in residence permit programs.

Residence permits for financially independent persons aren’t suitable for a backup plan

Some countries, like Austria, Portugal or Switzerland, grant residence permits to wealthy people. But such a resident must spend at least 183 days a year in the chosen state, or they will lose their residency.

Residence permits for financially independent persons are suitable for relocation. If you only need a “plan B”, this option will not work.

Malta citizenship

Investments: €690,000+
Obtaining period: 1+ years

Benefits. Malta is a member of the European Union; thus, its citizens can move to another member state anytime. Maltese citizens don’t need visas or residence permits for relocation. It is enough for them to register in the country after three months of residence.

Investors with the country’s citizenship can study, work and do business in Malta. In addition, they can be treated in clinics and enroll in schools and universities in EU countries at a reduced price.

Obtaining conditions. Investors get Malta citizenship for exceptional services by direct investment. It is citizenship by naturalisation: first, the investor gets a residence permit and applies for citizenship in one or three years. 

A spouse, children under 29 and parents over 55 can obtain citizenship with the investor. They gain access to all the benefits the Maltese passport provides.

The minimum investment amount is €690,000. To obtain citizenship, one must buy or rent real estate, contribute to a state fund and make a charitable donation.

Turkey citizenship

Investments: $400,000+
Obtaining period: 6—8 months

Benefits. The main advantage of a Turkish passport for creating a “plan B” is the ability to come to Turkey anytime and stay there without time limits.

Turkish citizens can also visit 110 countries without visas and get 5-year C-2 Schengen visas.

Obtaining conditions. The applicant can buy real estate for $400,000 or invest at least $500,000 in a business, bonds, investment fund units, or a bank deposit.

The investor's spouse and their children under 18 can be included in the citizenship application. The investment amount doesn’t depend on the family composition.

Caribbean citizenship

Investments: $100,000+
Obtaining period: 2+ months

Countries. Five Caribbean states grant citizenship by investment: Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis.

Benefits. Caribbean citizens can visit the Schengen Area visa-free and spend up to 90 days out of 180 there.

Second citizenship allows you to go to Europe quickly, but staying there for a long time is not easy. You will have to confirm that there is a good reason for extending the stay: for example, a severe illness. If it is not possible to prolong the visit, you can fly to the country of the second citizenship and stay there for any time.

A national D visa helps to extend your stay in a European country. It is issued for study, work, family reunification, and other good reasons. Applicants submit documents and get visas at the consulates of the selected country; it is usually impossible to apply for a D visa while in the country of interest.

Obtaining conditions. Caribbean citizenship is obtained by investment. The procedure is remote; you do not need to fly to another country for it. Antigua and Barbuda is the only state you need to visit: according to the investment program terms, you must spend 5 days there during the first 5 years of citizenship.

The minimum investment amount depends on the program and starts at $100,000. Investors receive their Caribbean passport in 2+ months. Spouses, children, parents, grandparents, and siblings can participate in the programs.

Get prepared in advance

How to open an account in a European bank

Opening time. It takes two to three days to open a regular savings account in a European bank and up to three to four weeks for an investment account. Documents are submitted personally or through an intermediary.

Documents must be provided when applying. The list depends on the country in which the bank operates, the applicant’s country of citizenship and tax residence, and having accounts in other banks. You can e-mail the bank to clarify what documents are needed in your situation.

To open an account, one usually provides the following documents:

  • a passport;
  • a TIN;
  • documents confirming the home address;
  • information about employment and documents confirming the legal origin of money.

Sometimes banks request a police clearance certificate from all countries of citizenship and residence. For example, if the investor is a citizen of Canada and Grenada, they must provide certificates from both countries.

Due Diligence for non-EU citizens without second citizenship is more stringent: banks ask many questions and often refuse. Many banks do not serve foreigners without resident status.

EU citizens and tax residents don’t experience such trouble opening bank accounts. There is more data about them and their sources of income in international databases, and it is easier for the bank to check the information.

Notification about foreign accounts is required in some countries. For example, such a rule applies to UK taxpayers.

An alternative to an account in a European bank is opening a bank account in the UAE or Turkey. Investors can keep savings there in international currencies and use accounts for settlements.

Immigrant Invest lawyers help to obtain a tax number in the EU countries and open an account in a European bank.

Get prepared in advance

Purchase a property in the EU, the UAE or Turkey

Housing in the country of second citizenship or residency helps prepare for emergencies. If you have to leave the country of residence quickly, you will not have to look for a place to stay — you will be able to come to your own house or apartment.

Buying real estate is a popular investment option for obtaining a residence permit, permanent residence or citizenship. The UAE, Portugal, Cyprus, Greece, and Spain offer it. In Malta, the purchase or rent of a property for a certain amount is required to obtain permanent residence or citizenship for exceptional services.

In most cases, investors are allowed to rent out properties. But you need to consider the peculiarities of the legislation: in many countries, you won’t be able to evict the tenant as soon as you need the apartment.

Summary: what status to get for moving to Europe, the UAE or Turkey?

  1. A residence permit by investment can be obtained in the UAE, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Cyprus, and Malta. The residence status allows you to come to the selected country anytime and stay for as long as you wish.
  2. Investors are not usually required to live in a country to maintain residency.
  3. A European residence permit for financially independent persons is unsuitable for a backup plan because it obliges the holder to spend at least 6 months a year in the country of residence.
  4. Malta citizenship allows you to live in the country or choose another EU state for long-term residence.
  5. Turkey citizenship is suitable for moving to the country and obtaining a 5-year C-2 Schengen visa.
  6. Caribbean citizenship allows you to come to the Schengen countries for 90 days out of 180. If you need to spend more time abroad, you can go to another visa-free country or the state that issued your passport.
  7. Investors can buy real estate to obtain a residence permit or citizenship.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the easiest countries to move to in Europe?

Portugal is one of the easiest countries for moving. It has several specific grounds under which it grants residency: investment, entrepreneurship and launching of a start-up, economic solvency.

Other countries that offer immigration to Europe by investment are Greece, Spain, Cyprus, and Andorra.

What is the easiest way to move to Europe?

The easiest way to move to Europe is to get a European residence permit by investment. Several countries have such programs: Malta, Greece, Spain, Portugal.

How can I legally immigrate to Europe?

To immigrate legally to Europe you need to have a specific ground for it. That might be work, studying, reunification with family.

If you don’t have relatives there and don’t want to study or work in Europe you can obtain a residence permit by investment. With it you can live in a country for as long as the permit is valid. European countries that grant residency by investment are Portugal, Spain, Greece, Malta.

Is it hard to move to Europe?

In general, it is rather hard to move to Europe. Some countries like Vatican City or Liechtenstein have strict immigration rules, others give a right to move only by work, studying, family reunification, or marriage.

However, there are few countries that grant residence permits by investment: this ground is easier and faster than others. Some of these countries are Portugal, Spain, Andorra, Greece, Malta.

Schedule a meeting

Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach, Caribbean Investment Program Expert
Schedule a meeting
Prefer messengers?
WhatsApp Telegram