Travel free for up to 90 days in any 180 days in the Schengen countries without a visa and apply for citizenship after 5-10 years of residence. There are more advantages of European Golden Visas for investors and their families.
7 Golden Visas have a similar procedure of obtaining. Still, they also vary in the following criteria: visa-free destination list, investment cost, possibility to apply for citizenship in 5 years and frequency of the residence card renewal.Download complete guide
The meaning of Golden Visa is quite simple: it is a residency by investment program. In other words, it is one of the fastest ways for wealthy families to become legal residents of a foreign country.
Minimum investment depends on a Golden Visa country and ranges from €150,000 to millions.
Golden Visa programs give opportunities to relocate to a favourable jurisdiction or visit it rarely physically – it is up to the Golden Visa holder's wish. Holding residency in a foreign state guarantees legal rights, including the right to live, work, study, and receive healthcare there.
The advantages of a Golden Visa depend on the country where you would like to apply for it. Golden Visas of European countries have a lot of common benefits. In contrast, the UAE Golden Visa has its own – for example, tax optimisation and very beneficial conditions about staying in the country.
A residence permit or permanent residence allows you to live in the country of residence. At the same time, moving is a right, not an obligation: most programs do not require you to live in the country.
An investor with a residence permit can enter the country at any time, even when entry may be denied to foreigners with valid visas. The residency allows you to travel visa-free to the country at any time, including when a state of emergency is declared in your country of origin.
Investors with a Portugal, Greece, Spain, or Italy residence permit or Malta or Cyprus permanent residence can spend up to 90 days in any 180 days in the Schengen countries without a visa. The time spent in the country issuing the residence permit is not taken into account during this period.
An application for citizenship can be submitted after 5-10 years of residence. Portugal, Malta, Cyprus, and Italy recognise dual citizenship.
Portugal, Spain, Italy, Cyprus, and Malta allow Golden Visa holders to register companies there. This simplifies conducting a business or expanding it, for example, entering new markets.
The children of investors residing in Europe can study at schools and universities in the country that issued the residence permit. All family members included in the application have access to high-quality medical services in European clinics.
An investor can take advantage of the country’s tax system by becoming a tax resident, starting a company, or using their preferential status to reduce their tax obligations legally.
Most residence permit programs by investment allow a significant part of the initial investment to be returned after the investor is granted permanent residence or citizenship. Usually, for this, the investor needs to live in the country for at least 5 years.
Our investment migration expert will analyse your case, and a Compliance Officer will conduct a preliminary Due Diligence check to estimate your chances to get the chosen Golden Visa.Get free consultation
6 EU countries offer the most favourable Golden Visa programs. Their conditions are similar but, in another way, vary for each country's minimum investment and residence requirements.
The Andorra Golden Visa can be obtained by investing €400,000. Residence permit holders can visit France and Spain without visas and get visas to the Schengen Area, the USA, Canada and other countries under a fast-track procedure. The Andorra Golden Visa is obtained mainly for tax benefits and as a «safe haven» in Europe.
Germany doesn’t have a Golden Visa program, but there is an opportunity to get a self-employment visa, which is also known as an «Entrepreneurial Visa» or «Visa for Setting Up a Business». If you are looking for an opportunity to run a business in Germany and move to the country in 6 to 8 months, it could be the way.
After five years as a Portuguese Golden Visa holder, the investor and their family can apply for permanent residence or citizenship. They are allowed but not required to live in Portugal: as long as they spend at least seven days a year in the country, their residence permit remains valid.
The status under the Malta Permanent Residence Programme is granted for life. The investor has to fulfil several investment conditions: buy or rent real estate, pay government fees and make a charitable donation. They must also confirm that they have a capital of €500,000.
The Greece Golden Visa Program requires the minimum amount of investment among the residence permit programs in the European Union. Moreover, the property can be rented out. After receiving permanent residence in five years, the investor can sell the property and get the permanent residence permit.
Cyprus Golden Visa holders may not pay taxes on global income, and the country has low income and property tax rates. The corporate tax rate is only 12.5%. After 5 years of living on the island in a soft Mediterranean climate next to the sea, a permanent resident can obtain Cyprus citizenship.
As a Spanish Golden Visa holder, the investor and their family do not need to take language and cultural exams to obtain this type of residence permit for 5 years. Also, they are not required to spend time in Spain, and the law allows investment property to be rented out.
The Italian residence permit is issued for two years. It can then be extended for three years provided that the investment is maintained. Investors are not required to live in Italy if they do not want to obtain citizenship. Investors get citizenship by naturalisation under general conditions after 10 years of living in the country.
Canada Golden Visa (Quebec Immigrant Investor Program) offers residency to wealthy business people worldwide if they contribute CAD 1,2 million. Processing time is from 4 to 5 years.
USA Golden Visa (EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program) offers residency for investors and their family if they invest $800,000 into a company, creating at least 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified US workers.
New Zealand Golden Visa (Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa) can be obtained by investing between NZD 3 million and NZD 10 million for at least four and three years. Both visas allow investors, spouses, and dependent children aged 24 years and younger to live, work, and study in New Zealand.
UAE Golden Visa enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100% ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland. These visas will be issued for 5 or 10 years and will be renewed automatically.
UAE Golden Visa grants 10-year residence to investors and their families. It gives opportunities to optimise taxation and keep country residents' benefits without the obligation to live in the UAE.
To obtain a UAE Golden Visa for 5 years, an investor must buy a property for not less than AED 5 million, and the property must be retained for at least three years.
To obtain a UAE Golden Visa for 10 years, an applicant must invest a gross value of not less than AED 10 million in a company or specific economic sector or as a deposit. This visa can include the spouse and children, one executive director, and one advisor.
A specific list of requirements for applicants depends on the program you choose. But there are some general points in all Golden Visas terms.
Investors should comply with the following requirements to get a Golden Visa card:
Some countries have other demands: for example, an applicant should not have any debts in Portugal to get its Golden Visas card. Also, in most cases, one should have rented or own housing in the country to apply for a residence permit.
Every Golden Visa program has its application procedure, but some steps are standard. Usually, an applicant should fulfil the chosen investment condition, for example, buy a property or open a business, collect all the required documents and apply for a residence permit.
A government unit or agency responsible for the program conducts Due Diligence and decides whether to issue a Golden Visas card or not.
The first step for a successful application is a choice of an agent, a consulting company that helps investors get residency. With Immigrant Invest, you’ll get a personal approach to your case and assistance at every stage, from the collection of documents to Golden Visas card renewals.
Which Golden Visa to choose depends on your goals, budget and plans for obtaining citizenship in the future. See comparison in our short lists below, which could help you narrow down your options.
Travel visa-free to the Schengen countries for 90 days in any 180 days
Subject to maintaining the residence permit or permanent residence and passing the required exams
Renew a residence permit or permanent residence card every five years or not renew at all
A Golden Visa is a residency by investment program. In other words, it is one of the fastest ways for wealthy families to become legal residents of a foreign country.
The advantages of a Golden Visa depend on the country where you would like to apply for it. Golden Visas of European countries have a lot of common benefits, such as visa-free traveling to the Schengen area and an opportunity to get it for all family members.
In contrast, the UAE Golden Visa has its own benefits — for example, tax optimisation and very favourable conditions about staying in the country.
6 EU countries offer the most favourable Golden Visa programs. Their conditions are similar but, in another way, vary for each country’s minimum investment and residence requirements.
The Andorra Golden Visa can be obtained by investing €400,000 mainly for tax benefits and as a «safe haven» in Europe.
The UAE Golden Visa enables foreigners to live, work and study in the UAE without the need of a national sponsor and with 100% ownership of their business on the UAE’s mainland. These visas will be issued for 5 or 10 years and will be renewed automatically.
European Golden Visa programs can be granted to:
The UAE Golden Visa can be granted to investors, entrepreneurs, people with specialised talents, researchers in various fields of science and knowledge, and bright students with promising scientific capabilities.
Participation of family members varies from a program to program. In most of the cases a Golden Visa can be granted to spouses, children up to 18 years old and parents, in some cases – to children over 18 years old, siblings and grandparents.
Buying real estate: €250,000
Purchasing units in investment funds: €300,000
Investing in business: €250,000
Placing a deposit in a bank in the country: €400,000
Purchasing government bonds: €2,000,000
To qualify for the 5-year UAE Golden Visa, you have to invest at least AED 5 million. To qualify for the 10-year UAE Golden Visa, you have to invest at least AED 10 million.
3 European countries offer minimum investment of €250,000:
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