Buy real estate and obtain a new residency: why buying real estate through the Golden Visa makes sense

The Golden Visa or Residency by Investment Program is a very successful program offered in 14 countries around the world and continues to grow as more countries participate.  One of the ways to get this visa is through buy real estate. The program has generated an average US$20 billion a year in investments for 14 countries all over the world focused mostly on real estate.  It has transformed the upper end of the real estate markets including areas that were once neglected and contained historical buildings.  It is also re-shaping the finances of some of the smaller countries.

Such is the program’s success that many real estate developers include the residency programs as part of their plans.  Capital growth, an earned income from rental of about 3% per annum, guarantees that the rent will be paid, and high-end real estate are some of the push factors for this kind of investment.

Who invest in the citizenship by investment program

Thirty six percent of people with more than US$30 million in net assets have second passports up from 34% a year earlier with buy real estate.  The trend is also growing among the less wealthy.  Majority of investors are from China, followed by Russia, the French who wish to avoid very high income taxes, Britons who would still like to enjoy the benefits of an EU passport and Americans who are looking to pay less taxes and looking for personal security.

Other wealthy investors in the second citizenship by investment program are from Lebanon, the Middle East, mainly the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, India and South Africa.

Why real estate

Majority of wealthy people looking for a second citizenship prefer investing in real estate.  There is a great demand for property investments from those seeking a second citizenship as it can provide a rental income of at least 3% per annum.

Portugal Golden Visa received the third highest income from residence by investment program in 2018 at €839 million.  Portugal, Spain, Greece, Malta and Latvia in Europe offer temporary or permanent residency in exchange for real estate investments in private homes or commercial buildings.

How to buy real estate

Each country will have their own specific requirements.  However, here are some considerations for buy real estate:

  1. Choose the real estate property depending on one’s budget and needs. A real estate consultant will be provided to assist you throughout the process.
  2. Decide whether the property is for a second home or for investment.
  3. Deposit downpayment to reserve property.
  4. Pay the necessary taxes.
  5. Pay the management fees, notarization and registration fees.
  6. Prepare the legal and consultation fees.
  7. Prepare for miscellaneous fees like for required documentation and visa application.

Best countries to purchase real estate


Portugal’s real estate market is booming.  In 2020 saw a rise in the volume of real estate purchases despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic ensuring a successful real estate market in the future.

  1. Purchasing a in Portugal and keeping it for five years can make you eligible for Portuguese citizenship.
  2. Properties are varied and located in different parts of Portugal.
  3. The cost of living in Portugal is one of the lowest in Europe.
  4. Property in Portugal has high rental yields.
  5. Portugal has a high level of political stability.
  6. Portugal offers a very high quality of life.
  7. Tax incentives are considerable.
  8. Public infrastructures are extensive and accessible
  9. Beautiful weather, unspoiled nature and extensive beaches.


Spain’s real estate market continues to thrive with a 3% growth in 2019 despite the Covid-19 pandemic.

  1. Real estate prices in Spain are low compared to other European countries but rental yields are on the high side.
  2. Spain is experiencing an economic growth along with the rest of Europe.
  3. Spain has 320 days of sun per year.
  4. Spain has the second longest coastal line in south Europe.
  5. Spain has a very stable political environment.
  6. Living standards, health care and work life balance have been ranked as one of the best in the world.
  7. The cost of living in Spain is much lower than European averages.
  8. Spain can boast of modern and efficient infrastructure.
  9. Spain is the country most visited by tourists in Europe that can translate to profitable rentals.
  10. Buyers of real estate can count on low construction costs should they need to build or renovate.


Greece is undoubtedly one of the more beautiful countries in the world.  It offers more than favorable conditions for investments in real estate and is poised to be the hottest real estate market in the EU.

  1. Greece offers high quality properties for prices lower than most in Europe.
  2. The Greek economy is expected to continue to stabilize and grow.
  3. The Greek government is focused on developing the tourist real estate market.
  4. Mortgage rates are low.
  5. Greece enjoys about 300 days of sunshine throughout the year.
  6. Greece has a very strategic geographical location being the gateway to Europe.
  7. Greece is a favorite destination of tourists from all over the world.