Detailed comparison: Residency and citizenship programs by investment


There are numerous residence and citizenship by investment programs around the world, each with its own requirements, benefits, and peculiarities. In this article, we’ll compare some of the most popular programs to help you decide which one is most suitable for you and your needs.

1. Portugal – Golden Visa

Investment Requirements: Starting from 250,000 euros in a donation for Arts/National Heritage/Culture, depending on the location and condition of the property.

Time for Residency: Around 6 months.

Benefits of Golden Visa in Portugal:

  • Access to the Schengen area.
  • Requires only 7 days of stay per year.
  • Path to citizenship after 5 years.

Special Considerations: Portugal is known for its quality of life, pleasant climate, and safety. Starting from late 2023, investing in real estate or direct capital transfer is no longer a valid option to apply for the Golden Visa program in Portugal, as it had been previously.

2. Greece – Golden Visa

Investment Requirements: Minimum of 250,000€ in real estate.

Time for Residency: Around 4-5 months.

Benefits of Golden Visa in Greece:

  • Access to the Schengen area.
  • No minimum stay requirements.
  • Allows inclusion of direct family members in the application.

Special Considerations: Greece offers one of the most economical options for investment residency in Europe. However, it does not provide a direct path to citizenship.

3. Malta – Citizenship by Investment

Investment Requirements: Contribution of 600,000€ to 750,000€ to the national fund, depending on previous residence time, plus investments in real estate and government bonds.

Time for Citizenship: 12-36 months.

Benefits of Citizenship by Investment in Malta:

  • EU citizenship.
  • Access to the Schengen area.
  • Transmissible citizenship to future generations.

Special Considerations: Malta has one of the most rigorous and respected programs but is also one of the most expensive.

4. Dominica – Citizenship by Investment

Investment Requirements: Starting from $100,000 in donation or $200,000 in real estate.

Time for Citizenship: 3-4 months.

Benefits of Citizenship by Investment in Dominica:

  • No stay requirements.
  • Quick and confidential process.
  • Visa-free access to over 140 countries.

Special Considerations: Although Dominica offers a fast and relatively affordable process, its passport does not provide visa-free access to the Schengen area or the UK.

5. United States – EB-5 Visa

Investment Requirements: Investment of $900,000 in specific employment areas or $1,800,000 in other areas, creating at least 10 jobs.

Time for Residency: 18-24 months.

Benefits of EB-5 Visa in the USA:

  • Path to green card and eventually to citizenship.
  • Access to quality education and healthcare services.
  • Includes spouse and children under 21.

Special Considerations: The required investment is significant, but EB-5 offers a clear path to permanent residency and citizenship in the United States.


Choosing the right residence or citizenship by investment program depends on your personal and financial goals. Some programs offer a fast and cost-effective route to residency, while others provide access to more countries or the possibility of obtaining citizenship. It’s important to conduct thorough research and consider your priorities before making a decision.

If you have any questions or need additional guidance, feel free to contact Orience for the guidance and support you need on your path to international investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the most economical option to obtain investment residency?

Greece offers one of the most economical options, with a minimum investment of 250,000€ in real estate.

Can I include my family in the investment residency or citizenship application?

Yes, most programs allow including the spouse, minor children, and, in some cases, parents and in-laws.

How much time do I need to reside in the country to maintain my status?

It varies by program. For example, in Portugal, a minimum stay of 7 days per year is required, while Greece has no minimum stay requirements.

Is it possible to obtain citizenship by investment?

Yes, some programs offer a direct path to citizenship, such as in Malta and Dominica. Others, like Portugal and Greece, offer the option to apply for citizenship after a residency period.

Do investment programs offer options besides real estate?

Yes, many programs offer options for investment in government bonds, donations to national funds, investments in local businesses, among others.

Which program is the fastest for obtaining citizenship by investment?

Dominica is known for having one of the fastest processes, being able to obtain citizenship in 3-4 months.

Do I need to renounce my current citizenship to obtain citizenship by investment?

It depends on the country. Some countries allow dual citizenship, while others may require you to renounce your current citizenship.