For many people, international mobility is part of their lifestyle whether it be for work or pleasure. Having to apply for a visa every time one travels can be very tedious and time consuming. Applicant must fill up several forms and comply with a series of requirements and provide personal information, make an appointment, travel to the embassy or consulate, wait in line, and wait for the visa to be released. This whole tedious process can be avoided by obtaining a passport that will allow the holder to travel almost anywhere in the world visa-free.
Countries that do not need a visa to travel to Europe
There are more than 50 countries in the world that do not need a visa to travel to Europe and allow for better international mobility, specifically to the Schengen area, for short stays. If you come from any of these countries, you can visit the Schengen area without a visa.
Albania, Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina. Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Dominica, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, USA, Georgia, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Marshall Islands, Solomon Islands, Israel, Japan, Kiribati, Macau, North Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Moldova, Montenegrin, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, United Kingdom, Saint Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Samoa, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Taiwan, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tuvaluan, Ukraine, Uruguay, Vanuatu and Valenzuela.
However, by May, 2023, nationals from the countries above will need to apply for an ETIAS travel authorization. ETIAS is not a visa.
What is ETIAS?
ETIAS or European Travel Information and Authorization System is a mandatory electronic travel authorization to travel to the Schengen Area for stays up to 90 days within 180 day periods.
- A valid passport that is valid for at least six months
- A valid email address so that the system can notify you of the status of your application
- A debit or credit card to pay for the ETIAS fee
However, visa-free travel within the Schengen area is possible and especially advantageous to those from countries that require a visa to enter the Schengen area and to other countries as well through the residence by investment programs of Spain, Portugal and Greece in the European Union and St. Kitss and Nevis, Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda in the Caribbean.
Residence by investment programs Europe
Golden visa Spain
The residency-by-investment program of Spain requires an investment of at least €500,000 in real estate property that the investor must hold for a minimum of five years. After ten years, the second passport holder can apply for Spanish citizenship. Second passport holders from former Spanish colonies like the Philippines and Chile, can apply for citizenship only after two years.
The investor must purchase with their own funds one or multiple properties in Spain that can be for residential or commercial purposes.
Dependents of the holder – spouse, dependent children, dependent parents – are included in the application and also have the right to live, work and study in Spain.
Holders can obtain their Permanent Residency after five years of actual residence and Citizenship in Spain after ten years of actual residence or two years for those from former Spanish colonies.
Second passport holders can avail of the excellent healthcare and education system of Spain.
Golden visa Portugal
The residency-by-investment program of Portugal requires an investment of at least €280,000 in real estate property for the right to live, work and study in Portugal. Applicants can qualify for a permanent residency or citizenship after five years.
Investor can invest €500,000 in a Portuguese Investment Fund or Venture Capital Fund for at least five years wherein at least 60% of the investments are in Portuguese companies or investor can purchase a property with a minimum value of €350,000 or €280,000. The property must be at least 30 years old or located in urban regeneration areas which the investor must promise to refurbish or renovate. Those interested in residential properties can only invest in designated interior areas or low density areas. This requirement also applies to those who would like to invest in properties with a minimum value of €400,000 or €500,000.
Dependents of the holder – spouse, dependent children, dependent parents – are included in the application and also have the right to live, work and study in Portugal.
Holders can obtain their Permanent Residency and Citizenship after five years of actual residence.
Second passport holders can avail of the excellent healthcare and education system of Portugal.
Golden visa Greece
The residency-by-investment program of Greece requires an investment of at least €250,000 in real estate property for the right to live, work and study indefinitely in Greece. Residence permit holders can qualify for Greek citizenship after seven years.
Within six months, applicants have a second passport that will grant the holder visa-free access to the Schengen area, avail of the excellent healthcare and educational system of Greece and avail of the different tax incentives that the Greece Residence Permit gives.
Golden visa Malta
Malta is an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast and is known for its long history and its historical sites. Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and of the Schengen Area since 2007. It enjoys a stable political and financial climate.
The Golden Visa Malta requires a minimum contribution of €600,000 to the National Development Fund and 36 months of residency. For fast track applications, a minimum contribution of €750,000 and 12 months residency is required.
In addition, €50,000 is required for every dependent included in their application.
In addition to the contribution to the National Development Fund, a €700,000 investment in real estate or a rental agreement of at least a €16,000 per year that must be maintained for five years plus a €10,000 donation to a registered philanthropic, cultural, sport, scientific, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental approved organization or society.
The benefits include international mobility visa-free travel to 198 countries including EU and Schengen area, the right to live and work in Malta, all family members are included (spouse, children, parents and grandparents who are economically dependent on the applicant), five years permanent residence, renewable indefinitely and the option to apply for Maltese citizenship and passport.
Residence by investment programs Caribbean
Citizenship by investment in St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis, two islands located in the eastern Caribbean Sea and known for its mountains and beaches appears in most lists. It has the oldest and best-managed citizenship by investment program in the world.
A minimum investment of US$150,000 into a sustainable growth fund for an individual or family of up to four persons or US$200,000 investment in property for 7 years or $400,000 for 5 years.
A St. Kitts and Nevis passport allows the holder visa-free access to 156 countries around the world and only has a processing period of 60 days upon submission of application.
An individual application includes family members – spouse, dependent children up to a maximum age of 30, dependent parents with a minimum age of 55 and unmarried and dependent siblings up to the age of 30.
Citizenship by investment in Dominica
Dominica is an island in the Caribbean of endless beaches.
Golden Visa Dominica only takes 90 days to be approved and allows the holder visa-free travel to 140 countries including the UK, Singapore and Schengen area.
The holder must make a minimum investment of US$200,000 in real estate and make a required donation of US$100,000.
The benefits of the Dominica Citizenship by Investment Program are many.
- Investors acquire citizenship for life that includes an unlimited number of eligible dependents that can be passed down to generations and that does not require residence or visits to the island.
- Dual citizenship is allowed
- Investors and their dependents can travel visa-free to 144 countries.
- In the Schengen countries, a Dominican passport may be used for up to three months in a six month period and The United Kingdom allows free entry with stays up to 180 consecutive days.
- Citizens of Dominica have visa-free entry to the Asian economic centers of Singapore and Hongkong and can stay in Singapore for up to 30 days without a visa, and in Hongkong for up to 90 days in a half year.
- Investors may avail of tax benefits and are assured a return on their investment. Investors automatically become shareholders of The Cabrits Resort and Spa.
Dominica citizenship is usually granted in six months. Dominica has the oldest and cheapest citizenship by investment program in the world.
Citizenship by investment in Antigua y Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a Commonwealth country comprising two islands and several smaller ones in the Caribbean.
Antigua & Barbuda has several tax benefits like no taxes on global income, on wealth and inheritance, and capital gains.
Allows double citizenship and approved in 90 days.
Requires only five days residency over five years and is available for spouse and dependents.
International mobility with the Grenada passport
Grenada is a hilly island country in the Caribbean that has as its main produce nutmeg.
A minimum investment of US$220,00,00 AND a minimum donation of US$150,000 that allows the holder visa-free travel to 143 countries including China, UK and Singapore. An added benefit is that the holder can avail of the E2 Investor Visa to the USA. Applicant can apply for spouse, children, parents and grandparents above 55 years old.
There are no taxes on personal income or inheritance tax. Does not require physical residency and takes 4 to 6 months to process.
Citizenship by investment in St. Lucia
St. Lucia is an island nation in the Caribbean known for its beaches, reef-diving sites, luxury resorts and fishing villages.
A minimum investment of US$300,00,00 AND a minimum donation of US$100,000 is required and allows the holder visa-free travel to 146 countries including Hong Kong. The applicant can apply for spouse, children, parents and grandparents above 65 years old.
Benefits include no taxes on worldwide income nor does it require physical residency. It takes 3 to 4 months to process.