The wealthy elite of the world have a lifestyle that must include global mobility solutions, financial freedom, contingency planning, a good return on investment, and possible business opportunities. The Residency and Citizenship by Investment programs has allowed the wealthy of this world to pursue this lifestyle.
Several European countries have residence and citizenship by investment programs and the investments are mostly in real estate. The most popular of these programs are the Golden Visa programs of Portugal, Spain and Greece.
Major Golden Visa programs with mobility solutions
The Portugal Golden Visa allows the applicant to invest in residential or commercial property for at least €500,000 in cities like Lisbon or Porto or €350,000 in a property that is 30 years old or older that needs to rehabilitated and restored or €280,000 in a property in a low density area like Aljezur or Peneda Geres. The investor and their family members only need to hold on to their investment for five years and spend seven days in a year in Portugal for them to be eligible for citizenship and a passport.
The Golden Visa Greece requires only a minimum €250,000 investment in real estate to avail of a residency permit valid for five years and renewed for another five years. Immediate family members are included in the application that will grant them visa-free travel to the Schengen countries and European Union countries. Other than real estate property, the applicant can also invest in a five-year lease agreement of a hotel, a ten-year lease agreement of a tourist complex or agricultural land or buy shares in a tourist project, all of which can be rented out after purchase. After a minimum of seven years residency in Greece, the residence permit holder can apply for citizenship.
The Spain Golden Visa requires a substantial investment of at least €500,000 in real estate that will allow the holder and his family the right to live, study and work in Spain. The property can be a single unit or several but worth at least €500,000. Holders of the Spain Golden Visa can travel visa-free throughout the European Union and have access to the excellent healthcare services and world-class education that Spaniards enjoy.
As long as the holder keeps their investment, the residence permit can be renewed every two years. Permanent residency can be obtained after five years and citizenship after ten years if the conditions required are met.