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Golden Visa Programs: An Overview of the Benefits and Requirements

Golden Visa Programs

The Golden Visa is one of the most feasible ways to attain legal citizenship of a foreign country. In simple words, it’s a residential right acquired through an investment program.

Wealthy families embrace this immigration program to visit or move physically to their favorable jurisdiction. Eventually, you can enjoy legal rights to live, study, work, and avail healthcare services in that foreign country.

The minimum investment varies from one Golden Visa country to another. However, it ranges from €150,000 to millions. However, a residence permit comes with a Golden Visa automatically. But the person is required to reside in that foreign country for a couple of years beforehand.

To know which Golden Visa program you can apply for, contact the advisors at Global Residence Index. They specialize in navigating residence by investment programs worldwide.

What Are the Golden Visa Requirements?

Many countries use the Golden Visa residency program to attract foreign investments. They usually do so by establishing businesses that recruit the least number of locals. With residency-by-investment schemes, foreigners become permanent residents of the country in which they invest. They can live with their children and spouse, work and study there.

However, you have to meet the Golden Visa requirements to obtain permanent residence. It includes –

  • The investment must be maintained for at least a minimal amount of time.
  • You must be financially strong to sustain your family members residing with you.
  • The money you will invest must be yours.
  • You must prove that your invested money is legal.
  • You must not have a criminal background.

These were the general requirements you will need to meet to acquire a Golden Visa. However, some specific requirements can get added depending on the type of visa you are applying for.

Advantages of the Golden Visa

Like the requirements and minimum amount, the advantages of a Golden Visa also vary according to the country from which you apply. For example, the Golden Visa of the UAE has some specific advantages. On the other hand, European Golden Visas offer their own benefits.

Let’s find out the common benefits you can enjoy with the Golden Visa!

1. Form a safe haven

With a residence permit, you can get into the country at any time. Even in instances when foreigners with valid visas are denied entry, an investor with this residential permit won’t face any hindrance. You can travel to the country at any time without a visa, even in a state of emergency.

2. Business Scopes

Golden Visa countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal, Malta, and Cyprus allow the holders to establish businesses there. They can register their company or business and expand it by exploring new markets, etc.

3. Tax Utilities

Investors with a Golden Visa can start a company and become tax residents, utilizing the country’s tax system. They can even use their preferential status to minimize their legal tax obligations.

4. Refund of the Initial Investment

In most residential permit programs by investment, you will have a significant part of your initial investment returned after obtaining permanent citizenship or residence. Generally, the investor has to reside in the country for a minimum of 5 years to enjoy this benefit.

5. Get access to European Healthcare and Education Facilities

European Golden Visa investors will get access to the healthcare and educational systems of the country that granted the permit. Each family member residing with you will also enjoy these services.

6. Apply for European Citizenship

You can submit the application for citizenship after residing there for 5 to 10 years. Interestingly, countries like Italy, Cyprus, Malta, and Portugal also offer dual citizenship.

7. Travel to the Schengen Countries Without a Visa

Cyprus or Malta’s permanent residence permit and the residence permit given by Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal allow their investors to spend about 90 days visa-free in the Schengen countries. These 90 days, out of any 180 days spent in the country granting the residence permit, won’t be taken into consideration.

Ways to Apply for Golden Visa Programs

To be eligible for a Golden Visa application, the best thing you must do is buy real estate property in any foreign country. Most investors follow this route, and most Golden Visa countries offer it.

 A real estate property can cost you between $200,000 and over $2 million.

However, other feasible ways to apply for a Golden Visa include:

  • Creating employment opportunities.
  • Investing in the country’s government bonds or public debts.
  • Investing capital in a company’s stocks or shares.
  • Contributing to a country’s technological or scientific innovation.

Following any of these things, you can submit an application for a Golden Visa at a pertinent government body abroad or at the Embassy in your country. However, your first preference should be to apply at the Embassy.

Countries that Grant Golden Visas

The list includes Austria, Germany, Canada, Greece, Anguilla, Grenada, Malta, Ireland, New Zealand, Singapore, Portugal, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, the United Kingdom, the USA, and more.

However, the six EU countries that grant the most favorable Golden Visa citizenship programs are Portugal, Greece, Malta, Italy, Spain, and Cyprus. Their conditions are nearly the same. But the difference lies in each country’s residential needs and minimum investment.

Which Country Offers the Fastest Golden Visa Citizenship?

Portugal is one of the countries that provides the quickest residential permit. Whether you have lived in the country or not, you can apply for its citizenship just after five years.

Can You Include Family In the Golden Visa Application?

Yes, you can include dependent family members in your Golden Visa application. It includes your spouse, children, and dependent parents. All the members included in this application will enjoy all the rights that you (the main applicant) enjoy. For instance, freedom of movement, residency, and more.

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