European visa for investment – the Golden Visa

The Golden Visa program launched by the Portuguese Authorities is a quick way for investors to acquire a fully valid residency permit in Portugal and free access to the vast majority of European countries (Schengen area) accordingly.

This is a great process whereby investment in real estate is being made possible. The Portuguese Authorities launched it so that buyers would have the opportunity to invest in property across Europe with a sense of freedom.

The main premise is to attract foreign investment to Portugal and to other neighbouring countries, in particular, Spain. The program is very straightforward and flexible to meet client’s needs, with simplistic and transparent legal requirements. The program has enormously reduced minimum stay requests making it one of, if not the most, appealing residency programs in the world.

The most protuberant countries for the Golden Visa are Portugal, Spain, Malta, Greece and Cyprus. Other countries like Bulgaria and Hungary offer Permanent Residency and Citizenship by investment in Europe via government bonds.

The increasing interest in investor visa programs means that buyers now have several more options available to them. In other countries such as in the Caribbean (St. Kitts, Antigua, Grenada and Dominica, offer Citizenship through investment and a second passport providing travel admission to many visa-free countries. These programs begin from $200,000.

It is important to note that not all programs are the same, as every country is different. Momentous differences include investment levels, family qualifications, minimum stay, passports Citizenship and Permanent Residencies. All of these factors are taken into consideration alongside the contrasting economic states and real estate investment forecasts for each of the countries.

So why do investors acquire a “Golden Visa”?

There are several advantages of obtaining a Golden Visa, which comprise:

• The opportunity of freedom to travel;
• Increased confidence in asset security;
• Personal insurance reasons;
• For family education purposes and the space to grow (broadening horizons);
• To set an example and to create a legacy for future generations.

The decision to attain a Golden Visa means that significant financial returns are likely, once combined with sensible investment decisions.

Portugal has proved to be the favourite destination in Europe for investors seeking a Golden Visa. Full residency is granted but there is no obligation to reside, making it a very attractive element for investors who wish to roam and maintain that malleable option. Citizenship can then be applied for after six years.

The Portuguese Golden Visa is the main feature of the government’s drive for international investment. The country is growing steadily from strength to strength, so this option means that the real estate market will consequently grow and excel alongside other exciting prospects.

Other positive variables and benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa include:

• Extremely low minimum stay requirements – 7 days first year and 14 days following periods of 2 years;
• The possibility of Permanent Residency after five years and nationality after six years;
• Zero limitations on ownership on the selected investment;
• Limited number of documents required;
• Residency applications are usually processed very quickly;
• Access to all Portuguese Public Services, including health and education.

Spain is another secure preference among investors in the real estate investment market. They are one of the larger economies in Europe. Invest from €500,000 in real estate to gain the Spanish Golden Visa, providing again, a flexible residency option. Permanent Residency and Citizenship can be applied for at a later stage.

Spain enacted on the 27th of September 2014 the Entrepreneur’s Law. The country offers unique investing opportunities for investors with a hunger for risk to profit and benefits from today’s irrational low prices. The Spanish housing market has significantly turned a corner now that they’re on the fully on their road to recovery.

Other countries that offer Golden Visas include:

• Cyprus – they offer citizenship for investment levels of €2.0 million in real estate, making it a big attraction to this program. A Cypriot passport allows freedom to travel, study, work or to live throughout the EU. They also offer residency through an investment of just €300,000 allowing full family qualification. The visa is flexible with no requirement to live in the country – again – another huge advantage.
• Greece – they offer a residency visa through property investment. However, eventual citizenship is not available to foreigners. The country is a member of the EU Schengen visa zone and has no minimum stay requirement.
• Malta – they offer an Individual Investor Programme that is right for high net worth clients. The commitment to a residence in Malta is for five years and the scheme requires investment in government-approved funds/instruments. The total investment requirement is normally in excess of €1.2 million.
• Grenada – one of the newest investment programs, the Grenada passport offers visa-free travel to over 70 countries including the UK. They offer a low-investment threshold of just $250,000 in a government approved real estate project. The investment needs to be maintained for at least four years.

We can offer advice on Golden Visas, so please visit our main site now for more information.

Written by Gemma Smith

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