Saturday, April 13, 2024

Comprehensive Guide on EU Citizenship By Investment (Golden Visa)

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Some EU nations offer quicker and simpler citizenship processes than others, while some may be more intricate. This post will explain EU citizenship by investment and identify the nations that best fit you.

Being an EU citizen entitles you to several perks. It is your right to work and study anywhere in the European Union. Visa-free travel to more than 170 countries is another benefit of it. 

Four primary routes exist to becoming an EU citizen: naturalization, marriage, investment, or citizenship by descent. Your decisions will vary depending on the nation you have citizenship in.

 The prerequisites for each choice vary according to the EU member state, but in general, you will need to prove your eligibility, residency status, language ability, and integration. 

Malta, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Cyprus (pending) are European nations that provide citizenship through investment. Several European countries, including Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Spain, and the United Kingdom, offer residence options through investment. 

A second citizenship can be obtained by investing in some European nations. Passport holders are free to live, work, and study anywhere in the 27 EU member nations since some of them are members of the EU. Some countries that provide citizenship programs are also members of the Schengen Area, which has a similar travel visa regime. Investment schemes that provide European citizenship have several distinguishing characteristics. These are: 

Top Countries to Get Citizenship By Investment in the EU  

Top Countries to get Citizenship By Investment in EU   - Top Countries to get Citizenship By Investment in EU  

1. Portuguese Citizenship By Investment

Real estate purchases and associated cash are no longer qualifying assets for Portugal’s Golden Visa. However, there are ways to apply for a Golden Visa in Portugal, including: 

  • Creation of jobs 
  • Monetary commitment to research 
  • Assistance for the creation of art or cultural heritage 
  • Establishing a business that creates jobs 

2. Greece Citizenship By Investment

The minimum investment required for the Greek Golden Visa was raised from €250,000 to €500,000. This modification to the investment cost took effect for real estate investments on July 31, 2023. The chosen places include Santorini, Mykonos, Thessaloniki, and Athens. 

Residing in Greece might be the first advantage of this investment program to be discussed. The rationale is that there are no minimum or maximum stay limitations associated with this entitlement. Access to public healthcare and education, the Double Taxation Treaty, prospects for family reunification, visa-free travel within the Schengen region, and a low real estate investment requirement are further advantages. 

If you obtain a Greek Golden Visa, you or your family will be able to travel freely across the Schengen region, which consists of 26 European nations. Furthermore, these nations do not require any further visas for you. 

3. Malta Citizenship by Investment 

Malta is the second-safest nation on earth. Naturalization for Malta Citizenship in Exchange for Outstanding Services via Direct Investment 

Malta is the greatest location in Europe for citizens to become citizens by investing in it. Europe’s most renowned citizenship program grants full European citizenship to investors, their wives, and all children under eighteen in exchange for a small initial payment. 

Candidates may choose one of the following two options: 

After a year (12 months) of residency and a €750,000 payment, become a citizen of Malta. 

Obtain Maltese citizenship after three years (36 months) of residency and a €600,000 payment. 

One of the most sought-after programs is this special one created by the Maltese government to confer citizenship to non-EU people. Those who are successful are granted Maltese citizenship and the legal ability to enter the EU and Schengen Area. 

There may only be 400 successful candidates annually for the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment program. It is limited to 1,500 during the duration of the rules. 

The Citizenship by Investment Malta initiative aims to acquire outside capital and experience. Naturalization is a means of obtaining citizenship in exchange for remarkable services. You and your family may be granted citizenship there if you contribute to Malta’s economic growth. 

A minimum investment must be made, and documentation of one’s 12- or 36-month residency in Malta must be presented. 

4. Spanish Citizenship by Investment 

Spain has been a member of the Schengen region since 1995 and an EU member since 1085. Due to its rising economy and high living standards, the nation is a popular travel destination. The Spain Golden Visa program provides various investment opportunities if you want to relocate to Spain. 

Comprehensive Guide on EU Citizenship By Investment (Golden Visa)

The following are potential investments: 

  • Invest a minimum of €500,000 in real estate through property investment. 
  • Invest two million euros in Spanish government bonds. 
  • Spanish Company Shares: Invest €1 million in Spanish company shares. 

In addition, you must be at least eighteen years old, be eligible for public or private health insurance, and have a clean criminal record. 

You can live, study, and work in Spain if granted a Golden Visa. Additionally, it can result in citizenship and permanent residency. 

After obtaining a five-year temporary residency, you can apply for Spanish permanent residency. If you satisfy specific requirements, you can seek citizenship through the naturalization procedure after ten years of permanent residency. 

5. Italian Citizenship by Investment 

Italy’s Golden Visa scheme, launched in 2017, benefits you. Additionally, you can seek naturalization to get Italian citizenship if you reside in Italy for ten years straight. 

The advantages are as follows: 

  • It provides a two-year residency permit that can be extended for three years. 
  • After ten years, an Italian Golden Visa holder may petition for Italian citizenship. 
  • Participants enjoy beneficiary tax circumstances. 
  • You are allowed to move around the Schengen Area at will. 
  • Family members can be added to the application. 
  • You and your family are allowed to work in Italy if you have a valid visa. 
  • Italian national public healthcare is available to you. 

6. Barbuda and Antigua Citizenship by Investment 

Henley & Partners created and carried out the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program in 2012 in response to a government directive. The scheme appeals to those seeking alternative citizenship through purchasing valued properties or contributions to the National Development Fund of the islands.

The primary candidate must be at least eighteen years old, fulfil the application criteria, and choose one of the four available alternatives to be eligible for citizenship:

  • A minimum non-refundable donation of USD 100,000 to the National Development Fund
  • A minimum non-refundable donation of USD 150,000 to the University of the West Indies
    the acquisition of real estate from an authorized real estate project for a minimum of USD 200,000.
  • To be eligible, two candidates must invest jointly, with each contributing a minimum of USD 200,000. The real estate cannot be sold within five years.
  • The direct acquisition of a qualified company by an individual for a minimum of USD 1.5 million.
  •  As an alternative, a joint purchase in which all parties invest a minimum of USD 400,000, for a combined minimum contribution of USD 5 million.

7. The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment 

With the introduction of its Citizenship by Investment Program in 2019, Montenegro provided a less costly alternative to citizenship than other European nations. However, unlike other CBI choices, Montenegro is not currently a member of the European Union; this is anticipated to change in 2025. However, as a NATO member, the nation’s nationals are granted visa-free travel to more than 124 nations.

The Montenegro Citizenship by Investment - Comprehensive Guide on EU Citizenship By Investment (Golden Visa)

The E-2 Treaty Program also allows Montenegrins to reside and work in the United States of America. In addition to being reasonably priced, the application procedure moves quite quickly—approval for citizenship takes six months, while residence takes only three weeks. Eligible candidates must invest €250,000 in northern property authorized by the government or €450,000 in southern property approved by the government.

Investors are also required to make €100,000 payments to the Montenegrin government. Applicants don’t need to reside in Montenegro to keep their citizenship. Families only need to be in the nation for five days during a five-year term.

Montenegro Citizenship By Investment Program applicants must invest in pre-approved real estate projects and donate €100,000 to a government fund. The location affects the investment’s value in real estate. Real estate in the country’s less developed north must be valued at least €250,000, while properties in the vibrant south along the seaside must be valued at least €450,000.

 The Montenegrin government has pre-approved the relevant real estate alternatives. After applying, investors usually obtain their passports in six (6) months. To renew their passports, they must travel to Montenegro for five days every five years.

8. North Macedonia Citizenship by Investment 

 North Macedonia, a country in Southeast Europe, is strategically positioned to be advantageous to investors due to its prominence as a significant transit route throughout Europe. The North Macedonia Citizenship by Investment Program is the most effective option for individuals to get citizenship in this expanding European economy.

The government warmly welcomes foreign individuals with money and talent who can invest significantly and suitably in the nation to stimulate foreign direct investment. Within five months of enrolling in this procedure, people can become citizens of North Macedonia. 

A foreign person wishing to apply for North Macedonian Citizenship by Investment Program must invest EUR 200,000 or EUR 400,000 in one of the two investment alternatives listed below:
Option 1 
To be qualified to petition for citizenship, an adult candidate must deposit EUR 200,000 for a minimum of two years into a private investment fund set up in compliance with Republic of North Macedonia law.
Option 2
A direct investment of EUR 400,000 per adult applicant will be made in new facilities (except from those in the hospitality industry used for dining or shopping), with the employment of a minimum of 10 persons for an extended length of time over at least a year.

It is necessary to have the following documents:

  • Clearance certificates from the police
  • A comprehensive curriculum vitae (CV)
  • Evidence of financial situation

9. Turkey’s Citizenship by Investment

The government unveiled a new citizenship law in June 2022, with investments starting at USD 400,000. Ever since these modifications were made, the program has become one of the most alluring ways to become a citizen of Turkey through real estate investment, thanks to affordable and compelling citizenship efforts. Turkey Advisors has been instrumental in helping many investors who have successfully obtained Turkish citizenship. 

The winners of this competition will get Turkish citizenship for life, and their offspring will also automatically be granted citizenship. Due to Turkey’s policy of granting dual nationality, people can retain more than one citizenship in addition to their Turkish one, which offers them more freedom and opportunities for international travel.

Turkish Citizenship is a great option for investors looking to get international citizenship through investing because of this aspect.

What is the Price of Obtaining European Citizenship By Investment In EU Countries? 

Find out how much it costs to invest in different nations for citizenship or residency and if you need further guidance on EU citizenship by investment opportunities, book a session with our travel consultants:

1. Portugal 

An investment of €500,000 in a fund that qualifies. 

2. Greece

A real estate investment of €500,000. 

3. Barbuda and Antigua

The range of investment possibilities is $100,000 to $1,500,000. 

4. Malta

€600,000 investment following a three-year residence period.  Investment of €750,000 following a year of residence. 

5. Spain

  • Real estate worth €500,000.
  • Spanish Government Bonds worth €2 million. 
  • One million euros worth of Spanish company shares. 

6. Italy 

  • Italian government bonds worth €2 million. 
  • €500,000 inside a restricted business in Italy. 
  • €250,000 to a creative startup in Italy. 
  • A contribution of one million euros to a charitable cause. 

7. North Macedonia 

  • EUR 200,000 

8. Turkey 

  • $250,000 USD 

9. The Montenegro 

  • €250,000 

Advantages of Being a European Citizen 

What are the benefits of European citizenship for you? For inhabitants of Europe, there are many more perks outside the advantages of having an EU passport. This comprises: 

Advantages of Being a European Citizen - Comprehensive Guide on EU Citizenship By Investment (Golden Visa)

  • The freedom to work wherever in the EU. 
  • The ability to live in any EU member state. 
  • Obtain academic study subsidies. 
  • Entrance into nations like the US without a visa. 
  • Launching a company and purchasing real estate. 
  • Freedom of travel inside the Schengen Area and among the EU’s member states. 
  • Protection by consular representatives via European consulates. 
  • Privileged authorization to operate outside of Europe. 
  • Cutting-edge medical care in EU nations. 
  • Admission to Europe without a visa. 
  • Excellent quality of life and living circumstances. 

Frequently Asked Questions About EU Citizenship By Investment

1. Which EU Country is Best for Citizenship by Investment?

Malta is the greatest location in Europe where citizens can become citizens by investing.

2. Which EU country has the easiest citizenship?

Portugal is the simplest country in Europe to become a citizen of. Getting a Portugal Golden visa is the simplest path to becoming a Portuguese citizen; all you need to do is invest in a home, company, or property valued at at least €500,000. For five years, you must stay for just seven days a year.

3. Which country has the cheapest citizenship by investment?

Macedonia, North. North Macedonia has the least expensive citizenship by investment scheme in Europe. Investors can apply for citizenship in this landlocked nation in the Balkans in two distinct ways.

4. What is the cheapest investment in Portugal for citizenship?

To receive a Golden Visa, an investor may need to make a minimum investment ranging from €250,000 to €500,000. Extra costs for each applicant may exceed €6,000, including application fees, residency permit card issuing fees, and health insurance.

5. How can EU citizenship be obtained through investment?

Before becoming able to apply for citizenship, the procedure usually entails choosing a nation with a citizenship by investment program, satisfying the investment requirements (which might include real estate, businesses, or government bonds), acquiring residency, and meeting the necessary qualifications.

6. Is it possible to immediately obtain EU citizenship by investment?

It is usually not feasible to get EU citizenship immediately through investment. The majority of programs require residence before granting eligibility for citizenship applications, which can take a few years or many years, depending on the nation.

7. What is the fastest way to get EU citizenship?

The quickest route to EU membership by investment is determined by the particular conditions of each nation’s scheme. Although other nations could have quicker processing times or less stringent residence requirements, candidates should carefully review the specifics of each program.

8. Can dual citizenship be obtained through EU citizenship by investment?

Dual citizenship is permitted in many EU nations, however specific national laws and restrictions may apply. Verifying the particular regulations of the nation providing citizenship by investment program is crucial.

9. What are the long-term financial gains associated with EU citizenship?

The long-term benefits include being able to live and work in any EU member state, having unlimited travel inside the Schengen region, and having access to high-quality healthcare and education. The possible social and economic advantages of holding EU citizenship are also mentioned.

10. What are the possible dangers or difficulties involved in acquiring EU citizenship through investment?

Examining potential obstacles that applicants may encounter, such as alterations in laws, unpredictability in politics, or unforeseen postponements in the application procedure. Providing advice on how people can successfully overcome these obstacles.

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