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June 13, 2019

Golden Visa Programs Worldwide

Golden visa is a long-term stay visa that allows a person to live and work in another country. Many countries offer citizenship and permanent residency through their Golden Visa Programs. In some countries the Golden Visa holders can apply for citizenship while in others they can only live and work as a permanent resident. Also, the Golden Visa holders can apply for permanent residency or citizenship for their family members depending on the laws of that country.

Recently the Golden visas are in very high demand. Various countries in European Union are offering these Golden visas and are in very high demand. These European countries offer residence permit and passport that comes with a host of benefits, such as freedom of movement in the Schengen area and complete access to the European Union free market.

Now you would be wondering what is a Golden Visa and how can you apply for a Golden Visa.

What is a Golden Visa?

The Golden visa refers to the immigration program in which the wealthy individuals from across the world can invest in real estate, government projects, or make donations in these countries and against that those countries offer those individuals a residence permit or even a passport.

Different countries have different requirements in terms of investment to provide Golden visa which can range from $250,000 to several millions dollars.

With the Golden visa you and your family get permanent residency in that country and you get complete access to the country’s social security and other facilities that their citizens enjoy. For instance, with permanent residency through Golden visa your children can go to schools in that country, you and your family get access to world-class healthcare.

Applying for a Golden Visa is not easy and considering the amount of investment involved in it you should consult with the experts on the matter. Thankfully Visa Ray has years of experience in residency-by-investment schemes of different countries across the globe. We offer a free consultation to determine your eligibility to apply and acquire a Golden Visa. If you are eligible and wish to apply for a Golden Visa, we start your visa process and set up a trip so you can see your investment options personally, and even provide you with a dedicates lawyer to help you with the investment and visa process.

Do Golden Visas Lead to Citizenship?

Yes, many Golden Visas lead to citizenship but there are few that only give you unlimited Residency Permit to live in that country and enjoy all the benefits of a permanent residents. To get citizenship you may need to stay in that country for a few years before you can apply for citizenship and get a passport. For instance, if you apply for a Spanish Golden Visa, you will get your residence permit in 4-6 months but if you want to apply for Spanish citizenship you need to stay in Spain for at least 10 years and prove your Spanish language proficiency and your adaptability to the Spanish culture and community.

Golden Visa Requirements

Golden Visa or in other terms Residency by investment is a way many countries used to attract foreign investors usually in property or by creating a business that employs a set minimum number of locals. With this that country not only gets funds into their economy but also generates jobs for their citizens.

On the other side the investor obtains permanent residency in the country in which they are investing, bring their spouse and children to live with them, and study and work there. Technically for first few years they have to live in the country as permanent residents and when they have lived for the duration given by that country they can apply for citizenship. This time duration of stay in the country is varied by country to country.

Golden Visa eligibility requirements are:

  • You must personally own the money you wish to invest.
  • Maintain the investment, for at least a minimally-required amount of time usually 2-3 years.
  • Be able to prove you have acquired the money legally.
  • Have no criminal cases in your name in your own country or any other country.
  • You must have enough financial resources to sustain yourself and any family members that are coming with you – even if you do not intend to live there.

As we mentioned that every country has different requirements and eligibility criteria so, depending on which country Golden Visa you will apply for, there will be additional specific requirements as well like language proficiency, minimum amount of investment, duration of stay in the country, etc.

How to Apply for a Golden Visa?

A Golden Visa is the quickest way to get into another country and get second passport and citizenship. In order to apply for a Golden Visa, you must purchase a property (real estate) in a foreign country. This is the most common route and is offered by most Golden Visa countries. The cost of the real estate ranges from $200,000 to over $2 million.

Other investment options include*:

  • Make a capital investment in a company’s shares/stocks
  • Make a capital investment in the country’s public debt or government bonds
  • Create employment opportunities
  • Contribute to a country’s scientific or technological innovation

*Note that these investment options are not available in all countries which offer Golden Visas.

You can get your Golden Visa after making your investment in that country which you want to get Golden Visa from. Though it’s not a cake walk, you can’t just walk into an embassy of a country and say you want to invest and you need a Golden Visa. You can’t directly apply for a Golden Visa, to get your Golden Visa you need help of lawyers, embassy, or the Government body.

But you need not worry, Visa Ray can help you get your Golden Visa for your desired country. We have years of experience in Golden Visa Schemes, we have firs-hand knowledge of international investment and immigration laws, and our team comprises of lawyers those who deal into helping people with their Golden Visas.

With our help you can be assured that you will have the most experiences immigration lawyers assisting you with your paper work and handle your Golden visa application on your behalf for you and your family. With us you are sure to get most efficient and streamlined process for your Golden Visa application.

You can contact Visa Ray to determine which Golden Visa program is best for you and which one you qualify for. We can help you choose the best Golden Visa scheme for you and your family by taking into consideration your finances, your motive of movement, and what you want to achieve through your Golden Visa. We offer assistance with 22 Golden Visa programs worldwide.

Now let’s discuss the countries that offer Golden Visas and what are the requirements to acquire Golden Visas in these countries.

List of Countries that Offer Golden Visas

Here is a list of countries that offer Golden Visas through their Golden Visa programs:

Anguilla

Anguilla launched its residency by investment programme in June 2019. It is a British Overseas Territory. To qualify for Anguilla’s Golden Visa, you are required make a minimum investment of $150,000 in a government-approved fund. You also have the option to invest in real estate ($400,000) or pay for a tax residency program ($75,000) per annum.

With Anguilla Golden Visa, you can only receive a permanent residence, and to qualify for citizenship, you must live in the country for at least 5 years. But, then you can become a British Overseas Citizen (BOC), which entitles you to apply for British citizenship.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Main Applicant Fees: Application fees $3000 for a family of 4. Due diligence fees $7500.

Dependent Fees: Application fees $500 per dependents after a family of 4. Due diligence fees $7,500 per adult & $2,500 children below 18 years

The processing time for this visa is around 6 months if all the documents and other requirements are in proper order.

Antigua and Barbuda

The Golden Visa program of the Antigua and Barbuda is one of the most attractive visas for the investors. It allows the investor to get a passport without any residency requirement in the country. But, in order to get the Antigua and Barbuda Golden Visa you have to make one of the following investments:

  • Purchase real estate with the minimum amount of USD 400,000.
  • A USD 100,000 investment to the National Development Fund (NDF).
  • Business investment of at least USD 1.5 million.
  • Invest at least USD 150,000 in the University of the West Indies (UWI) Fund.

With the Antigua and Barbuda passport you will get after your investment you can travel visa-free or with visa on arrival facility to around 150 countries in the world and that includes United Kingdom too.

Permanent Residency by Investment No
Citizenship by Investment Yes

The processing time of the Antigua and Barbuda Golden Visa is around 5 – 6 months.

Austria

Austrian Golden Visa is one of the most sought-after Golden Visa programs among the European countries. It is also worth noting that Austria has one of the strictest citizenship laws in Europe. It is a quota-based system and Austrian government only issues 300 visas under this program.

The investment requirement that you have make directly in the country for Austria Golden Visa is either you invest €10 million into a business or €3 million in a government fund. Also, you need to generate employment for the citizens of Austria and contribute to the Austrian economy. With this investment you will get permanent residency in Austria, but if you want to apply for citizenship in the country then you have to stay in the country for at least 10 years.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a beautiful country and if you are considering to get citizenship in this country you can become a citizen of this country within 18 months. Among the European Union nations Bulgaria offers one of the fastest citizenship. For this you need to invest in government bonds of at least €512,000 and if you double this amount you can receive your Bulgarian citizenship in just 18 months. But, you have to keep this investment for five years, you can’t withdraw your money before five years.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment Yes

Canada

Canada is one of the most popular migration destinations. It offers many ways for the migrants to come to their country and get permanent residency and citizenship. Though, Canada offers several investment programs, but the most popular is the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program (QIIP). In this program, you must make a bond contribution of at least CAD 1.2 million, and after three years of doing that, you can apply for Canadian citizenship. You must live in Canada for at least 183 days during three years if you want to qualify for citizenship through this program. Even most of the Canada citizenship programs require you to live for 183 days in three years in Canada.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Germany

Germany is one of the largest economies in the world and thus offers a lot to its citizens in terms of security, prosperity, healthcare, career opportunities, strong passport, and a lot more. Hence, it makes complete sense people want to have German citizenship.

The good news is that you can get German citizenship which it offers through its Golden Visa program. This program is little different than the other programs in the countries of European Union. To get Germany Golden Visa you need to invest at least €360,000. The process is to first apply for a self-employment visa and open a business in Germany. You may need to show to government how many jobs you generated to through your business. After three years of self-employment you get permanent residency permit, and after eight years you can apply for citizenship of Germany through naturalization.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Greece

Greece also offers citizenship by investment. You can become a Greek citizen if you:

  • Purchase a real estate property valued at € 250,000+ taxes.
  • Sign a lease agreement for at least ten years.
  • Invest at least € 400,000 in a registered company in Greece.
  • Buy government bonds with a minimum amount of at least € 400,000.
  • Make a deposit of at least € 400,000 at a bank in Greece.

If you get Greece Golden Visa then after receiving that you can apply for Greek Citizenship. If you don’t want to apply for citizenship in Greece you can maintain your permanent resident status, but you have keep renewing it every five years. Also, you need to maintain your investment in Greece. If you qualify for Greek citizenship, you can have access to the EU and the Schengen Area.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Grenada

Grenada is a Caribbean country and offers citizenship with very low investment of USD 150,000. You have to deposit this money to a national fund in Grenada. Or, you can also purchase real estate and get qualified for getting your citizenship in Grenada. Also, there is no residency requirement in Grenada like other countries, and you get your citizenship right after you have made your investment. The Grenada’s passport allows you to travel to 140 countries absolutely vis-free. It’s a good option you can consider if you are seeking a strong passport and second citizenship.

Permanent Residency by Investment No
Citizenship by Investment Yes

Ireland

Ireland is a very beautiful and peaceful company. The Ireland Golden Visa program grants you a permanent residence permit if you invest at least €1 million in one of the following schemes:

  • Investment fund
  • Enterprise fund
  • Real estate fund
  • Endowments

Keep in mind that you cannot receive citizenship with Ireland’s Golden Visa directly. But, you may apply for citizenship through naturalization like other nationals if you meet the qualifying criteria.

Read and know everything about the Ireland Golden Visa here.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Malta

Malta is a very beautiful country in Europe. It offers Golden Visas and through its Golden Visa you can permanent residency and citizenship in Malta. Depending on your financial situation and interest, you can choose one of the following investment options to apply for the Maltese Golden Visa:

  • Residency by investment: To qualify for the residency program, you must invest at least €98,000 into a government-approved fund. The good part is that you are not required to live in Malta to keep your permanent residence program. Even though this is not a citizenship scheme, if you meet the eligibility for naturalization, you may apply for citizenship after five years of permanent residency.
  • Citizenship by investment: You can apply for the one-year citizenship route with an investment of €750,000 to a government-approved national development fund. But, you also have the option for a three-year program if you invest at least €600,000 in a government-approved national development fund. If you stay for five years in Malta under any of the Golden Visa schemes you can apply for citizenship of Malta.

With Malta’s Golden Visa scheme, you can live in the EU and travel visa-free to around 140 countries across the globe. Malta, allows for dual citizenship and you can keep your previous citizenship while getting your new citizenship in Malta.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment Yes

New Zealand

New Zealand is another popular destination for getting permanent residency and citizenship. It offers an excellent quality of life, social security, and several other benefits to its permanent residents and citizens. It offers Golden Visa through investments and you can apply under the available investment schemes for your New Zealand Golden Visa. New Zealand offers two different pathways for investment through which you can apply and get your New Zealand Golden Visa:

  • Investor 1 Visa: For the investor 1 visa in New Zealand, you must invest at least NZD 10 million into approved investment options, including government bonds, equity, funds, new residential properties, commercial properties, or philanthropic investments. Under this program, you receive a temporary permit which you can renew, and after three years, apply for permanent residency and citizenship.
  • Investor 2 Visa: The minimum amount required to qualify for investor visa 2 in New Zealand is NZD 3 million. You must hold your investment for at least four years, and if you invest NZD 3 million, you can apply for permanent residency and later on for citizenship.
Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Portugal

Portugal has one of the most popular Golden Visa programs in the world and it is the least complex visa to apply for. You can become a resident in Portugal after investing at least €500,000 in real estate- the amount is lowered to €400,000 if the investment is in low-density areas. After five years, you have to apply for either permanent residency or citizenship. Most investors apply for citizenship to receive a second passport with access to the EU and Schengen Area.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Singapore

Singapore offers Golden Visa program and through it you can become a citizen of Singapore. You can qualify for the Singapore Golden Visa if you invest at least SGD 2.5 million in one of the following options:

  • Existing business or establish a new business.
  • Approved fund in Singapore.
  • Establish a single-family office in Singapore.

In addition, you must have previous business experience and provide your company’s audited financial accounts. With this program, you can gain permanent resident status in Singapore, and after two years of being a permanent resident in Singapore, you can apply for citizenship. But, you cannot be a dual citizen in Singapore, and you will have to relinquish your previous citizenship.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Spain

The Golden visa programs of Spain is a residency-by-investment program that allows you to become a permanent resident five years after your investment in Spain. Eventually, if you live in the country, you can become a citizen after ten years. To apply for Spain’s Golden Visa, you have to invest €500,000 in real estate, and you can bring your family with you. Remember, you have to renew your permit every two years until you become a permanent resident.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

St. Kitts and Nevis

To get the golden visa in St. Kitts and Nevis you need to invest USD 150,000 to a government fund or purchase real estate with the minimum amount of USD 200,000. After your investment is completed, you will receive citizenship immediately without being required to reside in the country. With a St. Kitts passport, you will have visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 160 countries across the world.

Permanent Residency by Investment No
Citizenship by Investment Yes

St. Lucia

St. Lucia offers a second passport with an investment of only USD 100,000 to a national government fund. However, you also have the option to invest your money in other funds, purchase bonds, or real estate. Your application will be processed as soon as 90 days, and you can become a St. Lucia citizen in just three months. Also, there is no residency requirement to qualify for the St. Lucia’s Golden Visa. This is the best option for you to get a second citizenship and passport.

Permanent Residency by Investment No
Citizenship by Investment Yes

Switzerland

Who doesn’t have heard about the Switzerland’s beauty and the economy. Everyone wants to visit Switzerland. Now if you want to become a permanent resident in Switzerland and then become a citizen of Switzerland you can do that now. The Golden Visa program in Switzerland offers permanent residency to individuals those who pay annual taxes between CHF 150,000 and CHF 1 million– the amount required changes from canton to canton.

However, to receive permanent residence and citizenship, you must have lived at least ten years in the country.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

The Cayman Islands

You can take permanent residency in Cayman Islands through its Golden Visa Programs. It is a residency by investment program. If you can invest USD 2.5 million in real estate in the Cayman Islands then you can become a permanent resident in Cayman Islands. After five years of your Cayman Islands permanent residency, you can apply for citizenship by naturalization and become a British Overseas Citizen (BOC), and then eventually, you can apply for British citizenship.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

The United Kingdom

UK offers Golden Visa to individuals who can invest at least £2 million in a regulated financial institution. This should be done under the UK Tier-1 Investor visa. After a few years, you can apply for British citizenship if you meet the rest of the eligibility criteria under this scheme.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

Turkey

The Golden Visa for Turkey provides you with citizenship within 3 to 6 months after you make your investment. To qualify for Turkish citizenship by investment program, you have to invest at least $250,000 in real estate. With this program, you can have visa-free or visa on arrival travel to 125 countries in the world, and your family can apply for citizenship along with you in Turkey.

Permanent Residency by Investment No
Citizenship by Investment Yes

United Arab Emirates

United Arab Emirates offer a 10-year residency program and a 5-year residency program under its Golden Visa Scheme. To qualify for the 10-year option, you have to invest at least AED 10 million in public investments or be a person with exceptional skills and talents. For the 5-year option, you have to invest a minimum amount of AED 5 million in a property in the UAE. But, keep in mind that you won’t get any citizenship in UAE.

Permanent Residency by Investment Yes
Citizenship by Investment No

United States of America

United States of America is the most powerful country both in terms of its military strength and economy. It offers a lot of benefits to its citizens. You can also become a US citizen through their Golden Visa scheme. The US offers two different types of visas; the main difference is that only EB-5 investor visa offers a pathway to citizenship.

  • EB-5 Investor Visa: The EB-5 permit is an immigrant investor visa that allows you to apply for a Green Card five years after making your investment. If you’re a green card holder with no special circumstances, you can apply for U.S. citizenship at least five years after obtaining your green card. You also need to have physically lived in the United States for at least 30 months out of those five years. To qualify for this visa, you have to submit at least $900,000 in a Targeted Employment Area. So technically after 10 years of investing in EB-5 investor visa you can rightfully become a US citizen.
  • EB-2 Investor Visa: To qualify for the EB-2 investor visa, you have to be a citizen of one country with an investor treaty with the US and invest between $100,000 to $200,000 in an existing business or establish a new business. Typically, you can’t apply for a Green Card under this visa, but there are a few exceptions. You can keep renewing your visa under this category and live in the United States.
Permanent Residency by Investment No
Citizenship by Investment Yes

Vanuatu

Vanuatu also offers Golden Visas if you can invest USD $130,000 in the government fund. You can also get Vanuatu Golden Visa if you invest in government-approved real estate, and the investment amount should be at least $200,000. When your investment is approved by government you can apply for citizenship and get your Vanuatu citizenship.

Permanent Residency by Investment No
Citizenship by Investment Yes

What is the Quickest Way to acquire Citizenship by Golden Visa Programs?

One of the countries offering the quickest citizenship route via Golden Visa is Portugal. You become eligible for Portuguese citizenship after five years, regardless of whether you lived in the country or not.

How Long is a Golden Visa Valid?

The validity of a Golden Visa depends on the country which issues it. You are usually looking at 1 – 2 years validity, with the possibility to renew indefinitely.

If you live in the country which issued the Visa, you eventually become eligible for permanent residence and citizenship, after 5-10 years.

Can Family Be Included in the Golden Visa Application?

Yes, if you apply for a Golden Visa, your dependent family members can apply with you. This includes the spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents. Everyone included on the Golden Visa application enjoys the same rights as the main applicant, such as residency, freedom of movement, etc.

Do You Have to Live in the Property You Got for Golden Visa Programs?

No, there are usually no residency requirements for Golden Visa applicants. You can continue to renew the visa indefinitely as long as you maintain the investment (i.e. you do not sell the house). Additionally, some countries, such as Greece and Cyprus, allow you to rent out the property while you are away.

Can I Get a Golden Visa If I Buy a House By Mortgage?

No, you cannot apply for a Golden Visa if you purchased a house using financial aid. You must own all the money you invest.

However, you may be allowed to use financing to pay for the amount of money exceeding the required minimum. For example, if you purchase a property worth $500,000, but the requirement for a Golden Visa is $300,000, you can pay the 300k in full and then use financing for the remaining $200,000.

Similarly, if you decide to make a joint investment, all participants have to invest the minimum required amount. You cannot split it between yourselves.

If you want a professional help to get your Golden Visa in any of the countries discussed above fill up the form below and we will help you with everything.

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  • Sorry for asking, but we have to know if you can sustain yourself in Canada. or the country you are applying for.
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