Introducing Malta’s Indefinite Residency Scheme

March 16th, 2017   •   Bonds, Investor Visa, Residency   •   Comments Off on Introducing Malta’s Indefinite Residency Scheme   

Malta Indefinite ResidencySince the Hungarian Government recently closed it’s residency scheme, we have received many enquiries from investors looking for a similar option. La Vida recommends that clients who missed the Hungary deadline to turn their attention to Malta.

The Maltese Indefinite Residency programme offers international investors permanent residency in exchange for a total investment of just €370,000. This scheme is very flexible and highly comparable to Hungary with some added benefits.  Along with dependent children up to the age of 26 years old and dependent parents, Grandparents can also be included. This is rare for many of the other  European investor visa programmes.

The programme requires the following investments to be made:

  • €250,000 into government bonds for 5 years
  • €30,000 contribution to the government
  • €40,000 processing and legal fees
  • €10,000 p.a for 5 years rental agreement or property purchase of €270,000

Like with any investor visa scheme, we would like to remind you that governments can end the programmes at any time, like they did in Hungary. If you are seriously considering an investment, time is of the essence.  Contact our experts today if you would like to proceed or need further information.

Hungary To End Investor Visa Programme

January 16th, 2017   •   Bonds, Schengen Travel   •   Comments Off on Hungary To End Investor Visa Programme   

Hungary Citizenship Investment The Hungarian government has announced the closure of its investor visa programme on 31st March 2017. Applicants wishing to invest in the programme and gain permanent residency in Hungary must submit their applications by this date.

The Hungarian programme was launched in 2012 and requires an investment of just €300,000 into government bonds. The scheme is one of the quickest life-long Permanent Residency programmes in Europe, and after all the correct paperwork is submitted, applications can be approved in just 30 days. Not only does the scheme allow investors the freedom of travel throughout the Schengen zone, there are also no minimum stay requirements. The government guarantees to return the investment in full after 5 years, making this programme extremely interesting.

The move by the Hungarian government to close the scheme is a reminder to potential applicants of any such programmes that these are often transitory and rules may be changed or programmes closed at short notice. The Hungarian closure follows news that the USA EB5 residency investment programme, also subject to amendment by the US Congress could see its qualifying limit raised from $500,000 to $1.3 million in April.

Any clients considering a residency or citizenship investment programme are advised to contact our consultants for up to date news and advice. Applications for the Hungarian programme must be submitted to our office by Monday 6th March in order to meet the processing deadline.

Key Points:

– Quickest permanent residency programme in Europe;
– Full return on investment after 5 years;
– Life-long permanent residency;
– Spouse, dependent children, dependent parents (no age restrictions) can all be included;
– No minimum stay requirements;
– No tax obligations for non-residents;
– Permitted to reside permanently in Hungary;
– Visa free travel to all countries in the schengen zone;
– Applications approved within 30 days;
– Set up a business in Hungary and take advantage of 9% corporation tax
– Total amount: €360,000 (€300,000 investment + €60,000 application and processing fee).

 

Hungary Permanent Residency Programme Changes

August 22nd, 2016   •   Bonds, Investor Visa, Residency   •   Comments Off on Hungary Permanent Residency Programme Changes   

Hungary Citizenship InvestmentThe Hungarian residency by investment programme has been in operation since 2012 and since its inception has attracted over 3,400 applicants. Applicants investing €300,000 into special Hungarian Residency Bonds with zero coupon were entitled to residency in Hungary.

Changes introduced by the Hungarian government in 2016 have made the programme even more attractive to applicants as European governments enhance their residency schemes in competition to attract more investment into their economies.

Straight to Permanent Residency

Following rule changes on 1 July 2016 applicants can now apply for Hungarian Permanent Residency in one step. The previous requirement was two stage, granting temporary residency initially and the right to apply for permanent residency in six months. The new rules eliminate this first step allowing applicants to gain PR in just four weeks.

Extended Family

In addition to spouse and minor children, investors may now include their parents and children over 18 in the application. All family members enjoy visa free access to travel throughout the Schengen zone.

Residential address no longer required

A previous requirement for a residential address in Hungary has been dropped from 1st July 2016.

 

After seven years of residency applicants and their families can apply for citizenship in Hungary.

Please contact us for further details and fees related to the programe or follow this link for more on the Hungary residency programme.

 

Citizenship by Investment

April 17th, 2015   •   Bonds, Citizenship, Investment, Real Estate, Schengen Travel   •   no comments   

European Citizenship and Passport

Citizenship and a European passport are often key objectives for many of our clients when considering the various European investor visa programmes.

It is important for any prospective investors to take careful professional advice on the programmes available before committing to an investment. There are many programmes on the market from differing countries, but not all of these lead to citizenship through investment.

The likes of Hungary, Greece and Spain are difficult or unlikely, sometimes requiring residence in the country. Portugal is far easier and Cyprus can be gained immediately with the right investment.

So what is citizenship and what benefits does it bring? Citizenship of any particular country within the European Union means a passport and importantly citizenship of the EU. So for example, if you gain citizenship in Portugal through real estate investment then you become an EU citizen. Similarly if you gain citizenship in Bulgaria through investment in government bonds you can also gain citizenship of the EU even though Bulgaria is outside the Euro and Schengen visa zone.

Every person holding the nationality of an EU country is automatically a citizen of the EU. This allows that person to move freely within the EU. To work, study and live wherever they wish within the European Union countries.

It is important to draw the distinction between the EU countries (there are 28) and the Schengen visa countries (there are 26). There are 22 EU countries participating in the Schengen visa zone and there are an additional 4 countries not part of the EU.

Residency in the Schengen visa countries allows freedom of travel throughout the Schengen area. But citizenship of an EU country provides the right to live and work within the EU countries. For example the United Kingdom and Ireland are EU countries, but not part of the Schengen visa zone.

Hence gaining citizenship in say, Cyprus or Portugal will allow the holder of that citizenship to live in the UK or Ireland.

Whichever country an investor targets for citizenship, there are sometimes faster, cheaper and easier options to gain permanent residency allowing them to live, work and study in that country by gaining entry through an alternative EU country.

Summary of Programmes in Europe

Citizenship by Investment Spain

It is possible to achieve citizenship through investment in real estate in Spain but the investor will need to live in Spain for 10 years before applying.

Citizenship by Investment Portugal

Citizenship can be applied for in Portugal six years after investment of a minimum €500,000 in real estate.

Citizenship by Investment Cyprus

Citizenship is available in Cyprus within 2 – 3 months on investing a minimum €2.5 million in real estate.

Citizenship by Investment Malta

Malta has an investment visa programme with a comination of investment and contribution totalling around €1.2 million with citizenship taking approximately 12 months.

Citizenship by Investment Greece

Citizenship in Greece through its real estate investment programme will be possible following changes to legislation (2015).

Citizenship by Investment Hungary

Changes to legislation in Hungary mean the investor visa bond programme could lead to citizenship after 5 years rather than the current 8 years. (2015)

Citizenship by Investment Bulgaria

The investment bond programme in Bulgaria can lead to fast track citizenship by doubling the bond investment from €512,000 to €1,024,000.

 

For reference the EU countries are: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK.

Residency Bond Programmes

November 9th, 2014   •   Bonds, Citizenship, Investment, Investor Visa, Passport, Residency, Schengen Travel   •   no comments   

Two countries in Europe, Bulgaria and Hungary offer residency visas through investment in government bonds. By investing in these bonds in either country investors are free to live in the countries with permanent residency.

The EU consists of 28 states and both Hungary and Bulgaria are full members of the European Union.

Hungary Residency Bond

Hungary is a member of the Schengen visa zone of 26 countries in Europe that have opened their borders to passport free travel between their borders.

Investment in Hungarian bonds grants the freedom to live there but there is no requirement to reside. This is a key benefit for residency visa investors who want the freedom to travel and the security of a second home without the necessity to relocate family, become tax resident and potentially lose existing citizenship. With Hungary one of the key benefits is freedom of travel in the EU Schengen zone.

Bulgaria Residency Bond

With Bulgaria the most attractive benefit is extending the investment in order to qualify for fast track citizenship and a second passport. Bulgaria is not a member of the Schengen area but is legally obliged and wishes to join at some future point.

However, as Bulgaria is a member of the EU, citizenship of Bulgaria means citizenship of the European Union. That then allows the freedom to live, work, travel or study anywhere within the EU. The EU includes countries such as the UK and Ireland that are not part of the Schengen visa zone.

Investment in the bonds in either country means zero interest return but the bonds can be realised for the full value at maturity. They are effectively an interest free loan to the government of the respective country. However with the costs and taxes associated with real estate investment these could be an alternative for many investors.

It is also possible to finance the bonds in both cases which means a far reduced cost with the same benefits of residency and citizenship. The bonds then have no redemption value but the investment is significantly reduced.

Requirements can change. Contact us for further details on these bond programmes.

 

 

Investor Visa Rules

October 7th, 2014   •   Bonds, Citizenship, Economy, Investment, Real Estate, Residency   •   no comments   

Investor Visa Programmes in Europe

Investors looking to buy into a visa programme in Europe are encouraged to do so sooner rather than later. After the credit crisis governments are keen to encourage investment from high net worth individuals from overseas. In exchange they grant residency often with complete freedom of movement and no requirement to live and become tax resident. Such residency can ultimately lead to citizenship and a second passport.

However some programs have been subject to change. Cyprus increased its investment for citizenship limit from €2.0 million to €2.5 million recently and Hungary is expected to increase its investment limit in government bonds from €250,000 to €300,000 soon. Latvia doubled its real estate investment limit in April 2014. Changes will not affect those families who have already invested in the programmes.

Portuguese Minister of Tourism Adolfo Mesquita Nunes confirmed recently at a conference in London attended by La Vida that there would be no change to the minimum investment of €500,000 for the golden visa in Portugal.

Below is a brief summary of investor visa limits for each country:

Investor Visa Portugal

Invest €500,000 in real estate plus related costs and taxes to gain residency and eventual citizenship through application. After six years investors and their families can apply for citizenship in Portugal.

Investor Visa Spain

Invest €500,000 in Spain to gain residency and apply for permanent residency after five years. Investors have to live in Spain during that time. and can later apply for citizenship after ten years.

Investor Visa Greece

Investors can gain permanent residency in Greece through investing €250,000 in real estate. Greece offers the lowest investment level in Europe for the golden visa.

Investor Visa Hungary

Investors can place €300,000 in government bonds in Hungary for permanent residency. The bonds pay zero interest and are refunded to the investor after five years. However the investment is guaranteed.

Investor Visa Bulgaria

Investors hae a tiered option in Bulgaria. Invest €512,000 into government bonds in Bulgaria to gain permanent residency as a first stage. Investors can increase this to €1,024,000 to then gain fast track citizenship in Bulgaria.

Investor Visa Malta

Investment in Malta can gain permanent residency through the Maltese investment programme. Residency and citizenship can be achieved in Malta through a series on investments and contributions. This requires a total investment of around €1.2 million.

Investor Visa Cyprus

Cyprus has two levels of investor visa. One for permanent residency and one for citizenship. Permanent residency can be obtained in Cyprus through investing €300,000 in real estate. Applicants can apply for citizenship by increasing this to €3 million.