Most Popular Golden Visa Programme

March 20th, 2018   •   Investor Visa, Portugal, Property, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Most Popular Golden Visa Programme   

Since its inception in 2012, the Portuguese Golden Visa programme has generally been considered one of the best and most popular residency investment programmes in the world.

In less than six years, more than five thousand investors have invested nearly three and a half billion euros into the Portuguese real estate market. The effects can be felt everywhere, but nowhere more so than in Lisbon – the cosmopolitan metropolis and age-old capital of Portugal. Here, the city’s alive with the sound of construction, the excitement of restoration and regeneration courses through the air. ‘Reabilitação’; a deep respect for history, culture and architectural integrity; and the one defining feature that separates the Portuguese Golden Visa programme from others around the world. Unlike many other residency and citizenship by investment programmes, the Portuguese programme is not prompting the building of imposing skyscrapers or vulgar edifices; it’s driving the rehabilitation of one of the most architecturally exhilarating cities in the world.

Reduced Investment Option at €350,000

The introduction of the Category 65A-d Golden Visa programme at the end of 2015 is testament to the importance that the government places on rehabilitation. Where the traditional Golden Visa programme (Category 65A-c) requires an investment of €500,000, the 65A-d legislation stipulates that a Golden Visa can be issued to those investing just €350,000, as long as the capital is invested in a to-be-renovated property that’s more than 30 years old or located in a designated area of urban rehabilitation. The rules regarding how the property can be renovated are extremely stringent and ensuring that the conditions are met can be a testing and arduous process. However, this is an area that’s gaining more and more interest with each day that passes – and it’s easy to see why. Investors are seeking old and often derelict property in prime locations across Portugal’s first-tier cities, renovated to the highest standards with new plumbing, electrics, flooring, insulation and windows, whilst the exterior façade remains unchanged and the traditional architecture and aesthetics are retained. The potential for significant capital appreciation is obvious and, due to the location and style of the properties, rental return can be exceptionally high. Perhaps most importantly, the €350,000 minimum investment requirement can include not only the value of the real estate, but the cost of renovation as well.

Golden Visa Numbers Expected to Grow

The first Category 65A-d Golden Visa was issued in July 2016. In just eighteen months, that number has grown exponentially with the total number of successful applicants recently surpassing one hundred. With over five thousand five hundred Golden Visas issued to date, it’s obvious that this new legislation is still in its infancy. However, the trend is clear: in February 2017, Category 65A-d visas comprised just 0.39% of the total number of Golden Visas issued by the Portuguese authorities. In just one year, this ratio has more than quintupled, rising to 2.05%. The advantages of the programme from both an investment perspective as well as a legislative perspective indicate that this growth is expected to continue and intensify over the coming months and years.

With increasing pressure on residency and citizenship by investment programmes around the world, the Portuguese programme (and particularly the Category 65A-d legislation) is a shining example of how a Golden Visa programme can benefit not just the investors, but the local population as well. Recent and significant changes to the application process (including moving the process online) make the programme more attractive still, whilst showing that the Portuguese Immigration Service (SEF) has recognised its shortcomings of the past and is willing to modernise and adapt in order to continuously improve.

A multitude of pink, blue, green and yellow buildings set against an expansive deep blue sky above the turquoise hues of the Tagus river. The narrow, cobbled streets of Alfama and Baixa, lined by multi-coloured buildings with their wrought iron balconies and the occasional ceramic façade. This is the architecture that defines Lisbon – the architecture, history and culture that the Category 65A-d programme seeks not only to protect, but to reinvigorate and renew.

St Kitts Approved International Agent

February 27th, 2018   •   Citizenship, Investor Visa   •   Comments Off on St Kitts Approved International Agent   

While there are many websites advertising the St Kitts Citizenship by Investment programme it is important for potential applicants to know that only certain entities are authorised by the St. Kitts government to promote the program.

Such agents are “trusted global entities authorized to market and distribute promotional information about the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program” and must renew their licence annually.

La Vida is an authorised International Marketing Agent for the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program and we will be pleased to offer a copy of our certificate to any potential applicants who wish to deal through our company.

St Kitts Citizenship Costs Reduced

February 18th, 2018   •   Citizenship, Investment, Passport, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on St Kitts Citizenship Costs Reduced   

Real Estate Hotel Investment in St. Kitts

Early this week we received confirmation from the St Kitts Citizenship by Investment unit that the fees for the real estate option have been reduced. Whilst the minimum real estate investment remains the same ($400,000) the additional government fees will be around $50,00 lower per family application.

Previously the additional government fees were $50,000 for the main applicant, $25,000 for a spouse and $25,000 per additional dependent’s. These have now been changed to:

  • $35,000 Main applicant
  • $20,000 Spouse
  • $10,000 Dependent children, regardless of age

The due diligence fees and passport fees remain the same, as does La Vida’s professional fee to process the application. To receive a full quotation, please contact our expert advisors.

In line with the fee reduction, we also received the news that one of our best selling real estate projects in St Kitts has been named as the ‘’No.1 Best New Hotel in the Caribbean’’ by media giant CNN. This fantastic resort opened it’s doors to the public in November 2017 and by the end of December it achieved an occupancy level of 95%. Managed by a leading 5* hotel operator, the project is by far one of most luxurious on the island. Investors can buy a share of the project for $430,000 which can be sold after 5 years. During this time, rental returns of up to 5.5% can be expected. This is one of few government approved projects currently available which is now complete and successfully operating, making it an excellent choice of investment. Units are now limited, and the project is close to selling out completely. Act now to secure your share and also take advantage of the reduced government fees.

The St. Kitts and Nevis’ CBI programme is the leading option amongst the Caribbean citizenship by investment programmes. The programme has been established since 1984 and the highly ranked passport will enable one to travel visa free to 139 countries worldwide.

Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrency Payments

December 22nd, 2017   •   Investment, Investor Visa   •   Comments Off on Bitcoin and Other Cryptocurrency Payments   

Bitcoin for Citizenship by InvestmentLa Vida is now able to accept Bitcoin and other Cryptocurrencies for fee payments for our citizenship by investment programmes. The change was introduced following demand from our clients.

Most citizenship programmes still require fiat currency payments for the investment element. However the acceptance of digital currencies by La Vida for fees and certain programmes can facilitate a quicker process for many clients. The government of Vanuatu recently confirmed it can take payment in Bitcoin facilitated through authorised agents who would receive the donation amounts in bitcoin and convert and remit dollar payments to the government.

All golden visa and citizenship investment programmes have strict due diligence processes. La Vida and government agencies apply these irrespective of the payment method used by the investor.

Please contact us for further details.

Caribbean Countries offering Citizenship by Investment Programs

November 12th, 2017   •   Citizenship, Investor Visa   •   Comments Off on Caribbean Countries offering Citizenship by Investment Programs   

The Caribbean island of St Kitts pioneered the introduction of citizenship by investment when it introduced its immigrant investor programme in 1984. In recent years several Caribbean countries have followed suit. These countries are all members of the Commonwealth. Each has excellent visa free access for its citizens and passport holders to travel to more than 100 countries worldwide. In all cases this includes the UK and EU Schengen countries and in each individual programme visa free access to many more countries such as China, Canada and the USA.

The Dominica Economic Citizenship Program was Established in 1993.  Antigua & Barbuda launched its Citizenship by Investment Program in 2012, followed by the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program in 2013 and the Saint Lucia Citizenship By Investment Program 2015.

Each country offers differing visa free access for its passport holders, has varying degrees of investment and also in some cases restricts access and applications from certain nationals. Please contact our consultants for the most suitable programme for you.

We continue to watch developments carefully but at present the following Caribbean countries do not offer a citizenship by investment programme to the best of our knowledge: Anguilla, Aruba, Bahamas, Barbados, Cayman Islands, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, Saint Barthélemy, Saint Martin, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad & Tobago, Turks & Caicos Islands and the British Virgin Islands.

Experts Discuss Portuguese Golden Visa Programme

November 9th, 2017   •   Immigration, Investment, Portugal Golden Visa   •   Comments Off on Experts Discuss Portuguese Golden Visa Programme   

Daniel Twomey of La Vida speaking on the panel of experts.

Speaking at the Immigration Investment Summit in Hong Kong, La Vida’s Daniel Twomey was joined by other industry experts on a panel appointed to discuss the status of the Golden Visa programme in Portugal.

Chaired by the Harvey Law Group and comprised of both legal and real estate experts, the panel discussed how the Portuguese Golden Visa programme has evolved since its inception in 2012, including the introduction of the Category 65A-d (€350,000) legislation at the end of 2015.

The state of the real estate market in Portugal was a hot topic of discussion, with all panellists in agreement that the steady and consistent rate at which the real estate market has been appreciating over the past few years, combined with the expected long-term, continued growth of the market, make this a perfect time for investment. As the most popular Golden Visa programme in Europe, turnout for the discussion was unsurprisingly high, with an audience comprised of other industry experts and immigration agents from across Asia. The question and answer session allowed the panellists to alleviate concerns over some of the specific requirements of the programme, and served as a reminder of the success of the programme from both an immigration and investment perspective

To find out more about the Portuguese Golden Visa programme, please contact La Vida on +442070601475, or by emailing

Caribbean Citizenship Changes

November 6th, 2017   •   Citizenship, Investor Visa, Passport, Schengen Travel   •   Comments Off on Caribbean Citizenship Changes   

Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Changes Over the last few months there has been a number of positive changes to the various Caribbean Citizenship Programs (CIP). With fee reductions and reduced donation options, the Caribbean now offers some of the most affordable and flexible citizenship by investment programmes in the world. It is unclear how long these reductions will last and there is speculation that after a period of time the investment options will increase again. Clients are advised to act quickly to take advantage of the changes.

There are five key programmes within the Caribbean and a second passport from these locations comes with a number of benefits, including visa free travel to the Schengen zone, UK, Hong Kong and Switzerland. St Kitts and Grenada have also just recently confirmed that their passports will enable one to travel freely to Russia. This is another great addition to Grenada’s visa free list of countries which also includes China.

There has been some reports of incorrect information being circulated regarding the recent fee reductions in Dominica. Whilst the investment threshold remains the same, the processing fees were recently amended. La Vida advises anyone who may have conflicting information to get in touch with one of our experts for clear clarification and advice on the programme.

To recap on some of the key changes which have taken place in 2017,  please see below:


  • Processing fees were reduced by 50% for the those opting for the Real Estate option
  • The age for Dependent children was increased to include those up to 30 years old

Antigua and Barbuda

  • The donation threshold was reduced from $200,000 to $100,000 for a family of four (+fees)
  • The Processing fees were also reduced

St Kitts and Nevis

  • The Hurricane Relief fund was introduced. This requires an investment of $150,000 for a family of four (+fees) compared to the normal SIDF $250,000 donation.
  • A visa free waiver with Russia was agreed


  • A visa free waiver with Russia was agreed
  • The age for Dependent children was increased to include those up to 30 years old

If you are looking to obtain a second citizenship in any of the above countries then please do not hesitate to contact La Vida’s experts for a seamless service and efficient application processing.

Madonna Invests for Portuguese Golden Visa

October 17th, 2017   •   Investment, Real Estate   •   Comments Off on Madonna Invests for Portuguese Golden Visa   

Sintra, Portugal Queen of Pop Madonna has been very vocal on her social media pages recently about her move to Portugal and her Golden Visa application. The pop star has invested in an impressive property in Sintra, Portugal, which was formerly a palace. The property investment is reported to have cost her €7.5 million euros and is currently undergoing renovation works. Whilst she waits for her new home to be completed, Madonna has been staying in the highly luxurious presidential suite of the Pestana Palace hotel in Lisbon.

Her recent relocation to Portugal was triggered by her sons new venture with the Portuguese junior football team- Benfica. Son David Banda, from Melawi, was adopted by Madonna and ex-husband Guy Richie back in 2006 and is now 11 years old. It is reported that David and his siblings will attend the international French Lycee school in Lisbon.

Madonna has posted a number of times on Instagram in recent weeks about her families new life in Portugal and their wait for their new residency visas to be granted. It is also said that she has had a private meeting with the immigration authorities, SEF, where her application is being treated as an exceptional case. Madonna’s unique celebrity status is projected to boost Portugal’s tourism and economy, bringing a lot of exciting new attention to the country.

Portugal has attracted a number of high profile celebrities in recent years including former Manchester United Football Club player Eric Cantona and French fashion designer Christian Louboutin just to name a few. The Portuguese Golden Visa programme requires international investors to purchase property priced at €500,000 which is more than possible for such high net worth individuals.

Another attractive aspect of investing in Portugal is the Non-Habitual tax regime, which gives foreigners huge tax advantages and the scheme exempts some pensioners from taxes altogether for 10 years.

If you wish to follow in Madonna’s footsteps and invest in Portuguese real estate for the Golden Visa, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Dominica Reduce Citizenship Fees

October 2nd, 2017   •   Citizenship, Passport   •   Comments Off on Dominica Reduce Citizenship Fees   

Dominica Reduce Citizenship by Investment Fee'sThe Government of Caribbean island Dominica, have significantly reduced the application fees for their citizenship by investment programme by 50% for those opting for the real estate option.

A single applicant would previously have paid $50,000 in government fees, but these are now set at just $25,000 for a single applicant or $35,000 for a family of four, making the programme even more cost effective than it previously was.

The Dominica donation option remains the same and starts from just $100,000 for a single applicant + costs. This is one of the lowest priced citizenship by investment programmes in the world and it has been hugely popular because of this.

A second passport in Dominica will grant one visa free travel to over 118 countries worldwide including the EU Schengen zone, UK, Hong Kong and Switzerland. It offers a great solution for those simply looking to broaden their travel opportunities at a low cost.

As well as the reduced fees, Dominica have also increased the age limit for dependent children, which means that the main applicant can include children up to the age of 30 years old.

Despite the recent hurricane which sadly hit Dominica last month, the government’s Citizenship by Investment unit remains open and in full operation, which is a great reflection of this island’s strong resilience and efficiency.

Contact our consultants for your free consultation and a quotation.

Portugal Property Prices Predicted to Increase 5% p.a

September 27th, 2017   •   Economy, Investor Visa, Portugal Golden Visa, Real Estate, Rental Income   •   Comments Off on Portugal Property Prices Predicted to Increase 5% p.a   

Portugal RICS Property price index report graphAccording to the latest RICS property price index report for August 2017, the Portuguese market remains in a very strong position.

The most promising news is that house prices have been predicted to increase by 5% per annum for the following five year period which is extremely encouraging for Golden visa investors.

Compared to the previous report published for June 2017, the figures for August have risen across the board for both house price increases and new sales enquiries. The sales expectations for the coming three months ahead has also risen. This sits in line with La Vida’s personal forecast as year on year the Autumn proves to be one of our busiest quarters for new investors buying in Portugal.

Due to a high demand yet a low of supply of property (particularly in Lisbon) prices continue to rise to meet this demand. The same has also effected the lettings market where rents remain on an upwards path with a steady rise of tenant enquires. It is predicted that rental growth will also continue over the coming three month period. This is great news for prospective landlords who are looking to invest for rental return.

In other areas, unemployment rates in Portugal have recently decreased to just 9.4% which is the lowest it has been since the 2008 recession. This is yet another positive reflection of how well the economy in Portugal is currently performing.

Despite the current shortage of property on the market, La Vida have an excellent choice of real estate to offer, with a vast selection of options in Lisbon, Porto, the Silver Coast and the Algarve.

As one of the market leading consultancies specializing in Investor visa’s, La Vida have the ability to assist investors with both the real estate purchase and the legal work which is involved in obtaining a Portuguese Golden Visa.

To speak with one of our expert consultant, please do not hesitate to contact us.