La Vida offers a choice of several golden visa programmes for investment in residency and citizenship….
Portugal has proved to be the most popular destination in Europe for investors seeking a golden visa. Full residency is granted but there is no requirement to reside. Citizenship can be applied for after six years.
The Portuguese golden visa is a central feature of the government’s drive for international investment. With the country returning to growth the real estate market offers exciting prospects for the years ahead.
La Vida offers a choice of several golden visa programmes for investment in residency and citizenship….
Cyprus offers citizenship for investment levels of €2.0 million in real estate which is one of the big attractions of this programme. A Cypriot passport allows freedom to travel, study, work or live throughout the European Union.
Cyprus also offers residency through investment of just €300,000 allowing full family qualification. The investor visa is flexible with no requirement to live in the country.
La Vida offers a choice of several golden visa programmes for investment in residency and citizenship….
Spain is a firm favourite for many clients considering real estate investment to obtain a golden visa. One of the larger economies in Europe offering an investor visa programme.
Invest from €500,000 in real estate to gain the Spanish golden visa. This provides a flexible residency option. Permanent residency and citizenship can be applied for at a later stage subject to certain stipulations.
Greece offers a residency visa through property investment but eventual citizenship is not available to foreigners. Greece is a member of the EU Schengen visa zone and has no minimum stay requirement.
Prospective investors need to carefully consider the status of the economy in Greece, the real estate market and related property taxes. Greece offers a higher risk investment than other European nations.
Malta offers an Individual Investor Program which is appropriate for our very high net worth clients. In addition to committing to a residence in Malta for five years the scheme requires investment in government approved funds and instruments.
The Malta visa scheme leads to citizenship within one year for suitable applicants, a passport from an EU country and hence the freedom to live anywhere within the EU. The total investment required is typically in excess of €1.2 million.
The citizenship by investment programme for Grenada is one of the newest programmes available to investors. The Grenada passport offers visa-free travel to over 70 countries including the UK.
Grenada offers a low investment threshold. Applicants need invest just $250,000 in a government approved real estate project and maintain the investment for at least 4 years.
The citizenship by investment programme for Antigua and Barbuda provides a second passport to investors offering visa-free travel to over 100 countries including the UK, EU Schengen zone and Canada.
There are several options for investment to gaining citizenship in Antigua including real estate investment of a minimum $400,000.
The St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program is the oldest of its kind in the world. Established in 1984 the program grants citizenship through real estate investment to qualified applicants.
The government requires investment of $400,000 plus related government and due diligence fees. St Kitts offer visa free travel to over 120 countries. An ideal choice for a second passport.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
With international investors mainly focusing their attentions on cities such as Lisbon and Porto, it’s no surprise that some of Portugal’s hidden gems are often getting overlooked, and the stunning Silver Coast of Portugal is one of them.
Just 35-45 minutes outside of Lisbon, the Silver Coast region is an outstanding area of protected natural beauty boasting stunning landscapes, golden sandy beaches and crystal clear waters all the way along the coastline. The region is home to a number of traditional and charming Portuguese towns as well as a 5* multi award winning Golf and Beach Resort where a number of luxury properties can be found, attracting numerous high profile owners and celebrities. Nestled between two of the most popular Golf resorts in the region is also the historic town of Lourinha where Jurassic dinosaur remains were recently discovered. Plans for a new Jurassic amusement park are set to boost tourism in the area, with a prediction of an extra 200,000 visitors each year, a great prospect for those looking to generate a rental return on property in this region.
La Vida have a number of different properties to offer along the Silver Coast and a large number of these are offering a guaranteed rental return of 5% per annum for up to 3 years. Also included within this offer is up to 6 months of personal usage for the owner each year, making this an excellent option for those looking for both a personal holiday home and a rental property.
Price per square meter in this location is also extremely competitive at just €2,500 per square metre compared to central Lisbon where the average price per square metre is from €5,000 upwards. Just another factor why savvy investors should be considering the Silver Coast.
According to Portugal’s National Institution of Statistics, a recent report shows that in the third quarter of 2016, house prices had risen by 7.6% compared to the previous year, with a growth of 1.3% just from Q2- Q3 of 2016 alone.
In the period of July- September 2016, Portugal saw an impressive 31,535 property transactions; a 15.8% increase compared to the same period in the previous year. These sales generated a total value of €3.6 billion! The area responsible for the largest proportion of sales was Lisbon, accounting for 34% of the whole country’s property purchases.
The market has been steadily growing since the economic crisis back in 2012/13, and property prices have shown significant signs of growth in the past few years. Since Q1 of 2013 we are now looking a total property price increase close to 14%. There does not seem to be any sign of these rises slowing down either, with an average appreciation rate of around 4-5% per annum.
The Golden Visa Scheme is certainly one of the major contributing factors for these price increases, as Portugal has seen a great boost in their economy since the introduction of residency visa programme back in Oct 2012. The visa programme remains strong, and is still one of our most popular schemes for those looking for a flexible residency scheme in Europe with the opportunity to apply for citizenship after just 6 years. For more details on this programme please contact our experts.
According to the most recent RICS Property Price Index Report for Cyprus in 2016, there has been some promising signs of growth within the real estate market. Paphos was one of the strongest regions with an average price increase of 1.77% on residential houses. The prices of flats also rose steadily in Limassol at a rate of 1.4% on average; and there was an overall growth of 1.6% for holiday apartments throughout Cyprus.
Rental values have also increased across Cyprus by 0.7% for apartments and 3.3% for houses. The average ROI for rental property now stands between 3-4% per annum.
It seems that the economy and real estate market are finally stabilizing following the economic crisis back in 2013 and according to a recent report from KPMG this is primarily a result of the government’s Citizenship by Investment scheme. In the first two quarters of 2016, the total number of property deeds of sales increased by over 28% in comparison to 2015. Tourism, financial services and real estate account for nearly 80% of Cyprus’s GDP, so a rise in the property market will have a great effect on lifting the overall economy.
Now that the market seems to have bottomed out in most area’s, there has never been a better time to buy in Cyprus with great potential for future capital appreciation. We foresee further price rises in 2017, making it an excellent time to buy.
Cyprus remains the fastest Citizenship by Investment programme in Europe offering investors a second passport within just 6 months following a real estate investment at €2m. Dependent children up to the age of 28 years old can be included under a family application and grandparents can also be included for just an additional €500,000. The real estate investment must be held for 3 years, after which investors only need to retain a residential investment of just €500,000 for the future. As Cyprus is a full EU member a passport here will enable one to live, work and study in any EU country, currently still including the UK.
For more details on this scheme, please contact our specialist consultants today for further advice.
One of the most beneficial amendments is that older dependent children up to the age of 30 years old can now be included under the one family application. This is one of the highest age limits for children that we have seen across the various residency and citizenship programmes that we offer and can fill a gap in the market.
The age limit for dependent parents has also been lowered from 65 to 55 years old, offering more flexibility for family applications. And lastly dependent children born after citizenship has been granted and under the age of 16 will also be eligible for citizenship.
The St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment programme requires a real estate investment of €400,000 + costs and will grant investors and their family members citizenship within 3- 4 months. A St Kitts Passport will enable visa free travel throughout several key areas, including the Schengen zone, UK and Canada.
One of our most popular real estate investments projects in St Kitts has been this 5* Hotel Resort. Here investors can expect to find high quality luxury hotel apartments with sensational views across the crystal clear Caribbean sea. For more details, please contact one of our consultants.
This year 2016 has proven to be a further step on the ever developing market for investor visa programmes. Demand is increasing for most schemes, many programmes have changed and further amendments are expected in 2017. With a Trump victory, Brexit and European immigration concerns we can expect major changes to continue into 2017 and 2018.
We have highlighted below some of the key developments in 2016 and expectations of change in the year ahead.
The delays in SEF in processing golden visa applications in mid 2015 led to a drop in numbers. However a new fast track procedure introduced earlier this year has put applications back on track. The number of approved applications in 2016 looks set to be the highest ever running at over 2000 investors per annum. The introduction of a €350,000 limit for renovation projects is taking time to produce the necessary supply. Such projects are complicated and need to be fully managed. La Vida has sourced some interesting options for clients and we will see more of these in 2017. The property market is gaining strength in Portugal with price rises over the last three years now fuelling growth and demand. Developers are reluctant to offer discounts and the best properties are sold long before completion.
There were some key changes introduced in 2016 to the Cyprus citizenship and residency programmes.
The qualifying real estate investment level for citizenship was reduced from €2.5 million to €2.0 million. The timescale for achieving the pasport increased to six months as it is now necessary to hold residency (but not necessary to live in Cyprus) before being issued a passport. It still remains the fastest route to EU citizenship.
The residency programme was amended to include parents. Three generations can now be included for an investment of just €300,000 in real estate. A key benefit is that this is for Permanent Residency (PR).
Changes for 2017 could see Cyprus becoming part of the EU Schengen zone. Anyone obtaining the Permanent Residency before that point will no doubt retain it should Cyprus enter Schengen. The EU has not allowed any Schengen country to issue Permanent Residency immediately on investment. Should Schengen happen then we can expect some changes to the programme. Investors may be wise to act sooner to grab the benefits on offer.
The economy in Cyprus may well see a further boost in 2017 with the discovery of huge natural gas resources off the coastline and the development of its first casino under the Hard Rock brand.
Political developments in Hungary could well see the end of the residency bond visa programme in 2017. It has been possible to obtain residency in Hungary through a €300,000 investment in government residency bonds. However Hungary’s nationalist opposition party Jobbik is seeking an end to the programme in return for its support on other matters. Parliament closes this week so unless change happens in the next few days we can expect no further developments until at least February 2017. Still time for any investor to get their application in ahead of any changes.
We can expect changes in 2017 to the recently launched citizenship programme in St. Lucia. The scheme has been in operation less than 12 months but there is a new government in place and new ideas and our conversations with those close to the programme suggest a more coordinated and consolidated programme will be launched in 2017.
The Spanish government made some changes to its golden visa programme in 2016 but nothing that enables it to seriously compete with some of the better schemes on the market.
The government is reaping the benefits of its $100,000 contribution limit. The caribbean countries are concerned that this is a race to the bottom in terms of sale of passports.
Expect changes to the St. Lucia citizenship by investment program in 2017. A change of government has already led to a $100,000 donation offer until 31 March 2017.
Cyprus has reduced the investment level required to gain citizenship from €2.5 million to €2 million. The recent move means EU citizenship can now be obtained in just 3 months with a Cypriot passport being issued soon after the investment is made by the applicant in real estate in Cyprus.
The recent move approved by the Cypriot parliament has also introduce further positive measures for applicants. It is no longer necessary to be part of a collective of five investors to obtain the lower investment limit. Parents of the applicant can also now qualify for citizenship provided they make an investment of €500,000 into real estate. This extends the Cypriot citizenship to three generations which includes children up to the age of 28.
The benefit to Cypriot citizenship is that the country is a full member of the European Union. Anyone holding Cypriot citizenship is an EU citizen and has the right to work, live, travel or study anywhere in the European Union, including the UK.
La Vida has processed a number of property investments in Cyprus in the last two years and we expect a boost following the recent reduction in the investment limit. We have also seen a surge in interest following the announcement of the UK to leave the EU. We expect this to result in increased applicants for Cyprus citizenship in the coming months as investors rush to beat any deadline from the UK imposed on EU citizens looking to settle into the country.