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.
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.
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.
In an article published in the Daily Telegraph at the weekend, and repeated in the online edition, UK government ministers have revealed that EU migrants will have the right to remain in the UK after Brexit.
Permanent residency in the UK for anyone obtaining a European passport in the coming months is still open to investors who invest in Cyprus where an EU passport is issued within 3 months of investing €2 million in real estate. Cyprus is one of the most popular citizenship by investment programmes for HNW investors because of its speed and clarity and not least of all the fact that the investment is retained by the applicant in real estate and not lost in government “contributions” like so many citizenship investment programmes.
The Cyprus citizenship route remains the most effective route to permanent residency in the UK for High Net Worth investors and may now be the only investment scheme available that can meet any deadline set by the UK government. Holders of a Cypriot passport have the rights of EU citizens and the freedom to live or work anywhere in the European Union. A direct investment in the UK to gain residency can be accelerated in just over 3 years with total investment of £10 million. But still the investor does not gain a UK passport whereas the Cyprus route grants the main applicant and their family EU passports.
Ministers are talking openly about an amnesty for EU migrants entering the UK from this point forward up until a cut off date. There has been no indication at this stage of what such a cut off date will be. However it looks unlikely that any date will be set before the end of March 2017 when the UK is looking to trigger Article 50 to start the official timescale of two years to leave the EU. Anyone choosing to invest in Cyprus before the end of 2016 will likely obtain their passport before any deadline is set.