Having helped clients from over 100 countries invest for a golden visa we thought we would share those aspects that consistently came through as the top reasons for such an investment.

Some of these may be obvious, others less so. Invariably once investors understand the benefits of a golden visa and citizenship by investment, they often reassess their priorities.

In no particular order the Top 10 reasons are as follows:

1. Investment Return

An obvious and important reason but not usually the driving force behind investors’ decisions. Many golden visa programmes offer real estate investment as a route to gaining residency or citizenship from that country. Long, medium and often short term investment horizons lead to significant capital gains for real estate. Prime locations such as central Lisbon or hotel resorts in the Caribbean offering hassle free ownership are often favourites for this. La Vida has a wide selection of real estate and knowledge spanning several countries to help our clients understand the potential returns.

2. Insurance Against Unknowns

A golden visa provides residency if needed. So at any time the investor and his or her family can simply take a flight and not have to return. Providing the investment is maintained for a minimum period then the residency visa can be renewed or can usually be turned to permanent residency and eventual citizenship.

A brief look at our top 20 countries for golden visa enquiries and it is clear in many cases why insurance for the future is one of the key reasons for many clients. This list alone includes Pakistan, South Africa, China, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Russia, Hong Kong and Nigeria. Outside of this Top 20, we have dealt with clients from countries such as Libya, Somalia, Kenya and Iran, all with their own internal issues and future uncertainties of varying degree.

3. Safe Haven Investment

Europe and the Caribbean remain safe havens for investment with clear ownership laws, a stable low inflation currency, established laws, democratically elected governments and clear taxation rules.

4. Home and Living

Most, investors for the golden visa choose not to live in the country full-time. However the option is there either living permanently, part of the family living (perhaps for education – Ireland and USA are popular) or living part of the year.

5. Legacy for Family

Once the investment is made and the visas or residency cards are granted then the ties and contacts with that country begin to increase. Children can be included, they eventually move on perhaps for an education in USA or Europe, eventual jobs, eventual citizenship and the next generation begin to establish firm roots.

6. Education for Children

Once permanent residency is established then by living full time in the country, children can be educated under either the state or private education system. Looking to the future, as European citizens, children can gain access to universities in the UK at European and not international rates (a substantial saving). In other countries such as Spain and Portugal university education and tuition fees are often cheaper. Ireland has some excellent universities, including the famous Trinity College Dublin. In the Caribbean several islands (such as Antigua, Grenada and St. Kitts) offer English speaking universities. An EB5 residency visa for the USA opens endless opportunities for education.

7. Ease of Travel

The second passport programmes in the Caribbean offer visa free travel to over 120 countries. A golden visa in Europe such as through Portugal or Spain means the freedom to travel throughout the Schengen visa zone. No more visa applications! A European passport from say Malta allows the holder to live, work and travel anywhere in Europe including countries outside the Schengen Zone, such as Switzerland, UK and Ireland.

8. Leisure

Several real estate investments in the Caribbean provide free weeks for owners, some of which can be exchanged through programmes around the world. Many of the countries offering golden visas in Europe such as Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and Greece are based around the Mediterranean, a playground for those from northern Europe seeking summer residences. But they also offer the sophistication of cities such as Athens, Barcelona and Lisbon, ideal for shopping and cultural activities. Many of the cities are close by flight standards. Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona are all with an hour or two of London, Berlin, Paris, Rome and most European cities.

9. Second Passport

With citizenship comes the right to a second passport. Programmes offering citizenship in Europe, such as Malta and Cyprus, usually require considerable investment because of the value of a European passport.  However far more affordable programmes such as Dominica, St. Lucia and Antigua can grant passports for a family of four for less than $250,000 including costs.

10. Taxation

Many of the countries providing residency and citizenship programmes offer low rates of personal and corporate taxation. Taxation is a complex area. It is dependent on a clients’ individual circumstances and country of origin and needs expert advice. However there are many opportunities for tax reduction through residency and our consultants at La Vida can provide basic guidance prior to further specialist advice.

For further detailed advice please complete your details here and one of our consultants will contact you.

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A selection of popular residency and citizenship programmes.