Frequently Asked Questions About Golden Visa
What Is a Golden Visa?
A Golden Visa is a residence permit or citizenship that lets wealthy individuals live in a country of their choice in exchange for investing a significant amount of money into the local economy.
Portugal started the concept of Golden Visas in 2012, and now many countries offer similar programs, including Spain, Greece, Malta, the USA, Canada and Caribbean nations.
Applicants must make a considerable financial commitment, such as purchasing real estate, investing in government bonds with set maturity periods, establishing businesses or other significant contributions to qualify for these visas. The minimum investment amount starts from $100,000.
Among the popular investment options are:
real estate investment: buy property above a certain value threshold as determined by each country’s program requirements;
government bonds: invest in government-issued debt securities with specified maturity periods — usually five years;
business investments: create new businesses that generate employment opportunities within the host nation.
Who Is Eligible for Golden Visa?
Investors with immediate family members, such as spouses, children, parents and siblings are eligible for golden visas.
Each country has particular requirements for foreigners obtaining Golden Visas. But some of the conditions are general. To be able to participate in the program, the investor must:
be over 18;
have no criminal records or prosecutions;
have a sufficient amount of money for investment;
prove the legality of income.
Is Golden Visa Permanent?
Golden Visas are not always permanent, as it depends on the country’s specific rules and regulations.
The Malta Permanent Residence Programme allows one to obtain life-long resident status there. An applicant must rent or buy real estate and fulfil other conditions.
Typically, Golden Visas are granted for a limited period but can be renewed or extended if certain conditions are met.
In Portugal, investors may become eligible to apply for permanent residency or even citizenship after holding a Golden Visa for five years and fulfilling residency requirements.
In Spain, after living there for five years under their Golden Visa program, you can apply for permanent residency. After ten years of legal residence, you may qualify for Spanish citizenship.
In Greece, one may be eligible to apply for Greek citizenship after seven years of legal residence under any long-term visa. However, the Golden Visa does not directly lead to permanent residency or citizenship.
What Is the Minimum Investment for Golden Visa?
Andorra — €400,000;
Cyprus — €300,000;
Greece — €250,000;
Italy — €250,000;
Latvia — €60,000;
Luxembourg — €500,000;
Malta — €150,000;
Portugal — €250,000;
Spain — €500,000.
Canada — CAD 1.2 million;
Hong Kong — no minimum investment;
Malaysia — MYR 1,000,000;
Mauritius — $375,000;
Namibia — $300,000;
New Zealand — NZD 5,000,000;
Panama — $100,000;
Singapore — SGD 10,000,000;
Thailand — THB 600,000;
the UAE — AED 2,000,000;
the USA — $800,000.
Antigua and Barbuda — $100,000;
St Kitts and Nevis — $125,000;
St Lucia — $100,000;
Dominica — $100,000;
Grenada — $150,000.
What Is the Disadvantage of Golden Visa?
Golden Visa programs offer many benefits to foreign investors, but it’s important to know the restrictions on working in your chosen country.
Main disadvantages of golden visa programs:
permission from local authorities. Some countries require authorization from the government before starting any employment.
limited employment opportunities. Certain countries restrict the industries in which Golden Visa holders can work.
maintaining investment requirements: To keep your Golden Visa valid, comply with all investment requirements set by your host country.
Which Country Is Best for Golden Visa?
Among the most popular countries that offer residence by investment are:
Can Golden Visa Sponsor Family?
Yes. Investors can add their close family members to the applications under the Golden Visa program. Some countries allow applicants to include spouses, adult children, parents and even siblings.
Which Country Is the Easiest to Get Residency by Investment in Europe?
The easiest way to obtain residency in Europe by investment is to join the Golden Visa programs of Spain or Greece. It will allow investors to get their permits in 3—6 months.
If an investor needs to obtain the status of permanent residency, then the fastest way would be the Cyprus Golden Visa and Malta Permanent Residence Program. This way, the applicant will obtain residence for life.
Greece and Portugal offer Europe’s most affordable investment options starting from €250,000. In this case, the acquisition process will take 6—12 months.
How To Get Golden Visa?
To obtain a Golden Visa, you must meet the program requirements, submit necessary documents, undergo Due Diligence and fulfil the investment conditions. The consideration of a Golden Visa application usually lasts several months.
The essential list of documents includes the following:
an ID or a passport;
a police clearance certificate;
other documents, depending on the program.
An applicant must also fill in government forms, notarise and translate documents, and pay processing and government fees. Experienced lawyers can make this step easier and help one submit a correct and comprehensive package of documents.
When the documents are ready, an applicant or their legal representatives submit them to the department responsible for the program.
Is It easy To Get a Golden Visa?
Yes, especially with the experts' help. To make the procedure easier, one can contact legal representatives as they know all the peculiarities of the Golden Visa programs. Experienced lawyers can advise you of the documents you need to collect, help you choose the investment option and accompany you from the very start till the obtainment of a residency card.
Some programs don’t allow individuals to apply independently. For example, those interested in the Malta Permanent Residence Program can participate only through a licensed agent.
What Are the Golden Visa Benefits?
1. Easy process of obtaining a residence permit. There is no need to pass any exams, prove language knowledge, get a job or enter a university for Golden Visa applicants.
2. Freedom of movement. If a state is a member of the Schengen Area, residents may visit other member countries visa-free and spend 90 days in any 180 in the area.
3. Moving to another country. All Golden Visas give investors the right to reside in the country that issued the permit or its validity period. At the same time, an investor is not obliged to live in the state all the time if they don’t intend to apply for citizenship in future.
4. Access to healthcare and education. Eligibility for public services such as healthcare and education in your chosen country.
5. Potential for permanent residency or citizenship. Obtaining permanent residency or citizenship after meeting specific requirements set by the government.
6. Tax optimization opportunities. Favourable tax conditions for foreign investors depend on the country’s tax laws.
7. Favourable investment environment. Attractive investment options like real estate investments, business ventures, or other financial products are tailored for high-net-worth individuals.
8. Opening bank accounts. Golden Visa holders can open bank accounts in the countries that issued their residence permits for asset protection and international transactions.
9. Returning investment. Most of the assets required for Golden Visas might be returned in several years. For example, if you purchase real estate, you can sell it 5—7 years later and get an additional profit.
10. Income from renting real estate out. In most Golden Visa countries, investors don’t need to reside permanently. So they can rent their properties out and get income from it.
How Many Golden Visas Are There?
22 European and non-European countries offer Golden Visas programs leading to residence permits or citizenship, and 5 Caribbean states grant golden passports.
European states that have residency or citizenship by investment programs:
Non-European countries that offer golden residency and passports:
Caribbean countries that offer golden passports:
Antigua and Barbuda.
St Kitts and Nevis.
What Is the Difference Between Visa and Golden Visa?
A visa is an official document issued by a country’s government that allows a person to enter, stay, or work in that country for a specified period. It typically comes with certain conditions and restrictions, such as the purpose of the visit and duration of stay.
A golden visa, also known as a golden residency, passport or investor visa, is a type of visa program some countries offer to attract foreign investment. It grants residency or citizenship to individuals who make significant financial investments in the country.
Here are some key differences between a regular visa and a Golden Visa:
Purpose. A regular visa is usually obtained for various purposes, such as tourism, business, education, or employment. It is temporary and allows individuals to stay in the country for a limited period. Golden Visas, however, are primarily designed to encourage foreign investment and provide a pathway to residency or citizenship.
Investment Requirement. While a regular visa does not typically involve any investment requirement, a Golden Visa program requires the applicant to make a substantial investment in the country. The investment can be in real estate, government bonds, job creation, business investment, or other specified avenues.
Residency or Citizenship. Regular visas grant temporary residency rights for a few weeks to a few years. On the other hand, Golden Visas often provide a direct pathway to permanent residency or even citizenship in the country, depending on the program.
Eligibility Criteria. Regular visa eligibility criteria based on the purpose of travel, including financial stability, ties to the home country, and intention to return. Golden Visa programs have specific investment criteria, such as a minimum investment amount and the type of investment allowed.
Application Process. Regular visa applications involve submitting required documents, such as a passport, visa application form, and financial records, and possibly attending an interview at an embassy or consulate. Golden Visa applications typically require additional documentation related to the investment and background checks.
Can Engineers Get Golden Visa?
Yes. Under the UAE Golden Visa program, engineers from different fields may obtain a 10-year visa.
Subjects relating to engineering include:
genetics and biotechnology engineering.
Some other countries offer golden visa programs open to individuals from various professions, including engineers. These programs typically require applicants to meet certain investment criteria, such as purchasing real estate, starting a business, or making a substantial financial contribution to the country’s economy.
Can I Work With Golden Visa?
Yes, you can work with a Golden Visa in certain countries. A Golden Visa is a residency program that grants foreign individuals the right to reside in a country in exchange for specific investments. While the details and requirements vary from country to country, many Golden Visa programs allow visa holders to work and engage in business activities within the issuing country.
For example, countries like Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Malta offer Golden Visa programs that provide residency permits to foreign investors. These programs typically require investments in real estate, government bonds, business ventures, or job creation. Once you obtain a Golden Visa in one of these countries, you generally have the freedom to work, start a business, or pursue employment opportunities.
Can Students Get Golden Visa?
Yes. While golden visas are often associated with investors and entrepreneurs, some countries may offer pathways for students to obtain residency through education-related investments. For example, outstanding students of foreign universities may be granted a Golden visa for a period of 10 years, provided that:
the university is rated among the best 100 universities globally according to the rating system recognized by the Ministry of Education;
the student’s cumulative GPA is not less than 3.5;
it has not been more than 2 years since you graduated;
the Ministry of Education accredits a graduation certificate.