Big Picture

European Golden Visa programmes to beat the Brexit roadblock

Mykonos, Greece

While a Covid vaccine has spurred hope of a pandemic afterlife, the ugly issue of Brexit continues to linger like a bad smell, as a ‘no deal’ scenario continues to look like the most likely outcome.

With this in mind, international real estate experts on residency and citizenship through investment, Astons, has revealed which residency and citizenships provide investors with the best routes around the Brexit roadblock when it comes to speed of acquisition, affordability, and visa-free travel.

The Quickest

Acquiring UK citizenship will take investors between five and six years but for UK investors looking to maintain their EU status, there are some options that can provide residency or citizenship far quicker.

A number of EU nations do provide the option to obtain residency within one month, however, in these instances, you must have lived in the country for a specified number of years, usually around five.

However, Greece, Ireland, and Spain all allow investors to obtain EU residency within as little as two months from the start of the process without any prior time residing in the country. However, Malta provides the swiftest route EU citizenship with investors able to obtain Maltese citizenship in just one year.

The most affordable

There’s a minimum investment requirement of £2m if you want to obtain UK citizenship. However, if you’re looking to maintain EU status there are some far more affordable routes.

Again, Croatia offers the most affordable path to maintain EU citizenship with a minimum investment of €50,000. However, if you want to begin the process immediately, Greece offers the most affordable route to maintaining EU status with investors able to secure Greek residency for as little as €250,000 without any prior time spent living in the country.

Portugal presents fairly affordable options at €350,000. While Malta comes in a little higher at €800,000, it is the most affordable option for those seeking to secure immediate EU citizenship via investment.

Uninhibited travel

The Maltese program again tops the table where visa-free travel is concerned. Most options provide uninhibited travel within the Schengen Zone, however, securing Maltese citizenship will see investors receive visa-free access to 182 other countries. This is even more than the 163 nations accessed visa-free with UK citizenship.

Managing Director of Astons, Arthur Sarkisian, commented:

“Malta is quickly becoming one of the investment routes of choice for many investors looking to secure secondary residency or citizenship within the EU. The mix of affordability, speed and access is something that is particularly popular at present with the lingering uncertainty caused by Covid.

It has also become very popular amongst UK investors, as Brexit once again continues to prove a problematic issue. With the likelihood of a no-deal scenario growing stronger and many anticipating the issues this may bring, UK investors are already looking to additional residency or citizenships to help them sidestep this roadblock once it does finally appear for good. ”

Bulgaria
Scheme: Citizenship by investment
Type: European citizenship
Average timeframe (days): 730
Minimum investment: 1,024,000
Access: Visa-free travel to 169 countries

Greece
Scheme: Residency by investment
Type: EU residency
Average timeframe (days): 60
Minimum investment: 250,000
Access: Visa-free EU travel – and easy application for a Schengen Zone visa (26 countries)

Ireland
Scheme: Residency by investment
Type: EU residency
Average timeframe (days): 60
Minimum investment: 500,000
Access: Visa-free travel to Ireland

Malta

Malta
Scheme: Residency by investment
Type: EU residency
Average timeframe (days): 95
Minimum investment: 300,000
Access: Visa-free travel to Schengen Zone (26 countries)

Valletta Malta

Malta
Scheme: Citizenship by investment
Type: European citizenship
Average timeframe (days): 360
Minimum investment: 300,000
Access: Visa-free travel to 182 countries

Portugal
Scheme: Residency by investment
Type: European citizenship
Average timeframe (days): 90
Minimum investment: 350,000
Access: Visa-free travel to Schengen Zone (26 countries)

Spain
Scheme: Residency by investment
Type: European citizenship
Average timeframe (days): 60
Minimum investment: 500,000
Access: Visa-free travel to Schengen Zone (26 countries)

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Sophie Ireland
SVP for News and Editorial Director. As CEOWORLD magazine's senior vice president for news and editorial director, Sophie Ireland oversees CEOWORLD magazine's journalism and journalists around the world and across platforms. She leads an award-winning team of journalists and newsroom executives who are committed to excellence, innovation and the highest quality reporting and storytelling. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn. Email her at sophie@ceoworld.biz.