Golden Visas are indeed ‘golden’ opportunities for investors to invest in Europe and derive expedited residency privileges. These visas operate against a streamlined administrative framework aimed at easing the processing timeline and allowing wealthy investors to make hassle-free investments in the country. The phrase is commonly used in reference to Europe.
What makes Golden Visas attractive are the privileges that come along with a residency in a European country. By holding a golden visa, the main investor and his family (if included) are entitled to live, work, study, and access healthcare services on par with the citizens. Moreover, many such visas are a fast-track route to citizenship; they may not directly result in the acquisition of citizenship but make the overall process easy.
Now that I have got your attention, it is time we explore a bit more on the popular Golden Visas. These are among the most sought-after Golden Visas.
- Andorra Golden Visa
Andorran Golden Visa does not come cheap. The applicants will have to make a minimum investment of $400,000. Real estate investment can be made under the program. Despite being a small country wedged between two mammoth nations, Spain and France, it holds a respectable place for offering foreign-friendly local culture, a sturdy healthcare sector, and a favorable tax regime. On an Andorran Golden Visa, you can have visa-free access to France and Spain and move about the Schengen Area and the United States through a fast-track process.
- Portugal Golden Visa
When it comes to a solid Golden Visa program, Portugal is known for that. Applicants of the said program will have to make a minimum investment of EUR 500,000 in real estate to secure a residency permit. The said amount gets reduced if the investment is in a low-density area. It falls further if the real estate is older than 30 years.
On a Portuguese Golden Visa, benefits include visa-free access to a whopping 188 countries, travel within Europe without a visa, entitlement to work, study and live in the country, and the addition of several family members to the application.
- Greece Golden Visa
In the European Union, Greece offers the cheapest Golden Visa program. With a minimum investment of EUR 250,000 in a residential or commercial property, investors can acquire a golden visa here. Moreover, following the completion of five years, permanent residence can be obtained.
The permanent residency will, then, entitle the investor to sell off the property. Very much like its counterparts, it offers visa-free access to several countries and the addition of family members. It, however, does offer privileges that are not common. For instance, you don’t need to reside in Greece to obtain the visa and can become eligible for citizenship within 7 years.
- Spain Golden Visa
Spain launched its Golden Visa Program in 2013 and has witnessed a successful run since then. To obtain a Spanish Golden Visa, a minimum investment of EUR 500,000 in real estate will have to be made. The said visa comes with a two-year renewal feature. However, one can only gain permanent residency upon the completion of five years.
To become eligible for citizenship, a wait of another ten years is mandatory. However, there are benefits attached to the program; no mandatory residence requirement, visa-free access to the Schengen Area for a specific period, access to the renowned Spanish healthcare and education system, and whatnot.
- Italy Golden Visa
The Italian Investor Visa, now called the Dolce Visa, allows investors to acquire residency upon a minimum investment of EUR 200,000 in an innovative start-up. It has one of the most seamless processes in the region. Initially, applicants are granted a two-year residency permit but are not mandated to reside in the country.
After 5 years of residence, applicants become eligible for a permanent residency permit. To gain citizenship, you will have to wait for 10 years. Benefits are pretty much the same and include visa-free access to the Schengen Area and several countries and access to Italian healthcare and education services.
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