After Portugal introduced the first ever Golden Visa program back in October 2012, more European countries have been adopting a similar approach to meet the increased demand for this type of investment immigration.
But What is the Golden Visa?
The ‘Golden Visa’ is a residence permit that allows the visa holders to reside and work in that country. During this period of time, the visa holder can work towards citizenship according to the country’s typical neutralization time frame. The Golden Visa is granted to investors in exchange for an investment that they make in the country whether was it in form of real estate or a contribution.
Benefits of the Golden Visa are countless; just a few to mention:
- A faster and a more budget-friendly option than seeking citizenship by investment.
- Visa-free travel though the Schengen Visa Zone, and more legitimacy when applying for a visa in the countries that still require one.
- Full-time or part-time residence in the host country.
- Access to both state or private education and healthcare system.
Portugal Enjoys Continued Success in Golden Visa
Thanks to the attractiveness of its real estate market, Portugal has been attracting considerable investments throughout the years by granting instant residence to anyone investing 500,000 Euros in one or more properties. According to recent statistics, Portugal attracted more than 85.6 million euros in investments in January alone made by 146 applicants (241 including families). All told, Portugal has attracted 4.5 billion euros in investments in total. In December 2018, Portugal’s Borders and Immigration Service (SEF) said that the golden visa program brought 94 million euros—over triple the amount of December 2017.
Greece Opens More Opportunities for Golden Visas
Greece’s golden visa program has been gaining increased popularity over the recent years. This is mainly attributed to the family-friendly nature of the program, allowing the main applicant and their spouse to include their dependent children (younger than 24 years old) as well as the dependent parents of either of them. Also, the quick application process of three months makes the Greece Golden Visa one of the most popular in the region. Lastly, Greece offers the cheapest residency by investment program in the European Union; an investment of 250,000 Euros grants the investor and his family the right to live in the country and to travel freely around the Schengen Zone.
Yet changes are on the horizon for Greece. A draft law proposed in the Greek Parliament seeking to increase FDIs could see residency permits issued for 400,000 euros investments in state bonds. An investment of 800,000 euros in Greek capital market stocks or corporate bonds.