The Golden Visa

The Golden Visa is a common path to residency or citizenship which is utilised by wealthy foreign nationals. It is typically acquired by either contributing to the country’s economy by purchasing property or investing a significant sum of money.

One benefit of the Golden Visa is that once it is approved, any immediate family members, such as your spouse and children, will also be granted residency. Yours and your family’s residence permits may continue to be renewed indefinitely if the investment is maintained.

Is this visa for me?

The Golden Visa is an attractive option for some because it does not require you to permanently live in the country that issues the permit. Therefore, it is not necessary to move to that country nor be there for a substantial amount of time. That is, of course, unless moving is something you are interested in. The visa also allows you and your family to move freely throughout the entirety of the Schengen area.

If you are looking to gain permanent residency or citizenship in a European country, the Golden Visa may be a good place to start. However, if this is the case, you will need to move there. Many of these countries require you to live there for at least five years, sometimes ten, before you are eligible for citizenship.

The investment amount that is required to be eligible for the Golden Visa is dependent on the country and the type of investment. For example, countries like Greece, Portugal, and Spain offer residency if you invest in companies, real estate, government bonds, or other industries within the country. The amount for these kinds of investments is typically at least €500,000.

Other countries like Italy, Switzerland, and Austria have stricter rules. They require investors to grow their economy by creating a certain amount of job opportunities.

To be eligible for a Golden Visa, you must prove that the money you intend to use for the investment is yours, that it was legally acquired, and that your funds will sustain you and your family for the entirety of the period you plan to live in the country. Additionally, you cannot have a criminal history.

Which countries offer the Golden Visa?

There are many countries around the world that offer Golden Visas, or visas based on investment contributions. What is unique about European Golden Visas is that they allow you to move within the EU without additional visa requirements.

The EU countries that currently offer Golden Visa schemes are:

  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Malta
  • Greece
  • Switzerland
  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Ireland
  • Bulgaria

Many of these countries offer a path to citizenship through their Golden Visa program. This would grant you the ability to both work and live anywhere within the EU.

With the exception of Switzerland, Private Client Consultancy services clients in all these countries. Our offices are in Spain and Portugal, but we also have network members operating in France and companies that operate from Malta. Therefore, you do not need to go at it alone. We will be with you every step of the way as you get your plans in order.

Spanish Golden Visa Requirements

Most Spanish Golden Visas are issued to people who make property investments. This investment must be worth at least €500,000. This amount of money can include one property, or it can be spread across multiple properties.  

It is also possible to attain a visa by investing in Spanish companies. This must amount to at least €1,000,000, and it is referred to as an Investor Visa. You may also invest in a more recently established business so that your investment creates either employment opportunity or a socioeconomic impact.

Once you have either committed to making an investment or have already made an investment, you may submit your application for the visa. While it is not necessary to physically be in Spain at the time your application is submitted, you do need to have a bank account in Spain. An additional requirement for obtaining this visa is that you must have Spanish health insurance.

Portuguese Golden Visa Requirements

Acquiring a Golden Visa is one of the quickest ways to obtain permanent residence in Portugal. After just five years, you may be eligible for citizenship.

To obtain a Portuguese Golden Visa, you must do one of the following:

  • Purchase property. The property must be worth at least €500,000 or €400,000 in a low-density area.
  • Invest in property that is in an urban regeneration area. The amount required for this is typically lower than other property investments.
  • Transfer at least €1 million to a bank account in Portugal.
  • Buy €1 million worth of shares in a company or invest the same amount in a Portuguese company.
  • Generate jobs for Portuguese citizens. You must create at least ten positions.
  • Contribute a significant sum of money to support the arts, science, technology, or national heritage projects.

There are other ways you may contribute to Portugal’s economy to obtain a Golden Visa. Speak with an adviser to find out which is the best route for you.

Seek advice

The process for obtaining visas and making large investments abroad can be complex. Therefore, it imperative you consult with an expert to ensure you are complying with the local jurisdiction of the region you are investing in. This will also allow you to make a more informed decision.

To discuss your plans with a Wealth Manager, contact us today.