The Citizenship of the European Union (EU) is the most coveted trophy for many economic migrants. It is a highly respectable status that comes with various benefits such as high standard of living, access to best education and healthcare and most importantly citizenship passed down to all family generations.
EU Citizenship can be very powerful if it is acquired slowly and gradually. It is well worth the wait and effort. This is where Golden visa programs kicks in. After all you are investing huge sums of money and make sure it is invested in a citizenship from a very good and highly respectable countries that offer high standards of living. It can be EU countries, US, Canada, Australia. EU passports certainly hold great value than citizenship by investment programs in the Caribbean and elsewhere. Don’t waste your money! Invest in something useful that is permanent for your family generations.
We give you some important tips on how to invest and become EU citizen through investments. You must have these 10 countries in your fingertips.
Portugal’s golden visa program is very straightforward. Just buy 280K euro residential properties or hotel buyback shares (fully refunded) and you will get residence permit for 2 years. You dont even need to rent any place. Just keep extending the residency for 5 years after that convert to permanent residence and be ready to apply to become a portuguese citizen.
There is an important reason why this program is extremely popular.
Portugal will give you citizenship after 5 years if you spend 2 weeks in Portugal. You dont need to live in Portugal. This is only possible with Golden visa scheme. All other countries will require you to physically move, and live continuously to get EU citizenship.
Portugal can be pretty interesting for nationals of UK, US, Canada and Brazil (south american countries) due to its proximity with these nations (not too far away). Portugal does not have civic tests although A2 language test is necessary.
The Easiest and cheapest way to get maltese citizenship is to apply through permanent residency program of Malta which requires you to pay 100K euro to the Government plus rent a house for 5 years. You can naturalise for Maltese citizenship after 5 years meeting ordinary naturalisation conditions (no fast track). You can also invest in real estate for 300K euros (a new golden visa)
The Second route is you pay 600K euro donation to the Maltese government fund and you can become maltese citizen after 3 years wait. (Malta direct citizenship by exception)
The third route is if you can afford more 750K euros donation to Malta government fund, under Direct citizenship program, citizenship is much faster but only after 1 year.
The Advantage with Malta is english is commonly used being a former english colony. Even today Malta is part of commonwealth.
The Golden visa scheme in Greece is extremely popular with many middle east investors due to proximity of Greece to the Arab world.
First you need to secure a permanent residence permit for the purpose of investment. You can buy 250K euro real estate or deposit 400K euro cash in Greek banks or even invest in Government bonds 400K euro. It is also possible to apply through proxy at consulate in your country.
After 7 years you are eligible to register a Greek citizen. The processing time is another 2 years and it is important to note that since 2020, changes to Greek nationality laws, you have to take civic test and language test.
Ireland is a superb country if you are after EU citizenship especially in english speaking country. Many people do not know Ireland is a part of European Union (Burgundy irish passports written in European Union) opted out of schengen area.
The Irish immigrant investor program (aka golden visa) will you direct permanent residency from day one (known as stamp 4) and after 5 years you can apply for Irish nationality. There are only two options, either donate 400K euro to a charity (joint investment) or invest 1M euro in refundable investment funds. There is just one day residence requirement for this program.
Ireland also has one of the best EU passports in the World.
Bulgaria is a low tax country. Bulgaria EU membership which makes the country desirable to invest. Bulgaria has both golden visa program and citizenship by investment program.
The cheapest route is you invest 250K euro in business or real estate to secure a residence permit. After 5 years you can naturalise as a Bulgarian citizen. It is important to note that Bulgaria is not in schengen area. There is also language test and other conditions.
The Direct fast track citizenship program will give you citizenship in 2 years if you invest 1m euro in business, real estate, stocks/bonds, REITs and alternative investment funds. This route exempts language tests facilitating fast track naturalisation. You just need to visit Bulgaria for few days.
One disadvantage with the Bulgarian passport is you cannot travel to US under visa waiver program.
Italian citizenship is desirable for many american investors with business interests. Italy offers a investor visa scheme with path to naturalisation.
The Italian investor visa scheme administered by Ministry of economy requires $250K invested in italian businesses and startups creating direct jobs. There is also the possibility to invest in italian government bonds or treasury securities for 2M euros.
Article 9 of the Law envisages the granting of Italian citizenship by Decree of the President of the Republic, providing for different ways and methods based on specific requirements of the applicants and graduating the period of legal residence necessary to legitimize the submission of the related application.
As a general rule, for non-EU foreigners, legal residence on the territory of the Italian State for at least 10 years is required (Article 9, subparagraph f), with some exceptions.
7. The Netherlands
The Dutch speak the best english in Europe. There is a Dutch foreign investor program which grants immediate residency to investors. This is an official program. The only problem is it requires very high investment of 1.25M euros invested in investment funds, venture capital and startups.
After 5 years a permanent residence permit can be acquired and then you can file for citizenship by naturalisation. Netherlands will likely introduce a civic test in 2022. Careful Netherlands is not friendly towards dual citizenship (not legalised)
Luxembourg is little known for many foreign investors. It is one of the smallest EU countries in the world landlocked in schengen area with a population of just over half a million. It is the founding member of founding member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, and Benelux.
Luxembourg also has golden visa program unknown to many people.
Luxembourg golden visa scheme works great for UHNWI. All you have to do to secure residency is to invest 500K euro in businesses, or 3M investment funds or 20M euro cash in banks. There is no real estate option.
After 5 years you can convert your residency to citizenship. The Luxembourg passport is quite rare, discreet and highly respectable EU passports.
Germany does not have any golden visa program. There is a possibility to acquire investor residence permit for business purpose. Probably you will need to invest a small sum of 50K euro but important condition here is creating jobs that has impact on German economy.
Germany is the best program for business investors who desire to become German national by naturalizing. The process takes about 5-8 years.
Cyprus is a very good country for citizenship, despite recently closing of the citizenship by investment.
The Cypriot Golden visa program is very much open. You can buy a property for 300K euros to receive permanent residence and after 5 years you can register as Cypriot national.
Cyprus is english speaking, also in commonwealth (former english colony) and the country is very popular among Britons, Russians who wish to establish EU base (a low tax country).
Spain is very popular and interesting for many rich russians and americans. The proximity of Spain to US, UK and Latin American countries makes it more desirable to establish Spain as second home and base in Europe.
The Spanish golden visa program provides a direct path to residency and citizenship after 10 ten years (reduced if you are from spanish speaking country). All you need to do is purchase a real estate for 500K euro to secure residency.
Besides real estate there are other routes such as intra company transfers and government bonds.
Austria is regarded as most liveable and peaceful countries in the world. Austria is particularly attractive for expats and retirees. Austria does not have a golden visa or citizenship by investment program.
Austria offers a investor residency in the form of red-white-red card for business investors. You will need to probably invest 100K euro to secure austrian residence permit.
Austrian citizenship is only possible after 10 years of living through ordinary naturalisation. It is important to note that Austria is not friendly towards dual citizenship.