Quite often, many find it confusing to understand the difference between Golden visa and Golden passport programs. To start with Golden visas are residence by investment schemes giving you permanent residence rights with no citizenship whereas Golden passport programs are citizenship by investment schemes giving you a immediate citizenship and passport.
One other important difference is visa free movement possible to more than 150+ countries and territories with a golden passport. Since GV programs issue only residence card (or a long term visa), it can only be used for regional travel (for example within schengen) cannot be used to cross international borders. A passport is the only valid international travel document accepted across the globe.
Golden passports are more attractive than golden visas as they come with more rights, because it has cheaper investment threshold and give their holders direct citizenship rather than simply residence. There are no residence or stay or personal visit requirements attached to Golden passport programs. With that being said, those who dont want immediate citizenship (only as long term goal for example EU citizenship) often go for Golden visa programs, as a long term investment.
In some countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, China restrict dual citizenship, in such cases golden visa programs can be beneficial while still keeping the existing nationality.
During the covid situation, a big impact was felt on citizen or residence rights, when countries were imposing travel ban, banning visa holders, permitting only citizens and permanent residents to enter the country. This goes on to show having residence or citizenship rights is more important than ever.
We clarify here some important differences between GV and GP
|Differences||Golden Visa (GV)||Golden Passport (GP)|
|Program name||Residence by investment (RBI)||Citizenship by Investment (CBI)|
|What you get||Residence permit||Passport with citizenship certificate|
|Minimum Investment||EUR 250,000 onwards||USD 100,000 onwards|
|Investment options||Real estate, Government bonds, Bank term deposit, Investment funds, REIT||Donation Fund, Real estate, Government bonds, Bank deposit, Investment fund|
|Time||3-6 months||3 months|
|Citizenship Rights||No (only after naturalizing)||Yes|
|List of countries (eg.)||60
Eg. Portugal, Greece, Ireland, US, Spain, Singapore etc,
Eg. St Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Montenegro, Malta, Turkey
|Access to healthcare and education||Yes||Yes|
|Visa free movement||Regional Access (eg. schengen area or territory)||Worldwide|
|Restrictions||EU/EEA nationals cannot apply (only third country nationals)||Blacklisted countries (Iran, North Korea, Russia, Belarus etc.)|