Many European countries have launched in recent years program offering non EU nationals residency visas in exchange for investments. The results are mixed with some countries putting off investors with high demands, such as the Nederlands, while others are more successful, helping boost key sectors of the economy, such as in Cyprus and its real estate sector.
Data shows that Greece has the cheapest Golden visa program in Europe, requiring investors spend at least 250,000 euros. In an attempt to improve its results, Greece is launching some initiatives aimed at drawing foreign funds, by stressing the stability in the country at a time where geopolitical uncertainty is hurting other countries in the eastern Meditteranean.
Comparing visa programs against each other is not that easy - or fair - since each one has its own features in a bid to stand out from the rest. Some residency programs may lead to permanent citizenship, while others don't. Some require broader capital investments while others only accept investments in goverment bonds. Investors need to do their research well to determine what suits their needs - and pockets.
Strictly from a real estate point of view, below are some golden visa programs and the amounts required, giving readers an indication of what is on offer.
Real estate investments starting from 500,000 euros, or acquistion of real estate above 350,000 euros for properties more than 30 years old or located in area of urban renovation.
Residential real estate investment 250,000 euros or more
Real estate acquisition worth 500,000 euros or more
Real estate worth between 270,000 euros to 320,000 euros, depending on which part of Malta the property is located.
Cyprus Golden Passport
300,000 euros or more is enough to earn residency in Cyprus, while a minimum investment of 2 million euros earns non EU investors citizenship in Cyprus (plus a European passport).
Investment in real estate worth 250,000 euros plus 5% state fee
Real estate investments does not qualify for the visa program. Investors need to spend more than 375,000 euros in Hungarian government bonds.
Real estate does not qualify. An investments of at least 1.25 million euros in an innovative company or joint venture approved by Dutch government is needed.
Two million euros in one or more Irish REIT.
Capital investment of 500,000 euros.