The freedom to travel has never been more emphasized than when travel was curtailed by the global pandemic. With advanced technology, travel has become mor commonplace. People travel for many reasons — relaxation, to open our eyes to different landscapes, culture and food, to increase our knowledge and build our world view. In short, to improve as human beings. Travel is important for our mental growth and human happiness. One of the best ways to travel freely in Europe is to invest in a golden visa.
However, traveling around the world is not yet seamless and there are many countries that still require visas or travel permits. There are however, countries in Europe that offer a program that allows, among many other things, visa-free travel to as many as 186 countries all over the world. Countries like Portugal, Spain Greece, Malta, Cyprus and Latvia have a residency by permit investment program that includes visa-free travel to Europe, European Union and the Schengen area.
The best countries for European Residency by Permit or Golden Visa based on popularity, amount needed to invest, excellent real estate opportunities, a thriving economy and visa-free travel are Portugal, Greece and Spain.
Golden Visa Portugal
A Golden Visa Portugal allows the holder to live, work, and study in Portugal and anywhere else within the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Benefits of the Golden Visa Portugal
- A minimum investment of €500,000 in real estate property or capital investments
- Travel visa-free within the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and 186 other countries
- Includes family members
- Renewable every two years with no residency requirements
- Citizenship is possible in 5 years
- Allows holder to live, work, and study in Portugal
- Excellent educational system
- Excellent healthcare system
Golden Visa Portugal, real estate option
The Golden Visa Portugal real estate option is perhaps the most popular way to get residency in Portugal. This is because Portugal is seen as a prime destination among property investors, with a flourishing real estate market, high rental yields, and booming tourism industry.
- Many expats buy properties in Portugal for tourism purposes, or to serve as a second home or a retirement destination. You can invest in newly-built properties in thriving Lisbon or Porto starting from €500,000.
- However, the Portuguese government would like to transfer the focus of real estate investments from the high-density areas like Lisbon, Porto, the Algrave, and the high-density coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast to low-density areas like the Azores, Madeira and the cities and towns in the interior of Portugal where you can invest €350,000 for existing properties located in urban re-generation areas
- The most economical investment route for the scheme is to make a €280K investment in the rehabilitation of real estate in low-density areas. The Portugal Golden Visa property for sale must at least be more than thirty years old and undergoing renovation.
Golden Visa Portugal, capital investment options
Investing in private equity funds or Golden Visa Portugal venture capital funds is a good option for acquiring residency in Portugal. The funds are managed by fund managers who are accredited by Portugal’s regulatory body, the CMVM. Your dedicated fund manager ensures that the Golden Visa Portugal fund investments are appropriately managed in start-ups or medium-sized projects with optimal growth potential.
- A capital transfer of at least €1.5 million
- A €500,000 investment into private equity or venture capital funds providing capital to specified companies
- A €500,000 investment in companies that are scientific or technological in nature
- A €500,000 business investment in the form of either the purchase of shares in a Portuguese company or setting up a company in sectors like energy, industry, technology, and real estate.
- Generate at least five permanent jobs for at least three years for Portuguese citizens.
Golden Visa Portugal, tax benefits
- Golden Visa Portugal’s income tax benefits are a big draw for foreign investors looking to get the most out of their financial contribution. Visa holders don’t need to pay extra taxes on income produced outside of Portugal.
- There’s also an option to register as a fiscal resident for tax purposes in Portugal. This is a fantastic option as it’ll allow you to then directly benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Tax (NHR) Regime. NHR is a generous tax program with numerous benefits pertaining to your global income. It offers tax-free incentives on certain categories for a period of up to ten years.
- Additionally, any Portuguese-sourced income would be taxed at a flat rate of 20% during the first ten years and there is also the ability to pass on your wealth to a spouse or dependent without incurring inheritance or gift taxes.
Greek Golden Visa
The Greek experience and lifestyle can be yours through the Greek Golden Visa. For a minimum investment of €250,000, through a real estate purchase for private ownership or rental, one can avail of a five-year residency after which one can apply for the citizenship program.
The Greek Golden Visa allows the holder the following benefits:
- The right to live in Greece
- The entire family is eligible
- Visa-free travel to Schengen zone
- Good quality of life
- High standards of education
- Free and equal access to the Greek Healthcare System
- The Greek Golden Visa is approved within 60 days
- Does not require the applicant to live in Greece.
Golden Visa Spain
The residence permit by investment program or the Golden Visa Spain is the best option for high-net worth individuals and their families who are from non-European Union countries.
The Golden Visa Spain is ideal for those who want to live fulltime in Spain or for those who would like to maintain a second residence in Europe without having to become a citizen. The Golden Visa Spain has the following requirements:
- A minimum investment of €500,000 in real estate
- The Golden Visa Spain is a temporary residency permit that can be renewed every two years. It is not necessary to live in Spain in order to retain and renew the residency visa permit.
- Upon the fifth year of the residency visa permit, the applicant can now apply for permanent residency.
The Golden Visa Spain has several investment options:
- minimum investment €500,000 in real estate
- €2,000,000 capital investment in Spanish Public debt
- €1,000,000 investment in shares in an existing Spanish company with real activity
- €1,000,000 deposit in a reputable Spanish bank or fund
A minimum investment €500,000 in Spain will not only buy you a prime real estate property but also the freedom of movement throughout the European Schengen area, excellent healthcare, world-class school and universities including the two if the best business schools in the world, a healthy lifestyle that is based on the Mediterranean diet and a relaxed, unhurried pace of life.
On the tenth year the applicant can apply for Spanish citizenship. The Spanish government no longer requires full time residence in Spain to meet the citizenship requirement. Multiple exits are possible as long as the trip does not last longer than six consecutive months. This means that applicants only need to travel just twice a year to Spain.
Benefits of Spanish Golden Visa:
- The right to live in Spain, a member of the European Union
- Visa-free travel throughout the European Union
- Visa-free travel to 185 countries
- Available for you and your family
- No minimum stay requirements
Benefits of permanent residency through the Spanish golden visa:
- Same rights as Spanish citizens
- Excellent educational system
- Excellent healthcare system
- Healthy Mediterranean diet