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12 Golden Visa Program for EU countries by investment

12 Golden Visa Program for EU countries by investment

What is the Golden Visa Program?

The Golden Visa program is an investment-based authorization that provides a path to permanent residency and, in some cases, citizenship after a specified residency period.

Many European countries have introduced the Golden Visa program to attract high net worth individuals capable of making substantial contributions to the economies and societies of EU countries.

The Golden Visa is a high priority, ensuring prompt acquisition for applicants within a matter of months. Therefore, it is an ideal route to obtain residency in an EU country with a streamlined process lasting only a couple of months.

The Golden Visa program was first introduced in 2017 and is now offered by many EU and Schengen Zone countries.

Which EU Countries Offer Golden Visa Programs?

Which EU Countries Offer Golden Visa Programs?

As of 2024, there are 12 EU and Schengen Zone countries:

  1. Austria
  2. Bulgaria
  3. Cyprus
  4. Germany
  5. Greece
  6. Ireland
  7. Italy
  8. Latvia
  9. Malta
  10. Portugal
  11. Spain
  12. Switzerland

These countries provide Golden Visa programs, offering an attractive option for individuals seeking investment-based residency opportunities in Europe.

Which Country Has the Cheapest Golden Visa Program Investment Requirements?

Which Country Has the Cheapest Golden Visa Program Investment Requirements?

The top three countries with the most affordable minimum investment requirements for Golden Visa programs are Switzerland at €215,000, Italy at €250,000, and Latvia at €250,000. Please note that the listed amount for Switzerland is an annual requirement.

No.CountryMinimum InvestmentRemark
Golden Visa Program for 12 EU Countries – Investment Requirements

What is the Initial Residency Duration for Golden Visa Programs?

Each country has a different initial residency duration. The countries that initially allow a stay of 5 years are Italy, Latvia, Bulgaria, Cyprus, and Greece.

Golden Visa Program Residency Duration:

No.CountryDuration (years)Remark
2Italy2 + 3After 2 years, you can renew for an additional 3 years.
This table provides information on the duration of residency granted by each country’s Golden Visa program. Note any additional remarks or renewal options specified for certain countries.

Golden Visa Programs Benefits and Details:

All Golden Visa programs allow applicants to live and work within the country, travel freely within the Schengen area (except for Cyprus), and most countries grant permanent residence after a minimum of 5 years in continuous Golden Visa programs.

If you plan to apply for citizenship or obtain an EU passport in the future, check specific duration requirements for each country.

From the list of countries granting permanent residence leading to citizenship, only Italy and Portugal allow dual citizenship with non-restricted rules. Germany, Spain, and Austria have restrictions.

It’s crucial to plan your Golden Visa country choice if obtaining future citizenship is a consideration.

CountryMinimum Investment DetailsWork PermitSchengen Visa-freePermanent ResidencyCitizenshipDual Citizenship
SwitzerlandSwiss Residency by Lump Sum TaxYesYesAfter 10 years12 yearsNo
ItalyInvest in an innovative startup venture.YesYesAfter 5 yearsAfter a specific time of residing.Yes
LatviaEquity investment in a Latvian companyYesYesMust reside for 4 years10 yearsRestricted
PortugalInvest in preserving national heritageYesYesAfter 5 years6 yearsYes
BulgariaBusiness investmentYesYesYes5 yearsYes
CyprusInvestment in real estate propertyYesNoYes5 yearsYes
GermanyPositive impact on the German economyYesYesAfter 3-5 years6 yearsRestricted
GreeceInvestment in real estate propertyYesYesAfter 5 years7 yearsRestricted
IrelandPhilanthropic donationYesYesNo5/9 yearsYes
SpainInvestment in real estate propertyYesYesAfter 5 years10 yearsRestricted
MaltaA government-approved national fundYesYesYes5 yearsYes
AustriaBusiness investmentYesYesAfter 5 yearsAfter 10 yearsRestricted

What is the Best Country for EU Golden Visa Programs/Citizenship Investment?

Italy Golden Visa Program

Italy’s Golden Visa program stands out as one of the most cost-effective options among EU countries for Golden Visa programs, with a minimum investment starting at only €250,000. The visa is initially granted for 2 years, extendable for an additional 3 years. After 5 years of holding the Golden Visa, applicants can apply for permanent residence in Italy, enjoying similar benefits to citizens, such as the ability to live and work anywhere in the EU.

Following 5 years as a permanent resident, applicants can further apply for Italian citizenship through naturalisation, obtaining an Italian passport.

As an Italian citizen, you gain access to one of the world’s most powerful passports and enjoy various benefits:

Social Services:

  • Access to a full range of social services provided by the Italian government, including healthcare, education, and social welfare programs specifically tailored to Italy.

Work and Residence Rights:

  • Italian citizenship grants rights to live and work in Italy, influencing aspects such as employment laws, social security benefits, and taxation.

Italian Culture:

  • A connection to Italy’s rich history, culture, and traditions, providing a sense of identity and belonging. Residence options range from beautiful mountains and cultural cities to summer beaches, offering a unique and diverse experience.

Dual Citizenship:

  • Italy allows dual citizenship, enabling you to retain your original citizenship as well as any future citizenship. There are no restrictions, allowing you to hold multiple passports.

Retirement Benefits:

Italy is an ideal destination for retirees, offering a relaxed lifestyle, beautiful landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage. Retirees can enjoy a slower pace of life, excellent cuisine, and access to healthcare services, making Italy a welcoming and attractive retirement destination.

In conclusion, the European Union’s Golden Visa programs present a compelling avenue for those seeking investment-based routes to residency and potential citizenship. 

Italy, with its affordable minimum investment of €250,000, stands out as a particularly attractive option. Beyond providing residency, Italy offers access to a rich cultural heritage, work and residence rights, and the unique advantage of dual citizenship. 

Its appeal also extends to retirees, promising a relaxed lifestyle amid picturesque landscapes. 

“Choosing the Golden Visa program in Italy is not just a strategic investment; it opens doors to a diverse and fulfilling life in one of Europe’s most culturally vibrant nations.

If you’re considering a move to Italy, book a free 15-minute discovery call with our team to discuss your details and receive guidance on the application process. Explore our client reviews to learn more about the experiences of those who have navigated similar journeys.

For a more in-depth comparison between Italy’s Golden Visa and Elective Visa, explore our article where we have analysed these visa types. This comparison will help you understand which one would be the most suitable for your situation.

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