EUROPEAN VISA FOR INVESTMENT (Golden Visa)
A number of European countries now offer the Golden Visa through real estate investment. Spain, Portugal, Malta, Greece and Cyprus are the most prominent so investors now have several options to consider for residency and citizenship in Europe.
Not every country and programme is the same. There are significant differences relating to investment amount, family qualification, permanent residency, minimum stay citizenship and ultimately passports. Not least of all the differing economic states and real estate investment prospects of each of the countries in question.
However, it is important to gain the right professional advice before beginning this process.
Below are two examples from Spain and Portugal.
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Golden Visa Spain
The minimum investment must be at € 500,000.
On top of the amount of investment, you need to add 11 – 12%, which goes to the purchase cost; including tax, stamp duty, VAT, notary and lawyer.
Investments may be spread over several properties for a total purchase price of at least € 500,000.
You invest via a foreign company if you can prove that you own the majority of the company. There is a certain flexibility to borrow a part of the money you need from your home country or from a country outside Spain.
Spanish residence visas may be issued to the immediate family, including spouse and children up to 18 years. The Act also includes your children over 18-years-old who, due to health issues, are not objectively capable of looking after themselves.
There is no requirement for minimum stays ordering to renew the visa. This means that it is optional to stay in Spain.
The Spanish golden visa does not need to be renewed within five years. As there is no law on minimum stay, it is not necessary to be a tax resident. Permanent residence can be granted after five years if you have followed the rules.
Your property investment can be sold after five years when you have achieved permanent residency. The visa allows access to unlimited travel throughout the EU Schengen visa countries. The entire application procedure for investment visa applicants will not take more than twenty days.
Investments must be documented before applying for a Spanish investment visa. Refusal of a Spanish investment visa will usually only be justified by an unclean criminal record. Spanish citizenship will be given after an additional five years of permanent residency.
The applicant must be able to prove having travelled to Spain at least once in the first two years, and once more in the three subsequent years, while a Spanish citizen will automatically get a European citizenship.
After this time (2 x 5 years), the family can live, work or study anywhere in Europe within the EU.
A recommended lawyer will take care of the application for residence, and the full Golden Visa program, offering residence for the family.
THE APPLICANT MUST MEET THE FOLLOWING REQUIREMENTS:
- Not to have entered or stayed illegally in Spanish territory.
- Have to be 18 years or over.
- Not to have been refused entry in any of the Schengen countries.
- Have public or private health insurance authorised to operate in Spain.
- Have sufficient economic means to cover personal and family living expenses.
- Proof of the investment must be made through a Registry of Property certificate attesting ownership.
- Or, if the ownership title is not yet registered, via a copy of the acquisition public deed and proof of filing the deed in the Registry.
- Investors must use at least €500,000 of their own funds, which must come from transparent sources that comply with existing legislation on money laundering and so on. Above that threshold, there is no limit to debt financing, for instance with a mortgage in Spain.
Golden Visa Portugal
The Residence Permit is originally issued for one year and then renewed for successive periods of two years, provided that the requirements of the investment activity, as well as the following minimum stay periods in Portugal, are maintained.
The holders of a Golden Residence Permit/Visa may apply for family reunification and may gain access to a permanent residence permit, and also for Portuguese citizenship, in accordance with the legal provisions.
Applications from individuals who have been convicted of a crime are subject to an entry ban or are subject to alerts in the Portuguese or Schengen Information System.
The decision to grant a Residence Permit must be taken by the competent authorities within 60 days after the submission of the application, which must include evidence that the financial or real estate investment has already been completed.
Golden Resident Permit
- Purchase of ANY type of real estate of at least €500.000.
- Co-ownership now allowed.
- Capital transfer of at least €1.0 Mn to be invested in ANY type of business and company.
- Creation of at least 10 permanent jobs instead of 30 permanent jobs.
- The investment activity must be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years after the Residence Permit is granted.
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