Golden Visa Programs are established in many countries to provide an opportunity for those who wish to obtain citizenship or residency through economic investment in property, non-refundable contributions, industries, job creation, and others. The objective is basically to attract investors to put their faith in new projects. The integrity of the programs also depends on the type of investment they are interested in. To qualify for the programs, investors must meet certain criteria.But what is a golden visa, and who can apply for it?
What is a golden visa?
A golden visa is a type of permit that provides a pathway to residency or even citizenship in a European country. It relates to the ability to invest and is usually aimed at the wealthy.It is designed to guarantee a contribution to the country’s development and began in 2008 as a source of resources for countries that were being affected by the Great Recession. On the other hand, in many countries, citizens saw their capital impacted by the economy and started to look for safer places to protect their money. This is how investors from China, Russia, Iran, Venezuela, and other countries, decided to look for opportunities and protection for their money. But the paperwork and complex legal requirements are other things, and this is where Golden Visa programs come in.
Golden Visa programs in Europe: Benefits
European golden visas have many advantages for foreigners.Their spouses and children will also obtain residency. This will allow them to:
Visa-free travel to Schengen: The Schengen area is your playground as a European resident.
Bringing Family: every Golden Visa program allows you to bring your spouse and children.
Simplified process: processing takes less time than citizenship, usually two to three months.
No residence requirement: You don’t need to live in the country of your residence to retain your permit.
No frills: There are no language exams, no interviews, and no hoops to jump through.
Can be applied for citizenship: If you stay long enough, you can apply for citizenship.
If you have ever thought about the immigration requirements of many of these wealthy English-speaking countries, they can be quite stringent. A golden visa eliminates the need for a job offer, starting a business (which comes with complicated business plans, Social Security tax obligations, and other complications), or even marrying someone. This removes a lot of headaches, and in most cases also removes language requirements. That is why these programs are considered the “golden ticket” for people who have the money that these countries desire.
Golden Visa Program Requirements
Golden Visa schemes are available in different countries, and each country has its legal requirements. However, there are some basic requirements such as
Having a clean criminal record.
Prove that you will use your money in investing. Investment contract for a period of time (duration may vary by country).
Prove that you got your money legally.
Some states may require you to show that you have a certain amount of equity, separate from the amount you will invest.
List of Golden Visa Countries in Europe
Several EU or Schengen countries offer golden visas for investors from third countries. These include the following countries, which are members of both the European Union and the Schengen Area:
Spain, 4th country with the best “Golden Visa” program 2021
The website Best Citizenships has published the 2nd ranking of the best “Golden Visa” (GV) programs 2021 following a scoring system based on criteria chosen by clients/investors, such as investment options, citizenship criteria, acquisition times, type of residence, and even current property prices.Based on these parameters, European countries dominate the top spots in the GV rankings for 2021 starting with Portugal, which is the number one Golden Visa program. Ireland ranks second; while Greece, Spain and Italy rank third, fourth and fifth respectively. Four countries share sixth place: Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Luxembourg.Portugal, Ireland, and Spain remain very attractive to many U.S. and Latin American investors due to their geographic proximity to the Americas. Similarly, Greece is highly desirable to many Middle Eastern investors as it is easily accessible and not too far away.Ireland climbed up the rankings last year and remains one of the best residency programs in the world. Irish passports have always been in high demand after Brexit and for having the best educational facilities. The UK, Malta, Cyprus, and Ireland are attractive places for investors looking to settle in an English-speaking and left-handed country.Green card programs in the U.S. and Canada scored low because of the lengthy administrative process for obtaining a visa, sometimes requiring years of waiting.
Source: Best Citizenships
Canada golden visa program remains suspended until 2023