The European Union’s Golden Visa immigration programme allows non-EU citizens to get a residency permit or even citizenship for a country by buying a house there, making a relatively significant investment or donation. One of the challenges in choosing what is suitable for you is that different countries have different requirements for getting a Golden Visa. Here is our guide to the top cheapest Golden Visas in Europe:
The newest Golden Visa programme available from an EU state enables successful applicants and their families to take up permanent residency in the Schengen area and no requirements for stays in Malta.
Under Malta’s MPRP (Permanent Residence Programme) scheme, there is no requirement to buy a property. You can rent a property instead.
You can secure a Golden Visa in Malta for a €100,000 donation to the Maltese government and proof of total assets of at least €500,000 (can be property, investments, or savings).
There is no requirement to stay in Malta, no requirement to purchase a property. It includes immediate family, parents and grandparents. And you apply for citizenship after five years.
The donation option is considerably cheaper than Malta’s citizenship through investment scheme, which delivers a passport in about 18 months, but costs start from €600,000.
Greece is one of the most popular routes for non-EU nationals looking for a Golden Visa through investment. You need to buy a residential property above the minimum of €250,000. Take a look at what properties you can get for €250,000+ in Greece.
There is no requirement to live in Greece to maintain your residency status, and acquisition costs are lower thanks to low taxes and legal fees. But if you plan to apply for Greek citizenship, you will need to be physically in Greece for a minimum of 183 days a year.
The HQA scheme was set up to encourage entrepreneurial investors looking to build a business while working with a Portuguese University. The new Highly Qualified Activity (HQA) visa offers the same benefits as a Golden Visa, with faster approval timelines than standard Golden Visa applications.
You are required to set up a Portuguese company and partner with a Portuguese university to deliver a project in an incubator environment. If the venture does not deliver returns, your costs are limited to the €175,000 investment.
One of the oldest Golden Visa programmes in Europe, there are eight different paths to getting a Golden Visa. Here are the cheapest two.
Real Estate – low density, rehabilitation area investment. Cost €280,000. Normally in more rural areas located in central Portugal. There are relatively low language requirements for citizenship, you must stay in Portugal for only seven days a year, and the timeline to citizenship is fast.
Real Estate – Rehabilitation area investment. Cost €350,000. This option offers the same benefits as the low-density investment option, but you are not restricted to buying property in low-density areas. Finding a new-build property through an existing development project in a rehabilitation area is also possible.
In-demand areas Lisbon, Porto and coastal areas of the Algarve have been taken off the Golden visa programme, but the popular island of Madeira remains on the list. Requirements are straightforward; the property must be within a rehabilitation area and/or over 30 years old. The property has to have some renovation work done on it, which can vary from light work to an entire refit.
Through Latvia’s investor Visa programme, you can secure residency with a minimum investment of €250,000 in real estate or government bonds.
Once secured, the visa allows you to live and work in Latvia, plus access to Latvia’s healthcare service. And after five years, you can upgrade to permanent residency. Requirements are light; you only have to visit Latvia once a year to maintain residency.
Cyprus Residency through investment program allows applicants and their families to get a Cyprus immigration permit with an unlimited duration within two months. And the investor can apply for Cyprus citizenship after five years of residing in the country.
You are required to invest a minimum of €300.000 in a new residential property, commercial property, purchase share capital in a Cypriot company or invest in Units of Cyprus Investment Organization of Collective Investments (forms of AIF, AIFLNP, RAIF). The applicant also needs to show a minimum annual income of €30.000, increasing with each dependent.
Portugal and Greece have been the most popular places in Europe for residency through investment. Whichever country you choose, we recommend doing your research on expat forums about their experiences. But also get help and advice from golden visa experts to ensure your application has the best chance of success. We can introduce you to recommended visa specialists – Tell us about your property/visa plans?