The EU offers popular programs with some offering direct pathways to citizenship in countries that rank high on the international visa free index scale.
Cyprus has recently introduced a residence by investment program that allows affluent individuals to acquire PR in the EU nation without any hassles, complications, or delays. The country is a member of the EU although it is yet to implement the Schengen Agreement.
The applicant must fulfill the following financial requirements:
- Invest €300,000 in a fixed deposit in a bank in Cyprus for at least three years.
- Enjoy annual foreign income of at least €10,000 per year with an additional €5,000 for each dependent child.
- Invest at least €300,000 with an initial payment of at least €200,000 in any one of the following properties:
- Residential property in Cyprus, or
- Two apartments or housing units, or
- A housing unit and a shop that is of at least 100 sq. meters area, or
- A housing unit and a shop that is of at least 250 sq. meters area, or
Additional conditions include a visit to Cyprus once in every two years and a prohibition on applicants from taking up any employment—paid or unpaid—in the country. The program covers the applicant as well as his/her spouse, minor children, and, subject to certain additional conditions, unmarried dependent children aged below 25 years as well.
The application process begins with purchase of real estate in Cyprus. Upon submission of all necessary documents, the investment immigration shall be issued permanent residence in just two months. The applicant must visit Cyprus within one year of grant of the PR status.
Other EU nations offering residence by investment programs include Ireland, the UK, Belgium, Portugal, and Spain. The benefits of these programs include the option to apply for citizenship in due course, visa-free travel privileges including the option of settling in any other EU country, and no onerous physical residence requirements.
Ireland offers multiple investment options with the minimum requirement ranging from €500,000 to €2 million. The application shall be processed within 12-24 months.
The UK requires investment of at least £1/£5/£10 million in permissible assets for at least 5/3/2 years. Applications are normally processed in 18 weeks.
Belgium does not have any minimum requirements although applicants must provide proof of adequate financial resources. Residence applications are processed in 3-6 months
Portugal’s Golden Visa can be acquired by investing €250,000 to €1 million in asset classes including equity investment, real estate, R&D, small-cap and mid-cap venture capital, and even promotion of culture.
Finally, Spain offers residence to individuals investing at least €500,000 in real estate in the country.
- Portugal’s $1.91b investment immigration success story
- Golden Visa Program – Greece Trails Latvia, Portugal and Spain in Investor Demand
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