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European Real Estate Investment

Real Estate Investment through European Golden Visa Programs

1 March 2017

Real Estate Investment through European Golden Visa Programs
About European Golden Visa Programs

Real Estate Investment through Golden Visa Programs are offered by some of the most prominent countries in Europe, including Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Portugal, and Spain. Each country provides foreign nationals with the chance to obtain permanent residency in exchange for an investment into the country’s economy. By investing real estate through European Golden Visa Programs, successful applicants and their eligible family members can enjoy a number of benefits as a resident of the European Union. So which Golden Visa Program is right for you and your family? What is the cheapest Golden Visa Program? The best Golden Visa Programs in Europe?  What are the five European investor residency programs for real estate investment? Let’s find out.

Why invest in European real estate?

When it comes to Golden Visa Programs, investing in European real estate offers foreign nationals the whole package: European residency for applicants and their eligible dependants, visa-free and/or visa-on-arrival travel to more than 160 countries and/or the Schengen region, and acquiring property in some of the most sought-after locations in the European Union. Whether or not investors choose to use their property as a personal residence, rental property, or even a timeshare makes Golden Visa Programs even more appealing to high net worth individuals looking for immigration solutions abroad.

The real question is: why shouldn’t you invest real estate through Europe’s Golden Visa Programs? This article will discuss European Golden Visa real estate options, including each program’s requirements and benefits as well as list the countries offering residences to lure property investors.

Cyprus Permanent Residence Program

Cyprus’ Golden Visa Residency Program is one of the most popular options out of the bunch. Requirements for eligibility include having a minimum net worth of at least EUR 500,000 and making an investment in real estate of at least EUR 330,000 (excluding Value Added Tax, or VAT). The primary applicant and/or his spouse should purchase a property or other buildings listed below:
  1. Two residences (apartments or houses); OR,
  2. A residence and a shop; OR,
  3. A residence and an office.
With this real estate investment, successful applicants are granted Cypriot permanent residency in as little as two months. As part of Cyprus’ Golden Visa Residency Program, applicants and their family must physically reside in the country for 6 months (and one day). If foreign nationals are looking to permanently relocate, Cypriot citizenship can be obtained after 7 years of permanent residency. In addition, residents of Cyprus have access to 159 countries as well as the Schengen region.

Greece Residency by Investment Program

Greece’s Golden Visa Program is certainly the most affordable, which is why its popularity is gaining momentum for foreign nationals around the world. For as little as EUR 250,000 investment in Greek property, applicants and their dependants can obtain a 5-year residency permit* that is renewable indefinitely. To obtain Greek residency through real estate investment, applicants must:
  1. Make a minimum investment of EUR 250,000 in a residential real estate property; OR,
  2. Sign a lease for a minimum of 10 years in hotel accommodation or other furnished tourist residences. The contract must require a single payment for the lease, with minimum investment of EUR 250,000; OR,
  3. Sign a timeshare agreement with minimum investment of EUR 250,000.
*Note that investments must be held for the duration of residency. Resale of the property to another non-EU national grants the buyer the right to apply for residency while the initial seller’s residency is withdrawn.
Greece’s Golden Visa Program does not require applicants and their family to physically live in Greece, but applicants can apply for Greek citizenship after 7 years of residency. Added benefits of Greece’s Golden Visa Program include fast-track application processing in 2 months as well as visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to the Schengen region (an area comprised of 26 European nations).

Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP)

Like Cyprus, applicants to Malta’s Golden visa program must have a minimum net worth of EUR 500,000 to qualify. Real estate purchase requires a combined investment of EUR 600,000, as outlined below:
  1. Make an investment of EUR 250,000 in government bonds, held or a minimum period of 5 years; AND,
  2. Make an investment in property, whereby an applicant must:   
     a) Purchase a property for a minimum EUR 320,000 (EUR 270,000 if property located in South Malta or Gozo), OR;
     b) Rent a property for a minimum of EUR 12,000 per annum (EUR 10,000 per annum if located in South Malta or Gozo); AND,
  1. Make a EUR 30,000 non-refundable contribution to the government, including a EUR 5,500 administrative fee.
Although Malta’s Golden Visa Program is the more expensive option, the benefits of Maltese residency are hard to ignore. Malta’s prime location in the Mediterranean offers applicants the perfect seaside destination for long-term residency or a vacation spot for the family in one of the most safe and economically stable countries in Europe. If temporary residency is more appealing, Maltese residency provides visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to the Schengen region for travel enthusiasts.

Portugal Golden Residence Permit

Real estate investment though Portugal’s Golden Visa Program is steadily increasing, and for good reason. Foreign nationals can purchase property in Portugal for either EUR 500,000 or EUR 350,000 as follows:
  1. Applicants who wish to make a minimum investment of EUR 500,000 in Portuguese real estate property can choose the location anywhere in the country, including some of Portugal’s most attractive cities; OR.
  2. If the applicant is willing to purchase a real estate property that was constructed at least 30 years ago, or is in an urban area in Portugal, then the minimum investment option is EUR 350,000.
Residents of Portugal have access to a whopping 172 countries worldwide, including the UK and Schengen region. In addition, the minimum physical residency requirement is spending a total of 7 days in Portugal within the first year of residency, which can make Portuguese real estate the perfect family vacation destination. If applicants are looking for long-term immigration solution, Portuguese citizenship is granted after 6 years of permanent residency.

Spanish Golden Visa (Property Visa Program)

Spain’s Golden Visa Program has gained notoriety among foreign investors since its launch in 2013. In addition to a number of investment options, Spanish real estate can be purchased for a minimum of EUR 500,000 in one of Europe’s most attractive property markets for foreign investors. With Spanish property markets looking up for 2017, it’s no surprise applicants and their families prefer the Spanish Golden Visa.

With the Spanish Golden Visa Program, successful applicants are granted residency in as little as two months and have visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 175 countries, including the Schengen region. Spain’s Golden Visa Program does not require applicants and their families to physically reside in Spain a minimum number of days per year, though permanent residents can gain citizenship after 10 consecutive years. When it comes to added benefits, Spain’s Golden Visa Program through real estate investment is truly “golden.”

Do you want to live in Europe? Apply for a residency permit today!

To see our Citizenship and Residency through Real Estate Investment comparison table, please click here.

To see our European Golden Visa Program comparison table, please click here.

Fill out our Free Assessment to see if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered.

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