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Five EU Permanent residency (Golden Visa ) programs compared


Published   06:29 AM 17 May 2018
Updated    11:47 AM 22 December 2021

Five EU Permanent residency (Golden Visa ) programs compared
Golden Visa for Europe Comparison

Over recent years there’s a definite surge in the number of non-EU nationals who are interested in foreign residence programs in European countries. Many European countries have introduced a “Golden Visa” program, offering permanent residency in exchange for real estate investments . The Golden Visas are intended to be a magnet for foreign investments and arouse the property market and economy. The Golden Visas programs primarily target Middle Eastern , Chinese and Russian investors, and also investors from South Africa , Brazil , Turkey and Vietnam.

Applicants in the countries offering Golden Visa programs can include their spouses and/ or any dependent children with them (and in some countries, parents and grandchildren of principal applicants also qualify for Golden visa).
There’s a distinct difference between Golden Visas (residence programs) and citizenship programs (these straight lead to citizenship). A Golden visa enables free travel throughout all 26 countries in the Schengen Area (Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Leetonia, Republic of Latvia, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherland, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland).

Why EU residency ?
You might have quite a lot of reasons for getting EU residency ( Golden Visa)  . Whether you want to shift to Europe, on your own or with your family members , or you want to set up your business in Europe, or you want to travel freely in the Schengen zone .

Which EU residency program to choose?
Europe offers a number of options. You just have to find the one that suits your needs , goals and conditions best.

Several European countries offer residency programs ( Golden visa programs ) aimed at businesspeople. They are all alike as they all offer EU residency in exchange for some kind of investment. Nevertheless, the programs are all different; each has its own Bros and Cons.

As an applicant (investor) , you should already know how significant it is to make your own home work and gather all relative information before you make a commitment for many years. How much do you want to invest? Are there any concealed fees How cost-effective is the program?

The below comparison of EU residency programs might be helpful for you to make an well-versed decision. We have chosen the five most popular programs: 
  • Cyprus Golden Visa – Cyprus residency through investment ;
  • Malta Residence and Visa Program (MRVP)- Malta residence through investment ;
  • Greece Golden Visa – Greece residency through investment ;
  • Portugal Golden Visa Program - Portugal residence through investment . And ;
  • Spain Golden Visa Program - Spain residence through investment .
See for yourself which will fit your needs.

EU Permanent residency by investment: Program comparison

Below you can find our analysis of the most attractive immigrant investment programs in EU :
Greece Portugal Spain  
Minimum Investment
€300,000 for real estate purchase. €290,000 for a property lease and €550,000 for real estate purchase. In this scheme, investments in government bonds value of €250,000 and €30,000 contribution to the State Fund are required (they are included above) and the applicant may choose either to buy a property for €270,000 or to lease a property for at least €10,000 per year.
Extra requirement: Annual income of at least €100,000 per year for the applicant or a capital of at least €500,000.
€250,000 for real estate purchase. €500,000 (€350,000 outside Lisbon ) for real estate purchase. €500,000 for real estate purchase.
Processing Time 2-3 months 3-4 months 2 months 2 months 2-3 months
Residency requirements none none
none 7 days / first year; 14 days / year for the second and third year. none
Family and children Yes Yes
Yes Yes Yes
Permanent Residence renewal
No. However the PR holders must visit Cyprus every 2 years in order for their permit not to be revoked. Yes. Permanent residency must be renewed every five years. Yes. The visa is granted for five years and renewed every five years if the property investment is retained. Yes. Residency permit initially granted for 1 year and can be renewed in 2 year increments. Permanent Residence granted after 5 years. Yes. Residency permit initially granted for 2 years and can be renewed in 2 year increments. Permanent Residence granted after 5 years.
Final thought

There are a number of countries in Europe that offer an investor visa to non-EU/EFTA nationals. Choosing the Residency or Citizenship Program that best suits your needs can be difficult, especially when there are so many options available to you. We, therefore, encourage you to contact us before deciding on a Program and to help you make the right choice.

QICMS ( is one of the leading companies in the world in acquiring various immigration statuses: permanent residency permits, second citizenship and second passports.

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

If you would like to see our Residency and Citizenship Programs through Real Estate Investment comparison table, please click here.

Fill out our Free Assessment to see if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered and to receive a free and confidential consultation . This is a secure online evaluation protected by SSL encryption.

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