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Golden Visa Programs

World’s Best Investment Migration Programs

17 April 2021

World’s Best Investment Migration Programs

Some citizens spend time in front of visa consulates and other offices that offer such services to obtain a visa to move to another country, others who have higher monthly income can gain the right to reside or even citizenship in some of the most famous world countries by investing a considerable amount of money in specific programs, such as the Golden Visa programs.

In Europe, Golden Visa Programs, known as Citizenship-by-Investment programs, which permit internationals to gain citizenship, are run by some of the most popular countries in Europe.

Besides, by gaining citizenship in one of Europe’s Schengen Zone countries, the beneficiaries are able to travel to all 26 Schengen area countries without being obliged to obtain a visa.


A panel of experts has evaluated the 12 citizenship-by-investment programs and 24 residences-by investment programs, taking into account many factors.

The Global Citizenship Programs Index (GCPI) has ranked Malta on top of the list, followed by Austria Private Residence Program and the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program that share the top spot in the Global Residence Programs Index (GRPI). Such a conclusion has been based on Investment Migration Programs 2021.

Malta ranks as the world’s top country for offering citizenship and residence in exchange for investment. Austria’s Private Residence Program and Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program have scored 75 out of 100 as top Residence-by-Investment Programs.

Italy’s RBI program and Swiss Residence Program have been ranked in second place, followed by Greece, which has been listed in the third place for its Golden Visa Program, with a score of 72 out of 100.


This is the sixth consecutive year that Malta ranks as the world’s top country for offering citizenship and residence in exchange for investment, with its Granting of Citizenship for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment process recording 80 out of 100.

All interested persons in gaining a Golden Visa must invest

1. Make an investment of EUR 250,000 in government bonds, held for a minimum period of 5 years.

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).

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).

3. Make a EUR 30,000 non-refundable contribution to the government, including a EUR 5,000 administrative fee.

Even though it brings many financial benefits to the country, Malta’s Golden Visa Program and other countries’ similar programs often are criticized for the way they work.

In a report published in 2018, the German non-governmental organization by Transparency International and Global Witness on its report named “European Getaway – Inside the Murky World of Golden Visas” addressed Malta’s government’s accusations for several irregularities detected during the granting of Citizenships for internationals.

However, Malta authorities claimed that the report had elements “which do not seem to be accurate or adequately researched.”


Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Program has scored 75 out of 100 as top Residence-by-Investment Programs.

According to Portugal’s Golden Visa statistics, SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service) authorized 100 residence permits in February this year. While 89 authorized golden visas were granted for the real estate investment, 11 permits were issued for the capital transfer investment option.

Under current Portugal’s Golden Visa Program, investors must follow the below-mentioned investment requirements to obtain Portugal’s Golden Visa.

1. Creation of at least 10 permanent jobs in Portugal. OR ;

2. Make a minimum investment of EUR 500,000 by purchasing a real estate property. OR ;

3. 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 (reduced to EUR 280,000 if the real estate property located in a low-density area). OR ;

4. Make a minimum capital investment of EUR 1 million to a financial institute in Portugal. OR ;

5. Make a minimum investment of EUR 350,000 in public or private research institutions that are a part of the national scientific or technological system. OR ;

6. Make a minimum investment of EUR 250,000 in something supporting arts or national heritage. OR ;

7. Make a minimum investment of EUR 500,000 in shares or in venture capital. OR ;

In January 2021, authorities in Portugal previously announced that they updated their residency-by-investment program to attract more international investors towards other residency areas.

In addition, Portugal’s authorities decided to prolong the deadline to exclude investments in Lisbon and Porto from the country’s Golden Visa program until January 2022.


Austria has been considered among the most favorite countries in Europe for its Residence by Investment program, offering many possibilities to all persons who want to obtain a visa by making an investment in the country.

All persons who wish to invest in Austria’s Residence by Investment Program will be required to invest an amount of EUR 40,000 and wait for one to three months. The Golden visa program permits wealthy internationals to grant residency in some countries that run this scheme by investing a respective amount of money.

However, the program has been criticized many times by the European Union Commission and other organizations as, according to them, it is related to some criminal activities such as money laundering and other illegal activities.

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.


Source: Schengenvisainfo news

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