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Residency and Citizenship Programs in the EU

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Published   08:28 AM 19 May 2016
Updated    11:23 AM 23 November 2021

Our firm assists clients with immigration obtained through different programs worldwide, including eight different European residency and citizenship programs. Our extensive experience in the field of business immigration allows us to present you withsome of the best and most popular business immigration programs in Europe. Every EU business immigration program has its unique set of rules and benefits. For investors or high net worth individuals who are interested in immigrating to Europe, this blog will highlight the key points of the European business immigration programs our company deals with.

United Kingdom (UK)

The United Kingdom offers investors from around the world an “indefinite leave to remain” or permanent residency through its Tier 1 immigrant investor program. Investors are able to choose between the Tier 1 investor program and the Tier 1 entrepreneur program.

Tier 1 Investor program:

The tier 1 investor program allows the investor a fast track option in order to receive permanent residency in the UK, depending on the investment option selected:

If the investor makes a minimum investment of 2 million British Pounds to the UK government,he/she is able to receive permanent residency (leave to remain) after five years of residency in the UK. If the investor chooses instead to make an investment of GBP 5 million,he/she is able to apply for permanent residency after three years of residency in the UK. Finally, if the investor completes an investment of GBP 10 million, he/she is eligible to apply for permanent residency after only two years.

Tier 1 Entrepreneur program:

For the Tier 1 entrepreneur program, the investor will be required to make a minimum investment of GBP 200,000, and manage a newly established business for at least five years.


The Bulgarian immigrant investor program is also one of the many popular European business immigration programs amongst investors and high net worth individuals. The program allows the investor to choose a fast-track option for Bulgarian citizenship; a simple route for the investor to obtain European citizenship.

The applicant is required to make a minimum investment of €511,292 to the Bulgarian government for five years. The investment is guaranteed by the Bulgarian government and will be returned in full after the required holding period.This investment option allows the immigrant investor to apply for citizenship after five years of permanent residency in Bulgaria. A financing option is available, please contact us for more information.

In order to apply for fast-track citizenship, the investor is required to double the initial investment of €511,292. The investor is then eligible to apply for Bulgarian citizenship after two and a half years of residency in Bulgaria.

The Austrian business immigration program is one of the most expensive European programs that we assist clients with. However, the program grants citizenship directly in return for an investment in the Austrian economy.

The immigrant investor has to be willing to invest a minimum of €10 millionin a new or existing business in Austria. In return, Austrian citizenship is granted to the investor and his/her immediate family after approximately 12-18 months.

The Maltese Individual Investor program (IIP) is a fairly recent business immigration program that grants citizenship to investors and their immediate families.

The immigrant investor is required to make a minimum investment of €650,000 to the National Development Fund (NDF) of Malta, as well as purchase a property worth at least €350,000.

The government of Malta first grants the immigrant investor permanent residency in Malta. After 12 months of residency, the investor is eligible to apply for Maltese citizenship.

The Spanish golden visa business immigration program started in 2013 as a means to help boost the Spanish economy, as well as provide an opportunity for International investors and high net worth individuals to gain EU residency and citizenship.

The immigrant investor is required to make a minimum investment of €500,000 in a real estate project in order to receive temporary residency in Spain. The investor is able to apply for permanent residency in Spain after five years. After 10 years of residency in Spain, the investor is eligible to apply for Spanish citizenship.

Portugal’s golden residence permit is a business immigration program that was created by the Portuguese government in 2012. The program allows business immigrants easier access to European permanent residency. The investor is able to make the required minimum investment of €500,000 by purchasing a property in Portugal. The investment must be held for a minimum period of five years in Portugal.
  • The minimum residency requirement for Portugal’s golden residence permit is seven days per year.
  • After five years of permanent residency in Portugal, investors are eligible to apply for Portuguese citizenship. 


Cyprus is one of the European countries that offers two different types of business immigration programs. Cyprus allows potential investors to choose from the permanent residency program and the citizenship by investment program.  
  • For permanent residency in Cyprus the investor is required to make an investment of €300,000 as well as deposit a minimum amount of €30,000 in a Cypriot financial institution.
  • For Cypriot citizenship the immigrant investor will need to make a minimum investment of €5 million to a Cypriot bank which needs to be kept in the account for a period of 3 years. The immigrant investor is able to receive Cypriot citizenship after 3 months of processing.
For more information on Citizenship by Investment Programs, please click here.

For more information on Residency by Investment Programs, please click here.

Feel free to fill out our Free Assessment, and find out if you qualify under any of the business immigration programs offered.

Related Programs

Citizenship by Investment in Cyprus
Citizenship by Investment in Malta
Citizenship by Investment in Malta
Spanish Golden Visa Program
Residence by Investment in Malta
Greece Residency by Investment Program
Hungarian Investment Immigration Program

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Quebec Investment Consultation and Management Services LLC
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