It is not every day that you come across a visa that opens up the borders of an entire continent, but this is exactly what the Golden Visa does. It was introduced by the Portuguese government back in 2012 to attract wealthy investors from outside Europe and it has worked surprisingly well.
This blog post will help you understand more about how these visas work, so if you are thinking about applying for one then read on!
What Is A Golden Visa?
A Golden Visa is a visa that provides residency in exchange for investing at least $500,000 USD into the property in the country where it was issued. The amount varies by country and depends on how much money they want to attract from international investors.
For example, Hungary requires an investment of €250k or equivalent currency while Portugal only needs €50k euros or equivalent currency for a Mercan Golden Visa. In some countries, there are no set requirements for what you can invest but most require just one non-refundable purchase of real estate with either a value greater than €300,000 euros or above 500 square meters.
Some countries allow investments such as government bonds which have different rules about how long your investment must be held before getting citizenship; usually three to five years.
The Golden Visa offers many benefits such as:
- Citizenship within one year after obtaining residency status
- Freedom from visa restrictions when traveling within Europe under Schengen Area membership
- Access to international education programs offered by many European countries including kindergarten through university-level studies with fewer tuition fees charged for EU students enrolled in higher education institutions
- The ability to live in a diverse society with different cultures and languages
The program is an excellent opportunity for people who want to invest in real estate, have access to European citizenship, or wish to study abroad without worrying about visa restrictions under EU membership.
Why People Want To Get One
There are many reasons why someone may want to get a Golden Visa, The two main ones for people in the United States for instance are that they have enough money saved up so that they can invest at least €500,000 into the property and live there on an annual basis, or they have a relative who lives in one of these countries.
The first reason is that if you haven’t lived in Europe before then it’s difficult to qualify for residency through any other means than getting married to a European citizen and even more difficult if your family doesn’t already live inside of EU borders.
The latter reason would be used by those who wish to take care of elderly relatives outside of their home country by hosting them over while also being able to travel back and forth.
How To Apply For One
Obtaining a golden visa is not as easy as it might seem. Countries are starting to adopt more stringent requirements; Portugal requires that the applicant has invested at least 500,000 Euros in Portugal or 250,000 Euros into an approved business project.
The country also now demands proof of health insurance coverage by applicants who do not already have residency status there.
These stricter regulations may be due to recent cases where fraudsters were uncovered using fake documents and/or contacts with Portugal government representatives in order to make such investments on behalf of others without their knowledge.
To get one you’ll need proof that your wealth is legitimate; documents such as bank statements, pension plans, shares certificates, deeds of property, etc., along with evidence that you have access to sufficient funds while living abroad, such as a monthly income statement from a non-working spouse.
In order to apply for a golden visa, it is important to be aware that there are many different types and each comes with its own requirements and benefits.
The Immigrant Investor Visa
Requires applicants to have either €500 000 into real estate in their new country or at least €250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This visa is for those who want to improve their quality of life in return for an investment.
The Retirement Visa
Requires applicants to be at least 55 years old and have €400 000 invested into government bonds, or shares. They can also invest €350 000 into real estate anywhere on the Portuguese coast; this option comes with a requirement that they maintain ownership of the property during their stay (and it must remain free from any mortgages). This type of visa is good if you are looking towards retirement and wish to live close to the ocean.
The Business Investor Visa
Requires applicants to have either £200 000 into business in their new country OR £250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This visa is for those who want to set up a business and live in Portugal.
The Ph.D. Student Visa
Requires applicants to be studying, researching, or teaching at an accredited Portuguese university. This type of visa will enable you to study without any tuition fees
The Innovator’s Visa
Has not yet been released but it is expected that the requirements will include either £200 000 into research projects or £250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares).
The Entrepreneur Visa
This one is also coming soon! The entrepreneurial visa offers residence permits with minimum investments of €50k in new companies registered outside Portugal. Applicants must have control over all company decisions. The Portuguese government has been very generous in that it does not require applicants to leave Portugal for at least five years and, if they do decide to live elsewhere during this time period, they will still be able to maintain their visa status by providing proof of regular visits back home
The individual investor Visa
Requires applicants have €100k invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This is the easiest option because there are no other conditions attached to it but you should note that with all types of visas there may be restrictions on employment opportunities depending on where your investment lies. For example, an immigrant investor cannot work as a doctor while applying for residency nor can he/she take up any jobs related to Portuguese immigration.
The Immigrant Investor Visa
Requires applicants to have either €500 000 into real estate in their new country or at least €250 000 invested locally (in government bonds, stocks, or shares). This visa is for those who want to improve their quality of life in return for investing in the local country’s economy.
A Golden Visa is an opportunity to live in another country without having to go through the same visa process as everyone else. Whether you’re looking for more exotic and exciting places to visit, or if you just don’t feel at home where you currently reside – there are many reasons why someone may desire this type of immigration status.