Europe Golden Visa


Golden Visa

Europe Golden Visa

What Is a Golden Visa?

A “Golden Visa” is an immigration program that grants wealthy individuals a residence permit in a foreign country in return for a substantial investment. A “Golden Passport“, on the other hand, is a program that grants someone the citizenship and the passport of the county in which they have invested. In both instances, the investor is (usually) not required to live full-time in the country in which they have invested. To be eligible for a Golden Visa or Golden Passport in Europe, your investment should be quite large; ranging from hundreds of thousands to millions of dollars. Considering the amount of money involved and the fact the investment is in a foreign country, it can be overwhelming. Fortunately, consultancy companies, such as La Vida – Golden Visas, are a great resource when it comes to golden visa programs since they have a range of experts on hand, offering consultations on international accountancy, investment property, and residency and citizenship abroad. Most potential investors abroad will need all these experts either way, so it’s probably easier to just have them all in the same place.

European Golden Visa

You will receive a European Golden Visa if you purchase a property or make a large investment in a European country. EU Golden Visas are issued in the form of a temporary residence permit, which can be renewed continuously for as long as you maintain your investment (or until you become eligible for permanent residency). The EU Member States that issue Golden Visas or investment programs include Spain, Greece, and Malta as some of the most popular.

You do not always have to live in the EU State to keep renewing your residence permit. However, to obtain permanent residence or citizenship, most States will require actual residency

Citizenship is not guaranteed if you receive a Golden Visa. To receive citizenship in a certain EU State via a Golden Visa, you must spend a specific amount of time living there. Requirements for citizenship by investment depend on each State separately, but you are usually looking at about seven to ten years of continuous residency.

European Golden Passport

Golden Passport programs are a facilitated way of obtaining an EU passport in return for an investment. Investors who are part of Golden Passport schemes do not need to live in the EU State in which they invested to obtain citizenship, but EU citizenship is not instantaneous. For example, Portugal (which is one of the most popular Golden Passport schemes in Europe) only grants citizenship five years after the initial investment.

Portugal and Bulgaria are the only EU Member States that offer the possibility of a second passport to investors who are not full-time residents.

Requirements for a Golden Visa or Golden Passport

The eligibility requirements for a Golden Visa or Golden Passport are different from country to country but generally include the following:

  • You must own the money intended for investment
  • The money must have been acquired legally
  • You must have no history of criminal records
  • You must be able to sustain yourself and your family members for the period you intend to live in the EU State.

Do the Same Conditions Apply to Family Members?

Yes, in most cases, a Golden Visa or Passport is issued to the main investor, as well as their immediate family members (spouse and children).

How Much Investment Is Required for a Golden Visa?

The amount of money you have to invest to be eligible for a Golden Visa depends on the country.

Some countries, such as Spain, Portugal, or Greece, offer residence by investing in real estate, companies, government bonds, or certain industries in the country. In these cases, the amount of money required for investments usually does not exceed €500,000.

On the other hand, there are EU countries such as Switzerland, Italy, and Austria which require a much more active investment method, such as creating job opportunities. Investment requirements in these countries are higher.

The experts at La Vida – Golden Visas will guide you in the right direction on exactly what type of investment is the best for you.

Can You Get a Loan to Pay for a Golden Visa?

No, you cannot. If you intend to invest as a means of obtaining residency, you will need to prove that the money being invested is actually in your name, so no loans are allowed. However, if you intend to purchase a property, a mortgage may be allowed, depending on the country. You still have to pay the minimum amount of money required upfront, and for anything over the minimum required amount, you can get a mortgage or loan. But remember, the exact rules change from country to







Minimum investment






Investment options

Real estate, investment fund, or capital transfer.

Real estate, the Spanish public debt, or company investment.

Real estate, capital transfer, or investment bonds.

National development fund.

Private equity funds, venture capital funds, real estate investment companies, stocks/shares.

Residency requirements to renew  residence permit

Seven to fourteen days per year.

No residency requirements

No residency requirements.

No residency requirements.

No residency requirements.


After five years. No residency requirements.

After ten years of residency.

After seven years of residency.

After one year of residency.

After 18 months. No residency requirements.

Family members included






Investment holding time

At least five years.

At least five years.

At least five years.

At least five years.

4 – 6.5 years, depending on the investment.

Visa-free travel to the EU/Schengen Zone






country, so this may not always be true.

Which EU Countries Offer Golden Visas and Investment Schemes?

EU countries that offer Golden Visas, Golden Passports, and other residency-by-investment schemes are:

Comparison between the most popular EU Golden Visa programs