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Investors Should Consider These Top Golden Visa Programs in 2024
December 21, 2023
Under golden visa programs, foreign nationals have the opportunity to achieve permanent or long-term residency in exchange for a specified investment in the host country. Golden visa programs are a form of residence-by-investment plan.
Many investors who wish to diversify their assets, gain access to new markets, enhance their quality of life, or obtain a second citizenship find these programs attractive. However, not all programs that offer golden visas are created equal. Certain programs may offer greater advantages and benefits than others, depending on the investor’s goals, preferences, and profile.
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How to Choose a Golden Visa Program?
This question does not have a universally applicable answer as different investors may have different goals and interests. However, some of the factors that may influence the decision are:
- Budget: Several golden visa programs have varying minimum investment requirements, ranging from as low as €250,000 to as high as €2 million or more. When selecting a program that fits their budget, the investor should consider their financial capability and risk tolerance.
- Return: The return on investment (ROI) of various golden visa programs is influenced by factors such as the nature and location of the investment, market conditions, taxation, and exit plan.
- Duration: The term “duration” in relation to the Golden Visa program refers to the time required to apply for, receive, and renew a residency permit. While some programs have long-term validity and expedited processing, others may involve lengthy processes and regular renewals.
- Mobility: The mobility benefits of various golden visa programs are determined by the host nation’s international ties and agreements. While some programs may offer more restricted travel options, others may grant visa-free or visa-on-arrival entry to over 100 countries worldwide.
- Citizenship: The naturalization laws and policies of the host country dictate the citizenship opportunities in various golden visa programs. Under certain programs, investors can apply for citizenship after a predetermined period of time, typically five to ten years, while others may not offer this option at all.
Beyond Money: Tech and Innovation in Europe
Technology and innovation are equally important as financial investment. The Golden Visa programs have expanded to include individuals with fresh perspectives and experience in these fields. In 2024, the goal is to attract individuals who can utilize innovation to support a nation’s progress alongside attracting investment.
The fact that Golden Visas can be acquired without a substantial financial commitment is one of the best-kept secrets. However, there are requirements that must be fulfilled in order to take advantage of this opportunity. It is crucial to raise awareness about the non-financial elements of this program in 2024. The Golden Visa is based on abilities, experience, and competence rather than solely financial gain. Immigration visa competition for tech talent is intensifying in the USA, UK, Australia, and New Zealand, among other countries.
Talent and Startup Visas: Parallel Option to Secure Golden Visa
Applying for a talent visa or startup visa is an additional option, along with investing in a golden visa program, to obtain a residency permit or citizenship in a foreign country. These unique visa categories are designed for highly skilled workers, inventors, business owners, and founders who have the ability to contribute to the economy, society, and culture of their new country. Foreign nationals who wish to work or start a business in one of the many IT ecosystems in Europe can apply for talent or startup visas.
For example, the French Tech Visa is a streamlined, expedited program aimed at assisting non-EU business founders, employees, and investors in obtaining a residency visa in France. The Estonian Startup Visa is intended for tech-driven businesses that provide services to millions of people, disrupt entire industries, and address significant problems. The UK, Australia, New Zealand, and the USA compete for tech talent through various talent visas and startup visas by offering immigration privileges.
Some of the Best Golden Visa Programs Analysis in 2024
Based on our analysis of various factors and criteria, we have selected some of the best golden visa programs for investors in 2024. These include:
- Greece: Greece offers one of the most appealing and reasonably priced golden visa programs in Europe. A minimum investment of €250,000 can be made in real estate, or €400,000 in shares or bonds. The residency permit has a five-year expiration date and can be renewed indefinitely as long as the investment is maintained. The investor is able to travel to 26 Schengen countries without a visa.
- Cyprus: Cyprus offers one of the most advantageous and practical golden visa programs in the world. A minimum investment of €2 million in business or funds, or €300,000 in real estate, is required. The residency permit is valid for life and does not need to be renewed. The investor is able to travel to 173 countries without a visa.
- Italy: Italy offers one of the most innovative and competitive golden visa programs in Europe. The minimum investment amount varies depending on the type and impact of the project, ranging from €250,000 to €1 million. Investing options include startups, innovation, research, culture, education, and social impact. The residence visa is valid for two years and can be renewed every three years as long as the investment is maintained and the investor stays in Italy for at least ninety days annually.
- Spain: Spain offers one of the most comprehensive and diverse golden visa programs in Europe. The minimum investment required varies from €500,000 to €2 million depending on the type of investment. The residence visa is valid for two years and can be renewed every five years as long as the investment is maintained and the investor stays in Spain for at least 183 days annually. The investor is able to travel to 26 Schengen countries without a visa. After ten years of residency, or two years if they are from a Spanish-speaking country, the investor may also apply for citizenship.
Golden visa programs offer investors a range of additional benefits and privileges, including the opportunity to obtain citizenship or a second place of residence abroad. However, selecting the best program tailored to an individual’s needs requires a comprehensive investigation of numerous factors and criteria.
These are some of the top options for investors in 2024 based on our evaluation of multiple programs. It should be noted that this is not an exhaustive list and there may be other programs that more closely align with one’s needs and preferences. Therefore, individuals should consult with a qualified immigration counselor before making any final decisions.