More and more people are gaining residency in another country through Residency by Investment Programmes. These are also sometimes known as golden visa programmes. It provides High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs) the option to invest in that country in order to obtain residency rights there.
After several years of living in that particular country, it is often possible to apply for citizenship in an altogether separate process, often with added requirements, such as learning a language.
In a significant shift toward investing abroad, individuals with talent and resources are looking for platforms which do not deter them from living and enhancing business in one country. Today, being able to change residence to a suitable country or have multiple residences is an increasingly important aspect of planning for the future for certain people.
Residency by Investment Programmes
Residency by Investment (RBI) is the process of obtaining a residency in another country by investing in its economy. Investors can move to a more favourable country, and enjoy the right to live, study, work and access quality healthcare. It is known as the option of becoming a temporary or permanent resident of that country.
Additionally, it will also allow the investor to apply for permanent residence after a certain number of years, paving the path to obtaining citizenship eventually. However, permanent residence and citizenship are subject to certain conditions, such as physical residence in the country for a certain period of time, a permanent residence card and citizenship by naturalisation in the country.
Every RBI programme offers residence and eventually citizenship with the fulfilment of certain requirements which varies from one country to another.
Leading countries that offer Residency by Investment programmes
Malta Residency by Investment
The Malta Residency and Visa Programme was launched by the government to offer residency to third-country nationals that are HWNIs and contribute to the economy of the country.
With a minimum investment of €400,000, Malta offers the residence card to the investors in 1 to 3 weeks. While providing numerous benefits, the Maltese residence consisted of a chance to get visa-free entry to Schengen states, a favourable geographic location and a fully developed open market economy.
In order to gain residence in the country, the main applicant must be at least 18 years of age and should have an annual income of not less than €100,000 arising outside of Malta or possessing a capital of not less than €500,000.
The payments and contributions must be made in three investment options in order to qualify for Malta’s residency. These options are Government contribution, Investment in real estate, and Investment in bonds.
Besides this, the investors gain citizenship through its Citizenship by Investment Programme by residing in the country for one year.
Also Read: Is Malta a nice place to live?
Canada Start-Up Visa Program
The Canada Start-Up Visa Program offers permanent residence to entrepreneurs and active investors seeking to establish a presence in the country. Canada is among the world’s wealthiest countries, with a high per-capita income and a leading trade market.
It offers three options for the Investment, which are mentioned below:
- Business incubation: No minimum investment is required
- Angel investment: Raise CAD 75,000 from an angel investment group, depending on a certain stage of the business
- Venture capital fund: Raise CAD 200,000 from a venture capital fund, depending on a certain stage of the business
The process takes 12 to 31 months. After the physical presence for two out of five years in Canada, the applicants can apply for permanent residence.
Greece Golden Visa Program
Launched in 2013, the Greece Golden Visa Program is a RBI programme which offers permanent residence permits to the non-EU nationals and their family members.
The investors become eligible to obtain residence permits within 30 to 60 days and can obtain citizenship after seven years of residence. It offers visa-free travel within Europe’s Schengen area and the ability to hold shares and receives income from dividends of a company registered in Greece (but not to be employed in Greece).
The qualifying option of the program is the real estate option which requires a minimum investment of EUR 250,000. It is also required to get 10-year lease agreement for hotel accommodation or furnished tourist residences in tourist accommodation complexes.
US EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program
Since 1990, the USA government has allocated a substantial number of visas for individuals seeking to make a significant, qualified investment into the country. The program allows investors to become permanent residents of the US within a short period of time.
With an investment of US$1,050,000 into a non-targeted employment area project and US$800,000 into a targeted employment area project in a rural area or an area with high unemployment or creating 10 permanent full-time jobs for qualified USA workers, the applicants can become the resident of the country.
Besides this, applicants are also required to invest into a new commercial enterprise that is associated with government-approved regional centers.
Spanish Residency by Investment
Spanish authorities decided to grant Spanish residency to the investors for their contribution to the national economy in 2013. Applicants can obtain their residence cards without any additional requirements without any requirement of proof of their education.
Seven years later, they have an opportunity to get permanent residency in Spain. A person taking part in this programme can select one out of three options. These options range from €500,000 to €2,000,000 in investment.
It will also allow to obtain their residence card within 2 or 3 months. The eligible dependants are spouses, children and parents, and the Investment for the family is €500,000. After five years, the money invested gets recovered.
Australian Residency by Investment
Visa applicants must meet certain criteria prescribed to the appropriate visa subclass. The criteria will include either ‘at time of lodgement’ requirements, ‘at time of decision’ requirements, or a combination of both.
Visa applications may be refused if an applicant does not demonstrate that they meet the criteria at the correct time. All visa subclasses include the requirement to satisfy certain health, character, and public interest criteria.
The application processing time differs significantly depending on the visa being applied for but is generally 12 months.
Benefits of RBI programmes
Worldwide mobility: The programme offers visa-free access to many countries across the globe. Investment in the countries with RBI provides the chance to become a global citizen.
Quality of life: The countries with the programme are characterised by high living standards, excellent quality of education and healthcare. It also provides low crime rate, personal security and a stable political environment.
Business: Countries that offer RBI programmes consist of a wide range of developed markets and economy opportunities.
If you’re looking into Residency by Investment Programmes then bookmark this list for future reference!