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Portugal Golden Visa 2024: where to get the best one

For those with enough money, purchasing residency in another country becomes possible. Several countries offer “golden visas,” and some even provide full citizenship through “golden passports.” The cost varies significantly; some visas cater exclusively to the wealthy, while others come at more affordable rates.

What’s a golden visa?

Often called a “residence by investment program,” a golden visa allows individuals to obtain temporary or permanent residency in a country, enabling them to live and work there. In some cases, buyers don’t even need to reside full-time in the country, making these visas a practical backup plan for those who want the option of traveling to these places without the intention of permanent relocation.

Are golden visas new? Why are they popular?

Some programs have existed for decades, providing a way for governments to raise funds and encourage foreign investment. For example, during the European debt crisis, golden visas gained popularity as several countries began selling residency to attract foreign money and address budget deficits. Countries like Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Hungary adopted these programs after receiving bailouts from the European Union and International Monetary Fund.

For instance, Portugal started offering golden visas in 2012 to non-EU nationals willing to invest at least €500,000 ($537,000) in property, a fund, or a company that creates jobs. Later, they reduced the property investment requirement to €350,000. In 2013, Greece, Spain, and Hungary launched their own golden visa programs, offering residence permits in exchange for real estate investments. These programs also grant the right to travel freely across many EU countries.

How hard is it to get a golden visa now?

While in Portugal, purchasing residential real estate no longer qualifies for a golden visa, some options remain. Investors can still qualify by investing in a qualified investment fund worth at least €500,000, participating in scientific research activities, or investing in the share capital of a company that creates five jobs or maintains ten jobs.

Additionally, in March, Greece announced plans to increase the minimum investment amount for foreign property buyers to secure a golden visa to €400,000, thus remaining an option for those who can meet the higher threshold.

Meanwhile, the cost of obtaining citizenship-by-investment is rising in the Caribbean, where such programs constitute more than half the national revenue for some small island nations. Some Caribbean passports allow visa-free travel to the UK and EU through bilateral agreements, which raises concerns among European regulators that these schemes might serve as a gateway for criminals. Consequently, European governments are pressuring Caribbean nations to restrict these programs.

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