Published at: 23/09/2020 09:00 am
The permanent resident status is usually the last step before becoming a citizen of a European country. The easiest way in 2020 to become a permanent resident in an EU Member State is to purchase residential real estate through a residency by investment program.
Several European countries offer residency by investment programs, and these schemes usually provide different investment options. Capital transfer, deposit, local company registration, creation of jobs, all these solutions are waiting for High Net Worth Individuals and entrepreneurs, who wish to become European residents. Most of the residency by investment programs lead to citizenship. Naturally, the investor or resident must maintain his or her investment project (or deposit, government bonds, etc.) until a pre-determined time.
19 of the 27 EU Member States are offering resident status in exchange for some investment. There are other eleven European countries, but not the EU Member States, where you can become a resident. These countries allow you to live there or use as your jurisdiction of tax residence. However, these states are generally are not members of the Schengen area but are great locations inside the common European zone, like Switzerland, Monaco and Andorra.
Regarding permanent residency programs through investment, there are only three straightforward schemes, which offer permanent status for investors:
However, most of the other residency by investment (RIB) programs lead to a permanent residence permit and later naturalisation. Sometimes, this time frame can be even faster or takes the same time as the process of an official permanent residence program. For example, the residents under the Portuguese Golden Visa program can become citizens after five years of residency, and they have to spend only a minimal time during this period in the country (approximately two months).
In 2018, more than 670,000 EU resident became a citizen of in one of the Member States. Among them, you can find spouses, students, employed people, entrepreneurs and investors. "2.4 million immigrants entered the European Union from non-EU-27 countries in 2018. 21.8 million people (4.9 %) of the 446.8 million people living in the EU-27 on 1 January 2019 were non-EU-27 citizens", according to the official immigration site of the European Union.
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