What rights do you get when becoming an investor resident in an EU country?

Published at: 15/12/2020 10:00 am

What rights do you get when becoming an investor resident in an EU country?

Do you get compulsory and constant Schengen access? Where can you work? Does a resident permit guarantee personal safety for you and your family? Let's take a closer look.


The European Union guarantees the following rights to its citizens:


  • right to vote and to stand as a candidate at elections to the European Parliament
  • right to vote and to stand as a candidate at municipal elections
  • right to good administration
  • right of access to documents
  • European ombudsman
  • right to petition
  • freedom of movement and of residence
  • diplomatic and consular protection


As you see, some of the fundamental rights concern only citizens of the European Union (you can become a citizen of some EU countries through their new "residency by investment and fast-track to citizenship" schemes, like Malta).


Can a resident of an EU country travel freely in the European Union?


Perhaps, the freedom of movement and residence and the diplomatic protection may be the most interesting for you because EU citizens can freely move to other countries. Meanwhile, residents of the Member States can stay in other countries; their right to move and settle in another EU country is not automatic. However, as a resident in one of the 27 states will definitely help you to move elsewhere. Each EU Member State has individual immigration rules; if you wish to move to another, then you must meet these national rules.  


Does the EU guarantee your personal freedom if you invest in a residence permit?


Each extradition case is different. However, generally, the EU Member States do not extradite their residents for countries (can be their home country as well) where the residents are in danger. There are several levels in the European legal system, and during the complex and time-taking processes, you will have time and tools to prove your right.  


How can you change the country of your residence in the EU?


Investors and entrepreneurs may become residents in another EU Member States through straightforward processes. However, the exact rules and timelines will depend on the chosen country's legal system. Your company will have the right to provide services in other countries. You can register new companies, open branches, hire workforce, and pay taxes. If your business needs you there, or you have an investment (direct, for example, real estate, shop, land, etc.) then you will have the right to stay, work and live there. You have to choose carefully and obtain all the necessary information. 


How can residents in EU countries become citizens?


As always, the Member State's immigration processes differ. Moreover, there is no general EU rule or Directive on the naturalisation; it's the right of the sovereign countries to decide. Usually, residents become permanent residents, and after a custom time limit, the permanent residents may apply for the citizenship status. In 2020, perhaps Portugal offers the most straightforward naturalisation process. Holders of the Portuguese Golden Visa can become citizens after five years of resident status, and the physical presence during these years is minimal. Moreover, the new Maltese fast-track residency to citizenship program guarantees to obtain the passports fast, but the government asks for additional investments to fasten up the citizenship process. 


Notice, a resident status does not mean automatically, that the resident has the right to work or find a job on the local market. For example, the holders of a Greek Golden Visa do not have a work permit, and they are not allowed to find employment there. However, you can set up a business. 


One more vital issue to remember: citizens and resident are equally protected under the national and the EU law. 


Do you want to plan your life and career in the European Union through a residency by investment program? Ask for a free consultation here, and we will help you to understand your rights and obligations! 



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