Published at: 17/08/2021 12:20 pm
Permanent residency by investment is not citizenship; it's a different legal status that may lead to citizenship.
In the European Union, Greece, Malta, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Latvia and Ireland offers different residency types for third-country citizens in exchange for a real estate investment.
Portugal, Spain, Latvia and Ireland offer temporary residence permits in exchange for real estate investment. In these countries, the residents can apply for a permanent residence permit and citizenship later, usually after five years. Malta is an exception, as applicants receive permanent residency.
Except for Ireland, the qualifying real estates should be residential units (apartments or houses, holiday homes, etc.) Meanwhile, in Ireland, the requisite is to invest in a REIT.
Under this Investor Visa Ireland option, applicants must invest in an Irish REIT at least two million euros. A REIT is a listed company with the aim to hold rental property to mitigate investor risk yet avoid double taxation. A REIT will typically invest in a diverse pool of real estate to minimise risk and distributes most of its profits every year.
The EU and Schengen zone member state Greece offers its permanent residence in exchange for an investment of €250,000 in residential real estate. The primary advantages of the Greek residency by investment program are the visa-free travel and stay in the Schengen zone. Moreover, the investor and the spouse, children under 21 and even the parents can receive the permanent resident status. There is no obligatory minimum time limit to stay in Greece, and you can rent out your real estate to earn money. In Greece, the residents can apply for citizenship and Greek passports after living there for seven years.
You can read here all the necessary information about the Greek Golden Visa Program!
Applicants for the Cypriot permanent residency by investment program must spend €300,000 and purchase residential real estate. Cyprus also includes the larger family (spouse, children and financially dependent parents) in the scheme.
Regarding the real estate investment, the funds you use to buy must arrive from foreign sources. Preferably you must directly sign the contract with the developer. Moreover, a bank loan is available, but at least €200,000 from the total price must be the investor's contribution. You must live seven years in Cyprus as a resident to qualify for the naturalisation process. You can read more about the Cypriot residency scheme here!
Interestingly, the two other most attractive EU countries with real estate purchase options under their residency by investment program Portugal and Spain grant temporary residence permits, but you can become a citizen after only living five years in the Iberic countries.
Note: Malta Permanent Residency Programme offered under Licence no.: AKM-DALL-21