Golden Visas EU Residency Help
You can buy anything these days — even residency or citizenship to some countries.
It’s not cheap, of course. An Austrian passport comes with a EUR 10 million price tag, for instance. But it’s big business: Two years ago, Christian Kalin, head of the residency and citizenship planning firm Henley & Partners, told the BBC that every year people from around the world spend US$2 billion adding to their passport collections.
Residency by Investment
A handful of EU countries have become magnets for these investments, granting investors residency if they invest a certain amount in real estate or country bonds, and a few of those countries have investment schemes that grant citizenship.
The benefit to foreign investors from non-EU countries — in addition to residency or citizenship — is that if the investment is made in a Schengen country (one of 26 European countries), the investor can travel throughout the entire area without visas or passports.
The so-called golden visas aren’t without controversy, writes Mark Scott of The New York Times. Economists wonder whether the schemes really are having a positive impact on local economies. Accusations of cheating arise, and one Portuguese politician says “golden visas are an insane program, because obviously they are conduits for importing organised crime into the European Union.”
On the other hand, governments from countries with struggling economies such as Greece, Cyprus and Portugal are delighted with the inflow of cash. And even big countries such as the US, Canada and the UK offer visas at a price.
The prime minister of the Caribbean island of St. Kitts and Nevis is on record about the success of its government-sponsored Citizen by Investment Program (CBI). He told Global Citizen magazine that the longest running and most established CBI program in the world “has allowed the government to attack growth from several directions.”
If you’re thinking about investing in a golden visa, Because there are so many variables involved — the destination country, the minimum investment amount, the complexity of the program itself, and the length of time it actually takes to achieve citizenship or residency status — you’ll benefit from spending a little time upfront researching the firm you’ll ultimately rely on for guidance.
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