Residency vs Citizenship by Investment


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Residency by investment and citizenship by investment programs have become very popular in recent years. While one of them offers residency in a certain country, the other offers citizenship. The very common feature of both programs is that you invest to become a resident or citizen.

Residency vs Citizenship by Investment

Residency by investment is also known as Golden Visa. Portugal, Greece, and Spain provide European residency through their Golden Visa programs. The process of residence by investment is quite straightforward. You can become a Golden Visa resident within six months on average.

Investor citizenship is provided by several countries around the world. Countries providing citizenship by investment include:

  • Malta
  • Turkey
  • St. Kitts and Nevis
  • Dominica
  • Antigua and Barbuda

Such investment programs enable you to access many other advantages besides residency and citizenship. You can review each benefit below.

Advantages of Residency by Investment

Residency by investment programs provide you with a temporary residence right when you complete your application. They may also require you to stay in the country for some time each year. Depending on the country’s regulations, you can renew your residence permit after this period. Finally, you can apply for permanent residence or citizenship.

With a resident permit, you can work, study and run a business in the country you’ve invested in. Usually, you can apply for citizenship or permanent residency after five years of qualified residency.

Golden Visa countries also allow you to travel to Schengen countries without requiring any visa.

In some cases, you’re exempt from some taxes such as gift, inheritance, and capital gains tax. Countries like Portugal may also offer you additional taxation programs for your benefit.

Advantages of Citizenship by Investment

Citizenship by investment provides you with a very fast process to get a second citizenship. While a typical naturalization process takes years, country citizenship by investment provides citizenship in around six months. Dependent family members can become citizens like you as well.

These programs also allow you to get dual citizenship. This means that you don’t have to renounce your original citizenship. This is applicable if your home country allows this.

Common Benefits of Both Residency and Citizenship by Investment

The countries offering an investment visa have high living standards. In addition, they’re safe countries in many aspects. Amenities like the education system are also very developed in these countries. These qualities have importance if you especially move with your family.

In most cases, your spouse and dependent children can apply to the same program with you. They have access to all the benefits you have.

Investment visa programs also introduce you to the business environment in the country. In this way, you can also join an international business network as well.

How To Be Eligible To Apply For an Investment Visa

There are some basic qualities you need to own to apply for an investment visa. These are:

  • Holding a clean criminal record
  • Demonstration of the source of your investment fund
  • Making an investment that meets the application requirements

Investment options differ from one country to another. Some popular investment options include real estate investment, capital transfer, or investment in government funds.

List of the Countries Providing an Investment Visa

Also known as Golden Visa countries, residency by investment countries are:

  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Spain

You can apply to these countries if you’re a non-European citizen. EEA or Switzerland citizens can’t apply either. They require very short residence requirements to maintain your residence permit. In fact, Greece doesn’t obligate you to stay in the country at all.

Portugal Golden Visa requires a minimum investment of €280,000. Depending on your choice of investment, the minimum required amount will increase. The minimum amount Greece requires is also €250,000. Spain requires a minimum investment amount of €500,000.

All three countries have real estate investment options.

Citizenship by investment countries require relatively less amount of investment compared to Golden Visa programs. Usually, most of them don’t require any residence requirement. They also allow you to apply with your spouse, dependent children, and parents. Some of them also let you include your grandparents as well.

The minimum investment requirements of citizenship by investment programs are as follows:

  • Turkey: $250,000
  • Malta: $690,000
  • St. Kitts and Nevis: $150,000
  • Antigua and Barbuda: $100,000
  • Dominica: $100,000.

Both residency and citizenship by investment bring opportunities for mobility and many other rights. Become a resident or citizen in your dream country only within months.


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