Best Citizenships

50 Best Golden visa schemes

Golden visa

Golden visa schemes offer a residence status to foreign investors against an investment . These schemes usually offer a path to future citizenship usually after some years of legally living. Most schemes do not require investors to live or move permanently in the country.

Golden visa schemes should not be confused with citizenship by investment (golden passport) schemes as golden visas only offer residence rights and not immediate citizenship.

Several terms to describe golden visa schemes, they are commonly known as

  • Gold visas
  • Residence by investment schemes (RBI)
  • Investor visas (IV)
  • Immigrant investor programs (IIP)

The most popular investment options for golden visas are

  • Real estate investment
  • Government bonds or stocks (locked for 5 years)
  • Business investment with job creation

Golden visa schemes added over $80 billion FDI  into countries running these schemes.

CountryLaunched Golden Visa Investment*
United States1990$35.5 billion
Canada1986C$16.0 billion
Australia2012A$ 10.1 billion
United Kingdom1994£4.7 billion
Portugal2012€4.0 billion
Greece2014€1.0 billion
Spain2013€3.0 billion
New Zealand2009N$ 2.9 billion
Ireland2012€0.2 billion
Malta2014 €1.0 billion
Cyprus2013€4.8 billion
Latvia2010€1.9 billion
Bulgaria2009€0.17 billion

* Approx estimated figures

Let us take a quick look at some 50 countries offering golden visa schemes to foreign investors.

1. United Kingdom

UK investor visa

  • UK golden visa schemes remains attractive despite brexit and falling value of pound.
    • UK tier1 innovator visa for foreigners £100,000 (PR in 5 years)
    • UK tier1 investor visa (£2,000,000) in bonds or businesses (PR 5 year)
    • UK tier1 investor visa (£5,000,000) in bonds or businesses (PR 2 years)
    • UK tier1 investor visa (£5,000,000) in bonds or businesses (PR 1 year)
  • Permanent resident status (ILR) after five years of living without absence
  • UK citizenship after 6 years of living with PR status
  • United Kingdom has 6th powerful passport in the world with visa free access to 186 nations in 2018

2. Portugal

  • Portugal ARI/Golden visa scheme launched in Oct, 2012
  • Most popular European golden visa scheme
  • Golden visa residence permit for investment activity (€350,000 property) or Business (€250,000)
  • Permanent residence after five years
  • Golden visa offers fath to portuguese Citizenship after five or six years.
  • Portugal has the fifth powerful EU passport in the world with visa free travel to 186 countries
  • Free movement in the schengen area
  • No requirement to live in the country except visit for one or two weeks
  • Portugal golden visa scheme most popular in China, Brazil, South Africa and Turkey

Portugal golden visa

3. Malta

  • Malta Golden visa (MRV) and Citizenship by investment scheme (IIP)
  • Malta Residency Visa Programme (€250,000 Government bond/stocks) offers permanent residency
  • Malta Individual Investor Programme (€900,000) offers citizenship to foreign investors
  • Family and children  qualify
  • Maltese passport 7th powerful in the world with visa free access to 183 countries in the world
  • Malta is a EU member state and member of Schengen area

Malta Golden Visa

4. United States

  • EB-5 is the oldest and most popular golden visa scheme in the world since its launch in the 1990.
  • EB-5 immigrant investor visa for creating jobs ($500,000 onwards)
  • Permanent residence (green card) after five years of living
  • US citizenship after five years of uninterrupted living
  • US passport fifth powerful in the world with visa free access to 186 countries

US Golden visa

5. Ireland

  • Ireland golden visa scheme known as IIP immigrant investor
  • Immigrant investor program (EUR  500,000 donation or EUR 1 million in enterprises, investment fund, real estate trusts)
  • High Potential Start-Up (HPSU) (EUR 1 million plus create 10 jobs)
  • Permanent residence after 5 years
  • Irish citizenship/passport after 5-6 years
  • Ireland passport 6th powerful in the world with visa free access to 185 nations.

Ireland golden visa

6. Moldova

  • Moldova Citizenship by investment scheme opened in 2018.  No golden visa scheme in Moldova
  • Donation to Government fund (EUR 100,000) plus fees, or EUR 250,000 in real estate or bonds
  • Moldova passport has visa free travel to 122 countries, ranks 46th powerful passport
  • Moldova actively pursues EU membership in the future
  • No requirement to live in Moldova after citizenship
  • Family and children acquire lifetime citizenship through investment

Moldova citizenship by investment

7. Greece

  • Golden visa scheme property investment (EUR 250,000)
  • Strategic investment activity (minimum EUR 250,000)
  • Permanent residence permit for investor and family
  • Greek citizenship after 7 years of legal living
  • Greece has 7th powerful passport with visa free travel to 183 countries.
  • EU member state and Schengen area member
Greece golden visa

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwarddalmulder/

8. Montenegro

  • New citizenship by investment scheme launched in 2019
  • Montenegro Special Citizenship by Admission Program (MSCAP)
    • €250,000 in real estate plus €100,000 state fee for citizenship
    • €450,000 in hotel or tourism in Podgorica plus fees
  • Permanent residency issued in 3 weeks
  • Montenegrin citizenship within 6 months
  • Montenegrin passport has visa free travel to 123 countries, ranks 45th best passport in the world
  • Montenegro is a candidate country for EU membership in 2025 and Schengen area in the future.

Montenegro citizenship by investment

9. Cyprus

  • Cyprus golden visa + citizenship by investment scheme
  • Golden visa scheme offers permanent residence  (EUR 300,000 in real estate)
  • Citizenship by investment scheme (EUR 2 million in real estate or government bonds)
  • Cypriot has 16th powerful passport in the world with visa free access to 173 nations (Canada, UK, EU etc)
  • Cyprus is a EU member state

Cyprus citizenship by investment and golden visa

10. Spain

  • The Spanish golden visa scheme launched in 2013
  • Golden visa scheme requires €500,000 property investment, €2 million in Government debts/bonds, €1 million in businesses
  • Permanent residence after five years
  • Citizenship after 10 years for most countries, reduced to three years for spanish speaking country nationals.
  • Spain passport 4th powerful in the world with visa free travel to 187 countries

Spain golden visa

11. Canada

  • Canada golden visa scheme existed since 1986
  • Quebec immigrant investor program ($1.2m)
  • Provincial entrepreneur program ($200,000 or more)
  • Canadian citizenship after 3 years of living.
  • Canada has sixth powerful passport in the world with visa free travel to 185 countries

Canada golden visa

12. Australia

Australia offers residence by investment schemes for business innovation and investment.

  • Investor stream (A$ 1 million)
  • Significant investor visa (A$5 million)
  • Premium investor visa (A$15 million)
  • Entrepreneur/Business visa for entrepreneur activities
  • Australian citizenship after four years (permanent resident for 2 years)
  • Australia passport ranked 7th powerful passport with visa free access to 183 nations.

Australia golden visa

13. Italy

  • Italy golden visa scheme
    • Startup investor visa (€500,000) issued for two years
    • Italian companies investment (€ 1 million)
    • Italian government bonds (€ 2 million)
    • Philanthropic donations (€ 1 million)
  • Permanent residence after 5 years
  • Italian citizenship after ten years of legal residence in Italy
  • Italy has 4th powerful passport in the world with visa free travel to 187 countries

Italy golden visa

14. Singapore

  • Global investor program for investors and entrepreneurs (SG$ 1.5 million) with permanent residence
  • Citizenship after eight years of living
  • Singapore has second powerful passport in the world with 189 visa free destinations.
  • Singapore does not allow dual citizenship

Singapore golden visa

15. Cayman Islands

  • Cayman golden visa scheme
  • Cayman Islands is a British overseas territory (BOT)
  • Permanent residence scheme for independent persons $2.4 million invested in real estate
  • Residence certificate for $1.2 million invested in real estate
  • BOTC (British overseas territory citizenship) after 5 years of living

Cayman islands

16. Turkey

  • Turkey citizenship by investment + permanent residence program
  • Real estate property investment ($250,000) or Government bonds or business ($500,000) qualifies for citizenship.
  • Turkey is not part of EU and schengen area
  • Turkey passport has visa free travel to 111 countries ranks 51st best passport in the world
  • Turkey is one of the biggest economies of Eurasia.

Turkey golden visa citizenship

17. Bahamas

  • Economic permanent residency program (fast track)
  • Invest BS$1.5 million (US$1.5m) in property (home) for residence
  • Bahamian citizenship after 6-9 years
  • Bahamas passport ranks 23rd best passport in the world with visa free access to 155 countries.

Bahamas golden visa

18. Anguilla

  • Anguilla golden visa scheme launched in 2018.  This scheme known as Anguilla  Residence by investment program in 2018 offers path to British overseas territory passport
  • Anguilla is a British overseas territory (BOT) in the caribbean
  • Donation of $150,000 to Capital fund or Real estate investment $750,000
  • Permanent resident status with path to BOTC citizenship after five years of uninterrupted residence

Anguilla golden visa

19. Latvia

  • Golden visa scheme offers residency to foreign investors
  • Real estate investment (€250,000 plus 5% state fee)
  • Interest free government bonds (€250,000)
  • Permanent settlement card after five years
  • Citizenship after 9 years of legal residence
  • Latvia passport ranks 11th powerful in the world, with visa free to 179 countries (US, UK, Canada, Europe)

Latvia golden visa

20. Bahrain

  • Self Sponsorship Residence Permit issued to foreign retirees,  foreign property owners and the foreign investor.
  • Property investment BHD 50,000 ($130,000) or more
  • Foreign investors must invest BHD 100,000 ($265,000) or more
  • Ten year investor visas with 100% foreign ownership.
  • Foreigners ineligible for citizenship

Bahrain golden visa

21. Brazil

  • Brazil offers golden visa for business or property investment
  • Foreign investor scheme R$ 500,000 (USD 125,000)
  • Brazil property investment
    • BRL 1 million (USD 260,000)  in urban areas (new or existing properties)
    • BRL 700,000 (USD 180,000)  in North or North-east region
  • Business Investment: R$ 600,000 (brazil company)
  • Permanent residence after 5 years
  • Brazil citizenship after four years of residence in Brazil.
  • Brazil passport ranks 16th powerful passport with visa free access to 161 countries.

Brazil golde nvisa

22. Bulgaria

  • Golden visa Permanent residence scheme EUR 512,000 (Government bonds)
  • Bulgaria citizenship by investment EUR 1 million (after 1 year)
  • Bulgaria passport ranks 18th best passport in the world has visa free travel to Canada, UK, Europe, Australia etc. total of 169 countries
  • Bulgaria has EU membership and currently in the process of joining the Schengen area

Bulgaria golden visa

23. Jersey

  • Jersey residence program
  • Investor scheme £2 million
  • High value resident £1.75 million in a property
  • Permanent residence after 5 years of living.
  • Jersey passport is a British passport issued

Jersey golden visa

24. New Zealand

  • New Zealand golden visa is the choice for UHNW investors
  • Entrepreneur residence visa (N$ 500,000 or US$350,000)
  •  Business Investor visa (Investor 2) N$ 3 million or US$ 2m
  • Business Investor visa (Investor 1) N$ 10 million  or US$ 7m
  • Acceptable investments: Bonds, Equities in companies, Properties non personal use
  • Permanent residence after two years of living.
  • New Zealand citizenship after five years of residence.
  • New Zealand has 8th powerful passport with visa free travel to 182 countries in 2018

New Zealand

25. Cambodia

  • Citizenship by investment scheme
  • Scheme requires donation USD 250,000 cash to the economy of Cambodia or USD 1.5 business investment
  • Khmer Citizenship by investment program Article 12 Cambodian Law of Nationality 1996
  • Cambodia permits dual citizenship
  • Cambodia also offers entry level e-visa option for tourists
  • Cambodia passport ranks 87th in the world with visa free access to only 54 countries

Cambodia golden visa and citizenship

26. Sint Maarten

  • Sint Maarten is an island country in the Caribbean and a territory of Netherlands
  • Investors permit issued for property or business for NAG 900,000 or USD 500,000)
  • Permanent residence after five years of residence
  • Dutch citizenship after five years of living (Dutch nationality law)

Sint Maarten Golden visa

27. Turks and Caicos Islands

  • T&C is a British overseas territory (BOT)
  • Permanent residence issued for purchase of $300,000 home or $750,000 in business enterprise
  • Citizenship after physically present in the Turks and Caicos Islands 5 years before the application date
  • British overseas territory citizenship and passport (BOTC) after five years of legally living

Turks and Caicos islands

28. Antigua & Barbuda

  • Antigua golden visa + citizenship by investment in the Caribbean
  • Antigua golden visa offers permanent residence rights (must have annual income of $100,000 and spend 30 days a year)
  • Citizenship by investment scheme requires ($100,000 NDF donation or $400,000 real estate)
  • Antigua passport ranks 27th powerful passport with visa free access to 150 countries (UK, Europe etc)
Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment

Antigua & Barbuda – English Harbour – Source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andryn2006/

29. Macau (China)

  • Macau golden visa
  • Macau Investment residency scheme (MOP 1 million capital or US$125,000)
  • Temporary residency for investors (hotels, manufacturing, services etc..)
  • Permanent resident status in Macau after continuously living for 7 years.
  • Macau passport is the 33rd best passport in the world with visa free travel to 144 countries. (UK, Europe etc)

Macau Golden visa

30. Barbados

  • Special entry and residence permit valid for indefinite time
  • HNW investors with $5 million in assets
  • Retired property owners can qualify
  • Permanent resident status after 5 years.
  • Barbados citizenship after 7 years of living by registration
  • Barbadoes passport ranked 61st in world rankings with visa free access to 161 countries.

Barbados golden visa

31. Maldives

  • Maldives investor visa for investors valid for five years
  • Investment Investors with USD 50 million or more invested in Maldives
  • Bank deposit: Investors maintain a bank deposit of USD 1 million at Maldivian bank for a period of not less than 2 years or who has invested in a financial security
  • Real estate: investors who have invested at least USD 1 million in a real estate, approved by the government authorities.
  • Maldives citizenship after five years of living.
  • Maldivian has 58th powerful passport with visa free access to 87 countrie

Maldives golden visa

32. Czech Republic

  • Czech golden visa scheme
  • Significant investment visa (CZK 75 million or USD 3.2 million)
  • Long term residence permit for investors  with family
  • Permanent residence after five years of living
  • Citizenship after 10 years of living
  • Czech passport ranked 8th powerful passport in the world with visa free access to 182 world countries including US, Canada, Mexico, Europe, UK etc..

Czech Golden visa

33. Luxembourg

  • Luxembourg golden visa scheme
  • EUR 500,000 in a new business or Investment funds (EUR 3 million) or Bank Deposit ( EUR 20 million) for five years
  • Investors permit issued for maximum of three years.
  • Permanent residence after five years
  • Citizenship after five years of living (knowledge of luxembourgish language)
  • Luxembourg passport 5th powerful in the world with 185 visa free destinations

Luxembourg golden visa

34. Dominica

  • Golden passport / Citizenship by investment scheme in the Caribbean
  • Dominica has Citizenship by investment scheme (CBI) since 1993
  • Donation to Government fund ($100,000) or Real estate ($200,000)
  • Instant citizenship and passport to family within six months
  • No requirement to live in the country
  • Dominica passport ranked 37th powerful passport to 137 visa free countries (EU, UK etc..)

Dominica citizenship

35. Egypt

  • Egypt golden visa scheme known as “Deposit Residence by investment” scheme
  • Deposit EGP 7 million Egyptian pounds (US$391,000) in local Egyptian banks
  • Scheme offers path to Egyptian citizenship after 5 years
  • Egyptian passport has visa free travel to only 49 visa free destinations

Egypt golden visa

36. St Kitts & Nevis

  • Citizenship by investment in the Caribbean
  • St Kitts Citizenship by investment (CBI) for $150,000 (SGF donation) or $200,000 (real estate held for 7 years)
  • Popular and oldest citizenship by investment in the world since 1983
  • No requirement to visit the country.
  • St Kitts also offers permanent residency to property investors
  • St Kitts passport ranks 27th powerful passport with visa free access to 151 countries.

St kitts and nevis citizenship by investment

37. Grenada

  • Citizenship by investment + Permanent residence in the Caribbean
  • Donation to Government fund ($150,000 onwards)
  • Real estate investment ($350,000)
  • Grenadian passport has visa free access to 144 countries, ranks 33rd best passport in the world.

Grenada Citizenship by Investment

38. Hong Kong

  • HKSAR Entrepreneur investor program
  • Startup visa for businesses
  • No minimum investment specified
  • Nationals of China, Korea, Vietnam, Afghanistan, Laos, Nepal cannot apply
  • Permanent settlement after 7 years of living
  • HKSAR citizenship after 7 years of settlement status
  • Hong Kong passport ranks 17th powerful passport with visa free access to 170 countries worldwide.

Hong Kong golden visa

39. Malaysia

  • MM2H Investor Residency program (My Second Home)
  • Investors: Financially capable of RM500,000 ($120,000) liquid assets and offshore income of RM10,000 per month (below 50 years)
  • Retirees: financial proof of RM350,000 ($85,000) in liquid assets and offshore income of RM10,000 per month.
  • Investors qualify for 10 year multiple entry visa
  • Malaysia has 10th powerful passport in the world with visa free access to 180 countries (UK, Europe etc)
  • Foreign nationals who have lived in Malaysia continuously for 5 years, can apply for permanent residency.
  • Citizenship to foreigners who have lived more than ten years.

Malaysia golden visa

40. Mauritius

  • Investor Residence permit ($100,000)
  • Real estate  investment permit ($500,000)
  • Permanent residence after three years
  • Citizenship after five continuous years of living
  • Mauritius passport has visa free travel to 58 countries

Mauritius golden visa

41. Monaco

  • Monaco, the smallest country in Europe, known as the  city of millionaires
  • €1 million Business capital transfer in a Monaco company
  • €1 million real estate purchase
  • €500,000 in a bank deposit and €500,000 property purchase
  • Permanent residence after five years
  • Monegasque citizenship after ten years of living
  • Monaco passport is rare and 14th powerful passport with 174 visa free countries

Monaco golden visa

42. The Netherlands

  • Netherland golden visa scheme for foreign investors
  • Foreign investor scheme requires capital investment of €1.25 million in Dutch companies
  • Residence permit issued for three years
  • Permanent residence card after five years of legally living
  • Netherlands citizenship after six years
  • Dutch passport is fifth best in the world with  visa free travel to 186 countries

Netherlands golden visa

43. San Marino

  • San Marino is the third smallest country in Europe landlocked by Italy
  • Economic Residence by investment scheme (elective residency) limited quota for 50 per year
  • Property investment of €500,000
  • Sammarinese Government bonds € 600,000 for 10 years (non-interest bearing)
  • Residency for economic reasons (create 3 jobs and guarantee  € 75,000 deposit)
  • Reside in in the territory of San Marino for a minimum of 10 years for citizenship
  • San marino passport ranks 19th powerful in the world with 168 visa free destinations (US, Canada, UK, Ireland, Australia etc).

San Marino golden visa

44. South Korea

  • South Korea golden visa
  • Immigrant investor scheme  with F-2 resident status (KRW 500 million ($450,000) in public deposit fund or development projects)
  • Immigrant Investor Scheme for Real Estate (IISRE) with minimum KRW 500 million
  • F-5 permanent resident status after five years of maintaining the investment.
  • Naturalize for citizenship after five years.
  • South Korean passport ranks #3rd powerful passport in the world with visa free access to 188 destinations.

South Korea Golden visa

45. St Lucia

  • St Lucia citizenship by investment scheme
  • Citizenship by investment for $100,000 (donation) or $300,000 (real estate) or $500,000 (government bonds)
  • Permanent residence status issued to property investors.
  • No requirement to live in the country.
  • Family and children qualify for lifetime citizenship and passport
  • St Lucia has 31st best passport in the world with visa free travel to 146 countries (EU, UK, Ireland etc)

St Lucia citizenship by investment

46. Andorra

  • Passive Residence by investment scheme
  • €400,000 in Property, bank deposit, Government debt securities/bonds (subjected to immigration quota’s).
  • Permanent residence after five years
  • Citizenship after 20 years of living
  • Andorra passport is rare, ranks 19th powerful passport, with visa free access to 168 countries including US, Canada.

Andorra golden visa

47. Samoa

  • Samoa offers Citizenship by investment scheme for SAT $4 million ( USD 1.5 million )
  • CBI scheme launched in 2017
  • Foreign investors qualify for immediate permanent residence including family
  • Citizenship issued after 3 years with PR status
  • Samoa has 40th best passport in the world with visa free travel to 129 countries (Canada, Europe, UK, Russia etc)

Samoa citizenship by investment

48. Thailand

  • Thailand has the cheapest golden visa scheme in Asia.
  • Non-Immigrant Visa Category “IB” (Investment and Business Visa)
  • Thailand Elite Residence Visa  costs $15,000 (issued for 5 years) or $32,000 (issued for 20 years)
  • Naturalize for citizenship after five years of living in Thailand
  • Thailand passport has visa free travel to 77 countries in the world

Phuket Thailand

49. United Arab Emirates

  • UAE Golden visa card scheme launched in 2018
  • Property Investment: AED 5 million  ($1.36 million) will receive five year residence visa
  • Business Partnerships: AED 10 million ($2.7 million) will receive ten year residence visa renewed every ten years
  • Entrepreneurs: AED 500,000 ($136,000) will receive five year visa
  • Permanent residence, citizenship or passport not possible for foreigners
  • UAE passport has visa free travel to 161 countries in the world.
UAE dubai golden ivsa

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/huskyte/

50. Vanuatu

  • Pacific citizenship by investment program
  • DSP or contribution option  ($160,000)
  • Golden visa known as Land owner residence visa (property for VUV 10 million or USD 88,000)
  • Vanuatu passport has visa free travel to 129 countries (UK, schengen etc) ranking 40th powerful in the world.
Vanuatu citizenship by investment

Port Vila, Vanuatu

 

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