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Golden Visa programs offer extended travel mobility as well as residency and potential citizenship. According to the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service, a total of 9,340 investors obtained residency through investment in Portugal.
The data belong to the dates between October 2012 and November 2020. Similarly, a total of 7,903 investors obtained residency in Greece, according to Enterprise Greece.
The official agency of the Greek State has provided the data belonging to the dates between 2013 and September 2020.
What is a Golden Visa program?
A Golden Visa program is a residency by investment program. Some countries like Portugal and Greece offer these programs to investors. They are available only for non-EU/EEA/Swiss citizens. The process to get a Golden Visa is quite straight. As an investor, you invest in a certain area in the country, and then obtain residency and potentially citizenship in the next steps.
How can a business person benefit from a Golden Visa?
One of the best parts of Golden Visa programs is the freedom of mobility between countries. Especially in this period of the pandemic, this has become the most important aspect for business people.
As CBI (Citizenship by Investment) Index indicates, “Before the Covid-19 crisis, investors looked to second citizenship as a platform from which to dive head-on into a world of greater interaction, travel, and globalization. Mobility rights took, almost inevitably, center-stage.
However, by blocking international travel, the Covid-19 pandemic has had the effect of reminding investors and the wider world of the fundamental importance of ‘home’. In other words, Covid-19 has shifted investor priorities, refocusing them on places that are healthy, pleasant, and welcoming.”
In this respect, the importance of Golden Visa programs has emerged.
Let’s now look at the example of the Portugal Golden Visa program and how you can benefit from its mobility rights. Following your investment and application of your Golden Visa, you obtain the right to visa-free travel within Schengen countries. This is one of the immediate rights you can benefit from.
The Portugal Golden Visa program requires you to stay in the country for seven days a year on average. After you successfully fulfill the stay requirement, you can get permanent residency and citizenship at the end of five years. In this case, you can travel visa-free to a total of 186 countries.
Furthermore, you and your family can live, work, or study in any EU country. In this way, you will not be bound to only one country.
In this way, you will have an alternative if you face any difficulty in your country of origin. Golden Visa programs are also quite favorable because you can also expand your business in these countries or in any EU country in the case of citizenship.
Portugal Golden Visa’s investment fund option is gaining popularity
An investment fund is an option for business people. It has been in effect in Portugal since 2018. Although it is quite new, it has attracted many foreign investors. This is one of the investment options to obtain a Golden Visa Portugal. It is also quite affordable. You only need to invest at least €350,000 in a start-up or a project with strong growth potential.
This can be a good investment option because several authorities consider Portugal as a growing market in terms of technology and startup.
As the 2020 EY Attractiveness Survey indicates: “In 2018 alone, Porto was noted as the “Best Startup-Friendly City of Europe” by the World Business Angels Investment Forum as well as Europe’s third fastest-growing tech hub, in Atomico’s State of European Tech report for that year.” Also, “FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) projects in the digital sector nearly tripled in 2019… with the sector retaining its leadership position.”
If your priority is not living in Portugal but an investment, then the Portugal golden visa fund investment option may serve well as an affordable option.
Greece offers no stay requirement for Golden Visa
Greece Golden Visa required the lowest investment amount for residency in Europe, when the minimum amount was a €250,000 investment for real estate, but it has increased to €500 000 since September 2022. In addition to this, Greece does not require you to stay in the country at all. Furthermore, you can renew your residency every five years.
Travel mobility is also available through Greece Golden Visa. Like Portugal, Greece also grants you the right to visa-free travel within Schengen countries. In the case of citizenship, you can travel visa-free to a total of 184 countries. However, there is no record of investors obtaining citizenship yet.
The reason is that it is relatively a recent program, and citizenship requires at least seven years of residency. Still, Golden Visa in Greece can be suitable for you in terms of its low investment requirement and no stay requirement.