It is necessary to have a residence permit for a long-term stay abroad. This permit will make your visit legal and comfortable and, in some cases, provides an opportunity to obtain a passport and second citizenship. A unique program for Golden visa will help to make this happen. Such a system is common in many European countries. You can read below about the benefits of this approach to the move.
Residence permits and Golden Visa Programs are different things. The holder of a Golden Visa has a temporary residence restriction. However, despite all the privileges, this permit does not give you the right to participate in the country’s political life, elect officials, and occupy public service positions.
Pros and cons of the golden visa
As with everything, there are pros and cons to this program. Getting the gold program gives the owner some opportunities:
- travel without restrictions;
- legal stay of up to three months in the Schengen countries;
- access to European education;
- the possibility of obtaining citizenship.
However, some pitfalls are essential to work out initially. For example, the gold program has a specific validity period, after which you need to renew your documents. If you do not do it in time, your stay in the country will be considered illegal. However, to avoid this, you must keep track of the dates. Another disadvantage in some countries is the inability to include a child or other family members in the application.
Cheapest residence program in Europe
The cost of the gold program varies from country to country. However, the most affordable among European countries in 2022 are the following:
- Malta. The cost of the program in this country is 100 thousand euros. It is the cheapest golden visa program in Europe. After five years, you will be able to apply for citizenship. And you do not have to buy real estate. This country offers the possibility of renting a house. But be prepared for the fact that your 100 thousand are sunk costs, and in addition to this amount, you will need to confirm the availability of other savings or real estate worth five times the price of a golden visa.
- Greece. Here the price will be 250 thousand. The best option is the purchase of the real estate, even considering that you will need to pay all taxes, which can reach 25 thousand euros. Then, after seven years, you can apply for citizenship. However, you can get almost the cheapest golden passport only if you know Greek at least level B1.
- Latvia. A convenient and affordable golden visa costs the same as in Greece. Residency for investment has helped this country stay afloat after the global crisis. According to Zlata Erlach, an expert at Immigrant Invest, Latvia is the most affordable country in eastern Europe. However, the process of obtaining citizenship, in general, will take ten years.
- Cyprus. This wonderful country offers two golden programs at once. The first maybe not be the cheapest golden visa program, but also affordable; it costs 300 thousand euros. Investing in one or two new properties will make you a resident in just a few months. A big plus is that family members can also become residents following this program. Or there is a second option. You need to buy a property and confirm the passive income from a foreign source, starting from 10 thousand euros.
Each country offers program conditions and costs, so it is vital to study all the details. This issue is covered in more detail at immigrantinvest.com.
Requirements for obtaining a golden visa
Of course, the requirements and the required list of documents may vary from country to country, but there are general conditions for obtaining a golden visa:
- persons 18 years of age and older can obtain a visa;
- opening a local bank account;
- proof of income as well as its legitimacy;
- absence of criminal record (or expunged criminal record);
- health insurance.
If you meet the above criteria, several steps are waiting for you to obtain it. Following all the rules can shorten your preparation time for getting a residence permit.
Stages of obtaining
First, you must invest in real estate or make other possible investments. After that, the translated and notarized documents and the application are submitted to the Foreigners Office. After consideration, you receive approval for residence, and you can start your new life.
It is worth noting that it is not possible to mortgage real estate with the hope of obtaining a golden visa. Countries that offer to get a residence permit and become citizens are only interested in wealthy residents who can help the country rather than live on social benefits. Some countries do not require you to live in their territory for a long time, and you can become a citizen immediately after investing.
One such non-European country is Grenada. To obtain citizenship, you need to invest 150 thousand dollars. However, Grenada’s golden passport allows visa-free visits to hundred fifty countries. Mild tax conditions also attract foreign business people to do business on the island. Another advantage is the possibility of including family members in the citizenship application.
A golden visa is a popular way to move to another country, provided you have sufficient funds. Many experts offer their help to make the process even less stressful for you and avoid possible mistakes with the documents. And time, which you can save on processing all the paperwork, is better to devote to more pleasant concerns.