There are a number of countries in Europe which offer the Golden Investor Visa Programs. The Golden Visa Program leads to residency and potential citizenship through investment.
Each country has substantial differences and hence there are changes to each individual program.
The Portugal Golden Visa Program requires an investment of 500,000 Euros in real estate in Portugal. Doing so may help you gain a Portuguese residency permit for yourself and your family. The applicant needs to spend at least 2 weeks in the country every two years for renewal of the Golden Visa.
Spain too requires an investment of 500,000 Euros in real estate to gain residency. The Spanish Golden Visa can also be renewed after every 2 years. You may gain Permanent Residency after 5 years and citizenship after 10. You do not need to live in Spain in order to retain or renew the residency permit.
The Golden Visa Program of Cyprus requires you to invest 2 million Euros leading to citizenship.
You can gain Irish residency by investing 1 million Euros through Ireland’s Golden Visa Program.
Europe has welcomed 6,000 citizens and almost 100,000 residents in the past decade through this program. Spain, Latvia, Portugal, Hungary, and the UK have granted the most number of Golden Visas. These countries are closely followed by Malta, Cyprus, and Greece.
The Golden Visa Program means big business for Europe. Foreign direct investment of around 25 billion Euros has flowed into the European Union in the last decade.
There is huge money involved in these programs. The European countries claim that they have put in checks for money laundering. As per Transparency.org, countries have also put in checks for corrupt and illegal origins of the investment amount.