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How to obtain a residence permit through investment

It is possible to permanently live, run a business or work abroad by investing in a country that grants residence permits through investment.

Minimum amount
Australia A$1.5 million
Andorra €350,000
Bulgaria 600,000 lev
United Kingdom £2 million
Germany
Hong Kong HK$10 million
Greece €250,000
Ireland €500,000
Spain €500,000
Cyprus — (Temporary Resident Visa) €300,000 (Long Term Residence Permit)
Costa Rica US$200,000
Latvia €250,000
Malta €270,000 to €320,000
New Zealand NZ$1.5 million
Panama US$300,000
Portugal €250,000
Singapore S$2.5 milliontd>
United States US$500,000
France €10 million
Switzerland SFr400,000
Estonia €65,500

Australia

An Australian residence permit can be obtained by investing at least A$1.5 million (€1.02 million) in the country´s economy. The minimum investment amount varies by the type of investment and can be A$1.5 million (Investor), A$5 million (Significant Investor) or A$15 million (Premium Investor). The visa is issued for 4 years and 3 months. After this period, investors can apply for permanent residence and for citizenship in another 5 years, which can be held concurrently with Russian citizenship. Australian passport holders can visit 167 countries visa-free.

Andorra

An Andorran residence permit can be obtained by investing €350,000 in local property, a company registered in the country, or public bonds. In addition, applicants must deposit €50,000 for themselves and €10,000 for each dependant at the Andorran National Institute of Finance (INAF). An official annual income of at least €36,000 and €12,000 per dependant family member is required. Residence permit holders must spend at least 90 days per annum in Andorra. Ownership or lease of a residential property is also required to qualify for this status. Residence permit holders can travel and live in Spain and France, and qualify for a current account with a bank in this offshore financial centre.

Bulgaria

As of 19 February 2013, a Bulgarian residence permit can be obtained by buying real estate worth at least 600,000 lev (€300,000). The ownership can be personal or through a legal entity where the applicant holds at least 50% equity. Investors can apply for long-term residence after 5 years of holding a short-term residence permit if not absent from European Union (EU) territory for more than 10 months in total, or 6 consecutive months.

United Kingdom

Investors can obtain a UK residence permit by investing at least £2 million (€2.24 million) in public stocks and bonds or capital of companies registered and operating in the UK. No borrowed funds are allowed to be used. Placing investments through offshore companies are also prohibited. For investments of £2 million, a Tier 1 (Investor) visa is granted for 3 years and 4 months, which can be extended by 2 years. Investors are also allowed to apply for permanent residence. An applicant is eligible for permanent residence after 3 years of living in the country when investing £5 million and after 2 years when investing £10 million.

Germany

Germany has made it easier for entrepreneurs and investors to get residence permits since 1 August 2012. There is no longer a need to create a certain number of jobs and no minimum investment (previously set at €250,000). Those investing €1 million at least are more likely to be granted residency. in addition, a business plan approved by the authorities of the chosen federal state is required. Preference is given to innovative and socially significant projects. A permanent residence permit can be gained in 3 to 4 years, and citizenship can be gained in another 4 years. However, investors have to renounce their Russian nationality upon gaining German citizenship.

Hong Kong

An investor can obtain a Hong Kong residence permit by putting HK$10 million (€$1.08 million) into stocks, bonds or collective investment projects. Residence permits are also granted to family members. After 7 years of living permanently in Hong Kong, investors can apply for permanent residence.

Greece

Greek residence permit can be obtained through the purchase of property of at least €250,000 in value. This status is granted for up to 5 years with the right to extend. The holders of the document, their spouses and minor children can travel freely in the Schengen Area for up to 90 days. Holders of Greek residence permits do not have the right to work.

Ireland

An Irish residence permit can be obtained through investing:

  • €500,000 in an enterprise or a fund approved by the government;
  • €500,000 in charity;
  • €1 million in bonds;
  • €2 million in a REIT;
  • €450,000 in real estate and €500,000 in bonds (€950,000 in total).

Residence permits are issued to investors for 2 years with the right to extend for another 3 years. After that, it can be renewed every 5 years, dependent on the investment security and the investor having a clean criminal record. Investors must visit Ireland at least once a year. To apply for residence, investors must provide proof of property ownership (without a loan) and information on family members who are going to live in Ireland with them. Spouses and minor children of investors have the right to reside in the country.

Spain

Conditions for obtaining a Spanish residence permit:

  • Purchase of residential or commercial real estate or land in Spain worth at least €500,000;
  • Purchase of government bonds worth at least €2 million;
  • €1 million+ investment into a Spanish company and national financial institutions.

Residence permits are also issued to the investor’s family members, including parents, spouse (common-law partner) and minor children. Spanish residents are entitled to travel freely in the Schengen Area and work in the country.

Cyprus

To obtain a Temporary Resident Visa, one must own property of any value. The document takes 6 months to be issued. Holders are obliged to reside in Cyprus for 180 consecutive days per annum. Residence permits must be extended annually. Permanent residence applicants must own one or two properties of at least €300,000 (excluding VAT) in total market value and prove to have paid at least €200,000 (excluding VAT) of this amount regardless of the property commission date. It is implied that the rest of the property price can be paid using a bank account with a Cypriot lending institution. Permanent residence permits take 2 months to be issued. This document entitles its holder to enter and leave Cyprus without restriction. Permanent resident permits do not need to be renewed.

Citizenship can be obtained through investing €2 million in real estate.

Costa Rica

To obtain a Costa Rican residence permit, it is necessary to invest at least US$200,000 (€169,000) in real estate. After 9 years investors can apply for citizenship. Citizens can enter the EU, Latin American countries, New Zealand, South Africa, South Korea and Japan visa-free.

Latvia

Foreign nationals can apply for a Latvian residence permit when investing a certain amount in different types of assets:

Minimumamount Investment vehicle
€250,000 Real estate. The assessed value must be at least €80,000.
€50,000 The capital of an enterprise with at least 50 employees and an annual turnover of at least €10 million. The company must pay at least €40,000 in annual taxes.
€100,000 The capital of an enterprise with at least 50 employees and an annual turnover of at least €10 million.
€280,000 Subordinated liabilities with a bank for 5 years.

A residence permit can be obtained by purchasing two properties for €250,000 in total. That means an investor who wants to become a Latvian resident can buy two flats at €125,000 each to obtain a Golden Visa, for example. However, this applies only to purchases outside Riga, Jūrmala, Ādaži, Babīte, Baldone, Garkalne, Ikšķile, Ķekava, Mārupe, Olaine, Ropaži, Salaspils, Saulkrasti, Stopiņi Municipality and Carnikava.

Malta

A Maltese permanent residence permit can be obtained if the following conditions are met:

  • An investment in public bonds of €250,000 or participation in a program of co-investing under which investors make a non-refundable contribution of €75,000;
  • Purchase or lease of real estate in Malta. The minimum value of property in Malta to be bought is €320,000 (€270,000 in South Malta or Gozo). The cost of rent must be at least €12,000 per annum (€10,000 in South Malta or Gozo);
  • Payment of a stamp duty (€30,000);
  • Annual income of at least €100,000 outside Malta or ownership of assets of worth at least €500,000;
  • Due diligence checks; and
  • A clean criminal record (also applicable to family members).

The total cost of participation in the Malta Residence & Visa Programme ranges between €590,000 and €640,000 if property is purchased, or €370,000 to €380,000 (over 5 years) if property is rented. the bonds are redeemable and the property can be sold 5 years after residency has been obtained. Resident status in these circumstances is nevertheless retained. the permanent residence permit takes 60 days to be issued. Those who have obtained their resident status this way cannot apply for citizenship in the future.

Citizenship can be obtained by investing at least €650,000 in the National Development and Social Fund of Malta.

New Zealand

It is possible to migrate to New Zealand with at least NZ$1.5 million (€950,000). Three years of business experience, personal savings of at least NZ$1 million and English language proficiency are required. These requirements are waived if the applicant invests at least NZ$10 million in the country's economy. the investment term is 4 years if investing NZ$1.5 million and 3 years when investing NZ$10 million. Residence permits are also granted to investors’ spouses and children. After 7 years of living permanently in New Zealand, investors can apply for permanent residence.

Panama

Foreign nationals obtain 5-year residence permits with no right to work when buying property in Panama. After this period, they can apply for permanent residence if they still own the property. Panamanian nationals can visit almost all the countries of Latin America and the Schengen Area visa free. Panama does not recognise dual nationality (except for Spain).

Portugal

A Golden Residence Permit in Portugal can be obtained based on the following conditions:

  • Purchase of property worth more than €500,000 (investment amount may be reduced to €400,000 if it is made in low population density areas);
  • Purchase of property built over 30 years ago or located in areas of urban renovation worth more than €350,000.
  • Creation of 10 jobs;
  • €1 million investment into a Portuguese bank, shares or bonds of local companies (with the possibility of withdrawal);
  • €350,000 investment in scientific research;
  • €250,000 investment in artistic production or national natural inheritance; or
  • €500,000 investment in a small business support fund.

A residence permit is valid for 1 year and can be prolonged for two additional 2-year periods (5 years in total). Residence permit holders are obliged to maintain their investments in Portugal for a minimum of 5 years so as not to lose their resident status. Investors must spend 7 days in Portugal in the first year and 14 days in all subsequent years.

Singapore

Under the Global Investor Programme (GIP), a 5-year Singaporean permanent residence can be obtained by investing at least S$2.5 million (€1.56 million) in a new business entity, the expansion of an existing business operation or a GIP fund. The latter includes Luminor Pacific Fund 2, Phillip Enterprise Fund, Tembusu Growth GIP Fund III, Walden Digital Asia, Zana Asia Fund II LP and 1Rockstead GIP Fund II.

If investing in a business, at least 3 years of business experience, entrepreneurial training and a 5-year business plan are required. The company´s annual turnover must be at least S$50 million. the investor's share in the company must constitute at least 30%. Permanent residence applicants must pay a fee of S$7,000. Investors’ spouses and children under 21 years of age can also apply for permanent residence.

To extend a residence permit for 3 years, it is necessary to create five jobs for Singaporeans, and the company must spend at least S$1 million per annum on the business. To extend the document for another 5 years, it is necessary to fulfil the same requirements and to have lived more than half of the term in Singapore.

United States

Residence on the grounds of investment is granted with the EB-5 visa. Investors must create 10 jobs for US permanent residents and invest at least $1 million (€850,000) in a new business or $500,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (a specific rural area or a zone with an unemployment rate at least 1.5 times higher than the country’s average).

A permanent residence permit (Green Card) allows the holder to leave and return to the US at any time. Holders enjoy all the rights of US citizens, except for the right to vote and stand in elections. The document is issued for 10 years with the option to extend. Its holder can have a lifelong permanent resident status. Citizenship can be obtained in 5 years.

France

Foreign nationals can obtain a French residence permit by making an “extraordinary economic contribution”. To do so, it is necessary to invest at least €10 million in a company registered in the country and create at least 50 jobs. Investors must hold at least 30% of the share capital of the French enterprise. Their family members also qualify for residence permits.

Switzerland

Persons with high incomes can obtain Swiss residence permits by signing lump-sum taxation agreements with cantonal authorities. The taxable base is calculated not from the income or the capital value but from the average standard of living in Switzerland. In some cantons, the agreement is made for 5 years with the possibility of permanent residence in Switzerland, in others it is prolonged every year. After achieving permanent residence, the lump-sum tax still needs to be paid. Only the income earned on assets in Switzerland needs to be declared. Lump-sum tax does not replace other taxes, including real estate and gift taxes. the minimum annual income must reach SFr300,000 (€264,000) for Geneva and the canton of Vaud, SFr20,000 in the Canton of Valais and SFr400,000 at the federal level. However, in practice, an income of SFr800,000 to SFr1 million is usually required.

After 10 years of living in Switzerland a permanent residence permit can be obtained. Investors can apply for citizenship after another 2 years. Switzerland recognizes dual citizenship.

Estonia

A 5-year Estonian residence permist is granted to those who have invested at least €65,500 in a company registered in the country. the company must not be a bogus firm; it must generate a profit and officially employ Estonian residents. Investors are not required to live in the country.

Along with residence permits, many foreign property buyers and tenants are interested in visa-free entry to far-abroad countries they have business interests in.

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