Would you like to get second citizenship as a side benefit of a property purchase? If yes, you should immediately head for the Golden Visa programs. Portugal is one of the most popular Golden Visa countries. It has granted residency permits to a total of 9,200 investors between October 2012 and September 2020. What is more, 8,654 of them have gained it through real estate purchases. The interest in Portugal is quite understandable considering the low mortgage rates and its powerful passport. According to the Deloitte Property Index of 2020, Portugal maintains the lowest mortgage rate in Europe. The rate is 1.06%. The study also indicated that Portugal also offered the best affordability rate for owned housing in 2019.
While some countries like Portugal first grants residency and later citizenship, some other countries like Dominica offer citizenship right away.
Portugal attracts foreign investors
The consulting company PwC released a study called “Emerging Trends in Real Estate Europe 2019”. According to this, Lisbon is the most attractive city to invest in 2019. There are various reasons for this, including the Golden Visa program.
Portugal Golden Visa is a residency by investment program. You can invest in the country in different ways. As stated above, the most common way is through real estate purchases. There are different options to make this investment, as well. You can:
- Buy real estate at an amount of least at €500,000, or
- Buy a real estate at an amount of at least €400,000 if it’s in a rural area, or
- Buy real estate at an amount of at least at €350,000, and which is older than 30 years old, with the obligation to renovate.
- If this type of property is in a rural area, the minimum investment amount will decrease to at least €280,000.
The property purchase will allow you to apply for residency in the country. You obtain temporary residency in Portugal. In addition, you can include your family in this program as well. They include your spouse, your parents over 65, and your minor and dependent children. If you stay in the country for a minimum of seven days a year, you can apply for permanent residency after five years. In this way, you can apply for citizenship as well. It increased program’s popularity as Portugal citizenship by investment because you can become an EU citizen and can travel to a total of 186 countries without a visa.
Portugal can be a good investment option thanks to its other benefits as well. The cost of living is quite low compared to most European countries. Its healthcare system is quite developed, and it is a safe and tranquil country. It ranks the third safest country according to the Global Peace Index 2020. Also, it’s developing into a big international hub for investors day by day. Deloitte’s Property Index of 2020 indicates that foreigners make up more than 50% of the total property buyers. Furthermore, 2019 statistics of the Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service (SEF) demonstrate that there a total of 590.348 foreign residents living in Portugal. Considering its total population of around 10.4 million, the foreign resident number is substantial. In fact, their interest continues to grow. The 2019 RIFA (Border and Asylum Report) report of SEF also supports this argument. It indicated that “more than 74.000 foreign citizens applied for Portuguese nationality in 2019, the highest value of the last five years…”
Economists at Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Global Ratings also estimate a 2.5% drop in house prices in Portugal and a rapid recovery until 2022. So, it may now be a good time to buy house in Portugal.
Dominica offers fast-track citizenship
The Caribbean country Dominica requires only a minimum of $200.000 investment for a real estate purchase. Also, you can obtain citizenship after a few months following your investment. So, it provides a fast-track citizenship. Furthermore, it does not require you to stay in the country to maintain your citizenship rights. When you obtain your Dominican citizenship and passport, you can travel visa-free to around 140 countries. The program also allows you to include your spouse, dependent children under 30, as well as parents or grandparents over 55.
The CBI Index 2020 also ranked Dominica the first among 14 citizenship by investment programs. The ranking was made according to certain criteria. The criteria include freedom of movement, ease of processing, citizenship timeline, and six other pillars.
Dominica also provides favorable tax treatments. When you become a resident in Dominica, you are not subject to taxation on wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income, or capital gains.
Greece requires the lowest amount in Europe
First of all, Greece Golden Visa Program started to be in effect in 2013. Ideally, if you live in Greece for seven years and be a tax resident there, you can apply for Greek citizenship. However, there hasn’t been enough time for the country to receive citizenship applications. So, there is no record of citizenship numbers yet. Still, you should note that Greece offers temporary residency before citizenship, and you can renew it every five years. Also, it offers a low real estate investment amount. In fact, it is the lowest amount required for real estate in the European region for residency. Buying a house in Greece for a minimum of €250.000 is sufficient to apply for Golden Visa. Also, there is no minimum stay requirement.