Gaining permanent residence or citizenship in a foreign country is something many people aspire to but is no easy feat. But for those with wealth, a golden visa may be just the ticket to obtaining permanent residence or citizenship in a foreign country.
What is a Golden Visa?
A golden visa is a residency by investment program. It is one of the fastest ways for those with wealth to become legal residents of a foreign country simply by purchasing a house or making a relatively large investment or donation. A golden visa often gives the holder and their family members access to a passport from that country within 12 months.
The countries that offer a golden visa program use it to encourage foreign investment and each country has different investment options ranging from $250,000 to millions. By making the required investment and applying for a golden visa, individuals and their family members can become legal residents of that country allowing them to live there as well as attend school and access healthcare.
Golden visas have become more popular over recent years, especially for those who are from poorer nations but are wealthy. Golden visa programs in European Union countries tend to be most popular as they give applicants access to a European passport which comes with a large range of benefits such as freedom of movement in the Schengen* area and access to the EU free market.
Which Countries Offer a Golden Visa Program?
The countries currently offering golden visas are:
- Antigua and Barbuda
– offers various immigration pathways, including the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program, that attracts investors seeking permanent residency.
– grants residency to investors who purchased real estate in the country.
– grants residency to investors who made qualifying investments in real estate, businesses, or bank deposits.
– Citizenship by Investment Program, allows individuals and their families to obtain Maltese citizenship by making a significant economic contribution to the country.
- New Zealand
– allows investors to obtain residency by making qualifying investments in real estate, creating jobs, or capital transfers. After a certain period of residency, individuals could apply for permanent residency or citizenship.
– allows investors to obtain residency by making significant investments in real estate, public debt, or job-creating projects.
- St Kitts and Nevis
- St Lucia
- Cayman Islands
- United Kingdom
– the UK has an Investor Visa program that allows high net worth individuals to obtain residency by making qualifying investments in the country.
- United Arab Emirates
- United States
– the USA has the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, which allows investors and their families to obtain a Green Card (permanent residency) by making qualifying investments and creating jobs in the US.
How Do You Apply for a Golden Visa?
The most common way to apply for a golden visa is to purchase real estate in a foreign country. Most golden visa countries offer this option, but other investment options include:
- Making a capital investment in a company’s share or stocks
- Making a capital investment in a country’s public debt or government bonds
- Creating employment opportunities
- Contributing to a country’s scientific or technological innovation
Once the investment has been made, applicants can apply for a golden-visa either at the respective embassy in their country or a relevant government body abroad however contacting the embassy is encouraged.
Golden Visa Eligibility Requirements
To be eligible for a golden visa, applicants must:
- Personally own the money they wish to invest
- Be able to prove they have acquired the money legally
- Maintain the investment for at least a minimally required period of time
- Have no criminal record
- Have enough financial resources to be able to support themselves and their family members in that country even if they don’t intend to live there
Each country offering a golden visa program may also have additional requirements.
Does Australia Have a Golden Visa Program?
Australia doesn’t have a golden visa program. Given permanent residence in Australia is highly sought after by many, it is a question that is frequently asked. While there is no golden visa program available in Australia, there are many other visa options available that offer a pathway to permanent residence. Visa Solutions’ team of experienced registered migration agents is always happy to discuss any of these visa options with clients.
To learn more about any aspect of migration, speak to the team of experienced registered migration agents. Book a consultation below.
*The Schengen is a zone where 27 European countries abolished their internal borders to allow free and unrestricted movement. It covers most EU countries except Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and Cyprus.