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What is happening with this “Golden Visa”?

Gaining the legal right to live and work in another country can be challenging and time-consuming. Still, it can be easier for wealthy individuals, thanks to the Golden Visa program. What is this Golden Visa exactly?

Golden Visa is a program offered by more than ten countries globally. Within the scope of this program, an individual can acquire a residence permit and eventually citizenship by investing. The program requirements vary from country to country, but there are similar criteria for eligibility.

The applicant should:

  • be at least 18 years old,
  • have a clean criminal record,
  • have sufficient finance to meet investment requirements.

As mentioned before, depending on the country, the golden visa may lead to obtaining a second passport, allowing an individual to gain rights to live and work in that country like a native-born citizen. It can also provide an opportunity to purchase residency rights, sometimes even without residing in the country. The popularity of these Golden visas has been growing in the European Union as foreigners from all around trying to find a way to escape from uncertainties brought by their local economy, social climate, and politics that could limit their rights. However, on the other side of the story, the EU has recently been concerned about the consequences of these golden visa programs. One breaking news proving this concern was Portugal’s abandoning the program in February 2023, subsequently severely criticized by the autonomous region of Madeira that this abandonment might devastate the local finance. Then, one might ask why the EU is becoming so concerned about the golden visa program.

In March 2022, Ireland started this procedure by suspending Russian citizens as part of sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine. The EU Parliament remarked that the program was at risk because of tax evasion. Eventually, they decided to abolish the Golden Visa program.

In February 2023, Portugal Prime Minister Antonio Costa announced that Portugal is ceasing Golden Visa program by touching upon harassing investors and the housing crisis. In an interview with the daily newspaper, he remarked: “The program has brought many high-income foreign residents to Madeira, with obvious benefits for the local economy, and the “counterproductive” scheme only benefits Porto and Lisbon. According to Albuquerque, The Azores is also against terminating the visa program.

But of course, there are still some countries that offer golden visas. Malta, Greece, and Spain are some of them. As CBP Invest, we would like to support you in choosing the right program according to your background and preferences to achieve your goals. For further information, you can check the countries section on our website.