What is the Most Popular Citizenship and Residency-by-Investment Programs
In a previous article, we looked at why significant numbers of affluent Turks are leaving the country and settling in Europe. There are many programs that make this possible. However, we discovered that the residency-by-investment programs of Greece, Malta, and Portugal were three of the most popular.
After several years of legal residency, they can then apply for citizenship.
What is the GIRP–Greek Investment Residency Program (GIRP)?
The Greek Golden Visa, or GIRP, is a Permanent Residence Program that enables successful applicants and their families to live, work, and study in Greece indefinitely upon an approved investment.
What are the benefits of getting Greek residency?
Greece is an EU member, upon receiving your residency permit you can obtain a multi-entry Schengen visa valid for up to 5 years, allowing you to spend 90 days out of every 180 travelling in the Schengen area. This is a great advantage for Turkish businesspeople who are frequent travellers. You also immediately have the right to establish a business.
Greece also has a favourable tax regime with no wealth tax and a low property tax.
What is the cost of Greek Investment Residency?
The applicant must commit a minimum of EUR 250,000 in either commercial or residential property, freehold or leasehold. A lease must be for at least 10 years, with a minimum prepayment of EUR 250,000. If the total value is EUR 250,000, it can be in a single property or multiple properties. The investment can be personal or through a wholly owned company in Greece. With this you can include your dependents on the application – a spouse, children under 21, and parents of the investor or spouse.
How long does approval for the GIRP take?
The whole process usually takes around 6 months, and the final approval takes about 2 months. The GIRP is valid for 5 years. It can then be renewed. You can apply for Greek citizenship after 7 years, subject to meeting residency and some language requirements.
Are there other requirements for Greek residency?
There is no physical residency requirement, though you must visit Greece to input your biometrics. Likewise, there is no educational requirement, no business experience required, or any language stipulation. You simply must be a non-European citizen. This has made the program popular with Turks. A lawyer must submit your application.
How can I get residency in Malta?
Malta’s Permanent Residency by Investment Program requires the applicant to be able to establish a minimum net worth of over EUR 500,000 to be eligible.
There is a property rental option starting at EUR 10,000 or 12,000 plus a EUR 98,000 donation to the government and EUR 2,000 to a non-government organization which totals to a minimum of EUR 110,000 and a property purchase option starting at EUR 300,000 or EUR 350,000 with a government donation of EUR 68,000 and a non-government organization donation of EUR 2,000.
It can include a spouse, dependent children, parents, and grandparents, with a dependent adult child requiring an extra sum of EUR 5,000 and the others EUR 7,500.
What are the advantages of residency in Malta?
Like Greece, Malta is an EU member, there is identical access to Schengen countries. Also, similarly, there are no language, education, or career requirements. All non-European citizens are eligible, and after 5 years of residence, you may apply for Maltese citizenship.
Finally, Malta has a low tax regime with no gift tax, no inheritance tax, and, depending on your situation, possibly no property tax. There is also no tax on royalties, dividends, or interest, and the VAT is one of the lowest in Europe.
How long does it take to get residency in Malta?
Processing usually takes 6-8 months and grants the right to reside, work (a work permit), and study in Malta indefinitely. You also gain the right to establish a business in Malta.
Why is Portugal still so popular with people who are migrating?
The Portuguese Golden Visa Program has become both famous and popular over the last few years for many non-Europeans seeking a better lifestyle for their families and themselves.
Portugal has an outstanding lifestyle, a comparatively low cost of living, superb healthcare, and education systems, and everything in terms of natural beauty, activities, and lifestyle you could wish for.
What is the cost of the Portugal Golden Visa?
There are 3 options: a minimum investment of EUR 500,000 in a Portuguese investment fund with a maturity of at least 5 years. Investing at least EUR 280,000 (in a low-density area) or EUR 350,000 (in a high-density area) in a property. The property must be suitable for renovation and located in an area of urban regeneration. Or purchasing a property of EUR 400,000 or EUR 500,000 without the above restrictions. Note: All residential property must be in a designated area, which basically excludes Lisbon, Oporto, and the coastal regions.
What are the advantages of residency in Portugal?
Like the above-mentioned nations, Portugal is part of the EU with identical travel benefits, and again there is a pathway to citizenship, this time after 5 years.
If you have further questions or would like to schedule a consultation, Harvey Law Group has over 20 offices around the world including Turkey, and over 30 years’ experience in immigration law.
For more information about Residency-by-Investment Programs, please visit https://harveylawcorporation.com/citizenship-and-residency-programmes/ or contract us at [email protected].