Due to their ability to expand business and lifestyle opportunities and extend market reach, golden visas are the key to optimizing a high-net-worth portfolio. Acquiring a golden visa is the best possible insurance policy against economic and political risk in a volatile world. In addition to enabling global mobility, golden visa programs give wealthy individuals the option of physically relocating to a more favorable jurisdiction and accessing full residence rights, including the right to live, work, study, and receive healthcare in that country.
In its most basic form, golden visa acquisition, or residence by investment and citizenship by investment, denotes the process whereby qualified, vetted candidates are granted either full residence or citizenship rights in exchange for a defined economic contribution to the host country. Golden visa programs give high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) the option of physically relocating to a favorable jurisdiction — either now or upon retirement — and becoming residents of that state with full legal rights, including the right to live, work, study, and receive healthcare in that country.
A golden visa provides investors and their families with access to new markets and a host of business, career, educational, healthcare, tax, and lifestyle opportunities on a worldwide scale, for both present and future generations. Many golden visa programs allow the successful applicant to apply for citizenship after a few years of residence, such as the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program, which offers citizenship eligibility after five years. The Greece Golden Visa Program allows investors to apply for citizenship after seven years, and the Italy Residence by Investment Program after 10 years.
Providing increased optionality worldwide along with the ability to hedge against potential risk and volatility, golden visas allow HNWIs and their families to:
There is now golden visa legislation in place in over 100 countries around the world, spanning five continents. Over 60% of EU member states have programs that are functional and active, with the UK and the US having among the world’s longest running golden visa programs. Click here to see the full list of more than 35 golden visa programs that Henley & Partners promotes.
Henley & Partners is the global leader in residence and citizenship by investment. We specialize in both residence and citizenship by investment and facilitate the acquisition of golden visas (residence programs) across Europe, North America, Asia and the Pacific, and Africa.
Depending on our clients and their families’ specific needs and ambitions, they can explore the unique benefits of the following 25 golden visa programs and select their preferred route to alternative residence:
There is a range of investment options available to individuals and families seeking alternative residence. From accessible pricing structures such as the Thailand Elite Residence Program at a minimum THB 600,000 (approximately USD 19,000) or the Latvia Residence by Investment Program at EUR 250,000 to programs aimed at ultra-high-net-worth investors such as the Singapore Global Investor Program requiring SGD 2.5 million.
Investment options depend on the specific program’s requirements; however, real estate is the most popular option among investors. International real estate has always been a reliable asset class for global investors due to its long-term staying power. As such, the purchase or lease of real estate is a key driver and requirement of residence by investment programs, with popular EU destinations including Cyprus, Greece, Malta, and Portugal. Real estate–linked golden visa programs have the additional advantage of enhancing one’s options for relocation or retirement (or both), alongside the tried-and-tested benefits of investment in international real estate. The potential gains over the lifetime of this kind of hybrid investment include the core value of the asset, rental yields, and global access as an ultimate hedge against market and political volatility.
Other investment requirements for programs include government bonds, annual tax contributions as per the Switzerland program, specific language competencies such as per the Austria program, company shares and business creation as in Portugal and Spain, and a points-based test such as that required by the Hong Kong golden visa program. Most golden visa programs also include a residence requirement, meaning that new residents need to spend a certain amount of time in the country to maintain residence status.
Click on the enquiry button below to add your details to the contact form. One of our experienced client advisors will carefully assess your personal requirements and guide you through the process of selecting the most suitable golden visa program to meet your individual needs and preferences. This initial consultation is free of charge.
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