How to Fast-track Residency and Citizenship with a Golden Visa

Countries with golden visas offer the opportunity to relocate and take advantage of investment opportunities around the world. The goal of countries with golden visas is to attract investment and create employment in their countries.

In general, countries are keen t attract wealthy and productive people. They want to take advantage of their money and their skills to generate wealth. In return countries with golden visas reward investors with the right to stay in the country indefinitely and eventual citizenship. For those granted golden visas, an additional citizenship and residence increases their freedom exponentially by making them less dependent on one country.


The UAE offers a golden visa with some generous benefits. The visa will be valid for 10 years. You can sponsor family members of any age and domestic employees on your golden visa. You do not need to live in the UAE full time.

The main criteria for a golden vis for the UAE is to invest at least 2 million dirham in real estate. At today’s exchange rate that’s around $550,000.

Living in the UAE means you have no income tax, capital gains or inheritance tax. One downside, however, is that you’re unlikely to ever get a UAE citizenship.


Of all the countries with golden visas Portugal is one of our favourites. Portugal is also one of the cheapest golden visa countries. With an investment in real estate of as little as €280,000 you get a golden visa for you and your family. There are also categories for business investment and job creation.

You are eligible for Portuguese citizenship after 5 years of residency. What’s more you barely have to spend any time in Portugal if you don’t want to. You are obliged to spend at least 7 days there in the first year and then 14 days every subsequent 2 years to maintain your golden visa. With your Portugal residency card you’re able to travel to all Schengen area countries. The Portuguese passport is one of the best in the world. It offers visa free travel to 191 countries including the USA, Canada and Australia.

Portugal also offers the Non Habitual Residency Scheme which offers the potential to live in Portugal tax free.


Of the European countries with golden visas, Malta’s feels a bit cumbersome and expensive. There are high government fees and ongoing reporting requirements with Malta’s golden visa. With Malta you have the choice of buying a property for between €300,000 and €350,000 or renting a property for between €10k and €12k per year. The price difference depends on where the properties are located.

You’ll have to pay a €10k fee to the government when you apply. In addition there’s a government fee of €28,000 when you buy a property and €58,000 if you decide to rent.

Under this program you can apply for citizenship after 5 years.

Malta also has a citizenship by investment program which fast tracks citizenship. You will have to invest over €1m for this option and can obtain citizenship in around 18 months.


countries with golden visas
Venice, Italy

Italy has a residence by investment program. There are several ways tat you can qualify. You can invest €250,000 in an innovative start-up. You can invest €500,000 in an Italian company. This can be a private company or a stock market listed company. You can make a philanthropic donation of €1m or you can buy €2m of Italian government bonds.

You will get a residence permit for 2 years to start with but this can be renewed. After 10 years you can apply for Italian citizenship and get your Italian passport. Italy also offers special tax deals to HNWIs. You can limit your tax liability to €100,000 per year if you have a special deal.


Greece is another of the countries with golden visas in the Schengen zone. For an investment of €250,000 in real estate you will get a 5-year residence permit for Greece which is renewable. This can lead to Greek citizenship after 7 years. There are no minimum residence requirements for Greece. You can visit as little or a soften as you like.

One of the lesser-known benefits of the Greek golden visa are the tax minimisation opportunities. Greece has a flat tax of €100k per year for non-domiciled residents. This can offer a significant tax reduction to those with 7 figure incomes.

New Zealand

New Zealand offers 3 types of visa for investors. All can lead to permanent residency and citizenship. A category 1 visa requires an investment of NZ$10,000,000 and grants instant permanent residency. You’re only obliged to spend 88 days in New Zealand over 3 years. You can sell your investment after 3 years. You will retain your New Zealand residency for life. After 5 year you can become a New Zealand citizen.

A category 2 visa requires an investment of NZ$3m. This category is open to a maximum of 400 investors every year. You’re obliged to spend 438 days in New Zealand over 4 years to maintain your residency. You must keep your investments for 4 years.

As an alternative New Zealand offers an entrepreneurs visa for those who’d rather start a hands on business. This category only requires and investment of NZ$100,000.


Australia’s version of a golden visa is their significant investor visa. To get a significant investor visa for Australia you must first be nominated by a state government. You have to invest AUS$5m in an Australian business. This investment must be approved by the state government. Processing times are long for this visa with 90% of applications taking up to 26 months to process.

The visa allows you to stay in Australia for up to 5 years. At the end of this period, you become a permanent resident. You can also apply for Australian citizenship.

United Kingdom

The UK previously offered a Tier 1 investor visa. This visa fast tracked citizenship in exchange for an investment of £2m. The UK terminated this scheme at the start of the Ukraine conflict as hundreds of Russians had taken advantage of it to become British citizens.

The UK does offer alternatives. It offers an Innovator Visa for those who wish to start a business in the UK. It allows you to stay with your family in the UK for up to 5 years. After 5 years you can apply for permanent leave to remain. Thereafter you can apply for British citizenship.

The UK is also introducing the Scale up Visa to attract fast growing businesses to the UK. You will qualify by having a business that has shown annual revenue growth of 20% over three years. It must have at least 10 employees. This can also lead to permanent residency and citizenship.

There are a raft of other options for getting UK residency and citizenship for those determined to move there.


Ireland is one of the better English speaking countries with golden visas. Ireland has an Enterprise investor scheme. This grants an Investment Visa to those investing at least €1m in an Irish business for at least 3 years. This can be any Irish company or a business that you own.

There are also options to make investments in managed enterprise funds or to make a philanthropic donation. Irish citizenship is available after 5 years of living in Ireland.

Ireland is part of the EU and has a common travel area with the UK. This means you have full access to both the EU and the UK.

Countries with golden visas can be found all around the world. In fact almost every country has incentives to attract the right kind of residents. Rules change fast though. The best opportunities should be taken advantage of while they still exist.

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What countries have a Golden Visa?

Over 100 countries have some kind of golden visa. They are generally known as residency by investment visas.

Which country is best for Golden Visa?

That depends on which part of the world you’d like to live. In Europe Portugal and Ireland are the best options.

Which country has the cheapest Golden Visa?

Portugal and Greece have the cheapest options. Other countries , such as Turkey, offer instant citizenship when you buy real estate. This is a great option too.

How do you get a gold visa?

Countries with golden visas require investment in business or property.

What are golden visas?

Countries with golden visas offer special incentives to invest in the country. They fast track residency and citizenship to those who invest in the country.

What golden visas are available in Europe?

Most countries have some kind of golden visa program. Portugal and Greece are the most cost effective.

Which country has the No.1 Golden visa program?

That is a matter of opinion. It depends where you’d like to live and what kind of investment you are able to make.

What are citizenship by investment countries?

These are countries which offer an almost instant passport when you invest in real estate or make a donation to the government of the country. Countries offering citizenship by investment include Turkey, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Vanuatu.

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