Spain is in the top six countries in the EU for ease of residency
EU residency comes with a lot of benefits, particularly for travel as you are eligible to travel freely throughout the borderless Schengen Area, and residency in any of the EU countries can lead to EU citizenship in that same country, and then you can then move to any other EU country and settle there.
However, since Brexit this opportunity has been taken away from UK citizens, so SchengenVisaInfo.com have compiled a list of the EU countries in which it is the easiest to gain residency, and in all of which it is possible to become a resident by investing a certain amount of money through residence by investment schemes, which are known as golden visas.
Spain is ranked number 6 on this list, so here are the details of how to become a resident in these six countries:
There are several ways to settle as a legal resident in Austria. The country issues residence permits for purposes of family reunification, for pupils, students and researchers, qualified workers, as well as jobseekers.
These types of permits are then categorized in other sub-categories. For example, when applying to move to Austria as a qualified worker, you may fit in one of the following:
- Very highly qualified workers.
- Skilled workers in shortage occupations.
- Other key workers.
- Students who have graduated from the Austrian Universities and Colleges.
- Self-employed key workers.
- Start-up founders.
One of the main requirements to gain residency in Austria is to prove you make enough money. If you will be living alone, you need to show proof you earn €1,030 a month, whereas if you live with a partner/spouse, this amount for the both of you increases to €1,625. An additional amount of €159 is required for each child you have.
The easiest way to become an Austrian resident is through investment. Anyone with A1 level German language skills, full-cover health insurance, and a minimum of €40,000 in liquid funds in a bank account, which amount depends on the size of the applicant’s family, are eligible to become Austrian residents through this route.
The applicant also needs to show proof of a residential property, which can be owned by them or rented.
The residence permit takes from one month to three months to be processed, and is issued for one year and needs to be renewed every year, with the same conditions needing to be met.
The downside of this program is that the annual quota for those eligible to benefit is only around 300.
The easiest way to become a permanent resident of Cyprus is also through investment. Buying a new immovable property with a total market value of at least €300,000 (plus VAT) is enough for a person to meet the first criteria to become a legal resident through the so-called Golden Visa.
Those who do not want to purchase a property can either invest €300,000 in a physical company registered and operating in the territory of Cyprus, which employs at least five people or invest units of the same amount in the Cyprus Investment Funds Association’s collective investments.
The applicant also needs to have an annual income of at least €30,000, which may come from salaries, rents, pensions, etc.
Foreigners can also become residents of Cyprus in other ways, including by applying for a residence permit for employment, studying or family reunification.
Greece is also well known for its Golden Visa program, which grants qualifying foreigners residency in the country within 60 days of application.
There are several types of investments foreigners can make, in order to qualify for this program, amongst which are:
- Buying a property worth at least €250,000.
- A minimum investment of €400,000 to a company that has its registered office or establishment in Greece.
- A minimum investment of €400,000 to a real estate investment company that will invest exclusively in Greece.
- Buying bonds of the Greek government with a minimal acquisition value of €400,000 and residual maturity of a minimum of three years at the date of buying.
- Term deposit of a minimum value of €400,000 to a domestic credit institution, for at least a year, with a standing order for renewal.
There are many other ways to gain residence in Greece, including here employment in different fields, students, researchers, vocational training, volunteer work, family reunification, etc.
In Italy, foreign residents can gain citizenship after ten years of legally remaining in the country. The easiest way to become a resident is by investing a certain amount of money in the country.
A foreigner can invest a minimum of €2 million in Italian government bonds, a minimum of €500,000 in Italian shares, or a minimum of €1 million in projects of public interest, such as culture, education, ecology, immigration management, research and development, arts, and heritage.
Other ways to gain residence in Italy are via work, studying, and family reunification, but also for seasonal work between six and nine months.
Living in Portugal doesn’t only mean living in a beautiful country with warm weather and blue waters but also living in a country with a low crime rate and a relatively affordable cost of living.
Foreigners can gain residency in Portugal through two types of investments – capital transfer or purchase of a property. Some of the capital transfer investments are as below:
- At least €5 million capital transfer into a Portuguese bank account or approved investments.
- €500,000 for research activities of public or private entities that are part of the national scientific and technological system.
- €250,000 to support artistic production or in the recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage.
Regarding the purchase of a property, the minimal amounts to be invested are as follows:
- €500,000 minimum real estate purchase (€400,000 in a low population density area).
- €350,000 minimum in a property purchase for the refurbishment of residential properties older than 30 years or in an area of urban regeneration, including the renovation costs.
Other ways to benefit from Portugal’s residency-by-investment program are by bringing a business to the country that will create a minimum of ten new jobs, or by investing €500,000 for the incorporation or increase of the share capital of a company registered in Portugal, creating or maintaining a minimum of five permanent jobs for a period of three years.
Spain, and the islands, is one of the most sought-after investment destinations in Europe, and residency can be gained by purchasing a property worth at least €500,000, creating a business that is recognized as a ‘general interest’ for Spain, bank deposits with a minimum value of €1 million in Spanish financial institutions, or a government bonds investment with a minimum value of €2 million.
Another way to settle in Spain is through the non-lucrative residence visa, which is granted to those who have an income of at least €25,560 annually, plus €6,390 per additional family member. Other residence permits are also available, like those for employment, family reunification, studying, etc.
Spain also offers the opportunity to its residents to become Spanish nationals through naturalization after ten years of legal residence in the country.
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