Particularly in Cyprus, there is the possibility of the fastest and easiest way to acquire citizenship of a European country through the Cypriot citizenship by investment program. The following investments are required by an investor to apply for the program: 2 million EUR in Cyprus real estate, donations of 75 thousand EUR and a 75 thousand EUR funding. Then in only 6 months the citizenship is offered. What this includes is a Cypriot passport and citizenship of a European country, with the freedom to work, travel, study or live in any EU country.
After 5 years the investment can be reduced to 500 thousand EUR. Cyprus is ideal for proceeding to such investments, as there is a favourable taxing system, low crime rate and high percentage of English speakers and UK universities campuses located in the island. Also, the strategic geographical location of the island, at the crossroads of three continents is very beneficial.
Greece, offers the cheapest residency by investment program in the European Union of an investment of only 250 thousand EUR. There is also a 24% of additional taxes on real estate; however, even with that addition, the amount comes to 300 thousand EUR which is still the lowest between all countries. Permanent residency in Greece enables visa-free access to all countries of the Schengen zone for up to 90 days throughout a 6-month period.
The permit becomes permanent providing that the buyer keeps possession and is renewed every 5 years by presenting the title deed of the property to the authorities.
In Portugal on the other hand, there is the possibility of spreading the investment out over different properties, which offers the opportunity to use some of the value for the overseas residence and the rest for investment. An investment of 500 thousand EUR or reduced to 350 thousand EUR provides residency permits for families, including dependent children. 5 years of minimal residence are required, and you can acquire permanent Portuguese residency.
Moving on to Latvia, there an individual is eligible for citizenship after ten years of residence. Having a Latvian citizenship, offers benefits that other countries do not; like traveling freely throughout Switzerland and the EU, even if you are not a citizen of a country which receives visa-free access to Europe’s borderless Schengen area. Its high standard of living transformed it into one of the most sought-after destinations in the world. It offers a safe and secure financial environment, with EU standard, high quality infrastructural development and very attractive rates of taxation.
Non-European citizens who wish to live in the EU must obtain a residence permit and this becomes feasible as both investors and their family members are granted EU Residence Permits. The permits are granted for 5 years and upon expiry, the investor is eligible to apply for its renewal. There are different ways to achieve this, such as a subordinated loan, which carries a 3% return on investment.
Malta Individual Investor Program grants European citizenship in only 14 months and the citizens are eligible to enjoy visa-free access to 182 countries. Within those countries, the UK and the USA are included. The citizens also enjoy the right to live, work, travel or study in any of the other EU countries.
The investors must make a minimum contribution of 650 thousand EUR to the national development fund set up by the government and also invest 150 thousand EUR in government approved financial instruments. Each family member is also required to provide a 25 thousand sum to the development fund.