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“Golden Visa”: who and where gets a residence permit for investment

The general principle of operation of any “golden visa” program is simple: a foreigner invests a certain amount in the country’s economy in exchange for resident or citizen status. Today, you can get a residence permit in exchange for investments in more than 50 countries of the world. Tranio analysts have figured out which countries investors choose, why they decide to invest in the economy of a foreign country and how their arrival affects local real estate markets.

Chinese are the most active investors
The demand for investment permits is growing along with the number of wealthy people. According to the calculations of the consulting company Capgemini, from 2010 to 2016 the number of dollar millionaires in the world increased from 10.9 to 16.5 million. According to a study by Knight Frank “The Wealth Report Attitudes Survey 2018”, 34% of owners of capital exceed $ 30 million. have a second passport, and another 29% plan to purchase it in the future.

As the statistics show, citizens of China and Russia most often acquire residence permits and passports for investments. For example, 80% of US EB-5 visas (a permanent residence program for an investment of $ 500,000 in US commercial enterprises) issued from 2006 to 2017 were received by Chinese citizens. They also account for 64% of investment residence permits in Portugal (residence permit for the purchase of real estate worth from 500 thousand euros), issued since the launch of the program in 2012 to January 2018 and more than 30% of British visas Tier 1 (Investor) (residence permit for £ 2m investment in government stocks and bonds or UK companies’ capital). At the same time, the Russians accounted for almost 70% of residence permits of this type in Latvia (residence permit for the purchase of real estate worth from 250 thousand euros) from 2013 to 2017, and also, according to various estimates, from 40 to 50% of investment passports in Cyprus (citizenship for the purchase of real estate at a price of 2 million euros).

Other active participants in investment programs are citizens of Brazil, Iraq, Iran, Lebanon, Turkey and Ukraine. Utah778 /
The American EB-5 is the most popular “golden visa” program
The undisputed leader in the number of residence permits issued by the United States: under the EB-5 program launched in 1990, in the past ten years alone, this country has granted over 60 thousand visas to foreigners. According to the rules, the United States issues no more than 10 thousand visas of this type per year.

Europe is the second most popular destination for international investors. The leaders in terms of the number of issued “gold visas” are Latvia and Portugal, in each of which from 2013 (the launch year of both programs) to 2017, investors received more than 5 thousand residence permits. Also popular is the British Tier-1 (Investor) visa: since the launch of the program in 2008 to 2017, they were issued 3.7 thousand.

Investment programs for the investment are offered by the Caribbean countries: Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada, Dominic and Saint Lucia. In addition to Antigua and Barbuda, all of them do not publish data on the number of visas issued, therefore, it is rather difficult to estimate their popularity. It is known that since the launch of the Antigua program in 2013 until mid-2017, 12112 citizenship of this country was issued. At the same time, the Caribbean countries are easing the requirements for investors: for example, to get a passport of Antigua and Barbuda, from May 1, 2018, a property worth $ 400 thousand can buy not one, as was required before, and two investors, having invested 200 thousand each $ each.

Real Estate – the most sought after investment
As a rule, programs for obtaining a residence permit offer investments in one or several types of assets: real estate, business, government bonds, bank deposits or funds. The most popular asset is real estate. So in Spain and Portugal the number of issued residence permits in exchange for the purchase of real estate exceeds 90%, and in Latvia is 80%. Opening a business and securities, as a rule, investors choose in non-alternative programs: for example, in the UK and the USA.

The object of investment and the minimum budget are not the only criteria by which investors are guided when choosing the “golden visa” program. Important factors are also the period of registration of a residence permit, a list of countries to which the received document gives access, its validity, the ability to return the invested funds and the requirements for the actual location of the investor in the territory of the country of interest.

“For example, the unobvious, but important advantage of the“ golden visa ”program of Greece is that immediately after submitting the documents, the investor receives a special card that allows him to legally reside in Greek territory and use all the advantages of a European residence permit while his application is being considered by the authorities”

The impact of “golden visas” on local real estate markets
Investment programs for obtaining a residence permit impact on relatively small real estate markets. For example, in Latvia, almost immediately after the launch of the “golden visa” program (a residence permit in exchange for the purchase of real estate worth from 140 thousand euros) in April 2010, sharply increased demand for real estate was supported.

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