Looking for the fastest way to start your new life abroad? Wondering which the quickest step is to stop waiting and start living? Golden Visas may just be the perfect option for you.
What is a Golden Visa?
Golden Visas are otherwise known as permanent residency visas. They can be issued to individuals who make an investment abroad in the country they wish to live in. Usually, the investment will be in property, and that property will need to be worth a set amount of money, but there are many types of investment which will guarantee your residency in the issuing country.
Golden visas have been around since the 1980s when they were first offered by the Caribbean and the Pacific. At the turn of the 21st century, 25% of all the countries across the globe accepted Golden Visas. While the rules and regulations for each participating country differs and is subject to change under new parliamentary laws, Golden Visas are more popular than ever. And the process for Brits moving abroad is simpler than you think.
Golden Visas make a lot of sense; if you’re going to be moving abroad, you’ll need to live somewhere, the purchase of the property will also secure and fast track residency. In some cases, you can have made the investment within a month and obtained your Golden Visa. Your visa will be valid for a certain amount of years, usually two to three depending on which country you wish to obtain residency to. You will then be able to renew the visa before you make you and your family citizens of that country and no longer have to worry about your citizenship status.
Golden Visas are now incredibly sought after as more people are seeing the benefit of investing in a second residency. 89% of the UK population have expressed the desire to own a second passport; it has even become more desirable than owning real estate in their own countries.
Having residency status in another country means that you can travel, live, work and study freely. You may also benefit from taxation schemes and return on your original investment. Golden Visas are the perfect opportunity to secure a safe future for you and your family.
Who is Entitled to a Golden Visa?
To qualify for a Golden Visa, you will need to make a suitable investment in the country where you desire to obtain residency. The size of the investment differs depending on which country you would like to gain access to.
You’ll also need to be aware that there are different tiers which are available to apply for. The size of your investment will determine how long your residency is secured for. There is a large amount of variation in the price you’ll need to pay. For example, if you want to secure a five-year residency in Thailand, you will need to invest £11,793. Whereas if you want to secure a residency in America, you will need to invest at least £388,858.
In Portugal, the minimal property investment size will even depend on which part of Portugal the property is in. If the property is in a low-density area, you will need to invest 350,000 euros or 500,000 euros in a more densely populated area.
However, it is also worth noting that some countries are steadily increasing the investment size they are willing to accept in exchange for residency. But remember that the investment will always have its return, as well as being able to secure you a residency within that country.
Some countries may also put age restrictions on the Golden Visas or ask for a basic language requirement for the more exclusive tiers which come with perks on top of your residency status.
If you choose executive level visas, you may also need to prove your history of business experience. But this should never be the case with tier 1 Golden Visas.
Where can Brits move to after obtaining a Golden Visa?
With a Golden Visa, Brits have the option of moving to over 70 different countries across the globe – as well as the countries which are already in Europe.
The most popular countries for Brits to move to with a Golden Visa are Thailand, Latvia, St Lucia, Dominica, Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Moldova, Cambodia, Greece, Portugal, America, Bulgaria, Canada, Turkey, Malta, Australia and New Zealand.
With Golden Visas, the world is quite literally your oyster!
Golden Visas for entry into the UK
The Tier 1 residency visa for the UK is the most popular option for people applying to move from abroad.
For Tier 1 residency applicants must invest a minimum of £2 million. This investment can be in property which you will live in or use for real estate. You can also invest in government bonds, loan capital in active UK businesses and share capital.
Lead applicants must be over 18 years of age – bringing dependents may mean that you’ll need to make a bigger investment.
After obtaining the visa, you will be granted residency for three years and four months; you will also have the ability to extend the visa by a further two years if you wish. After spending five years in the UK, you will be able to apply for indefinite leave before applying for British Citizenship.
Latest news on Golden Visas for people wanting to travel to the UK
From December 7th, 2018 access to the UK via Golden Visa was suspended. The suspension will remain in place until the Home Office finds a way to tighten restrictions and tackle corruption. Which is bad news for anyone who wasn’t looking to abuse the system but simply start afresh over in the UK.
Certain EU countries are now considering following in the UK’s footsteps and putting an end to Golden Visas. Countries such as Malta and Cyprus may be the first to change their rules on residency. However nothing has been confirmed yet.
Thinking of making use of a Golden Visa and moving abroad soon? Download our moving abroad checklist to map out your plan a year out from the move.