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Citizenship guide
Imperial experience

Latvia, Spain or Portugal – which Golden Visa is better for investment?

PUBLISHED: 19 March 2020

To begin with, let’s establish what is a Golden Visa. It is not called golden because of how expensive it is. Quite opposite, it is a unique and affordable way of getting a residence permit in Europe that will allow you to live in a country of your choice, travel around the European Union visa-free and do business within a flexible legal field. On top of that, you are getting high-quality education for your children, a developed social system and a safe environment in an economically and politically stable state.

At the same time, it is not hard at all to obtain a Golden Visa for yourself and your family. Here we have compiled the most attractive options of relocating to Europe with the further view of getting an EU passport. We are going to talk about Latvia, Spain and Portugal.

Latvia Golden visa – investment in high-quality real estate

Latvia is one of the EU countries that grants its residence permit to foreign nationals that buy a property there. The biggest benefit of the Latvia residence by investment program is that it is the cheapest in Europe – value of the property starts at €250,000 which would buy you a luxury-segment flat or a house on the seaside or in a city without additional expenses.

In this case, you will get your Latvia residence permit in 1-3 months provided you submit all necessary documents and give truthful information. To minimise risks, you should talk to a professional immigration lawyer that would check your application for compliance with all the requirements.

How to get a Latvia residence permit

An applicant applying for Latvia Golden visa by investing in real estate must comply with the following criteria.

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Invest in one or more properties, excluding forests and agricultural lands, with the total value of at least €250,000
  • Buy cash-free
  • Check that cadastral value of the property is not less than €80,000
  • Pay government fees of 5% and stamp duty 2% of the purchase price
  • Have clean criminal record (it is a standard requirement both for a golden visa and any other visas)
  • Buy health insurance valid for at least a year after obtaining residence permit
  • Prove you can financially support yourself and your family
  • Provide confirmation of having paid all property-related taxes
  • Provide medical report of good health

Latvia permanent residence and citizenship

You can apply for Latvia permanent residence 5 years after getting a residence permit if you have complied with all other legal requirement. You can get a EU passport after 10 years of living in Latvia.

Spain Golden Visa – choose your investment option

Have you been dreaming of living in a warm climate on the seaside and with a lot of sunshine? Then Spain is your country; you will enjoy a comfortable life in Europe, have a chance to realise ambitious business projects and ideas in a transparent legal system. Besides, Spain is always in the top 10 touristic countries, has high levels of education and healthcare.

How to obtain Golden Visa in Spain

Spanish government offers three investment options to foreign nationals wishing to obtain Spain residence by investment.

Invest in business

There is no minimum amount, but a business must be trading and contribute to the local economy one way or another, create jobs, invest in innovative research, play an important social or economic role.

Invest in real estate

Applicants under the Spain Residence by Investment program must buy a residential or commercial property for at least €500,000.

Invest in financial assets

Minimum amount can vary:

€1,000,000 if investing in a local financial institution, stocks or shares of Spanish companies, or investment funds, either in close-end or venture capital.

€2,000,000 if contributing to the payment of public debt.

Additional requirements for Spain residence permit

It is not only financial criteria that must be met when applying for Spanish Golden Visa, there are more. Because applicants are outside the country, they might not know all the details and pitfalls; in this case, qualified lawyers can help you get an investment or business visa to Spain based on your circumstances. They will also check whether you meet all the requirements under the Spain Residence by Investment program:

  • Your age is over 18 years old
  • Your financially dependent children are not older than 26
  • You have a medical report confirming your good health
  • You have clean criminal record
  • You have enough money to support yourself
  • Investment must be held for no less than 5 years
  • You must invest from abroad

Spain permanent residence and citizenship

After you obtain a Spain residence permit you must live there for 5 years before you can apply for permanent residence. All other requirements must be also complied with. After 10 years of legally residing in the country, you can apply for a Spanish passport. Please be aware that they don’t accept dual nationality and you will have to renounce your first citizenship if you want to become a Spanish citizen, but you need to discuss this with an immigration adviser.

Portugal Golden Visa: affordable investment

Portugal is still one of the most attractive European countries for relocation thanks to high living standards, affordable prices, flexible immigration laws, political and economic stability. The government offers Portugal residence under one of the most attractive residence programs in Europe. Real estate prices are steadily going up which increases the number of applicants for Portugal Golden Visa.

One more thing to remember, if you want to buy a flat or a house in Lisbon or Porto, now is the best time because Portuguese government passed a law earlier this year to stop real estate purchases in large cities; it will come into force next year. Therefore, if you are interested in investing in a property there, you still have time.

How to invest in Portugal residence permit

Tired for travelling with visas? Want to expand business opportunities and live a comfortable life? Portugal offers the following options to invest in its Golden Visa:

Invest in real estate

You will have two choices; buy a property for at least €500,000 and own it for 5 years, or purchase a property for refurbishment for €350,000. The latter must be built over 30 years ago and subject to reconstruction.

Invest in jobs

If you own a business, you must make sure it creates at least 10 full-time jobs.

Investment in financial assets

Here is what you can invest into in order to get a Portugal residence permit:

Type of investment Minimum investment
Stocks and shares of Portuguese companies €1,000,000
Local businesses that could create 5 or more jobs for at least 3 years €350,000
Research activities €350,000
Venture capital or investment funds dedicated to the capitalisation of companies €350,000
Arts and talents €250,000

How to get Portugal residence permit

Before you can apply for Portugal Golden Visa, you should have expert lawyers check your compliance with key requirements:

  • You must be over 18 years old;
  • Valid Schengen visa or residence permit for non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals;
  • Dependants include a spouse, children to 18 years of age as well as financially dependent children and parents;
  • Personal presence in Portugal;
  • No criminal record;
  • Medical reports and health insurance;
  • Available accommodation;
  • Evidence of funds for investment outside the country.

Portugal permanent residence and citizenship

If you comply with all the requirements and conditions, you can apply for permanent residence in 5 years after arriving on a Golden Visa and a year later you can get an EU passport.

Professional immigration support

You can see that it is not difficult to obtain a Golden Visa, your ticket to Europe with all its benefits. However, there are a lot of pitfalls and minor facts in the legislations of Latvia, Spain and Portugal which are not easy to understand all by yourself.

Our experienced lawyers have been helping clients for many years with getting residence permits in European countries. They treat each individually offering a customised solution that would help you get a desired residence permit in a country of your choice. They will also assist you with property search and other matters relate

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