“Golden visas” is a broad term for visas obtained by “foreign nationals” through financial investment. Such “Golden visas” will typically offer the holder the right to live, work and study in the country issuing the visa. These rights granted by the Golden Visa can be extended to the holder’s family members (spouse, children and parents if they depend financially on the holder of the visa). When delivered by a Schengen member country, the Golden Visa offers free movement within the Schengen area (i.e. most of the European Union member states such as France, Germany, Greece, Spain, Portugal, etc. and Norway, Iceland and Switzerland). This means that the holder of the Golden Visa and their family can travel visa-free in each of these countries for 90 days per period of 180 days. The Golden Visas also offer a route to Permanent Residence and even towards obtaining the nationality of the issuing country.
Golden Visas are offered by the United Kingdom (“UK”) in the form of an Entrepreneur Visa or Investor Visa and some European countries (such as Spain, Portugal, Latvia and Malta). Each of them has their own requirements and processes for issuing and renewing a Golden Visa. Our lawyers are experts at obtaining Golden Visas for the UK, Spain and Portugal and can provide start to finish legal representation in securing your Golden Visa.
The United Kingdom offers two main paths towards acquiring a visa through investment. The first route is through the Tier 1 ‘Entrepreneur’ visa route which requires availability of £200k to invest in a new or existing business. This route also requires availability of maintenance funds, a business plan, an English language component and the Home Office application fee. The second route is the Tier 1 Investor Visa route which requires access to at least £2,000,000 in investment funds and can invest the funds in UK registered companies, government bonds, share capital or loan capital.
Spain launched its own “Golden Visa”, the Visado de Residencia Por Adquisición de Bienes Inmuebles in September 2013. To be eligible for a Spanish Golden Visa, the applicant must invest a minimum of €500,000 in real estate in Spanish territory. The visa grants its holders the right to live, work and study in Spain. The visa holders retain these rights as long as they visit the country at least once a year (there is no obligation to reside permanently in Spain), maintain their investment and comply with administrative requirements such as renewing their visa. These rights can be extended to the applicant’s family members.
Portugal launched its own “Golden Visas”, the Autorização De Residência Para Actividade de Investimento in October 2012. To be eligible for a Portuguese Golden Visa, the applicant must invest a minimum of €500,000 in real estate in Portuguese territory. The visa grants its holders the right to live, work and study in Spain. The visa holders retain these rights as long as they visit the country at least once a year (visa holders are under no obligation to reside permanently in Portugal), maintain their investment and comply with administrative requirements such as renewing their visa. These rights can be extended to the applicant’s family members.