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The number of wealthy individuals pursuing European residency through golden visa programmes is only set to increase
More and more high-net-worth individuals are looking into European residency, according to the governments of Portugal, Malta, Greece and Cyprus, who offer so-called “golden visa” schemes.
In essence, these programmes provide residency for investment, and are becoming ever more attractive. The number of HNWIs looking to obtain European residency is scheduled to rise at a faster rate over the next 10 years, with some 60% of applicants for second-residency schemes coming from the Middle East.
These investments are chiefly in real estate and start at approximately €250,000 in Greece, €300,000 in Cyprus and €500,000 in Portugal.
Each host country has its own regulations that must be followed with the investment scheme, including the amount of days that need to be spent in the host country. However, there are specific obligations that are present in all programmes, such as the holder not having a criminal record and the ability to substantiate the legal origin of the funds.
Despite the fact these golden visa programmes aren’t without their critics, it is widely recognised that they are of benefit to their domestic economies. For instance, Cypriot finance minister Harris Georgiades said the programme in Cyprus added some 1.2% to economic growth over the past three years, indicating that the recovery of the construction and real-estate sectors is due to the residency for investment structure.
Additionally, Eurico Brilhante Dias, the secretary of state for internationalisation in Portugal, said his country’s programme was inviting immense interest to the country.
Indeed, there are a whole host of reasons why an increasing number of individuals are seeking European residency. One example is the holder can establish a business in the host country, allowing access to potential new markets, as well as tax advantages, providing investors with more efficient wealth management opportunities.
Security insurance is another benefit to European residency. The host countries offer security, stability and peace, which perhaps may not be the case in the individual’s home country.
Another pro to European residency is that it can also be granted to family members on the back of the main applicant. An individual’s family can therefore also benefit from the many advantages of European residency, including world-class education and healthcare facilities.
More and more public institutions and private organisations have stated that an increasing number of HNWIs are seeking European residency. These people are keen to make the most of the opportunities to live, work and/or retire away from their home country and enjoy all the related benefits.
Indeed, this is a trend that is expected to gain more momentum over the coming years as the world becomes progressively more globalised.
The writer is founder and CEO of deVere Group
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