Thanks to the “Golden Visa” or visa for investment, foreign citizens of different part of the world, specially from China, have been able to enter to Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Portugal and Ireland through a donation to the countries of he United Nations of approximately €500.000.
The golden visa has been a success as it allows the wealthy people to obtain the residency and, after a period of five or six years, they could request the citizenship. In Spain, this modality was approved on 2013 and, since that date, it has been given 35,422 visas, meaning that the country has received 6,500 millions of euros in donations or investments.
In the case of Spain, when requesting this visa, you could work and live with your main family (if you have children under 21 years), after having invested a minimal amount of €500.000, plus taxes, in startups, financing plans, real estate projects or goods that are of general interest.
Some requirements requested to live in Spain are: be older than 18 years old, present legalized penal background records, in case that the document is not in Spanish, you must have them translated by an expert and jury, do not have prohibitions to enter the country, have a private medical insurance and demonstrate to have enough incomes to live.
According to Paul Williams, director of Vida Golden Visas, quote by La Vanguardia, “just 0.1% of the residency permissions that are given in the European countries are related to golden visas”.
Despite of this initiative being successful as the money of the investors has been re-invested inside the UN and this has saved business and, at the same time, created thousand of jobs. In Portugal, the Bloque de Izquierda party and certain campaigns have requested the removal of the golden visa; the principal motivation that they argued is that this triggers foreign criminals to obtain the visa since the there is not a deep investigation of the criminal records.
Nowadays, twenty countries of the United Nations offer golden visas. In Portugal, the cost is €350.000 plus the cost of real estate investment, in the country, you could request the citizenship in five years. And, in Ireland, you must invest an approved fund of €1.000.000, which could allow you to enjoy of the completely residency of the family, you won’t have to live in the country and you must stay in it for at least one day.
Cyprus also made part of the list but, since November 1st, the government reported that the nation was leaving the program for supposedly irregularities of politicians that would be negotiating a golden visa with a “Chinese businessman” that had criminal records and was judged for money laundry.