Advantages of European Passport
Residency programs in Europe allow investors to travel within the Schengen Area without a visa. It is especially important for business people who want to have higher mobility. Golden visa investors generally seek higher prestige, quality and mobility, and after a certain time of residence they plan to apply for naturalisation. This way, investor can become a European citizen, and obtain a European passport. European passports offer all these benefits to its holders.
- The opportunity to travel without a visa to the Schengen countries.
EU citizens do not have to waste time and resources on visa-related processes.
- No requirements regarding permanent residence.
The only exception is Portugal where one has to live at least a week within a 365-day period in order to have one’s status in the country extended.
- Fast processing.
Spanish temporary residence is issued 2–3 months after the case submission, while in Portugal the process may take 8 months.
- European country as a backup plan.
High standards of living, progressive healthcare system and quality education.
But which one is better? Spain Golden Visa or Portugal Golden Visa?
Portugal Golden Visa as other European Visas, grants its holder visa-free access to the Schengen area. However, it requires residence for at least 7 days a year in Portugal to be able to renew the status.
Portugal’s immigration program provides investors with 3 options of investment. The first form of investment is of real estate. In this option, the investor must buy property in the territory of the country for at least €500,000. The other variant, which is more affordable and is worth €350,000, is the purchase of objects with at least a 30-year history, for further restoration.
Second form of investment is through government bonds. The candidate can invest funds in the national economy in the amount of equivalent or exceeding €1,000,000.
Third and final option is to own business. For receiving residence, one can launch a company from the ground up. There are no limitations imposed on the type of business activity, but one is obliged to employ at least 10 Portuguese.
At the end of the process, the issued ID is valid for 1 year. After the first year, it can be renewed every 2 years by the applicant. At the end of a five year temporary residence, the applicant may upgrade the status of their residence to permanent. Later, in the sixth year, the applicant can apply for naturalisation.
Portugal is also a favourable choice because of its flexible areas of investment. Portugal allows investments in business, real estate/property, research & technology, art, culture, public interest, job creation and investment funds. Also, as mentioned, naturalisation time for citizenship in Portugal is 6 years.
Spain’s Golden Visa scheme was launched in September 2013 and underwent some key updates in 2015. After a successful application, the applicant gets a 1-year Golden Visa. The residency permit that comes with the visa is valid for 2 years. It is renewable for 5 years.
After 5 years, the resident can apply for permanent residency. At this point, Spain imposes residency requirement. To be able to earn the right to permanent residency, the applicant must live in Spain for at least 183 days per year.
Applicants finally may apply for naturalisation after 10 years of continued compliance with the requirements of Spanish law.
Currently, Spanish Golden Visa has a minimum qualifying investment of €500,000 in property. Investors who want to try another option may also invest €2 million in Spanish government bonds.
Spain, in terms of flexibility, is not as competitive as Portugal as it only allows business share and real estate investments.