Tranio: Where in Europe is investment-based residency (relatively) cheap?

(Editor’s noteThis post about where to find affordable investment-based residency in Europe was originally posted on Tranio. It’s reposted here with permission.)

There are several ways to gain residence in Europe: by entering a local university, finding a job opportunity or creating a family with a national of another country.

These strategies work for those who plan on moving abroad. However, many people want to obtain European residence for other purposes, such as to facilitate interaction with foreign banks, travel freely across the European Union, or as a safety precaution in case the holder needs to emigrate urgently.

A good option in such cases is the so-called Golden Visa, which is a residence permit issued to buyers of real estate or other assets above a certain value. This is the easiest and quickest way to obtain a residence permit.

Tranio describes the most popular programmes, and on what terms a Golden Visa can be obtained in another country.



Andorra provides several residence-by-investment options. An obligatory requirement is to own or rent property in the country and have an income level exceeding the Andorran minimum salary by three times over. Investment-based residency does not give foreign nationals the right for economic activity within Andorra.

Minimum amount: €400,000 + €50,000 deposit per principal applicant and €10,000 per each family member

Investment vehicles: property, companies registered in Andorra, public bonds, deposits

Term: indefinite, the holder is eligible for citizenship after 20 years of actual residence

Residence requirements: 90 days per year

Visa-free access: Spain, France

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, children


Bulgaria offers two residence-by-investment options to economic investors:

Minimum amount: BGN 600,000 (€306,000)
Investment vehicle: real estate

Minimum amount: BGN 250,000 (€127,000)
Investment vehicle: a company creating 5 jobs for Bulgarian nationals

The investor living permanently in Bulgaria becomes eligible for a long-term residence permit within five years.

Republic of Cyprus

The country offers foreign nationals permanent residency for a property purchase. Financial requirements are relatively low: the applicant’s annual income outside Cyprus must be at least €30,000 (extra €5,000 or €8,000 per each family member depending on the degree of kindred) with an equal amount being deposit in a Cypriot bank account.

Minimum amount: €300,000

Investment vehicle: real estate

Residence requirements: at least one visit to Cyprus every two years

Lead time: 1–2 months

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, parents and children of both


Foreign nationals can obtain Estonian residency by investing in purchasing or registering a new company in Estonia or opening their own business. Applicants must provide a business plan.

Minimum amount: €16,000

Investment vehicle: business (as an individual investing in an own business — €16,000, purchase or registration of a new company — €65,000.

Term: 5 years, renewable


France offers residency to foreign nationals in exchange for business investment. Investors must hold at least 30% of a company capital and create or preserve 50 jobs.

Minimum amount: €10mn

Investment vehicle: A company created in France.

Residence requirements: none

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, children


The Greek Golden Visa is one of the cheapest residence-by-property-purchase programmes in Europe. Many investors rent the purchased properties out short term. Thanks to a relatively low price per square metre and the growing popularity of the country among tourists, the yield of rental business in Athensis higher than in other European capitals.

Minimum amount: €250,000

Investment vehicle: real estate (one or several properties)

Term: 5 years, indefinitely renewable, the holder is eligible for citizenship after 7 years of actual residence

Residence requirements: none

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, parents and children of both


Ireland offers investors four residence-by-investment options. To become eligible for residence, applicants must prove a holding of at least €2mn.

Minimum amount: €500,000

Investment vehicles:

– business (€1mn within 3 years)

– investment fund (€1mn)

– real estate investment trust (€2mn within 3 years)

– endowment (€500,000)

Residence requirements: at least one visit to Ireland a year

Term: 2 years, renewable for 3 years and then 5 years

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, children


Foreign nationals can apply for Italian residency in exchange for significant investment in the country’s economy.

Minimum amount: €500,000

Investment vehicles:
– innovative startup (€500,000)
– business (€1mn)
– donation (€1mn)
– public bonds (€2mn)

Term: 2 years, renewable every 3 years

Residence requirements: none

In 2016, the Italian government introduced a special tax regime for new residents who spend most of their time in Italy and are its tax residents. From now on, investors can pay a fixed annual tax of €100,000 for themselves (and €25,000 per family member), which exempts them from paying tax on profits obtained outside Italy (usually calculated at a progressive rate from 23% to 43%).


Latvia launched its Golden Visa programme in April 2010. Its low investment threshold (€140,000 for Riga and €70,000 for other regions) guaranteed instant popularity. However, when in September 2014 the Latvian government raised the investment threshold to €250,000, the demand for Golden Visas fell almost tenfold. Russian nationals constitute 70% of the Latvian residence permit recipients.

Minimum amount: €60,000

Investment vehicles:
– enterprises with at least 50 employees and an annual turnover below €10mn (€50,000+€10,000 fee).
– enterprises with over 50 employees and an annual turnover above €10mn (€100,000+€10,000 fee).
– property (€250,000 +€12,500 fee.)
– 5-year subordinated bank deposit (€280,000 +€25,000 fee)

Residence requirements: none

Term: 5 years, renewable every 5 years

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, children


Foreign nationals can obtain residency under the programme Malta Residence & Visa Programme. Investors holding at least €500,000 and having at least €100,000 in annual income can participate. An obligatory requirement is to own or rent property in Malta for five years. It must cost at least €320,000 in the case of purchase and €12,000 in the case of rent (€270,000 and €12,000 for the south of Malta or Gozo).

Minimum amount: €280,000

Investment vehicle: public bonds (€250,000 +€30,000 fee.)

Residence requirements: none

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, children, parents, grandparents


Portugal provides residency to foreign nationals under the Golden Residence Permit Programme. This is the most popular Golden Visa in Europe: between 2013 and 2017, investors obtained over 5,000 Portuguese residence permits.

Minimum amount: €250,000

Investment vehicles:

– property (of at least €500,000 in value, property built at least 30 years ago or located in areas of urban renovation worth more than €350,000)
– creation of 10 jobs
– bank deposit or approved investment projects (€1 mn)
– scientific research (€350,000)
– cultural heritage (€250,000)
– investment and venture funds (€350,000)
– Term: 1 year, renewable twice for 2 years

Residence requirements: 1 week during the first year, and 2 weeks during the next 4 years

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, children, dependants\


Unlike most other countries, in Spain, work permits are available along with residence.

Minimum amount: €500,000

Investment vehicles:

– property (€500,000)
– business or financial institutions (€1 mn)
– public bonds (€2 mn)
– launch of a company with jobs.

Term: 2 years, renewable every 5 years, the holder is eligible for citizenship after 5 years of actual residence

Residence requirements: none

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, children and parents


Switzerland offers foreign nationals an unusual way to obtain a residence permit: through a lump—sum taxation agreement. The tax amount depends not on the income value but on the number of expenses which is to exceed the applicant’s lodging expenses seven times at least. Each canton independently determines the amount to be taxed. Foreign nationals who have obtained residency in such a way must spend in Switzerland 6 months at least without the right to work, however.

United Kingdom

The UK investment-based residence is available through one of the two following programmes:

Tier 1 (Investor) visa

Minimum amount: £2mn (€2.2mn)

Investment vehicles: public shares and bonds or assets of companies registered and operating in the UK.

Term: 40 months, renewable for another 2 years. Permanent residence can be obtained in 3 years by those who invest £5mn (€5.6mn) and in 2 years by those investing £10mn (€11.2mn)

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, children

Tier 1 (Entrepreneur) visa

Minimum amount: £50,000 (€56,000) if the source of funding is a foundation or a venture capital firm, approved by the government, £200,000 (€223,000) otherwise

Investment vehicle: business

Term: 40 months, renewable in 2 or 3 years, permanent residence available within 5 years

The main applicant’s family members eligible for the visa: spouse, children

About Tranio:

Tranio is a Moscow-base broker with offices in Bryansk, Spain (Barcelona, Alicante, Torrevieja) and Germany (Freiburg). More than two million people visited their website in 2017 – twice more than in 2016 – the company’s revenue grew by 18 percent in the past year. In 2017, 26 percent of all our transactions involved foreign clients. In particular, we closed several large commercial real estate transactions in Germany to nationals of Pakistan, Turkey and South Africa.

To Top

Subscribe to our newsletter

Subscribe to our newsletter and receive the latest news and updates from Dispatches Europe. Get lifestyle & culture, startup & tech, jobs and travel news dispatched to your inbox each week. Keep up with what's going on in Europe. Everything Expat.

You have Successfully Subscribed!