Why Invest In Properties for Golden Visa and Residence Permits in Europe?

Why Invest In Properties for Golden Visa and Residence Permits in Europe?

Which country is best to buy property and get residency?

Here is a checklist: 

  1. Narrow down on the country which suits you best, based on your needs and objectives – location / language / tax structure / path to citizenship / annual stay requirements / inclusion of family members / minimum investment threshold / property buying taxes and costs / immigration costs, etc. For example, Golden Visa for Portugal requires an average annual stay of 7 days.
  2. Check for qualifying properties – new build / any build / refurbishment incentives / rural incentives / residential only / commercial allowance / locations allowance, etc. For example, Spain Golden Visa allows multiple property purchase aggregating to at least 500 thousand Euros.
  3. Who do you want to work with – immigration advisor / developer / third party service provider / listing website, etc.?
  4. What is your budget and how do you know if the sale price offered is at par with the market value in the local markets?
  5. Completed projects carry less construction risk than incomplete projects and are likely to be a little more expensive per sq. m. Are you willing to take construction risk? What if there is a delay and what are the covenants?
  6. Developer’s track record and third-party valuation by a leading, registered valuer are key metrics to consider.
  7. Do you want to get your own lawyer or let the Developer’s lawyer do it for you? Remember, your lawyer represents you, but it costs some money. Most Golden Visa regimes do not make it mandatory to have a lawyer represent you, but you might have language constraints. For example, applications for Golden Visa for Portugal are in Portuguese whereas for Greece Golden Visa is in Greek. 
The so-called Golden Visa is a term that was initially coined by Greece for its investment-based residence permits and has now become synonymous with investment immigration. Essentially, these countries offer long term residence permits in exchange of a certain amount of investment in property or other qualifying assets. Each country has their own dos and don’ts, but the concept largely remains the same.

Here is how it works:

  1. A consumer buys a piece of property or invests in another form of qualifying investment.
  2. The relevant government issues a residence permit (the so-called Golden Visa) for the investor and his / her family.

Sounds simple – right? But it is not.

There are several steps to owning properties in Europe, with additional steps for non-EU citizens. Usually, this process involves 8-14 internal steps and can take 3-4 months to conclude, In the recent times however, the time being taken is doubled in most cases due to Covid-19 restrictions on government office workers.
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