January is the time when we start to think about new beginnings and for some that means moving to another country.
The pandemic has changed the way we live and work for the long haul, with more jobs than ever always online. We also look forward to traveling again after months of restrictions and canceled plans.
This combination could see you looking to completely change your surroundings by living abroad. And for people in the UK and North America, a Golden Visa can offer a way to find a destination that better matches their future plans.
What is a Golden Visa?
A Golden Visa is an immigration program that allows you to obtain a residence permit or even citizenship for a country by buying a house there or making a relatively large investment or donation.
Different countries have different investment requirements that range from around € 250,000 to millions of euros, which means that they are really only available to the wealthy.
If you meet the conditions and apply for a Golden Visa, you and your family become legal residents of the country. It can also lead to citizenship, but the path to achieving this varies between different programs and can be difficult or long.
Open to third-country nationals, they have become increasingly popular in recent years in the European Union where obtaining a Golden Visa can also bring other benefits, including freedom of movement in the Schengen area. .
Currently, the programs are estimated to attract around € 3 billion of investment in the EU each year.
A “Golden Visa frenzy” in 2022
According to one of the leading investment advisory firms, 2022 could be the year of the Golden Visa, as many people and families are fed up with turning to change their way of life.
“A healthy and sustainable lifestyle is on the agenda for 2022 like never before,” says Murat Coskun, Founder and Managing Partner of Get a gold visa.
“We believe 2022 will be a year of golden visa frenzy, as people come up with a plan B for how and where they want to live.”
The firm adds that the main motivations for people to seek second home or citizenship include an increase in remote working, Brexit and a poor response to the pandemic in their own country.
The desire to escape the hustle and bustle of city life also prompts people to seek out a destination better suited to their needs.
“We are witnessing a tidal wave of people who want to reconnect with nature and have a space around them to live and work,” adds Coskun.
The most popular countries for Golden Visas
The allure of spacious properties in a natural environment on the coast has made Greece and Portugal, popular destinations for investors, according to Coskun.
Portugal has become one of the best places in Europe to obtain residency through investment after surpassing 10,000 applications in 2021. High vaccination rates and tax exemptions for cryptocurrency income are listed among the reasons why the country is a desirable place to live.
Greece comes just behind Portugal with around 9,500 golden visa applications at the end of last year. Following a boom in the real estate market, more and more houses are being built here. This, along with tax incentives for high net worth individuals, has meant that it has become a popular place for those looking to invest in real estate.