European countries facing economic crisis are offering wealthy foreign investors the opportunity to swap cash for visas.
In the wake of recession Spain, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus are hoping to strengthen their economies by opening up the real estate market to foreigners in exchange for visas. Immigration experts state that countries including China, Russia, Africa, and the United Arab Emirates are interested in these golden tickets, with the most interest coming from the Chinese.
The Golden Euro Residence visa grants residency rights, and in some cases European Union citizenship, to foreign investors who purchase real estate with real estate ranging from €250,000-€500,000.
Spain has been implementing the Golden Euro Residence visas granting access to the Schengen area which includes the majority of the European Union but excludes the United Kingdom.
Spain grants residency permits to investors once they have invested €500,000 in real estate property. After five years foreigners can apply for permanent residency and then just 5 years later they can apply for EU citizenship. In addition, Spain also retains a program similar to the U.S. immigrant investment program, in which visas are also granted to investors who create jobs and introduce capital into the country.
A growing interest in the golden visa program has been noted, especially among Chinese and Russian investors.
The Parliament has been debating the content of the law for over a year, starting with a minimum real estate investment of €160,000 and finally agreeing on €500,000. There are no minimum stay requirements, but investors have to visit Spain once per year. This possibility is alluring to many investors because it allows them the freedom to freely travel around Europe.