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Experience luxury and freedom abroad: the best golden visa countries are waiting for you!

This article presents the best countries that offer such Golden Visa programs, making them attractive options for international investors.
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With a golden visa you can buy legal residence in a country. In exchange for a certain amount as an investment in a country or the purchase of a property, there is the residence permit. This common practice of citizenship by investment is a process that many countries offer. However, these golden visa countries are becoming fewer in recent years. For example, in 2022, the European Commission asked member states to discontinue residency by investment programs. Our list shows the current best golden visa countries.

The best countries for a golden visa at a glance.


Spain has introduced the golden visa in 2013. Spain Golden Visa offers people living outside the European Union and in Switzerland the opportunity for a quick residency in the attractive country. The investments are intended to strengthen the Spanish economy. In return, Spain offers a high quality of life, access to the excellently developed public education and healthcare system, the possibility of a long-term secured capital investment and the option of Spanish citizenship. However, Spain will abolish the golden visa again. The foreign investors caused a rapid increase in real estate prices. One consequence was that residents were forced out of their neighborhoods. An exact schedule is not yet known. Therefore, it is worth being quick if you still want to get hold of one of the coveted golden visas.

RequirementsMinimum age 18 years, No criminal record, No irregular residence, Health insurance in Spain, Sufficient means to finance a life in Spain.
InvestmentAt least 500,000 euros in real estate, At least 1,000,000 euros in shares or participations of Spanish companies, 2,000,000 euros investment in public debt.
Living spaceDoes not have to be in Spain
Family membersChildren under 18 and spouse are included
TravelVisa-free travel throughout the EU-Schengen zone
Validity period1 year, extension possible
Permanent residenceAfter 5 years, if more than 6 months are spent in Spain each year
CitizenshipAfter 10 years, when permanent residence has been achieved
Fees8.000 - 12.000 Euro
Processing time3 weeks


Like Spain, Malta or Italy, Greece attracts with a residence permit by investment. The Greece Golden Visa has been available since 2013 and allows a temporary stay of 5 years. After that, the visa must be extended. Extension is granted without any problems if you continue to own the property you invested in. Greece offers particularly low hurdles for obtaining residency and subsequently citizenship. It is possible to apply for citizenship after only seven consecutive years of residence. In return, the country offers impeccable health care and an excellent education system. The idyllic life in the countryside and on the coast, or the lively cities with attractive infrastructure make the decision for Greece easy.

RequirementsMinimum age 18 years, No criminal record, No previous Schengen area refusals, Sufficient financial means to live in Greece.
InvestmentAt least 250,000 euros in real estate(In some cities or islands also 500,000 euros in real estate) or capital contribution of at least 400,000 euros in a company based in Greece or purchase of Greek government bonds worth at least 400,000 euros.
Living spaceYou do not have to live in Greece
Family membersChildren under 21 and spouse are included
TravelVisa-free travel throughout the EU-Schengen zone
Validity period5 years, extension possible if you remain in possession of the property
Permanent residenceinclusive
CitizenshipAfter 7 years residence permit
Fees15.000 Euro
Processing time1 to 2 months


Malta also offers golden visas for non-EU and non-Swiss citizens. On the one hand, there is the Residency by Investment program for permanent residence, and on the other hand, the golden passport for citizenship. For Maltese residency, all that is required is a total investment of 175,000 euros or more in rental property, a donation to a local NGO, the administrative contribution and a government contribution. In return, you get a Mediterranean, high-quality lifestyle, excellent educational opportunities, and economic and political stability. Foreign language hurdles are almost non-existent, as Malta is English-speaking. It is currently unclear how long the golden passport option will exist in Malta. The European Union wants to have the procedure for Maltese citizenship banned by means of a lawsuit. Further information can be found on the Website of the Community Malta Agency.

Requirements Minimum age 18 years, Not a citizen of the EU, Maltese private health insurance, Sufficient funds to finance a life in Malta, Proof by an authorized representative that the applicant is a proper person and will not harm Malta.
InvestmentAt least 300,000 euros in the purchase of a property in the south of Malta, in the rest of the country 350,000 euros or rental income of at least 10,000 euros per year in the south of Malta, in the rest 12,000 euros + payment to the Maltese state of 28,000 euros for property purchase and 58,000 euros for property leasing + 2,000 euros donation to a non-governmental organization of the Commissioner fort Voluntary Organizations Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)
Living spacepermanent residence not required
Family memberseach additional person costs 7,500 euros extra
TravelVisa-free travel throughout the EU-Schengen zone
Validity periodLifetime
Permanent residenceinclusive
CitizenshipPossible via the golden Pass program. This then has much higher requirements for investments and donations
Fees40.000 Euro
Processing time3 weeks to 6 months


Cities steeped in history, sensational food. Excellent wine and a fantastic climate all year round – that’s Italy. Not only tourists, but also expats are magically attracted to this land of dolce vita. There are ordinary ways to work, live and obtain citizenship in the country. But Italy also offers the possibility of a golden visa with the “Investor Visa for Italy,” since 2017. Freedom of movement in the Schengen area, advantages in the tax system, working where others go on vacation, are just some of the advantages that Italy offers. Furthermore, the country offers very good educational opportunities, political and economic security and impeccable national health care. More information about investor visa in Italy is also available on the Website of the Ministers delle Imprese e del Made in Italy.

RequirementsMinimum age 18 years, Not a citizen of the EU, No criminal record or ongoing proceedings, Declaration of where you want to settle in Italy later, Sufficient funds to finance a life in Italy.
Investment250,000 euro investment in an Italian start-up or 500,000 euro investment in an Italian company or donation of 1,000,000 euro for a project of public interest or 2 million euro in Italian government bonds
Living spaceOne-time visit to Italy necessary for the investment
Family membersChildren under 18 and spouse are included
TravelVisa-free travel throughout the EU-Schengen zone
Validity period2 years, renewable for another 3 years if investment is maintained.
Permanent residencePossible after 5 years
CitizenshipPossible after 10 years
Fees15,000 euros including opening an account in Italy
Processing time4 weeks


Of course, Switzerland cannot be missing from the list of countries with golden visas. The small country in the middle of Europe has always been a popular destination for emigrants. However, the process for a residence permit in Switzerland is long and rocky. Only a few succeed in making their dream of living in Switzerland come true. Switzerland as a confederation offers independence from the EU, direct democracy, low tax burden with excellent earning opportunities and a perfect education system. The beautiful landscapes and the pleasant well-being of living in Switzerland complete the list.

Golden visas in Switzerland offer ultra-wealthy people from all over the world the opportunity to bypass the Aliens Act and obtain a residence permit for the small country. This is made possible by a loophole in the law that allows indirect purchase into Switzerland. The cantons decide on this special permit. The requirements for a permit are therefore also canton-dependent. While some cantons, such as Ticino or cantons close to France, are satisfied with an annual tax income of around 250,000 Swiss francs, in other cantons, especially those close to Germany, the sums are CHF 5,000,000 and more.

  • Proof of annual tax income of at least 500,000 Swiss francs
  • Evidence of intent to benefit Switzerland economically.

Other countries in Europe

You may wonder what happened to the other options on golden visa in the EU or European countries. Attractive Portugal Golden Visa, Cyprus, Golden Visa, Golden Visa for Ireland or United Kingdom were popular alternatives to visas for Spain, Turkey or Switzerland. Cyprus, Portugal, Ireland and the United Kingdom have abolished their golden visas. On the one hand, it is due to the tightened pressure from the EU, which does not like at all to see the doors opened to all EU countries for enough money. On the other hand, the countries themselves have abolished the regulations, as they do more harm than good to the national economy after all.

Are you an EU citizen anyway and want a golden visa for a country outside the European Union? Then take a look at our next golden visa countries.

United Arab Emirates (UAE)

The United Arab Emirates are the key country in the Middle East. Located on the Arabian Gulf, the Emirates, first and foremost Dubai, offer fantastic investment opportunities, a high standard of living with very low taxes as well as an excellently developed infrastructure and communication structure. Starting an economic activity in the United Arab Emirates, for example with an offshore company, is relatively easy. Nevertheless, golden visas UAE and golden visas for Dubai are very attractive. This is because they offer even more advantages than the normal residence permits that one holds, for example, by buying a property or starting a job in the UAE or Dubai.

Until 2020, only a few exceptions were granted the Dubai Gold Visa. Now, however, the desert state offers several options for a golden visa. Here, especially the retirement visa and the visa for investors are interesting. For the retirement visa, certain monthly income or reserves are relevant. The 10-year investor visa and its conditions can be found in the following table. Furthermore, there is the UAE citizenship by nomination. In this form, selected individuals with special significance for Dubai’s economy, research, society and culture are granted citizenship. All information on UAE golden visas and all other residence permits can be found at the United Arab Emirates website and on our Website under the topic Visa for Dubai.

RequirementsMinimum age 18 years, No criminal record, Proof of health insurance in Dubai and UAE, Belong to one of the Golden Visa UAE groups.
InvestmentAt least AED 2 million in real estate, At least AED 2 million deposit in mutual funds.
Living spaceMay stay outside the UAE for more than 180 days
Family membersChildren of any age, spouses, domestic workers and company executives included in the 10-year visa. For the 5-year visa, including three executives of the company, but excluding family members.
TravelFree in UAE
Validity period5 to 10 years
Permanent residenceinclusive
CitizenshipOnly possible on nomination for special merit
FeesFrom AED 2,500
Processing time8 to 14 days

United States of America (USA)

The United States of America has been considered an attractive country for investment for many decades. The USA EB-5 Visa provides an easy and efficient path to permanent residence in the USA: the green card. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has been in existence since 1990, with the goal of encouraging qualified investors to “buy” a Golden Visa USA and thereby create jobs in the USA. In return, the immigrant investors can enjoy free life in America, access to accredited universities and attractive employment opportunities. After 5 years, American citizenship is also possible. This is often an added incentive to invest in the American economy.

RequirementsMinimum age 18 years No criminal record No irregular residence Sufficient means to finance a life in Spain
InvestitionMindestens 800.000 USD In ein gezieltes Beschäftigungsprojekt auf dem Land oder in Gebieten mit hoher Arbeitslosigkeit. Mindestens 1.050.000 USD in ein nicht zielgerichtetes Beschäftigungsprojekt. Schaffung von 10 Arbeitsplätzen oder Erhalt von mindestens zehn Arbeitsplätzen an einem Standort.
Living space-
Family membersChildren up to 27 years and spouse are included
TravelVisa-free travel throughout the EU-Schengen zone
Validity period1 year, extension possible
Permanent residenceinclusive
CitizenshipPossible after 5 years of legal residence
Fees8.000 - 12.000 Euro
Processing time30 to 36 months

Other countries with Golden Visa

In addition to the countries presented here individually, there are others that offer residency by investment, citizenship by investment or golden visas. These include countries that are particularly attractive due to their quality of life and economic situation, such as Canada, New Zealand and the Cayman Islands. However, the investment sums of up to 10 million US dollars are also very high. In other countries such as Anguilla, St. Kitz and Nevis or Vanuatu you can be already with 100,000 to 150,000 euros. However, these then also do not offer quite as many advantages as classic offshore states or attractive retirement countries. Turkey as a sunshine state also offers a golden visa. Here again, the political situation is a point to consider. The table shows a brief overview of the other countries with golden visas.

LandGolden Visa
AnguillaInvestments in capital development funds, real estate investment or high value residency.
Antigua und BarbudaCitizenship by Investment by investing at least $100,000 in Antigua National Development Fund or qualified real estate or in starting a business
Cayman InselnUSD 2.5 million in qualified real estate
DeutschlandNo direct golden visa, but an investment program that can lead to citizenship
Grenada$150,000 investment in National Transformation Fund or real estate.
KanadaVarious provincial indirect programs, Start Up Visa Program, popular Quebec Immigrant Investor program currently suspended.
NeuseelandInvestment of 2 or 10 million NZ dollars, Entrepreneur visa
ÖsterreichInvestment in real estate and proof of liquid assets of at least 40,000 euros
SingapurInvestment of 2.5 Singapore dollars in a company, proof of track record over three years, proof of at least 50 million Singapore dollars in company revenue
St. Kitts und NevisDonation of at least $125,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund or real estate investment of at least $200,000.
St. Luciafor an investment of at least 200,000 USD in qualified real estate there is direct citizenship
TürkeiInvestment in real estate with at least $400,000 or purchase of government bonds, $500,000 or start a business with at least 50 employees or 500,000 Investment in a bank, venture capital investment fund or real estate investment fund For this, there is directly citizenship
VanuatuInvesting $130,000 in a local citizenship development fund.

Tips for choosing the right country

Many countries entice you with residence permits through investment. In some cases, you get not only a residence, but even the citizenship with it. The amount and type of investment are quite different. Often it is real estate. But direct investment in the economy is increasingly becoming a prerequisite for a golden visa. However, which golden visa country you choose depends mainly on personal goals. Preferences for certain countries or climates also play into the decision. Include the answers to the following questions in your decision.

  • How much money can I invest?
  • Do I want to invest only in real estate or do I want to do business myself?
  • How many years do I want to stay in the country? Do I want to live in the country permanently?
  • How many years is the residence permit valid?
  • Can I become a citizen after some time? Do I want to become a citizen?
  • How long does the approval take?
  • What are the costs for fees and charges?
  • Does the Golden Visa also apply to my family?
  • What is the tax system in the chosen country?
  • What is the cost of living?
  • How good is the medical care?
  • How good is the education system?
  • How stable is the country’s economic and political situation?
  • What are the other benefits such as freedom of movement?

This list of questions can be extended at will. The decision to live in freedom and luxury with a golden visa needs to be well considered. If everything fits, you have laid the foundation for a relaxed and carefree life with a wise investment.

Author: DLS Dubai
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