3 Ways to Get a European Residence Permit Through Investment

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There are different ways to get legalized in Europe. In addition to the obvious ways to obtain a residence permit, for example through marriage, study, work, there are other-shorter-ways. These are special programs that make it possible to obtain a status through investments. Among them there are popular and little-known options. We will tell you about three not the most obvious, but interesting options.

Option#1. Buy property in Andorra

Foreigners who wish to obtain a European residence permit can apply to the program of a small European state of Andorra.

A residence permit without the right to work (passive residence) is issued here for investments in the amount of €400,000. Of these, €350,000 can be invested in local securities, business or real estate. The remaining amount (€50,000+) put it on deposit with the Central Bank of Andorra as a guarantee of solvency. You will need to add €10,000 to the deposit for each family member moving with the main applicant, but the size of the main investment is reduced by the same amount. In addition, it is necessary to prove a sufficient level of income and the presence of an official address in Andorra real estate (owned or leased) to obtain the status.

Under the terms of the program, holders of a residence permit must spend at least 90 days a year in the country, and keep investments while the extension of the status is required.

The passive residence is issued to the whole family (spouse, children, parents) first for two years, and then it is extended according to the 2+3 scheme on the basis of investments. You can apply for a ten-year residence permit after seven years of residence in the country in the status of a resident. The next stage – after 17 years – may be the registration of citizenship by naturalization. At the same time, you will have to renunciate your main citizenship. 

Find more information about the conditions, the procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Andorra for investments and the costs of the program here.

Advantages of investment

The small state of Andorra has a high standard of living (per capita income of more than $20,000 per year) and a transparent tax system. There are social benefits, as well as opportunities for recreation and business.

Business. In the principality, it is allowed to open companies with 100% foreign capital, and financial and banking services are provided on favorable terms.

Taxes. The country is not offshore, but taxes here are 20-40% lower than in most European countries. Residents of the country do not pay taxes on wealth, capital gains and dividends, and income and corporate taxes do not exceed 10%. In addition, Andorra has agreements on the avoidance of double taxation with such countries as Spain, France, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Portugal and the United Arab Emirates.

To use the local tax regime, it is not necessary to spend 183 days a year in the country. You can simply declare the center of vital interests in Andorra.

Tax free. The country is a duty-free trade zone. There are many boutiques and shopping centers here. Many goods such as jewelry, clothing, household appliances, as well as cars cost 15-30% less than in neighboring countries.

Tourism. Andorra has no access to the sea and its own airport. Nevertheless, every year more than 10 million tourists come not only for shopping, but also to relax at local resorts: ski slopes with a total length of trails of various levels of complexity of more than 300 km and mountain lakes, thermal springs and rivers, sights, museums, ancient churches.

The rights of a resident. The status does not give its owner the right to work, but they can receive passive income, for example, from renting out purchased real estate to tourists. With a successful investment, the yield can reach 8% per annum.

Passive residence allows you to travel without a visa to Spain and France and go through the simple procedure of obtaining a visa for the Schengen area, the United States, Canada. And if necessary, issue a residence permit in France and Spain by a simplified scheme. With a residence permit, you can choose an education system for your children between Andorra, Spain and France. And also get high-quality medical treatment.

Investments in real estate in Andorra are returnable and potentially profitable. That is, the investor can sell the assets, and return the deposit, if there is no need to extend the residence permit or when the country's citizenship is obtained. The demand for housing is gradually growing. The yield from the increase in value is 2-3%.

Read more: All About Andorra. Prices, Taxes, Real Estate

Option#2. Start a business in Slovenia

Non-EU residents can obtain a residence permit through the purchase or registration of a legal entity. Then you need to fulfill one of several conditions. For example, to invest at least €50,000 in fixed assets of the enterprise. You can invest money in vehicles, equipment, and buy commercial or residential real estate.

The business must be really active. The status is issued only after the company is registered. The process lasts up to four months.

The validity period of the residence permit is one year. Then it can be extended twice for a year and then for another two years based on the existing business. For a successful extension of the status, it is necessary that the company shows a turnover of €60,000 per six months, and also regularly pays taxes and duties to social funds, accrues wages. You will not be able to bypass the requirement.

Permanent residence and citizenship can be obtained in five and ten years. But you will have to give up your first passport. Slovenia does not recognize dual citizenship (except in rare cases). Relatives can be brought to Slovenia a year later - on the basis of family reunification.

Find more information about the conditions, the procedure for obtaining a residence permit in Slovenia for investments and the costs of the program here.

Advantages of investment

Location. Slovenia has a good geographical location. It shares borders with Austria, Italy and Croatia, which compensates for the small volume of the domestic market. The country benefits from this. In 2020, the total exports from Slovenia amounted to $37 billion, and imports $36 billion.

Plus, there is a stable economy, a favorable environment and there is everything you need for vacation: mountains, sea, mineral springs, beautiful cities with sights.

Business. Business immigration to Slovenia allows you to engage in entrepreneurship in the euro area, to be served in rating banks, to store, as well as to open a bank account in any country in Europe.

Taxes. The level of taxation in Slovenia is similar to other Eastern European countries, for example, Poland or the Czech Republic. The country is also one of the parties to the agreement on the avoidance of double taxation a number of other former Soviet countries.

Realty. This asset is in demand among foreigners and the local population. Both residential and commercial real estate objects are in demand. Among the latter are shopping centers with anchor tenants.

Demand is fueled by local banks. They have introduced negative rates on deposits over €200,000 for individuals and legal entities. This has become a good motivation to invest in local real estate. Also, banks continue to provide financing on favorable terms. The rate today is 2.5-3.0% per annum.

The market reacts to all this with a price increase that has been going on for six years in a row. In 2015, housing prices increased by 0.1% compared to the previous year, in 2016 – by 6.9%, in 2017 – by 9.9%, in 2018 – by 8.3%, in 2019 – by 4.8% and in 2020 – by 5.2%.

The rights of a resident. The country is a member of the European Union and one of the members of the Schengen Agreement. This allows holders of a residence permit to freely move around the Schengen area and live in the countries of this agreement for up to 90 days per half-year. The status allows you to teach children in the best schools and universities in Slovenia and the EU countries, to receive high-quality medical care. But the residence permit does not give individuals the right to vote, work in state institutions or buy real estate.

Also read: Fewer Deals, Higher Prices. The Current Situation on the Slovenian Real Estate Market

Option#3. Invest in an Irish REIT

Since 2012, an immigration program for investors has been operating in Ireland. Having fulfilled its conditions, the applicant receives a residence permit, which gives the right to live, study and conduct business in the country.

There are several investment options from €500,000 to €2 million. This are a charitable contribution, an investment in an enterprise, an approved investment fund or a Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT), the shares of which are listed on the Irish Stock Exchange.

Real Estate Investment Trust (REIT)

Companies that buy, build, sell and manage a huge portfolio of real estate (buildings, land plots) by renting it  out. An investor does not acquire an object, but shares of a company that owns real estate. This is comparable to buying securities on the stock exchange. As a rule, the REIT distributes most of the profits in the form of dividends.

The minimum investment in an Irish REIT is €2 million. You can invest in several funds. But only after providing approval for this from the authorities.

The investment is repayable. The asset retention period is at least three years, then they can be sold. The investor has the right to sell 50% of the shares after 3 years, and another 25% after four years. A full refund is possible after five years. Nevertheless, the exact repayment period and the possible return on the invested capital is prescribed in the contract with the fund.

The Irish authorities consider an application for a residence permit within two months, which can include a spouse and children under 24 years old. A residence permit is issued for two years, in the future it can be extended for another three years while maintaining investment. Five years after obtaining the status and subject to certain conditions, you can apply for permanent residence, and for citizenship after 8 years. Irish laws allow citizens to have a second passport.

It is not necessary to live in the country. You only need to come once a year for one day in order to extend the status.

Advantages of REIT investments

Investing in an Irish real estate fund allows you to get a predictable regular income with minimal risks.

The average yield on a REIT is 4-7% per year. Risks are minimized by distributing capital across a large pool of assets (real estate - ed.). By the way, the latter is constantly growing in price. According to the Central Statistical Office, the cost of apartments in the whole country by April 2021 increased by 4.5% over the year. In Dublin, the price increase for the specified period was 3.5%, and outside the capital it was 5.4%. Meanwhile, prices have increased by 91% since 2013. The average cost of residential real estate in the country is more than €300,000, and more than €590,000 in Dublin.

Economy. The island state has a mild climate, good social conditions, a decent level of salaries. GDP per capita in 2020 was $94,000, and the unemployment rate was 4.9%.

Ireland is one of the five countries with a high level of economic freedom. According to a study by the Heritage Foundation Institute, private property rights are strictly observed in Ireland. Corruption is a rare phenomenon and is strictly prosecuted by law.

An indirect indicator of the success of the Irish economic model is the fact that Intel, Shell, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and eBay have offices in Dublin.

Tax regime. There are an income tax, and taxes on capital gains and inheritance. Taxation depends on the permanent place of residence and the status of domicile.

The rights of a resident. Foreigners can easily integrate into the local community, if they speak English. The status gives you the opportunity to study at prestigious European universities at discounted prices, find a job, conduct business, and travel without a visa to 177 countries of the world, including the EU and the UK.

Also read: How to Earn Up to 10% Per Annum on Real Estate in Dublin. Facts About Housing in Ireland

Select immigration programs for your goals


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Tags: Slovenia, Ireland, Andorra, Residence permit and citizenship, Immigration, Investment, Real Estate

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