British expats are thought to be waiting to leap at the chance of a golden visa if the UK’s Brexit negotiations with the European Union fails to deliver the certainty of residence they require.
But what is a golden visa and how do you get hold of one?
Here is a list of EU countries offering residence visas and passports to wealthy expats.
This Mediterranean island offers a two-tier golden visa:
- Permanent residency by buying a home worth £253,000 (300,000 euro) or more. Other benefits include full family qualification, including children aged up to 25 years old and one visit every two years to keep the permit.
- Citizenship by investing £1.68 million (2 million euro) offering a full EU passport
Already a favourite retirement destination for British expats.
Investing £420,000 (500,000 euro) in a home brings family residence renewable every two years with the option to make permanent after five years. After 10 years, the golden visa is granted without the need to live or visit Spain.
A full family residency visa comes with buying a £420,000 (500,000 euro) home. The visa is renewable providing the holder spends two weeks every two years in Portugal. After six years, citizenship is an option.
The cheapest golden visa in Europe – for £210,000 (250,000 euro) a home buyer can gain a five-year residency visa renewable every five years. Expats do not have to live in Greece to qualify, but if they want to seek citizenship, they must live in the country for at least seven years.
Another two-tier program –
- Residency to investors putting £210,000 (250,000 euro) into government bonds for five years, along with making a £25,000 (30,000 euro) contribution to the government and paying £34,000 (40,000 euro) in fees. Foreigners also must buy a home worth at least £227,000 (270,000 euro) or pay £8,450 (10,000 euro) or more a year in rent. Residency comes with a five-year commitment to live on the island.
- Citizenship involves even higher costs. Top of the list is a £550,000 (650,000 euro) contribution to the government; plus £21,000 (25,000 euro) for each family member; a £125,000 investment (150,000 euro) in government bonds and a minimum home purchase of £295,000 (350,000 euro).
Maltese citizenship leads to a passport offering travel to any EU country.