As one of the EU’s pioneering jurisdictions for residency and citizenship by investment, Malta is a destination of choice for many third country nationals seeking to internationalise their lives and businesses. The programme has, however, drawn its fair share of criticism and controversy given the fact that a number of Russian nationals of ill repute allegedly having received visas through the programme. There are a number of programme variations available, depending on whether you’re interested in Maltese Global Residency or outright citizenship, with eligible property investments starting from €275,000.
Portugal Golden Visa Programme
This is arguably the most well known second residency programme among South Africans, yet the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme has not been without its challenges. A clear distinction needs to be drawn between Golden Visa rights and permanent residency rights, and if your goal is establishing actual residency in Europe, it is advisable to assess the Greek Golden Visa and Slovenian Investment Residency Programme as well. What does count heavily in Portugal’s favour is the recent establishment of a bond-based investment option, rather than the previous €350,000 property based investment requirement.
Spain Golden Visa Programme
Spain offers an incredible lifestyle – though it’s a challenging country to move to as a salaried employee employed in-country. Taxation for permanent residents is hefty, and a distinct anti-foreigner sentiment appears to be on the rise – especially in the north. And the Spanish Golden Visa is not cheap; based on the €500,000 investment requirement and the complex road to residency, it may be worthwhile investigating some alternative Golden Visa jurisdictions as well if you’re a South African national.
Greece Golden Visa Programme
Greece’s Golden Residency Programme has followed the Portuguese example and added a bond based investment option for second residency. While the Portuguese programme has recorded a slow-down in demand, given bureaucratic complexities and a challenging road to residency, the Greek residency programme appears to be going from strength to strength.
Slovenia Investment Residency Programme
While Slovenia doesn’t have a formally packaged Golden Visa programme, the country does offer a path to actual residency by business investment. The legal basis for EU residency through Slovenia is rooted in EU Treaty Rights application, and eligible investment requirements start from only €100,000, making it one of the most affordable jurisdictions for obtaining EU Residency.