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Top 20 countries where you can buy a residence permit: in some - for $19

These 20 countries offer "golden visas" to wealthy immigrants at prices ranging from $19 in Thailand to $000 million in Australia. The edition told in more detail Business Insider.

Photo: IStock

1. Australia: minimum investment of 2,5 million Australian dollars ($1,7 million)

There are four different ways to obtain residency under the Australian Business Innovation and Investment Programme, which allows recipients to live and do business in Australia. According to Henley & Partners, a London-based investment migration consultancy, visa holders can apply for citizenship after five years.

Here are the four areas of the program, according to the Australian government's Home Office:

  1. Business innovation. Applicants must have net assets of at least A$1,25 million ($858) and operate a new or existing business in Australia.
  2. Investor. Applicants must invest at least A$2,5 million ($1,7 million) in eligible Australian investments.
  3. Large Investor: Applicants must have invested at least A$5 million ($3,4 million) in eligible Australian investments.
  4. Entrepreneur: Applicants must first be nominated by an Australian state or territory government agency and provide proof of a funding agreement with a third party supporting their startup.

2. Austria: Proof of a monthly income of at least €1030,49 ($1034) and permanent real estate

To be eligible for a temporary residence permit in Austria, known as a "residence permit", you must demonstrate that your monthly income is at least 1030,49 euros (depending on the number of dependents).

In addition, you must show proof of permanent housing (purchased or rented) and private health insurance with coverage in Austria.

3. Canada: Approved startup and minimum $13 in personal funds

To be eligible for Canada's Startup Visa Program, applicants must have an eligible business, obtain a letter of support from a designated organization, meet language requirements, and have sufficient funds to settle.

The minimum personal funds requirement starts at $13 and increases based on the number of family members applying.

4. Cyprus: minimum investment of 300 euros ($000)

Applicants from non-European countries can qualify for a Cyprus Immigrant Investor Visa by investing at least €300 in one of four approved categories, according to the country’s Civil Registry and Migration Department:

  • investment in a house or apartment;
  • investment in non-residential property such as offices, shops or hotels;
  • acquisition of the authorized capital of a company registered in the Republic of Cyprus;
  • purchase of shares in Cypriot investment funds.

5 Greece: €250 ($000) real estate purchase required

The Greek Golden Visa program offers several investment options in exchange for a residence permit, including the purchase of at least €250 worth of real estate, the purchase of at least €000 ($400) worth of shares in a Greek company, or the purchase of government bonds worth at least 000 euros.

On the subject: How to get an investor visa in the USA: choosing a regional center for the EB-5 program

6. Hong Kong: points system

To apply for the Hong Kong Skilled Migrant Admission Scheme, applicants must meet the program's age, education, character, language, and financial requirements. No minimum investment required.

Financially, applicants must demonstrate that they have enough money to support themselves and "not rely on public assistance" in Hong Kong.

According to the Hong Kong Department of Immigration, candidates who successfully complete the requirements are awarded points through a "general test" and an "achievement-based score test".

7. Italy: minimum investment of 250 euros ($251)

The Italian "Investor Visa" is a two-year visa for non-EU citizens who, according to the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, "make significant investments in strategic areas of the Italian economy and society."

Here are four investment options for the program:

  • 2 million euros ($2) in Italian government bonds;
  • 500 euros ($000) in an Italian limited company;
  • 250 euros ($000) in an Italian innovation startup;
  • 1 million euros ($1) for a charity initiative.

8. Jersey: Buying or renting property worth at least £1,75 million (more than $2 million)

To qualify for High Value Residency in Jersey, according to the Jersey Government website, you must have an annual income of at least £725 ($000) per annum and demonstrate that “your residence in Jersey is somehow this will benefit the island."

If approved, at least £1,75 million (more than $2 million) of real estate must be purchased or rented.

9. Latvia: minimum investment of 60 euros

According to Henley & Partners, the opportunity to invest in real estate under the Latvian golden visa program was suspended in January 2022, leaving three alternative investment routes for foreign citizens seeking a residence permit:

  • invest 50 euros ($000) in the capital stock of a Latvian company plus a contribution to the state budget in the amount of 51 euros ($10);
  • purchase "target interest-free bonds" in the amount of 250 euros ($000) plus 251 euros ($38) to the state budget;
  • to invest 280 euros (000 thousand) in “subordinated capital of a Latvian bank for a period of five years” plus a contribution to the state budget of 281 euros ($25 thousand).

10. Luxembourg: minimum investment of 500 euros ($000)

Luxembourg offers residence permits for investors who meet one of four investment requirements listed on the government's website:

  • invest at least 500 euros ($000 thousand) in an existing company registered in Luxembourg;
  • invest at least 500 euros ($000 thousand) in a new business registered in Luxembourg and create at least five jobs within 501 years;
  • invest at least 3 million euros ($3) in a “management and investment structure either existing or not yet established” registered in Luxembourg;
  • invest at least 20 million euros ($20) in a financial institution registered in Luxembourg and keep the deposit for at least five years.

11. Malaysia: minimum investment 1 million Malaysian ringgits ($224 thousand)

Under the Malaysia My Second Home program, foreigners can receive a 10-year renewable residence visa in exchange for investment in the country.

When the program reopened after being closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ministry of Tourism raised investment requirements to a fixed deposit of RM1 million (approximately $224).

Applicants must, among other things, provide proof of "bank assets" of approximately $350, as well as proof of monthly income of almost $000.

12. Malta: €500 ($000) in savings required plus a €501 ($175) minimum deposit

The Maltese "permanent residence" visa allows recipients to permanently reside on an island located between Sicily and the North African coast.

Here are the five program financial requirements as listed by the Malta Residency Agency, the entity responsible for managing and promoting the Malta Golden Visa Programme:

  • apply through a Licensed Agent and pay a non-refundable €40 ($000) administration fee;
  • rent property for at least €10 ($000K) in South Malta/Gozo or €11 ($12K) in the rest of Malta or buy property for at least €000 ($12K) in South Malta/Gozo either 300 euros ($000) in the rest of Malta;
  • pay a state fee of 28 euros ($000) when buying a property or 29 euros ($58) when renting a property;
  • hold the relevant property for a minimum of 5 years, after which a permanent residential address is required;
  • Make a €2000 ($2007) donation to a local charitable, cultural, scientific, artistic, sports, or animal welfare NGO registered with the Commissioner for Voluntary Organizations.

13. Mauritius: $375 minimum real estate investment

According to Henley & Partners, Mauritius's Living by Investment program offers 10 different investment options in exchange for a 10-year visa.

Other ways include investing $375 in one of four real estate options, including luxury residential real estate and smart city projects. Alternatively, applicants may invest between $000 and $35 in startups, technology, and other approved activities.

14. Panama: $40 minimum investment

According to Henley & Partners, Panama offers two main types of investor visas with investment requirements ranging from $40 to $000.

The least expensive route is the Panama Reforestation Visa Program, where foreign investors can contribute $40 to a reforestation initiative approved by the Department of the Environment.

In addition, you may apply through the Qualified Investor Program, where applicants can obtain permanent residence status in exchange for a $300 real estate investment, a $000 stock exchange investment, or a $500 bank deposit.

15. Portugal: Requires a minimum investment of 250 Euros ($000)

The Golden Visa program in Portugal is one of the most popular for investors among wealthy Americans.

According to the Portuguese Federal Immigration Agency, there are eight different investment options:

  • a transfer of 1 million euros ($1) to a Portuguese bank account;
  • creation of 10 jobs;
  • purchase of real estate for at least 500 euros ($000);
  • purchase of real estate located in urban areas for at least 350 euros ($000);
  • a contribution of 350 euros ($000) for approved research activities;
  • a €250 ($000) contribution to approved artistic or cultural heritage initiatives;
  • transfer of capital in the amount of 350 euros ($000) to purchase shares of an investment fund or venture capital fund;
  • a €350 ($000) investment in a Portugal-headquartered business, coupled with the creation of five permanent jobs.

You may be interested in: top New York news, stories of our immigrants and helpful tips about life in the Big Apple - read it all on ForumDaily New York

16. Singapore: minimum investment of SGD 2,5 million ($1,8 million)

Singapore's "Global Investor Program" offers permanent residence status to eligible investors "who intend to manage their business and investment growth from Singapore".

Here are the three investment options for the program, according to the Singapore Economic Development Board:

  • invest SGD 2,5 million ($1,8 million) in a new business venture or expansion of an existing business;
  • invest SGD 2,5 million ($1,8 million) in an approved global investor program fund that invests in Singaporean companies;
  • invest SGD 2,5 million ($1,8 million) in a new or existing single-family office in Singapore with at least SGD 200 million ($143 million) in assets under management.

17. Spain: minimum investment of 500 euros ($000)

Spain's Investor Visa Program offers residence visas to foreigners "making a significant capital investment" under one of the four options below, as listed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs:

  • an investment of 2 million euros ($2) in Spanish public debt securities;
  • investments of 1 million euros ($1) in shares of Spanish companies, in investment or venture funds registered in Spain, or in bank deposits in Spanish financial institutions;
  • purchase of real estate for at least 500 euros ($000);
  • setting up a business project in Spain of "common interest" in terms of job creation and local socio-economic impact.

18. Thailand: $19 minimum fee

The Thailand Elite Visa Membership Program provides qualified foreign investors with a "Privileged Entry Visa" valid for 20 years.

There are eight different program options, ranging from "Elite Flexible" to "Elite Ultimate Privilege," according to the Thailand Privilege Card Co., a state-owned enterprise under the Thai federal tourism agency that administers the program. The minimum payment required is a registration fee of around $19.

19. United Arab Emirates: minimum investment of AED 2 million ($540)

The Dubai Golden Visa Program grants residency status to qualified foreign investors and entrepreneurs who meet one of the five rules listed on the official website of the UAE government:

  • purchase a property worth at least AED 2 million (about $540);
  • purchase property with a loan from designated local banks or purchase one or more "off plan properties" worth at least AED 2 million from approved local real estate companies;
  • Become the owner or partner of a UAE-registered startup with an annual income of at least AED 1 million (approximately $270);
  • Get approval for your startup idea from an official business incubator or from the Ministry of Economy or other authorized local authorities;
  • Become the founder of an entrepreneurial project that has been sold for at least AED 7 million (approximately $1,9 million).

20. United States: Minimum investment of $800 plus creation of 000 full-time jobs for US workers

The United States also offers a golden visa called the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program.

Eligible foreign investors may apply for a green card through the program after completing the following two investor guidelines:

  • invest $1 in a "non-targeted employment project" or $050 in a project in a rural or high unemployment area;
  • create 10 permanent full-time jobs for US skilled workers.

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