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Andrew Henderson

Founder of Nomad Capitalist and the world’s most sought-after expert on global citizenship.

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7 Easy “Back Pocket” Residence Permits in Europe

It’s common knowledge that the United States, Canada, and other similar western countries have lost their charm. Many people don’t even want to do business there. It has become well-known now that Asia is the place to be. However, regardless of this global change in perspective, many people still seek an EU residence permit. 

We would go as far as to say that if given the option, even those who advocate moving away from the west would want an EU residence permit. Whether you believe that the European Union will collapse or not, European countries are still quite attractive to a lot of people.

They represent centuries of history, culture and, in the modern world, represent opportunities and the ability to do anything if you choose to. 

Most European countries still care about their citizens’ freedoms and ability to do as they please.

Also, in a very volatile global climate, European countries offer the stability, security, and freedom of movement you need to feel safe. So, it is no surprise that people want an EU permanent residence permit to take advantage of these things.

Why Should You Get an EU Residence Permit?
Why Should You Get an EU Residence Permit

If you’re a fan of Europe, the ideal dream would be to apply for European citizenship through the various programs available. As you know, several European countries like Spain offer citizenship by descent programs.

You can become a European citizen if you prove that your grandparents, and even great grandparents, were Spanish citizens.

But not everyone has ancestry that can be proven. The next best course of action would be to apply for an EU residency. It’s not an EU passport, but it’s a start, especially if you want to travel around the EU as you please.

There are plenty of benefits for you if you decide to legally reside in one EU country, such as:

1. Visa-free Access to Europe 

The most obvious benefit of getting a European residence permit is that you can travel without restrictions. Regardless of which one of the EU countries’ permit you get, you can travel all around Europe without any visa restrictions. 

That opens the market of 27 countries for you. You can live, work and invest in any of these countries with no restrictions. All you need is one permit, and that is a great deal. 

From a business perspective, this is an ideal situation to be in because you don’t have to worry about the paperwork and employment contracts because, as an EU resident, you have the same or almost the same rights as citizens according to the country you’re applying to.

2. Same Rights as European Citizens

As a rule, it doesn’t matter which EU residency program you choose to go through. As long as you have an EU residence permit, in the eyes of the European Union, you are the same as any other European citizen. 

This means better opportunities, better healthcare system or a mere health insurance altogether, greater freedom and much more to any third country nationals.

The only difference between an EU resident and a citizen is that you cannot run for office. Apart from that, you have the same rights as a European citizen. There are no additional taxes for EU residents, and you have the protection of the Union to get you out of tricky situations.

3. Ability to Work

The EU work permit is very different to obtain, but as a resident, you should have no problems finding work anywhere in Europe. You can invest in any European country and even set up your business. 

The ability to work in different countries on the back of a single EU residence permit is a unique advantage that only you, as a resident, will possess.

4. Long-Term Goals

An EU residence permit allows you to work towards European citizenship. So, if you want to settle in Europe later in the future, then the permit will come in handy. 

As you can see, the EU residence permit is a great option for you if you’re interested in European citizenship but are happy with where you’re living right now.

Most people we work with at Nomad Capitalist are interested in EU residency programs because of their flexibility. There are many ways in which you can obtain an EU residence permit. 

There are various schemes available for you to choose from. If you’re an investor looking for better business opportunities many Golden Visas in Europe will be convenient. You can easily get European residency by investment; just be sure of what program suits you.

A second residence in Europe can open financial avenues, unlike anything the rest of the world has to offer. Let us explore some of the programs you can benefit from.

The EU Permanent Residence Permit: Golden Visa Program
The EU Permanent Residence Permit Golden Visa Program

The best way to get an EU residence permit is by getting a golden visa. EU golden visa programs are very popular these days. They have to be one of the most effective residency by investment programs. It makes upwards of €700,000,000 annually from the Portugal Golden Visa program alone.

Basically, a golden visa allows you to quickly obtain a European residence, making it easier for you to look at investment and offshore banking possibilities in Europe. This is the perfect opportunity for nomads looking to purchase real estate in Europe and working towards citizenship.

The European residency by investment program is referred to as a “Golden Visa” because you’re being handed a golden opportunity to live in some of the most developed countries in the world with the highest standard of living. 

If you’re from another western country, you get to experience the charm and history of Europe in a place where you can easily settle in and potentially get a strong second passport.

Who Should Opt for A Golden Visa? 

The golden visa provides you with a second residence in Europe. It is particularly useful for:

1. US citizens

We’ve talked about how an increasing number of people choose to renounce their American citizenship. If this sounds like you and you’re looking for a second residence that you can use to work towards a better passport, the golden visa is perfect for you.

The ultimate goal of these people is to gain a Tier A passport that can replace their American one, making traveling even easier for them. Additionally, Europe is a pretty stable place to live in, so it is a good place to settle in.

2. Emerging-world citizens

Citizens from emerging markets and non EU citizens may want a better valid passport to create better opportunities for themselves and their families. Emerging-world citizens often have to go through a long, complicated visa process for most Tier A countries.

They have an even harder time obtaining work visas for countries like the United Kingdom and the United States. By obtaining a golden visa, you will be able to access Europe without worrying about the additional paperwork.

You can easily find a job in any EU country, and if you’re looking for better education opportunities for your children, Europe is definitely the place to be in.

3. Investors and entrepreneurs

Lastly, the golden visa program is perfect for investors, business owners, and entrepreneurs. If you want to be able to live and work in the EU for more than 90 days, you should opt for this program.

Golden visa countries have special tax incentives and financial support systems for business owners who choose to bring their business there. The golden visa program can even lead to tax reductions if planned properly. You need to be efficient.

Benefits of the Golden Visa Program in an EU Country

We recommend the golden visa program over another residence by investment programs due to the following reasons:

1. Fast and straightforward

What makes the golden visa program unique from others is that it is very fast and straightforward. There are normally no additional interviews or application process requirements than needing to know the basic legal and social system of the country. All you need is to show your investment and begin the process.

You will get your EU residence permit in a couple of months. Also, unlike citizenship by investment programs, you don’t have to worry about strict due diligence and eligibility criteria. 

2. No residence needed

Other residency programs require you to live in Europe for quite some time each year. With a golden visa however, you can essentially live anywhere you want, and it doesn’t affect the status of your EU residence permit.

3. Family residency

The best part of the golden visa is that you can bring your family members with you as well. The traditional residency program has additional requirements to bring a family member, but with this program, you only have to include your spouse and children in the documentation, and you’re good to go.

7 Easy EU Residence Permits to Get

The golden visa program consists of many European countries, but not all of them. But this doesn’t mean that you will not be able to obtain an EU residence permit from other European countries. 

So, in addition to the golden visa countries, we have also accumulated a list of the easiest permanent residency in Europeso you can see which one works for you. 

1. Portugal

Portugal has one of the easiest EU residence permits to maintain. You simply have to spend once a week in Portugal to maintain your residence permit. To qualify for the Portugal golden visa, you need to have an investment of €280,000. 

There are several ways you can do this, including investing in real estate, government bonds, or hiring a few people for your business. It’s super easy, and you don’t have to worry too much about it either. Your EU residence permit will even act as a visa alternative for countries like Serbia, so this is a great option for you if you’re interested.

2. Greece

For an investment of €250,000, you will have the Greece Golden Visa. It is the cheapest of the Golden Visa programs in the market and offers better real estate investment opportunities. 

There are no restrictions on the kind of property you can or the value of the properties if you choose to own several to make up the investment cost. Of course, if you want a Greek passport, it will be harder to obtain, but you just have to spend one day a year to maintain your permit.

3. Ireland

If you’re looking for an English-speaking country, then Ireland is good for you. It has close proximity to the UK as well.

It offers various tax incentives to you as well if you’re thinking about moving there for a longer time. Of course, it requires an investment of €1,000,000 or a donation for a residence permit. 

Do note that Ireland’s golden visa program does not lead to citizenship, but it’s a great back-pocket residence permit to have.

4. Latvia

Update 2022: Russians and Belarusians are now excluded from the Latvia Golden Visa program. Latvia will not issue first-time temporary residence permits to these nationals until June 30th of 2023.

While Latvia requires the same investment of €250,000 as Greece, it does have more limitations when it comes to investment.

However, it is in the Schengen Area, and as an up-and-coming EU country, it has many business opportunities available.

Like Ireland, its Golden Visa program will not lead to citizenship, and your residence permit has to be renewed every five years. But if you want to move to a more Northern European country, Latvia is the place to be.

5. Cyprus

Cyprus Golden Visa requires an investment of €300,000 in real estate and show proof of at least €30,000 in annual foreign income, and make a deposit of an additional €30,000 in a Cypriot financial institution and hold for three years.

It will not lead to citizenship, but if you’re looking for ways to invest in Cyprus and eventually settle there, this is a good way to go.

6. Ukraine

Aside from the country’s current status, it still has one of the best “non” golden visa programs to consider when the country’s political climate stabilizes. Ukraine’s residency by investment program is for $100,000 for real estate or business investment. 

You just have to show that you’ve made this investment in Ukraine, and they will give you a residence permit. To maintain the permit, you need to spend a day in Ukraine each year.

7. Gibraltar

If you have £2,000,000 in wealth and can either purchase property in Gibraltar or rent an acceptable property, you will get a Gibraltar residence permit. Gibraltar is not part of the golden visa countries, but in the south of Spain, it has a unique position of giving you access to all of Western Europe.

It has a lump sum tax system which could potentially lead you to paying no taxes at all. So, it’s a great backup for your backup as well.

Other EU Residency Alternatives Available 

The EU residence permit is a much sought-after commodity leading to an even bigger prize: the EU passport. But not everyone can meet the EU residency requirements. This largely depends on other factors as well.

Many European countries offer citizenship by marriage too. You can even gain citizenship by proving that you are in a serious, committed relationship with an EU citizen of more than two years.

The possibilities are endless. All you need is someone to guide you. That’s where Nomad Capitalist comes in. We’re here to answer all your questions and concerns about European citizenship.

So, if you want to learn more about European and other second residencies, feel free to get in touch. Obtaining a European residence permit is quite straightforward, so don’t hesitate to reach out.

Andrew Henderson

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