Golden Visa shuffle: Spain steps back as another EU country reintroduces scheme

Views of the Tâmega River and the historic area of ​​Amarante, Portugal.

Views of the Tâmega River and the historic area of ​​Amarante, Portugal. Image: Jorge Manuel Bras Reis /

The era of golden visas in Europe is ending, with countries like Portugal and the Netherlands discontinuing or altering their schemes.

Portugal eliminated real estate investment as a qualifying factor in October, and the Netherlands terminated its programme in January 2024 with Spain following suit.

Despite this trend, a few EU countries continue to offer golden passports.

Malta, for instance, requires a minimum investment of €690,000 for citizenship within 12 to 36 months.

Hungary’s Revival Plans

Hungary plans to revive its golden visa scheme on July 1, 2024, with three residency routes: real estate investment (minimum €250,000), residential property purchase (minimum €500,000), or a €1 million donation to higher education.

Italian Investment

Italy’s golden visa, introduced in 2017, offers non-EU nationals a two-year residence permit for a minimum €500,000 investment in an Italian limited company.

Applicants can include their families and benefit from a special tax regime.

After 10 years of residence, they may be eligible for citizenship.

Golden Greece

Greece provides one of the fastest golden visa processes, issuing permits within 60 days.

Previously, Greece had a €250,000 investment threshold for property, but this was raised to €500,000 in May 2023 for areas like Greater Athens, Thessaloniki, and certain islands, to make real estate more affordable for locals.

The €250,000 threshold remains for other regions.

Golden visa holders in Greece are not required to reside in the country to maintain their visas.

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Written by

Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.