Golden Passport Countries and Their Investment Requirements

Obtaining second or dual citizenship for a country in Europe or America is a dream for many. But the long waiting period, complex procedures, and several legal restrictions make the dream seem unachievable at times. However, did you know there are golden passport countries where you get a permanent residence permit in the country if you meet specific prerequisites? And the permanent residence can potentially grant you citizenship after a certain amount of time?

From Malta to Austria, there are many countries where you can participate in specific citizenship by investment or Golden Visa schemes. With investment plans starting from approximately $100K in some countries, you can get a resident permit and a golden passport under the Golden Visa scheme in many of these countries in a short amount of time.

What is a Golden Visa?

A Golden Visa program is a special kind of investment program through which individuals can acquire permanent resident status and, potentially, a second passport for themselves and their family members in another country. Depending on the Golden Visa country’s regulations, you can purchase a property or directly contribute to the country’s economy by participating in their investment scheme. If your application for a specific Golden Visa program is approved, you and your family can become legal residents of that country. You will get general residency benefits, including education and healthcare benefits, as a Golden Visa holder.

In the next section, we will discuss the countries that offer a Golden Visa program. By investing a minimum qualifying amount in any of these countries, you can successfully acquire a Golden Visa that can eventually lead you to your golden passport.

All about the golden passport countries

Portugal: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment Requirement

Portugal's Golden Visa program

Portugal charms people worldwide with its year-round sunshine, engrossing Atlantic coastline, and stunning landscapes. The Portugal Golden Visa program is a five-year residency by investment opportunity for non-EU nationals. The intention is to attract foreign investments into the country.

With a Portuguese passport, you will access 27 European Union nations and visa-on-arrival or visa-free travel to 172 countries worldwide. The minimum investment requirement for the Portugal Golden Visa is €250,000, with various investment options on the table, such as investing in real estate, scientific research, making a donation to the arts, job creation, etc.

By holding your investment for at least five years, you can apply for permanent residency and a Portuguese passport. Citizenship provides you with the independence to work, study, and travel anywhere in the EU and you can travel to 172 other countries without a visa. You must hold a clean criminal record, have an A2 Portuguese language certificate (if not, be willing to take a Portuguese language test) and provide evidence of your investment, NIF number, and Portuguese bank account to acquire citizenship.

If you are interested in a step-by-step guide on acquiring the Portugal Golden Visa, refer to our expert guide on the Portugal Golden Visa program.

Austria: Golden Visa program and Estimated Investment Requirement

Austria is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe, and its citizenship by investment program is quite costly. Apart from the multi-million dollar investment requirement, the program is very selective and can be complicated.

According to the Austrian citizenship laws, the Austria Golden Visa is granted to high-net worth foreign nationals who can show extraordinary capabilities to invest in the country’s economy and thus contribute to the financial, cultural, and social prosperity of the country. You have to be able to create job prospects by setting up a business or by directly contributing to any national development fund.

The estimated investment ranges from $3 million for investments in government funds to $10 million for investments in businesses.

Austria's Golden Visa program

Once you qualify for the Austria Golden Visa through investment, you can subsequently earn a second passport and assured residence permit in the country. The Austrian passport will give you the liberty to travel to 171 countries worldwide, along with visa-free travel to the United Kingdom and the United States.

Please note that Austria does not allow dual nationality, so you would be required to give up your original passport. Moreover, the entire citizenship by investment program is confidential, so you might need help determining whether you are qualified or not for the scheme.

Check out our ultimate guide on Austrian Citizenship by Investment for further details.

Antigua and Barbuda: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment Requirement

Investment programs for Antigua and Barbuda Golden Visa

Antigua and Barbuda is a heavenly beach paradise in the Caribbean with many passport benefits. By obtaining an Antigua and Barbuda passport, you not only have visa-free travel to more than 146 countries but can also enjoy several other citizenship benefits. Since 2013, the Antigua and Barbuda Golden Visa scheme has been available for foreign nationals who are willing to make a significant contribution to the country’s finances in four different ways, explained below.

The most economical investment plan for this country is a $100K donation to the Antigua National Development Fund. This contribution can grant Golden Visa facilities to a family of up to four members, beyond which the required amount may increase to $125K. The second option of the residency by investment scheme is contributing $150K to the University of the West Indies Fund, which offers an opportunity for a one-year tuition-only scholarship at the University of West Indies to one of the family members.

If you want to invest in businesses, you can contribute $400K to any government-authorized real estate project under the Golden Visa scheme. This amount can be reduced to $200K for connected business investors.

The fourth and the costliest investment option that can get you the Golden Visa is by contributing a minimum of $1.5 million to set up a new business venture. Two or more investors can jointly participate in this with a total investment of $5 million. These last two options come with a processing fee of $30,000.

Check out our ultimate guide on Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment for more details.

Dominica: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment Requirement

Since 1993, the Caribbean island of Dominica has had a flexible and pocket-friendly investment scheme for foreign citizens which can grant them Dominica citizenship and a Dominica passport. This passport will allow them to travel visa-free to more than 140 countries worldwide.

The Dominica citizenship by investment program offers two options. You can either donate $100K to the economic development fund of the country. The second option is to purchase any approved real estate property worth $200K.

You can check out our detailed guide on Dominica Citizenship by Investment.

Dominica Golden Passport

Grenada: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment Requirement

Grenada citizenship by investment and Golden Visa

The Grenada citizenship by investment scheme allows the investor to get a second citizenship and a Grenada passport. This golden passport can help you enjoy visa-free access to more than 141 countries. Additionally, Grenada is the only Caribbean country which allows you to acquire the USA E2 treaty visa through the Golden Visa program.

One of the two investment pathways under the Grenada Golden Visa scheme is to donate $150K to the National Transformation Fund. The second way is to purchase a government-approved real estate property (i.e. hotels, spas, etc.) in the country with a value worth $220K. This second option comes with a pre-condition that you have to maintain the property for at least five years.

Check out our complete guide on the citizenship by investment scheme in Grenada for more details.

St. Kitts and Nevis: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment Requirement

St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program is the oldest Golden Visa scheme in the world. With a St. Kitts and Nevis passport, you can travel to more than 149 countries visa-free. Moreover, applying for this scheme does not require any language proficiency or residence permit mandates, which makes it even more appealing for foreign investors.

There are two kinds of minimum investment plans under the residency by investment scheme in this country. You can either contribute $150K to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF), or you can purchase a real estate property worth $400K (only $200K for connected investors). These investments will entail certain due diligence fees or government processing fees.

Check out our ultimate guide on St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment for more details.

St. Kitts and Nevis Golden Visa Scheme

Jordan: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment Requirement

Jordan Golden Passport

There are three separate investment plans that you can apply for to get a Jordan passport. The lowest option is worth $750K, and you will need to invest in any project that is capable of creating at least ten local jobs outside the country’s capital. If you want to invest within the capital, this amount will go up to $1 million.

Another option is to deposit $1 million in the Central Bank of Jordan for three years or to buy treasury government bonds worth $1 million for six years. Otherwise, you can also purchase shares worth $1.5 million in any Jordan-based company.

Malta: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment requirement

Malta is an exciting choice for wealthy foreigners looking for investment opportunities, as the country is a European Union country and thus offers many benefits to foreign investors. Even though the golden passport application in Malta has become more selective and thorough due to government regulations, it is still preferred by many. There are two variations in the Malta Golde Visa program, one is to acquire citizenship, and the other one gets you permanent residence.

There are two options to get citizenship through the Golden visa program:

  • Citizenship in one year with an investment of at least €750,000 in the national development fund.
  • Citizenship in three years with an investment of at least €600,000 in the national development fund.
Citizenship by investment program for Malta Golden Visa
  • For both one-year and three years citizenship programs, you are required to stay in Malta, because of which you also have to invest in real estate. You can either purchase residential properties worth €700,000 or lease out a residential property in Malta for a minimum amount of €16,000 per year and maintain it for 12 to 36 months.
  • You must also make a philanthropic donation of €10,000 towards registered sports, culture, scientific research, the welfare of animals, or a Community Malta Agency (CMA) approved artistic non-governmental organization or society.

Check out our ultimate guide on Malta Citizenship by Investment for more details.

The other variation is getting a permanent residence. The requirements include

  1. An investment of €98,000 to a government-approved fund
  2. Signing a rental agreement for a minimum of €10,000 per year, maintaining it for five years
  3. Donating €2,000 to an NGO registered in Malta

Unlike the citizenship by investment program, you need not live in Malta to get permanent residence. Even though the permanent residence program will not be converted to citizenship automatically, you can apply for Maltese citizenship after residing in the country for five years and meeting all the requirements.

Check out our ultimate guide on the Malta Residency by Investment Program in Malta for more information.


Montenegro: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment Requirement

Montenegro Golden Visa

Depending on the area of your investment, Montenegro offers two types of citizenship by investment programs. You can invest in several government projects in the northern region for €250,000 and or that are worth €450,000 in southern areas to be eligible for residency by investment status. An additional donation of €200,000 must be placed in government development funds, along with due diligence fees and processing fees.

Please note that Montenegro still needs to become a member of the European Union. Therefore the Montenegro passport will give you different facilities than expected from other EU Golden Visa countries.

You can consult our detailed guide on the Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program for more information.


North Macedonia: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment Requirement

Only 1000 applicants can apply for residency through the investment scheme of North Macedonia every year. If you opt for the North Macedonia citizenship by investment program, you can enjoy the North Macedonia passport and other facilities for yourself, your spouse, and your children under 18 years of age.

This country provides the option to invest €200K in any private funds in the country. Otherwise, you can also invest €400K to set up a new venture and will be required to create at least ten local jobs.

North Macedonia Golden Passport scheme

Turkey: Golden Visa Program and Estimated Investment Requirement

Minimum investment for Turkey Golden Visa

Turkey is one of the most popular choices for investors. Introduced in 2016, Turkey’s citizenship by investment options are diverse.

You can choose to buy real estate properties in the country worth $400K along with required government fees. This is surprisingly less expensive than many other countries considering the wide array of benefits you can enjoy with a Turkish passport.

Other options in the citizenship by investment program include employing 50 Turkish citizens in any venture in Turkey’s commercial sector or contributing through capital transfer investments. The minimum investment criterion of the capital transfer is set at $500K and can be made in the form of donations to any Turkish bank, purchasing government bonds, or investing in any venture or capital share.

These kinds of investments have to be operational for at least three years.. The best part about the Turkish Golden Visa is that it can lead you to obtain an eventual USA residence permit through the E2 Treaty Investor Visa program.

You can check out our detailed guide on the Turkey Citizenship by Investment for more information.

Apart from these Golden Visa programs, you can also check out our expert guides on the Greek Golden Visa, Cyprus Golden Visa, and Spanish Golden Visa. Feel free to book sessions with our experts at Global Citizen Solutions for detailed suggestions on residency by investment programs. We offer effective consultation for international real estate investment programs under various golden passport schemes that can help you become a Golden Visa holder in no time.


Frequently Asked Questions on Golden Passport Countries

Which countries issue golden passports?

There are more than ten countries worldwide that offer Golden Visa schemes and citizenship by investment programs. You can obtain a golden passport by applying to such programs, although some are residency-by-investment schemes, and you will first get a residence permit and will need to wait before you can apply for citizenship. Some countries with this fantastic opportunity are Portugal, Austria, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, Jordan, Malta, Montenegro, North Macedonia, and Turkey.

What is a golden passport?

A golden passport is a second passport that you can obtain by making a qualifying investment in a country.  Many countries offer Golden Visa programs and citizenship by investment plans that can help you get a golden passport, including Caribbean countries and EU countries.

Which EU country has the cheapest Golden Visa?

Many countries in the EU offer affordable Golden Visas. But among all of them, Malta has quite an affordable citizenship by investment program or Golden Visa scheme. To acquire Maltese citizenship in one year, you need to make an investment of €750,000 in the national development fund, and it is €600,000 if you are planning to get citizenship in three years. In addition to that, you are required to make a real estate investment of €700K and a philanthropic donation of €10,000.