Second PassportsThe World's 20 Residency by Real Estate Investment Programs - Lincoln Global Partners

October 26, 2023by Georgea Rios0

The World’s Top 20 Residency By Real Estate Investment Programs

In our increasingly interconnected world, people are constantly seeking opportunities to secure a brighter future for themselves and their loved ones. Residency or citizenship through real estate investments have gained popularity over the last few decades. Such programs give individuals the opportunity to invest in real estate in exchange for the right to live, work, and potentially become citizens of the host country.

When discussing with our clients the multiple possibilities to acquire their RCBI (Residency and Citizenship By Investment), the returns on investment from real estate come across as quite attractive in the market. Countries like Greece offer a diverse set of off-plan properties, for example, with a ROI up to 6% per annum. Oftentimes, investors can purchase a share in a co-ownership project, i.e top-tier hotels and urban spaces, or a freehold unit, according to their goals.

Despite the different appreciation rates varying throughout countries and eligible properties, owners are generally allowed to re-sell their investment after the minimum holding period for the RCBI acquisition. An insightful market analysis gathered with the correct consultancy team allows our clients to have a 360º overview of the best project to their goals and a low-risk migration investment.

In this article, we will delve into the top 20 Real Estate investment programs that offer residency, exploring the possibilities they present from around the globe.

Before we dig deeper into the different options one can choose to become a global citizen, it’s important to highlight that since October 7th 2023, the Portuguese Golden Visa via the Real Estate investment pathway is officially closed.

Investors can still acquire the Portuguese Permanent Residency as a straightforward pathway to European Citizenship, via other options such as funds, Business Investment and Cultural Investment. Click here to understand all details of this new Era of the Portuguese Golden Visa.

1. Greece – Greek Golden Visa

Greece, with its rich culture dating back millennia, is a timeless gem of Europe. It consists of a mainland peninsula and a breathtaking archipelago of islands adorning the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. Much of Greece is characterized by mountainous rocky terrain embraced by turquoise seas.

In an effort to boost funding and attract investments after the global financial crisis, the Greek government introduced the Greece Golden Visa program in 2013. As one of the safest, most welcoming, and stunning countries in Europe, Greece was destined for success. Offering permanent residency to non-EU investors with a minimum real estate investment even lower than its closest competitors, Greece’s thriving property market has made it the most sought-after Golden Visa in Europe. 

With the ending of Portugal’s real estate pathway, Greece is now the cheapest option to acquire an European Residency Permit via Real Estate Investment, with a minimum threshold of 250,00, except for the the regions of North, Central and South Sector of Athens and the Municipality of Varis – Voula – Vouliagmeni of the Region of Attica, the Municipality of Thessaloniki of the Region of Central Macedonia and the Regional Units of Mykonos and Santorini of the Region of South Aegean, where the minimum value of the eligible real estate is set at 500,000 Euro.

One can become eligible for Greek Citizenship of a minimum of 7 years as a permanent resident.

Greece map

2. Spain – The Spanish Golden Visa

Spain, with its vibrant cosmopolitan cities steeped in grandeur and history, and idyllic tropical islands, has an undeniable charm that captivates visitors from the very first moment. The country boasts a diverse climate, stunning landscapes, and a rich cultural heritage. All complemented by its culinary traditions. With a high standard of living, Spain has rightfully earned its reputation as one of Europe’s most desirable locations for residency, if not the world’s.

Introduced in 2013, the Spanish golden visa program offers an enticing opportunity for foreigners seeking residency. What sets it apart is that physical residence in Spain is not required to renew the residency permit, one must only visit the country one time per year. Golden Visa investors have the flexibility to either relocate to Spain or maintain their residency while renting out their investment property.

The real estate market in Spain, known for its popularity among foreign capital and tourism, presents an attractive proposition in both scenarios. Whether you are seeking a place to call home or a lucrative investment opportunity, Spain has much to offer.

To guarantee your Spanish Golden Visa, a minimum investment of 500,000 Euros in eligible real estate is required.

3. Brazil – The Golden Visa Program

Brazil offers a compelling option for individuals seeking residency through real estate investment. The Brazilian residency by real estate investment program allows foreign investors to obtain temporary residency by investing in Brazilian properties. The minimum investment threshold typically starts at BRL at least 800,000 (Approximately USD 150,000) in The North East of Brazil or BRL 1,000,000 (Approximately USD 250,000) in the rest of the country. This program opens the door to Brazil’s rich cultural heritage, stunning natural landscapes, and a vibrant economy. 

With its diverse culture, beautiful beaches, and bustling cities, Brazil is an enticing destination for those looking to call it home, even if only temporarily. Additionally, the program provides investors with the opportunity to explore Brazil’s potential for business and investment growth while enjoying the country’s warmth and hospitality.

The program requires 2 years of Temporary Residency before granting the Permanent Residency, upon second renewal.

To qualify for the Citizenship, the permanent resident must spend a minimum of 6 months per year in the country for 4 years.

Keep in mind that foreign income is taxed in the country, so it’s crucial to make sure you are well assisted with a qualified tax representative to better assist you.

4. Grenada – Citizenship by Investment Program

The Grenada citizenship by investment program is a hidden gem in the Caribbean. It offers citizenship in exchange for a real estate investment or donation to the National Transformation Fund. Grenada’s stunning beaches and favorable tax environment make it an attractive choice.

Additionally, a Grenadian passport has a number of other key advantages over the other Caribbean CBI nations in terms of global mobility. Not only does Grenada provide visa-free travel to the UK, Ireland, The Schengen Area and Russia but Grenada is one of the two only CBI countries in the Caribbean that provides its citizens with visa-free access to China.

On top of this as we discussed, Grenada is the only Caribbean country with a citizenship program that has an E2 treaty with the US. So in the future, as Grenadian citizens you are your children will be entitled to apply for an E2 Investor Visa to set up a business and reside in the US. 

To qualify for Grenada’s CBI Program under Real Estate, the minimum required investment is usually of $350,000 for a Main Applicant.  There are some fantastic hotel projects packaged specifically for CBI investors who want to minimize risk, and these qualify with a reduced investment of $220,000. When calculating all government and program associated fees the total estimated cost for the Real Estate Investment is circa $334,000. 

Read our complete Grenada Citizenship by Investment Guide.

Intercontinental grenada

5. St. Kitts and Nevis – Citizenship by Investment Program

Similar to Grenada, the St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship by investment program offers citizenship through real estate investment or a donation to the Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC) Fund, which replaced the SGF Fund in July, 2023.  The dual-island nation is known for its lush landscapes and a passport that provides visa-free access to many countries.

To qualify for Citizenship by Investment, the property must be held for seven years and can be sold once to another purchaser. 

An approved private home, such as a condominium or single-family dwelling, can be sold as an option if the main applicant pays at least $400,000 USD to the condominium owner or $800,000 USD to the single-family dwelling owner. 

A public benefit unit in an approved public benefit project can qualify if the main applicant contributes a minimum of $250,000 USD to the approved public benefactor. 

Read our St. Kitts and Nevis CBI program Guide.

6. Dominica – Citizenship by Investment Program

Dominica’s program requires a real estate investment or donation to the Economic Diversification Fund. The “Nature Isle of the Caribbean” boasts pristine natural beauty and offers citizenship to investors seeking visa-free travel options.

Running since 1993, the Dominica Citizenship By Investment Program is one of the oldest and most well established CBI programs out there.

Through the Economic Citizenship Program, applicants and their families can obtain citizenship in Dominica within 6 months without being required to actually visit the country.

Secret Bay in Dominica

To qualify under the Real Estate category, you must buy approved property valued at a minimum of $200,000 USD. Then, hold onto the real estate for either three years from the day you become a citizen. In the case the next buyer is also using the citizenship investment route, you’ll need to hold onto the property for five years from the day your citizenship is granted. 

We must disclose that despite the multiple advantages that the Dominica CBI Program offers, including minimum taxation – no wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income, nor capital gains tax – the country has currently lost its visa-free access to the United Kingdom. 

Read the full Dominica CBI Program Guide.

7. Antigua and Barbuda – Citizenship by Investment Program

Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program offers residency through a real estate investment or a contribution to the National Development Fund. The country is famous for its sandy beaches and relaxed Caribbean lifestyle.

Only about 1-2% of investors opt for real estate in Antigua and Barbuda. The island’s reliance on tourism and yearly threat of hurricanes makes it difficult to recoup investment funds. Also, not many people are interested in making the islands their place of permanent residence. 

Some investors choose this option, and depending on your personal circumstances it could be the right move for you. It is certainly possible to make a return on investment in Antigua; however, investors must be aware of the potential risks. 

To qualify, one must make  a minimum of $200,000 investment in real estate. Keep in mind, you can’t sell your real estate within the first 5 years of citizenship.

Here’s our Ultimate Guide to Antigua & Barbuda CBI.

8. Malta – The Malta Permanent Residence Program (MPRP)

Malta’s MPRP program allows for residency by investment, requiring a real estate purchase and other financial commitments. It provides access to the Schengen Area and an attractive Mediterranean lifestyle.

A popular tourist destination for decades, the country enjoys an excellent reputation for its splendid climate, friendly people, low crime rate, and superb quality of life. An attractive place in which to live or own a second home especially combined with excellent air links. Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004, enjoys a stable political climate, bi-partisan political scene, a growing economy, and has some of the soundest banks in the world.

The Malta Permanent Residence program, previously the Malta Residence and Visa Programme underwent changes in March of 2021.

If you decide to invest in property in Malta then you will need to purchase a minimum of 270,000 to €350,000 worth of property in the South of Malta and Gozo and 320,000 to €350,000 in the rest of the country. In addition, you will need to pay a government contribution of 28,000.

However, If you prefer to rent property in Malta then you will need to commit to a rental contract for at least 5 years with a minimum rental value of 12,000 per annum (10,000 per annum in the South of Malta/Gozo). In addition, you will need to pay a government contribution of €58,000.

9. Mexico – Residency By Real Estate Investment

Acquiring Mexican residency through real estate investment has become an attractive option for individuals seeking a second home in a vibrant and culturally rich country.

Mexico offers a variety of pathways to residency, with the real estate route being particularly popular. By investing in property, often with a minimum required value, individuals can enjoy the best of both worlds— a beautiful place to call home and the opportunity to experience the diverse landscapes and flavors of Mexico.

Whether you’re looking to retire in a beachfront paradise or simply enjoy a part-time escape, Mexican residency through real estate investment offers an enticing opportunity to make this dream a reality.

To qualify, one must investment approximately $200,000 USD in Real Estate. One of the main benefits of the Mexican Residency include no minimum stay requirement, a 5 year pathway to citizenship and attractive returns on magnificent touristic location, such as Tulum.

10. Montenegro – Residency by Investment

Are you a foreigner dreaming of owning property in the picturesque landscape of Montenegro? You’re not alone in your aspiration. Montenegro’s coastlines and countrysides have long been a magnet for international property buyers. As a foreigner, you’ll need to navigate the legal landscape to make your real estate ownership dreams a reality.

Despite canceling its Citizenship By Investment program back in 2022, Montenegro still offers a Temporary Residence Permit for those who wish to dispose of their right to real estate within its borders. There isn’t a minimum real estate investment established. The government can be discretionary so it is suggested to invest in properties with sound due diligence and with an assistance of a specialized team.

Check some property options for Montenegro here.

Once you’ve met the eligibility criteria and submitted the necessary documentation, Montenegro will grant a Temporary Residence Permit. This permit typically has a validity period of one year, during which you can enjoy the rights and benefits of real estate ownership in this stunning Balkan nation. After 5 consecutive years living in Montenegro, for at least 9 months per year, one is eligible for the Permanent Residency.

After 5 years of Permanent Residency (year 10) one is eligible for Citizenship.

11. United Arab Emirates – UAE Golden Visa

Investors can qualify for the UAE Golden Visa program with a minimum investment of 2,000,000 AED (Approximately 550,000 US Dollars), offers a remarkable opportunity for individuals looking to call this prosperous and vibrant country their second home.

Investors can expect to acquire residency after an 8-week processing time. Residency is then valid for 10 years and may be renewable thereafter.

This program has gained immense popularity among international investors, as it combines the benefits of property ownership with the privilege of residency. By investing in real estate in the UAE, you not only secure a valuable asset but gain the right to reside in this remarkable nation.

This program provides a pathway to long-term residency for the investor and their family. Possibly a stepping stone to a broader range of opportunities, including: access to world-class healthcare, education, and a tax-efficient environment. UAE has no personal income, capital, net worth, or withholding tax (except for those levied in the domestic banking and oil sectors), and several double-tax treaties in place.

The UAE’s thriving economy and diverse culture make it an attractive destination for those who wish to be part of a truly cosmopolitan society. The country showed a 22,29% economic growth from 2021 to 2022, with a GDP of $507.53B for the same year.

With the Residency by Real Estate Investment Program, the UAE is not just a place to invest in property; it’s a place to invest in a brighter future.

12. Australia – The Significant Investor Visa

Australia’s Significant Investor Visa program demands an investment of AUD 2.5 million (Approximately 1.58 million US Dollars) in complying investments, including real estate. This visa can lead to permanent residency. Australia’s high quality of life is a major draw for investors.

To maintain residency status, permanent residents must spend a minimum of two years within a five-year period in Australia or establish significant ties to the country.

13. Cyprus – The Residency by Investment Program

Cyprus offers a straightforward route to citizenship through real estate investment. Investors need to purchase property worth at least €300,000 and meet other criteria. Submitting clear criminal record certificates from the country of origin and country of residence every three years (also applicable for all adult dependents).

Crucially, in November 2020 the Cypriot government suspended the Citizenship By Investment program. Investors can still acquire the rights to reside and work in the country with the Residency Pathway.

Investors do not need to reside in Cyprus, but it is required a visit once every two years.

14. Turkey – The Citizenship by Investment Program

The gateway to both the Asian and European continents, Turkey has long been a location of high importance in trade and culture. From the majestic cradle of culture that is the ancient city of Istanbul in the west to the fantastic beach resorts dotted along the southern coast, Turkey is a one of the world’s most popular tourist destinations.

As of 2017, foreign nationals can be granted citizenship after making an economic contribution to Turkish society. Since a major price reduction in 2018, the program has become one of the most popular CBI programs in the industry. With a growing economy and important transport links to Europe, Africa and Asia, Turkey is rapidly becoming a top choice among investors.

Investors who purchase property at a value of more than $400,000 US Dollars are eligible to apply for Citizenship in Turkey via the Governments CBI Program. Some of the benefits of Turkish Citizenship include visa-free travel to over 111 countries, a fast processing time from 3-6 months, rental income for a minimum of 3 years, eligibility to apply for a United States E-2 Investor Visa for 5-years (renewable) and no minimum stay requirement to maintain citizenship.

15. Latvia – The Latvian Golden Visa

One of the 3 Baltic States, located on the Baltic Sea between Lithuania and Estonia, Latvia is a progressive, business friendly
European Nation and member of the Schengen Area. Best known for its vibrant capital Riga with its elegant Art Nouvea Architecture, Latvia is home to one of Europe’s most charming Medieval Old Town. Just a few hours away you can experience long stretches and of beaches and sprawling forests.

In 2010, Latvia introduced their own version of the Golden Visa in a bid to increase foreign investment into the country. The program offers a number of options for investors including a 250,000 EUR Real Estate Investment and a 50,000 EUR Capital Investment into a Latvian company.

Investors are benefited with 5 years residency in Latvia with the right to live, work or study in the country. Visa-free access to the Schengen Area, one of the lowest costing residency by investment option in the EU.

Latvia also allows dual citizenship and offer an advantageous tax regime, plus a high quality European healthcare and educational systems.

After the 5 years, subject to a language test applicants who have spent at least 4 out of the 5 years in Latvia are entitled to apply for Permanent Residency. On top of that, Permanent residents are eligible for citizenship after 5 years of PR status.

16. Ecuador – Residency by Investment Program

Ecuador’s Residency by Real Estate Investment Program is an appealing gateway to obtaining legal residency in this stunning South American nation. This initiative allows individuals to secure residency status by investing in Ecuador’s real estate market with a minimum investment of $40,000 USD. This is one of the cheapest routes for Latin America Residency and property investment.

The program provides a 3 year path to Permanent Residency and a 4 year path to Citizenship.

Beyond the practical advantages of property ownership, such as potential rental income or capital appreciation, participants gain the privilege of residing in a country celebrated for its diverse landscapes, rich cultural heritage, and welcoming communities.

This program is an open invitation to experience Ecuador’s lush rainforests, dramatic Andes mountains, pristine beaches, and vibrant cities. All while enjoying the perks that come with legal residency, including access to healthcare, education, and the potential for business opportunities.

17. Colombia – Residency by Investment Program

Colombia’s Residency by Real Estate Investment program offers a unique opportunity for individuals looking to call this South American gem their second home.

This initiative allows foreigners to secure Colombian residency by investing in real estate, with a minimum investment of approximately $100,000 USD. By doing so, investors not only gain ownership of a valuable asset but also the privilege of residing in a nation known for its diverse landscapes, rich culture, and warm hospitality.

The country offer 2 categories of Residency, “M-6/M-10”, which qualify as Temporary Residencies, and the “R-visas” which fall into the Permanent Residency definition. Through Real Estate investment, one obtains the “M-10” permit, leading to Permanent Residency within 5 years.

Both categories qualify for Citizenship within 10 years. However, the Resident must not absent themself from the country for a period of over 365 consecutive days.

Colombia’s natural beauty, from the Andes mountains to pristine beaches and lush rainforests, provides a picturesque backdrop for those seeking a more vibrant and fulfilling way of life. This program opens the door to exploring business opportunities and access to healthcare and education.

18. Costa Rica – Residency by Investment Program

Costa Rica’s Residency by Investment program presents an enticing option for those seeking to make this tropical paradise home.

Through a minimum investment of approximately $150,000 USD in real estate, investors can secure legal residency in one of the world’s most biodiverse and welcoming countries.

Costa Rica is celebrated for its stunning landscapes, lush rainforests and pristine beaches, plus a strong commitment to environmental sustainability.

The permit has a validity of 2 years, and may be renewed with the condition you keep the investment. To renew, one must prove they’ve resided in the country 6 months per year, continuously or discontinuously.

Permanent Residency can be acquired after 3 years and renewed every 5 years. In addition, one can qualify for Citizenship after 7 years under both categories. Costa Rica allows dual citizenship.

19. Indonesia (Bali) – The Second Home Program

Indonesia’s Second Home Program is a relatively recent appealing initiative for those looking to experience the diverse beauty and rich culture of this Southeast Asian archipelago.

Crafted with the aim of extending a warm welcome to international individuals and their families, the initiative provides a prolonged visa for those eligible to commit to a real estate investment of at least $130,000 USD or opt for the Hak Patai (Right to use) arrangement for a property valued at approximately $339,480 USD.

The immigration authorities have discretionary power on whether your Residency permit will have a 5 or 10 year validity. One can always renew it for another 5 years if the immediate outcome is not for the longest period.

By investing in property or other qualifying assets, participants gain the opportunity to reside in Indonesia and enjoy the country’s remarkable landscapes, cultural diversity and vibrant cities steeped in tradition. This program facilitates a unique lifestyle and fosters cultural exchange and strengthens Indonesia’s economy.

20. Panama – The Friendly Nations Residency Program

Panama boasts a thriving, service-driven economy. The government’s residency investment program offers global investors an avenue to participate in the progress of this maritime nation. Securing a cherished residence status along with a host of investment prospects.

This program enables affluent individuals to make a valuable contribution to the country. In exchange paving the way to become Panamanian residents within a swift 30-days or four to six month timeframe. Timelines are contingent upon the chosen investment option.

The potential for citizenship acquisition opens up after a 5 year period.

To qualify, citizens of the known “Friendly Nations” to Panama are required to make a minimum investment in Real Estate of $100,000 USD. Contact us directly for the latest list of eligible countries.

BONUS: Vanuatu – Citizenship by Investment

Despite not really being a Residency by Real Estate Investment, we couldn’t not name Vanuatu’s program.

Vanuatu’s Development & Support Program (DSP) provides foreign investors the chance to obtain citizenship in the South Pacific Nation. The program was launched in January 2017 and is the only Citizenship by Investment Program in the Asia and Pacific region.

Vanuatu Citizenship provides visa-free travel to 130 countries (marked in gold on the map below). Visa-free includes the Schengen Area, UK, Russia and the United Arab Emirates. With Vanuatu Citizenship, investors obtain the right to apply for multiple-entry and long term visas in Australia.

Under the Vanuatu Development and Support Program applicants must make a one-off non-refundable contribution to Vanuatu’s Government of the following amounts:

Single Applicants: $130,000 USD
Married Couple: $150,000 USD
Family of 3: $165,000 USD
Family of 4: $180,000 USD
Family of 5: $190,000 USD
Family of 6: $200,000 USD
Additional Dependents: $15,000 USD per person

On top of the government donation, applicants are required to pay a non-refundable fee of $5,000 USD for due diligence checks to the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU) of the government in Vanuatu. Passing these international background checks are prerequisite to applying for citizenship in Vanuatu via the program.

Our fee includes the costs for an Oath Ceremony that can either take places in Vanuatu, Dubai, Singapore, Bangkok or Hong Kong.

Find the most suitable option for your investment goals

You now have an overview on the World’s TOP 20 Residency by Real Estate Investment programs. Set up a consultation call to discuss which program will best suit your needs.

Beyond definitions, it is crucial to have an expert-level perspective on the real estate market trends, tax obligations and legal framework. Our knowledge ensures your process is as hassle-free as it is straightforward.

Book a free consultancy call with our team of specialists here!

Georgea Rios

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