How to Get European Citizenship as an Investor

Updated on Thursday 18th February 2021

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Residency and citizenship by investment programs have become viable alternatives for those seeking to relocate to various countries. There are many countries which offer golden visas in return for significant investments, however, European countries are among the most sought at the moment.

There are several ways of relocating to a European country and obtaining residency or citizenship, however gaining citizenship as an investor is more and more appealing to non-EU citizens interested in doing business in the European Union.

Below, our golden visa immigration specialists explain how foreign citizens can obtain EU citizenship as investors. We can help those who want to acquire European citizenship by investment in some of the most important destinations of the moment.

What are the countries offering European citizenship by investment in 2021?

Also known as the Old Continent, Europe offers many investment opportunities especially within the EU area which has a very important advantage: a unified legislation when it comes to investments and regulations.

When seeking to obtain European citizenship by investment in 2021, it is important to make a clear distinction between the countries which have enabled golden visa programs under which residency can be acquired first, followed by citizenship and the countries which offer European citizenship directly.

The countries in which one can directly obtain European citizenship as an investor are Cyprus which is one of the countries which has enabled European citizenship by investment program a long time ago. Malta is another small country which offers both European citizenship by investment, but also offers free access to all English-speaking countries.

The latest country to create a citizenship by investment program in Bulgaria.

If you want to buy a golden visa and obtain European citizenship by investment in Malta or Cyprus, our immigration advisors are at your disposal.

Obtain European citizenship as an investor in Cyprus

Those who want to acquire European citizenship by investment in Cyprus need to comply with a few requirements and must make specific investments.

The following requirements need to be met in order to obtain European citizenship as an investor in Cyprus:
  • the program is dedicated to non-EU citizens only, however, the applicant must have a Schengen visa;
  • the applicant must have a clean criminal record upon the submission of the application with the Cypriot authorities.
  • the minimum investment criteria to be satisfied is the acquisition of real estate property in Cyprus;
  • the applicant is required to submit proof that the funds to be invested have been lawfully obtained.
It is important to note that starting with 2019, the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Scheme will be amended with the following provisions:
  • the real estate investment will increase from 2 million euros to 2,150 000 euros;
  • the investment will be maintained for at least 5 years, compared to the 3 years required until now;
  • a donation of 75,000 euros for research and development purposes will be required;
  • another donation of 75,000 euros to the Land Development Organization will also be required;
  • the investor will be allowed to change the investment plan during the 5 years based on a consent issued by the authorities.

The new amendments are to enter into force starting with May 2019, which is why we invite you to discuss with our golden visa specialists in Cyprus for more information on these changes.

Obtain EU citizenship by investment in Malta

Another country which offers direct European citizenship by investment is Malta. Those who want to buy a golden visa in Malta with the purpose of obtaining European citizenship must meet the following requirements:
  1. a minimum investment of 650,000 euros must be deposited with the National Development Fund;
  2. another 150,000 euros must be invested in financial instruments approved by the Maltese government;
  3. buy a property in Malta – the minimum value of the real estate is 350,000 euros;
  4. in case of bringing other family members, 25,000 euros for each dependent must be pledged to National Development Fund;
  5. the investment must be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years with a minimum residency period of 1 year.

Even if most foreign citizens seek to obtain European citizenship by investment in 2021 in countries which offer this option directly, there are countries which offer permanent residency which also lead to European citizenship under very advantageous conditions. Among these countries, we mention Ireland, Greece, and the UK.

Choosing a suitable country for European citizenship by investment in 2021

Moving to a European country with the purpose of obtaining citizenship by investment in 2021 implies several steps. First of all, it should be noted that the UK is no longer part of the European Union, therefore, those targeting EU states must shift their attention to other member countries. Among these, Ireland, Spain and Portugal remain some of the most appealing.

If you have any questions on obtaining European citizenship through investment in 2021, we have teams of agents in most countries and they can provide you with information on each program. 

Please contact us if you need more information or assistance in buying a golden visa in Europe.