How to get an investment visa?

Published 2021-07-09 12:49:18
Image by Michelle Raponi from Pixabay

Many entrepreneurs and upwardly mobile individuals choose to relocate to another country on a permanent basis, and may also apply for citizenship of that country, for various reasons like financial and lifestyle. These individuals can make a financial investment in order to get permanent residency, or even citizenship, to take advantage of the numerous benefits citizenship would allow them. There are several countries that have this pathway to citizenship. But countries like Dubai, Portugal, Greece and Cyprus are particularly popular, especially with Brits looking for a second home elsewhere.


The United Arab Emirates introduced a new scheme to allow foreigners to work, live and study in the emirates without the need for a sponsor, as recently as 2019. This scheme also allows foreigners to own their businesses outright without the requirement of partial ownership with a local entity or individual.

This Golden Visa is available to:

  • Entrepreneurs
  • Investors
  • Any specialized, distinguished or talented individuals in certain fields of study
  • Gifted students showing promise in the scientific field

Conditions to apply for 10-year visa:

  1. Investors have to make a minimum investment of AED 10 million (USD  ~2,8 millions).
    • This investment can take the form of a deposit into a local investment fund.
    • Creating a business venture in the UAE with a minimum capital of AED 10 million.
    • Becoming a partner in an existing business or a new entity with a contributing share of no less than AED 10 million.
    • Investment in various sectors that totals nothing less than AED 10 million.

The conditions of this investment is limited to:

  • The capital should not be borrowed.
  • The capital investment should be maintained for at least three years.
  • The business entity should be financially solvent up to AED 10 million

This visa can include family such as a spouse and children, and up to one director and one advisor.

  1. Specialised people
    • Some professions such as medical personnel, scientists, etc can also apply for the ten-year visa.
    • The visa can include family, such as spouse and children.
    • The individual must have a valid job offer in a field that is listed as priority in the UAE, eg. medical field.
    • Applicants must be accredited by the relevant authority as recognised in the UAE.

Conditions to apply for 5-year visa:

  1. Property Investors
    • The value of the purchased property must be at least AED 5 million (USD ~1,4 millions). (This visa is also called the UAE Investor Visa).
    • The funds cannot be borrowed.
    • The property should be maintained for at least three years.
  2. Entrepreneurs
    • Limited to those applicants who have an already-established venture, or have approval for a new venture, with capital not less than AED 500K (USD 140k).
    • The visa can extend to spouses and children, a single business partner and three executives.
  3. Students
    • Achieve a minimum grade of 95% in secondary school.
    • Achieve a GPA of at least 3.75 at university.
    • This visa also extends to the families of the student.


Portugal offers a lavish history and culture with beautiful beaches and countryside havens. Portugal welcomes non-EU investors with a Golden Visa after a financial investment, which can be real estate, a business venture that creates job opportunities or a capital investment.

Investment Eligibility:

  1. Purchase a property with a minimum value of €500K.
  2. Invest at least €350K in an authorised urban regeneration project as outlined by the Portuguese government.
  3. Invest a minimum of €350K in an investment fund that is regulated by the Portuguese Securities Market Commission.
  4. Open a bank account with a minimum of €1 million.
  5. Buy company shares to the minimum value of at least €1 million.
  6. Have a business venture that employs at least 10 nationals.
  7. Purchase shares in a commercial company to the value of not less than €350K that additionally creates at least five jobs for locals.
  8. Invest €350K in a research institution which can be either private or public, and recognised by the relevant government body.
  9. Invest €250K to support arts and culture, or maintain national heritage.

Who can apply:

  1. Must be an adult over the age of 18 years and have no criminal record.
  2. The investment must be beneficial to the country’s economy.
  3. The investment capital cannot be borrowed.
  4. Must be able to maintain the investment for a period of no less than five years.

The Golden visa makes you eligible for citizenship after five years but you do not have to reside permanently in Portugal during the five years. The requirement is spending only one to two weeks per year. You do have to show that you have an income, accommodation in Portugal and know the language, at least on a rudimentary level.


  • Family members such as a spouse, children, dependent parents and other dependents are eligible for residency once you have been granted a Golden Visa.
  • Up to 90days out of a 180-day period of visa-free travel in the Schengen zone.
  • Visa renewal is possible even if you only stay in Portugal for seven days annually.
  • You are eligible for healthcare and education , if you choose to live there.
  • After 5 years, you are eligible for citizenship and may apply for a Portuguese passport, opening up the EU, and about 100 countries of visa-free travel.    


This EU country is attractive to prospective investors because it is safe, has great educational facilities and a sturdy healthcare system. A Golden Visa in Greece is your ticket to citizenship after five years and access to the rest of the EU countries.

There are many routes to obtaining the Golden Visa but the most common one is through buying real estate with a minimum of €250K.

Eligibility Criteria:

  1. Over the age of 18 with no criminal record.
  2. Purchase the appropriate health insurance in Greece.
  3. Invest a substantial sum in Greece.
    • Property to the value of not less than €250K.
    • Sign a long-term lease agreement of ten-years or more with a hotel or tourism entity.
    • Invest at least €400K in a Greek-registered company.
    • A €400K investment in Greek government bonds.
    • A €400K investment in shares of real estate companies.
    • A deposit of €400K in a Greek bank.
    • An investment of €800K in either any government or corporate bonds.


  1. The visa includes family members, and visa-free travel for all on the visa in the Schengen zone.
  2. The residence permit does not stipulate a minimum period to live in Greece.
  3. The minimum investment options are much lower than other EU countries.
  4. You have the option to rent out the property you purchase.
  5. The visa allows you to live, work and invest in Greece.
  6. Healthcare and education is available to you.
  7. You can apply for citizenship after seven years.
  8. The visa is valid for five years but can be renewed as long as the investment is maintained.


It is important to note that as of November 2020, Golden Visa applications are no longer being accepted.

Cyprus is attractive for numerous reasons, least of all its idyllic beaches and temperate climate.

Citizenship by investment requirements:

  1. Purchase a property that is worth at least €2 million. The property portfolio can be made up of more than one property that totals the threshold amount, or it can be a single property.
  2. Additionally, you have to make 2 donations of €100K each to the Cypriot Government Research and Development Fund and the Cypriot Land Development Organisation.
  3. Have no criminal record and the funds must be transferred from outside Cyprus.

Advantages of Cypriot citizenship

  1. Holders of the visa can live, work and study in any of the EU countries.
  2. There are no interviews or language proficiency requirements.
  3. Family members are also granted the benefits of the visa and this can be passed down in the family.
  4. There is no requirement of staying in Cyprus to apply for citizenship but you must hold a residence permit for six months before the application process is complete.
  5. The visa can include extended family for an additional €500K.
  6. Any property you buy can be rented out.
  7. After five years you can reduce your investment to €500K.
  8. Cyprus allows dual citizenship.

Share your experience, participate in the discussion and leave comments in our forum HERE.

Facebook Twitter LinkedIn Pinterest WhatsApp Addthis


Author: KashGo
Expat Mum in the Desert and content writer for

For other discussions, advice, question, point of view, get together, etc...: please use the forum.

More articles

- My Life Abroad -
A selection of expat stories

"A fun compulsive read!"
J. Matcham, Amazon

"I strongly advise people ready to live abroad to read this book!"
Patrice, Amazon