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7 Most Popular Citizenship by Real Estate Investment Programs

Citizenship by Real Estate Investment

Real estate investing has always been a tempting option for investors to preserve the value of their money against inflation and to increase their wealth in the long or short term. However, nowadays searching for a good investment opportunity is not limited to the boundaries of your country but many people are looking for real estate in foreign countries. Getting the residence or citizenship by real estate investment is one of the main reasons for this change in investors’ behaviors. 

When your options are more, making a decision is even harder. The minimum amount for real estate investing to get the residence permit or citizenship of another country differs in different countries. Therefore, to make the best decision, you should have information about the exact amount of money you should pay and the legal privileges such a purchase brings you. For example, in some countries, you can only get permanent residence and never their citizenship. In some other countries, you’ll be given citizenship within a few months of your purchase. Also, you must know the different advantages of each residence status. Sometimes, the residence of a country is better than the citizenship of another. But it must also be affordable for you. 

We’ve put together comprehensive information on the seven most popular golden visas or citizenship by real estate investment in different countries so that you can compare them and make a decision with your eyes wide open. 

1- Golden Visa UAE

The most important thing to know when buying real estate in the UAE to receive a residence permit is that under no circumstances you will gain their passport. Also, after 100 years, your property will be owned by the government and your next generations cannot inherit it. 

UAE Citizenship

To get a UAE golden visa through buying real estate, the value of the property must be at least 2,000,000 AED which at the time of writing this article is equivalent to 544,500 USD. With this visa, you have the permission to live in the UAE for ten years. 

The advantages of this visa are the right to live, work, and study in the UAE. Also, visas will be issued for your spouse and children with no age limit. The additional cost of this visa is almost 1,000 USD. 

If you’re looking for a Dubai Golden Visa, as it is a part of the UAE, the requirements for getting residence permit in Dubai by real estate investing are the same as other UAE countries. 

2- Portugal Golden Visa

If you’re willing to get your citizenship upon buying property, this is not a good program for you. But if you can wait for five years, you can definitely consider this visa. By buying a real estate property for a minimum price of €500,000, you and your spouse and dependent children can get the residence permit in Portugal for two years, which can be renewed every two years if every year you stay in the country for at least two weeks. 

Portugal Golden Visa

If you do not sell your property for five years, at the end of the 5-year period you are allowed to apply for citizenship. The minimum price of the property you invest in must be  €500,000. If this is more than your budget, you can buy a property worth  €400,000 or more if in a low-density area, or  €350,000 or more if it is a property in an urban rehabilitation area. 

a residency permit for a family including dependent children. The golden visa can be renewed every two years providing the applicant spends two weeks in the country every two years.

In case you’re interested in real estate investing in Lisbon, Porto, or coastal towns, you must buy a commercial property not a residential one to be eligible for Portugal Golden Visa.

3- Turkish Citizenship

Buying real estate in Turkey can result in either a citizenship or residence permit depending on the value of the real estate property you invest in. Due to some changes in the recent immigration policies of the Turkish government, if you want to buy property and get your Turkish citizenship, the value of that property must be at least 400,000 USD. After the completion of your purchase, you will apply for citizenship and receive your passport and other Turkish identity documents within 3 to 6 months. 

Turkish Citizenship

To buy real estate in big cities and receive a residence permit in Turkey, the property must cost a minimum of 75,000 USD. In the villages, this number is 50,000 USD. Then, you will be given a residence permit for a year which is annually extended. 

Both the Turkish citizenship and residence permit will be given to your spouse and children below the age of 18. After receiving your Turkish citizenship, you and your family are allowed to live and study in Turkey and have the rights and privileges of all Turkish citizens. 

Moreover, due to the rise in real estate prices in Turkey, in Istanbul in particular, it seems a profitable investment. The nominal growth rate in 2022 to March was 110% and overall the prices of real estate in Turkey have increased more than four times in the last 5 years.

4- Spain Citizenship by Real Estate Investment 

Just like Portugal Golden Visa, this visa is not appropriate for people who are looking for immediate citizenship of another country. 

Spanish Citizenship

To gain family residency in Spain, you should make a real estate investment for a minimum worth of €500,000. This investor visa will be renewed every two years. After five years, you will get your permanent residence permit and after ten years, you are eligible to apply for a Spanish citizenship. Despite a residence permit in Portugal, you don’t have to live in Spain for your visa to be renewed. 

Even though you will not be given citizenship immediately, you have the right to live in an EU country which means you are allowed to travel in all EU countries easily. 

5- US Citizenship by Investment

If you’re interested in a U.S. Green Card or permanent residence in America, you can apply for an EB-5 visa by investing in government-approved projects in the United States of America. 

US Citizenship

With this visa, you and your family, including your children under 21, have the right to live, study, work, and retire in the U.S. Also, when the project is completed, you can get your investment back. However, there is a limitation for your residence status and you must live in the USA at least for 6 months of the year. At the moment, the minimum amount for this visa is $1 million. 

E2 visa is a more affordable US investment visa, but only the citizens of countries that hold an E2 treaty are eligible for that, including Turkey, Grenada, and Montenegro. Also, if you invest in these countries, you are eligible to apply for an E2 visa. You can get your residency faster and cheaper, but it won’t lead to a Green Card. 

6- Dominican Citizenship by Investment

To obtain Dominican citizenship you can either contribute $100,000 to the state or buy real estate for a minimum price of $200,000. The Dominican government made some changes in their immigration policies so that now international investors do not need to live in the country to get Economic Dominica Citizenship. 

Dominican Citizenship

In addition to the right to reside and work in the Dominican Republic, Dominican citizens can travel to 153 countries visa-free. Also, if you’re looking for a peaceful and quiet natural resort, the Dominican Republic is a good place to have your ideal life. 

However, if you’re looking for a country with a strong infrastructure and education system, there’s a high chance the Dominican Republic will disappoint you. In the first 6 months of the year, the heat is intolerable for many foreigners. Also, due to its geographic situation, your interaction with other countries is limited and for the same reason, it is hard to find high-quality international products. 

7- Saint Kitts and Nevis Citizenship

Established in 1984, St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship programs gives international investors the citizenship of this country in exchange for a donation of  $150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) or buying real estate property for at least $400,000. 

St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship

One of the advantages of living in St. Kitts is that there is no tax for personal income. 0 capital gains tax, inheritance tax, and wealth taxes are other factors that make living in this country tempting.  

However, in comparison with other Eastern Caribbeans Islands, the cost of living and the crime rate are high. Also, the island is in the hurricane belt. 

A Word to the Wise

As you’ve read in this article, not only do the prices of citizenship by real estate investment programs in different countries differ, but the life quality and culture of each of them varies. At the end of the day, you are the one that can make the best decision. But remember, to make a wise decision, first you should know your purpose of investment. Are you looking for a stronger passport? Are you buying real estate for the sake of investment and increasing your capital? Or you’re looking for a second home where you can spend summers? It’s not just your budget that determines where and which program is better for you, but your needs and purpose of investment. 


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