Spain and Portugal currently offer two of the most sought after permanent residency programs in Europe. Both countries are offering “golden” visas for foreign nationals to obtain a residency permit in exchange for an investment into real estate, the cultural arts or local businesses.
Currently Portugal offers applicants to invest a minimum of €250,000 for funds that go towards a national cultural heritage site, while Spain’s cheapest option is the investment into real estate starting at €500,000.
Both investments need to be held in order to renew the residence permit which is after a period of two years. In order to maintain residency in Spain the residency holder must visit the country once in the first year and every time the permanent residency needs to be renewed. Portugal on the other has a minimum requirement of a 7 day visit the first year and 14 days every two years thereafter. After the first year the applicant has the option to renew the temporary residency for a two- year extension twice. This allows the permit holder to have a temporary residency for a total of five years after which successful applicants can apply for a permanent residency.
In order to maintain permanent residency status, one must reside in Spain for half the year, the same rules apply for Portugal. After six years applicants are able to apply for the Portuguese passport which is granted for life and can be passed down to future generations. For Spain the process of acquiring citizenship takes the permanent residency holder at least ten years. Both countries offer excellent opportunities to make good ROI as the real estate prices are increasing and each country has great quality of life for individuals looking to relocate to Europe.