Published
March 22, 2024
Category

8 Easiest Countries to Get Permanent Residency in 2024

Ready to settle down abroad? Let's explore the 8 easiest countries to get permanent residency in, which you should consider.

Key Takeaways

  • Employment, family reunification, retirement, study, refugee status, and investment are the main pathways for obtaining permanent residency in other countries.
  • If you’re looking for the easiest countries to get permanent residency by investment in Europe, consider the options in Malta, Portugal, Germany, and Greece. 
  • St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda are the easiest countries to get permanent residency by investment in the Caribbean. 
  • Mirabello Consultancy offers services to streamline the procedure to obtain a second residency, providing 360-degree assistance and guidance throughout the whole process.

How to get permanent residency in other countries?

Most of the time, the path to permanent residency in another country starts with obtaining a residency permit. A residency permit is an official document that grants a foreign national the legal right to live in a country for a fixed period. 

This permit may be issued for either temporary or permanent residency, with the specific rules and conditions varying significantly between different regions. Typically, a residency permit allows the holder to reside in the country for a limited specified duration and granted on the basis of engaging in work, study, or other activities, depending on the conditions stipulated by the permit. 

Transitioning from a residency permit to permanent residency requires fulfilling certain criteria established by the host country. These criteria can include the duration of stay, economic contribution as well as integration measures such as proficiency in the local language.

You can obtain permanent residency in countries around the world in several ways. 

Employment

Countries worldwide offer permanent residency to attract skilled workers to fill labor shortages and support economic growth. 

One notable example of such a program is Canada's Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), which is part of the Express Entry system for immigration. It’s designed for skilled workers with foreign work experience who want to immigrate to Canada permanently. The program evaluates candidates based on age, education level, work experience, language proficiency in English or French, and other elements that indicate the applicant's ability to establish economically in Canada. These criteria form a 100-point grid for assessment, with a current qualifying threshold of 67 points. Those with the highest scores are invited to apply for permanent residency.

Family Reunification

This pathway acknowledges the importance of keeping families together and supports the integration of newcomers into the host society. In the context of the European Union, family reunification is available to those who hold a residence permit issued for at least one year by an EU country and have reasonable prospects of obtaining permanent residency there, as determined by each EU member state's criteria. Some EU countries also require their residents to live legally within their borders for a minimum of two or three years before applying for family members to join them.

Retirement Residency

Some countries offer permanent residency options for retirees who can prove they have the financial means to support themselves without working. For instance, Panama offers attractive permanent residency options for retirees through its Pensionado program. By proving that they receive a monthly pension or retirement income of at least USD 1,000 from a foreign source, retirees qualify for this visa, which comes with many discounts and benefits. These incentives, coupled with Panama's relatively low cost of living, vibrant culture, and beautiful landscapes, make it an appealing destination for retirees looking for the easiest countries to get permanent residency.

Refugee or Asylum Seeker

Those granted refugee status or asylum due to persecution or fear of persecution in their home country on grounds of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group may be eligible for permanent residency.

While some countries, such as Cyprus, Malta, Greece, Poland, and Hungary, limit the validity of the first residence permit for refugees to three years, countries like France and Slovenia allow ten years of residence once refugee status has been granted.

Study to Permanent Residency

Students who complete higher education degrees in some countries may be eligible to transition to permanent residency. This often involves working in the country for a specific period after graduation under a post-study work visa before applying for permanent residency. Canada serves as an exemplary case with its Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWP), offering international students who have completed their higher education in Canada a pathway to permanent residency.

Cultural and Humanitarian Reasons 

Certain individuals may be eligible for permanent residency due to cultural, humanitarian, or other exceptional reasons, such as significant contributions to the arts, sciences, or social welfare of the host country. For example, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) outlines that individuals with exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, or business may be eligible for a green card. This can be demonstrated through sustained national or international acclaim and recognized achievements in the field.

Investment and Entrepreneurship

By making substantial financial investments, purchasing real estate, or establishing innovative businesses, investors and entrepreneurs can secure a pathway to residency. Although the specific requirements vary across countries, the underlying goal is to foster economic growth and development. This approach offers mutual benefits to the individuals seeking permanent residency and to the host countries aiming to enhance their economic framework.

3 easiest countries to get permanent residency by investment in Europe

Portugal Golden Visa

With a €350,000 investment in real estate, you can qualify for the Portuguese Golden Visa. This investment offers a straightforward pathway to citizenship after five years, positioning Portugal as one of the easiest countries to immigrate to. It's important to note that Golden Visa holders should spend at least 7 days in the first year and 14 days in subsequent two-year periods in Portugal.

Eligibility criteria for citizenship:

  • Maintain legal residency status in Portugal for five years through investment.
  • Submit an application form along with supporting documentation to the Portuguese consulate in your home country.
  • Have a clean criminal record and demonstrate financial stability to support themselves and their dependents.

German Residency by Independent Means

The Independent Means Residency program highlights Germany's interest in attracting individuals who can contribute to the country's economy in non-traditional ways and integrate into its society, making it one of the easiest countries to move to.

Eligibility criteria for Germany's Independent Means Residency program:

  • Applicants must have been residents for five years.
  • Applicants should demonstrate sufficient financial means.
  • Intermediate language skills (B1 level) are required.
  • Applicants must have no criminal record.

After legally residing in Germany for a period of 8 years, it’s possible to obtain German citizenship. This duration can be shortened to 7 years upon completion of a recognized integration course, and it can be further decreased to 6 years for those who possess a B2 level or higher German language certificate.

Greece Golden Visa

There are several pathways leading to the Greek Golden Visa, including the option to invest in real estate with a minimum value of EUR 250,000 or to engage in 10-year leases for hotel accommodations. Other investment routes include purchasing Greek government bonds at a minimum of EUR 400,000, acquiring shares or corporate bonds worth at least EUR 800,000, or investing in mutual funds with a minimum value of EUR 400,000. 

There are no language or residency obligations, which strengthens Greece's position as one of the easiest countries to immigrate to. Most importantly, after residing in Greece for seven years, investors can apply for citizenship.

Eligibility criteria for Greece Golden Visa:

  • Applicants must be at least 18 years old to qualify.
  • The visa program requires a minimum investment of EUR 250,000.
  • For prime locations like the city center of Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Thessaloniki, and Santorini, a higher minimum investment threshold of EUR 500,000 applies.
  • Applicants must not have any history of criminal records in any country where they have resided.

If you're aiming to enhance your global mobility and reap the benefits that accompany residency through investments, yet feel uncertain about where to begin or which option suits you best, Mirabello Consultancy has got your back. From handling complex immigration cases to offering expert guidance on investment opportunities, they pledge a smooth and professional process, step by step, all the way to achieving your residency or citizenship goals.

4 easiest countries to get permanent residency via citizenship by investment in Caribbean

St Kitts and Nevis

St. Kitts and Nevis offers various Citizenship by Investment options, which have contributed significantly to its reputation as one of the easiest countries to move to. Applicants can expect a streamlined and efficient process, with the possibility of obtaining citizenship within a few months.

St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment options: 

  • The Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC) represents a direct contribution to the country's Sustainable Growth Fund.
  • The Private Home Sale Investment Option (PHSIO) involves investing in government-approved real estate for personal residence.
  • The Public Benefit Investment Option focuses on investments in projects that have a positive social impact on the local community, contributing to the island's progress and prosperity.
  • The Real Estate Investment Option requires a minimum investment of US$400,000 in approved real estate projects, with the property being resalable after seven years.

Grenada

Grenada is not only one of the easiest countries to get permanent residency, but it also offers the unique advantage of access to the E-2 Investor Visa Treaty with the United States. This treaty allows Grenadian citizens to apply for a working visa in the USA after they have established domicile in Grenada.

The CBI options in Grenada are:

Non-refundable Contribution: A single applicant can contribute USD 150,000, or a family of four can contribute USD 200,000 to the National Transformation Fund.

Real Estate Investment: Requires a minimum investment of USD 220,000 in approved projects, along with a fixed fee of USD 50,000, offering citizenship and property ownership.

Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is another Caribbean country to consider for obtaining a second residency. It offers three citizenship-by-investment options:

  • The National Economic Fund option supports national economic initiatives and sustainable development in exchange for citizenship.
  • Real Estate Investment offers citizenship with the perk of a profitable investment in government-approved property, which can be sold after five years while retaining citizenship.
  • Government Bonds require a $300,000 refundable investment with a five-year term at 0% interest, applicable to the entire family.

Antigua and Barbuda

The final country on our list of the easiest places to obtain permanent residency is Antigua and Barbuda, offering a multitude of citizenship by investment options.

  • National Development Fund: A $100,000 donation grants cost-effective family citizenship and aids national growth.
  • Real Estate: Invest $200,000 in property, with potential returns and resale after five years.
  • Business: Gain citizenship with a $1.5 million business investment or a $400,000 collective contribution.
  • Universities: Invest in real estate and pay a $100,000 fee for a tuition-free university education for one family member.

2 Easiest Middle East countries to get permanent residency

UAE  golden visa

Blending a strong economy with a high quality of life, the UAE stands among the countries offering permanent residency options.

The no-income-tax policy, world-leading healthcare, and education systems, along with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 183 countries, all make a compelling case for those considering a second residency in a dynamic and secure environment.

UAE Residency visa costs by permission periods:

  • 10-Year Residency Visa through Real Estate Investment: Requires an investment of AED 2,000,000 (about USD 550,000).
  • 2-Year Residency Visa for Property Purchase: Available by purchasing property in the UAE's Freehold Zones. The investment must be at least AED 750,000 (approximately USD 204,000) for an individual investor. This amount increases to AED 1,000,000 (about USD 272,260) if the investment is jointly with a spouse.
  • 5-Year Golden Visa for Entrepreneurial Projects: Projects must be valued at least AED 500,000 (around USD 136,130), with a requirement for an auditor's confirmation, approval from emirate authorities, and a partnership with a UAE business incubator.

Saudi Arabia Premium Residency - Golden Visa

Among global programs for obtaining a second residency through investment, Saudi Arabia is emerging as an important name. With its Saudi Premium Residency program, the kingdom is becoming an appealing destination for investors, professionals, and artists alike.

This initiative reflects Saudi Arabia's ambitious vision to diversify its economy and attract foreign talent and investment as part of its Vision 2030 reform plan.

  • Limited Stay Residency (1-5 Years): Offers temporary residency for about 100,000 SAR annually for short-term business visitors and entrepreneurs.
  • Unlimited Duration Premium Residency: Provides permanent residency for a one-time fee of 800,000 SAR, extending benefits to family members.
  • Special Talent Residency: Tailored for researchers, healthcare, and scientific professionals, and executive-level professionals, requiring specific qualifications and minimum monthly earnings, leading to a 5-year residency that can become permanent.
  • Gifted Residency: Allows recognized artists and specialists to obtain a 5-year residency, extendable upon meeting the criteria set by the Ministry of Sports and Culture.
  • Residency Through Investment: Grants permanent residency to those investing a minimum of 7 million SAR in economic activities within Saudi Arabia, with the requirement of creating 10 jobs.
  • Residency through Property Investment: Enables acquiring residency by purchasing residential real estate assets worth at least 4 million SAR, approved by the Saudi Authority for Accredited Valuers “Taqeem.”

FAQ

What is the cheapest permanent residency in Europe?

The cheapest option for obtaining permanent residency in Europe is often through enrolling in a study program. Many countries offer Student Residence Permits to international students, allowing them to live in the country for the limited duration of their studies. These permits can typically be renewed upon securing a job, thereby providing a seamless transition to permanent residency.

Which EU country is the fastest to get permanent residency?

The Greek Golden Visa program offers a fast track to EU residency with a minimum investment of EUR 250,000 in real estate, among the most straightforward options in Europe.

So the insights gained from exploring the eight easiest countries to get permanent residency shed light on the shifting dynamics of global mobility and the increasing accessibility of second residency opportunities worldwide. 

Book your free initial consultation with Mirabello Consultancy to understand the nuances of each country's regulations and requirements, and make informed decisions about pursuing your goals of establishing a permanent home abroad.

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