Published
March 22, 2024
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How to Get EU Citizenship by Investment? The Ultimate Guide for 2024

As globalization shapes our future, obtaining EU citizenship by investment emerges as a strategic pathway to accessing a world rich with opportunities.

This comprehensive guide dives into how you can turn capital into EU citizenship, a decision that will eventually open doors to a world of freedom, economic opportunities, and high-quality living standards.

Key Takeaways 

  • Citizenship by Investment Programs (CIP) allow individuals to acquire citizenship in a country through significant investment, benefiting the host country's economy.
  • The EU citizenship by investment programs often require real estate purchases, business investments, or financial contributions, with rigorous background checks to prevent legitimacy of this immigration path.
  • Benefits include freedom of movement and freedom of settlement within the EU, political rights, consular protection, petition and ombudsman access, language rights, and simplified global travel.
  • Malta and Austria offer citizenship by investment programs, each with unique cultural and economic advantages.
  • Malta provides the fastest as well as the cheapest EU citizenship by investment, potentially within 12-36 months, with investments starting at €600,000.
  • If you're considering EU citizenship by investment options, Mirabello Consultancy will ensure you find a program that best suits your needs, whether you’re looking for the fastest EU citizenship by investment or the cheapest. 

What is a citizenship by investment program and how does it work in the EU?

A Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) is a legal and financial arrangement offered by certain countries that allow individuals to acquire citizenship in that country through a significant investment. These programs are designed to attract foreign capital and business expertise, thereby bolstering the economic development of the host country.

Traditionally, citizenship of a country is based on birthright acquisition, either by descent or birth within the territory or through standard naturalization processes where immigrants fulfill certain integration conditions, which may include marriage to a citizen of that country. Some European countries also give citizenship to a foreigner on an individual basis for reasons of “national interest,” which could be due to outstanding contributions to culture, science, sports, or even economic or commercial interests. And then there are the EU citizenship by investment programs that provide a unique pathway to EU citizenship, primarily based on economic contributions, aligning with the strategic economic interests of the host country.

The investments required can vary but typically include options such as real estate purchases, business investments, donations to a national development fund, or investments in government bonds. The amount required for investment also varies, often ranging from several hundred thousand to several million euros. 

The applicant for a European citizenship by investment is usually required to pass thorough background checks, including financial audits and security screenings. These checks are designed to prevent money laundering, tax evasion, corruption, and security risks. The European Union's growing concern with EU citizenship by investment programs led to the adoption of the Report on Investor Citizenship and Residence Schemes in the European Union on January 23, 2019. This report outlines the inherent risks associated with the "golden passport" and "golden visa" schemes, emphasizing the need for transparency, effective oversight, and independent monitoring of these programs.

Why should you consider citizenship by investment to obtain a EU passport?

Obtaining EU citizenship by investment opens up a world of possibilities derived from the rights of EU citizens. These rights, as outlined in the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, enhance life quality and expand opportunities, making EU golden visa programs an attractive option for many. Here are some key advantages to consider:

Freedom of Movement & Freedom of Settlement within EU/EEA

One of the most significant benefits is the right to move and reside freely within the EU&EEA. This allows unrestricted travel, work, and residence in any of the EU member states, offering unmatched flexibility and freedom.

Political Rights

EU citizenship confers the right to vote for and stand as a candidate in the European Parliament and municipal elections. This political engagement right is a crucial aspect of democratic participation and representation at the European level.

Consular Protection

In countries outside the EU where your home country does not have an embassy or consulate, you can receive help from the embassy or consulate of any other EU country. This protection can be invaluable during times of distress or emergency while traveling.

Petition and Ombudsman Access

As an EU citizen, you can petition the European Parliament and lodge complaints with the European Ombudsman. This access ensures that your voice can be heard on issues that matter to you, providing a platform for advocacy and redress.

Citizens' Initiative

The ability to launch or support a European citizens' initiative empowers you to ask the European Commission to propose legislation on issues of personal or public importance, actively shaping EU policy.

Language Rights

EU citizenship comes with the right to communicate with EU institutions in any of the EU's official languages, ensuring ease of communication and understanding in your preferred language.

In addition to these specific rights, EU citizenship by investment programs offer a fast-track process to EU citizenship, often without the need for prolonged residency. They open economic opportunities by allowing you to live and work in any EU country, and provide access to high standards of living, healthcare, and education. Also, holding an EU passport significantly facilitates global travel with its strong visa-free access.

European countries offering citizenship by investment program

Malta

Area: 316  km²

Population: About 514,562 inhabitants as of 2021

Population density: 1,346 per  km²

Official languages: Maltese, English

Capital: Valletta

One country that provides EU citizenship by investment is Malta, a gem in the heart of the Mediterranean. You might be familiar with the stunning beauty of its scenery, even if you’ve never visited. Remember Gladiator, Troy, Game of Thrones, Captain Philips? Malta has served as the stunning backdrop for all these blockbusters. 

Adding to its charm is Malta's enviable climate. As one of Europe's sunniest countries, it basks in over 3,000 hours of sunshine annually. Remarkably, even in December Malta enjoys more than 160 hours of sunshine - a stark contrast to the gloomier weather of many European cities during this time.

One remarkable aspect of Malta is its exceptionally low crime rate. This creates an environment where you and your family can feel secure and at ease.

Economically, Malta is classified as an advanced economy by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). The island's major resources include limestone, its strategic geographic location, and the highly productive labor force. 

Malta's economy hinges on foreign trade, positioning itself as a critical freight trans-shipment point. The manufacturing sector, particularly in electronics and textiles, plays a significant role, as does the strong tourism industry. 

This blend of natural beauty, safety, sunshine, and economic resilience makes Malta a unique and captivating option for obtaining EU citizenship by investment. 

Austria

Area: 83,871 km²

Population: Approximately 9,027,999 inhabitants as of 2022

Population density: 107.6 per km²

Official language: German

Capital: Vienna

Austria, nestled in the heart of Europe, is a beacon of culture, history, and economic stability, making it an appealing destination for EU citizenship by investment. Its cities and landscapes are filled with a blend of imperial traditions and stunning modern architecture, showing its deep history. Vienna, its capital, has been a cultural and political hub for centuries, famously known as the birthplace of classical music.

Art and music are the soul of Austria. The country has been home to some of the world's most influential composers like Mozart, Beethoven, and Strauss, and continues to celebrate this heritage with world-renowned music festivals and opulent opera houses. The Vienna State Opera and the Salzburg Festival are just a few examples where the legacy of these musical giants lives on.

Economically, Austria boasts a high standard of living, underpinned by a strong industrial base, a skilled labor force, and a thriving service sector. It's a member of the European Union, the Eurozone, and the Schengen Area, offering excellent business opportunities and a gateway to the European market.

Austria's commitment to environmental sustainability is evident in its progressive policies and practices. It's a global leader in renewable energy and recycling, making it an attractive choice for eco-conscious investors considering citizenship by investment.

Lastly, Austria's social and political stability, combined with its high quality of life, strong healthcare system, and excellent educational institutions, make it an ideal destination for families seeking EU citizenship. 

Fastest eu citizenship by investment programs and countries

Malta offers the fastest EU citizenship by investment program, officially known as the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment. This program provides a route to Maltese citizenship for investors, with the possibility of a timeline as short as 12-36 months, depending on the level of investment.

Citizenship Receiving Time: 12-36 months

Investment Amount:

  • €600,000 for a minimum residence requirement of 36 months, or
  • €750,000 for a reduced residence requirement of 12 months.

Investment Type:

  • The investment can be in the form of an Exceptional Service Direct Investment, Property Procurement or Lease, and donations to Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs).

Requirements to Receive Citizenship:

  • Main applicants must be over 18 years of age.
  • Investment in property, either by procurement valued at no less than €700,000 or by renting a residential property with a minimum annual rent of €16,000.
  • A minimum residency period in Malta, which is typically 36 months but can be reduced to 12 months with an increased investment.
  • A non-refundable donation to a registered NGO in Malta, amounting to at least €10,000.
  • Inclusion of family members in the citizenship application under certain conditions, such as dependent children up to the age of 29 and dependent parents over the age of 55.

Why Should You Choose EU Citizenship by Investment in Malta?

  • Visa-free travel up to 190 countries
  • Freedom of settlement in the EU and EEA
  • High-Quality healthcare access
  • Dual citizenship opportunity
  • Business opportunities within the EU
  • Access to the public education sector

The path to EU citizenship requires a knowledgeable guide, and that's where Mirabello Consultancy comes into the picture. With a track record of handling, processing, and delivering investment migration solutions, Mirabello Consultancy offers a seamless service that begins with a free, thorough initial consultation to understand your unique needs. 

They provide end-to-end assistance, from selecting the right investment program to submitting your application to the government, ensuring each step is clear, transparent, and tailored to you. Take the first step towards your new future by booking a consultation with Mirabello Consultancy's team of experts, committed to finding the program that corresponds to your needs.

Cheapest eu citizenship by investment programs and countries

Malta offers the fastest EU citizenship by investment program, and it's also among the cheapest. For those seeking an affordable route, Portugal's Golden Visa is a viable option, requiring an investment of just €350,000. After maintaining residency for five years, investors can apply for citizenship.

Eligibility for applying for citizenship: 5 years of residency through investment

Investment amount: €350,000 in Portugal

Investment type: Real estate Investment Fund

Requirements for Portugal Golden Visa:

  • Invest at least €350,000 in a real estate investment fund.
  • Maintain the investment for a minimum of 5 years.
  • Stay in Portugal for a minimum of 7 days in the first year and 14 days in subsequent two-year periods.
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Prove financial self-sufficiency.

Why Should You EU Golden Visa in Portugal?

  • Access to Portuguese citizenship within five years
  • Competitive investment amount
  • Strategic location
  • Strong passport ranking
  • EU membership benefits
  • Favorable tax policies and high-quality living standards

Mirabello Consultancy stands ready to assist you find the cheapest EU citizenship by investment options. From the initial free consultation tailored to your situation to the final submission of your application, Mirabello Consultancy ensures clarity and transparency at every stage. Connect with their specialists, who are dedicated to aligning you with the investment program that best fits your aspirations.

FAQ

Which EU country is best for foreigners?

The best EU country for foreigners certainly varies depending on your preferences and needs. Nonetheless, according to the Expat City Ranking 2023 by Internations, Malaga in Spain ranks highly for friendly locals, affordable living, and a great quality of life. Valencia is also noted for great healthcare and affordable living. For work and career prospects, Amsterdam takes the lead. It is also recognized for work culture and satisfaction.

Who is eligible for a European Golden Visa?

EU Golden Visa programs typically offer residency to non-EU nationals who make a significant investment in the country. Eligibility requirements differ by country, including the minimum investment amount and type of investment. All the applicants undergo thorough background checks, including criminal records and the source of the investment funds.

Can UK citizens get an EU passport by investment?

UK citizens, following Brexit, no longer have automatic access to EU rights. Therefore, they can obtain an EU passport by investment. 

Conclusion

As we've seen, EU citizenship by investment not only represents a financial investment but also a significant step towards a future filled with freedom, opportunity, and stability, set against the backdrop of the culturally rich and economically thriving European Union.

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