Forget the mega-yachts, private jets and Cartier jewels. The latest must-have accessory for the super-rich is a second passport or, at the very least, elite residency in a foreign country. A surprising number of nations worldwide offer residency and even citizenship in exchange for a minimum real estate investment. Here are the countries where a property purchase will get you residency and even full citizenship.
Fiji: $125,000 (£94k) investment for residency
Living in sun-kissed Fiji year-round may seem like the preserve of the mega-rich but you only need to invest a minimum of $125,000 (£94k) in a property there to qualify for permanent residency, plus you get full citizenship if you live in the country for five years or more.
Colombia: $150,000 (£113k) investment for residency
Colombia offers one of the most affordable investment for residency programs on the planet. Permanent residency is granted to foreign nationals who invest more than $150,000 (£113k) in property, or just $23,000 (£17k) in a Colombian business.
Brazil: $160,000 (£120k) investment for residency
Brazil is almost neck and neck with Colombia with its relatively inexpensive investment for residency program. A minimum investment of just $160,000 (£120k) is required to qualify for a permanent residency visa. The investment can be in anything from property to local businesses.
Dominica: $200,000 (£150k) investment for citizenship
Dreaming of a blissful retirement in the Caribbean? Dominica is calling your name. The island nation offers one of the world’s most affordable citizenship by investment programs. A $200,000 (£150k) property purchase will get you a Dominican passport and visa-free travel to over 100 countries.
Panama: $200,000 (£150k) investment for residency
Panama is a popular retirement choice for North Americans and the country isn’t too restrictive when it comes to granting residency permits. A property investment of $200,000 (£150k) or more is all that is required to get you in.
Vanuatu: $200,000 (£150k) investment for citizenship
The Pacific island nation of Vanuatu will give honorary citizenship to any qualifying foreign national who snaps up property with a value of $200,000 (£150k) or more. Processing times are extra fast and a passport can be issued within two months of approval.
Dubai: $272,000 (£204k) investment for residency
If bustling Dubai is more to your taste, you’ll be pleased to learn it’s not excessively expensive to quality for residency there. The emirate offers golden visas to foreign nationals who invest a minimum $272,000 (£204k) in property, or just $20,000 (£15k) in a business.
Saint Lucia: $300,000 (£226k) investment for citizenship
To qualify for Saint Lucia’s investment for citizenship program, a minimum property investment of $300,000 (£226k) is required. Alternatively, a $100,000 (£75k) donation to the country’s sovereign wealth fund will rapidly secure a passport and permanent residency.
Greece: $300,000 (£226k) investment for residency
Greece offers a residency by investment program to non-EU citizens who splash $300,000 (£225k) or more on property in the country. Successful applicants get the right to live and work in any EU country, and qualify for full citizenship if they reside in Greece for seven years or longer.
Latvia: $327,000 (£246k) investment for residency
Non-EU nationals who are tempted by Latvia have to buy a property worth $327,000 (£246k) or more to quality for the country’s golden visa program. The residency permit is valid for five years and holders become eligible for citizenship if they live in Latvia for longer than 10 years.
Grenada: $350,000 (£263k) investment for citizenship
Grenada is another Caribbean paradise that offers a relatively affordable investment for citizenship program. To meet the minimum requirements, you’d need to invest at least $350,000 (£263k) in property or donate $200,000 (£150k) to the nation’s sovereign fund.
Hungary: $356,000 (£268k) investment for residency
The Government of Hungary grants non-EU citizens residency if they spend $356,000 (£268k) or more on a property in the country. Again, they have to live in the country for a lengthy period of time to qualify for citizenship; in this case the wait is eight years.
Belgium: $416,000 (£313k) investment for residency
Belgium’s residency by investment program is based on discretion rather than rigid rules. To qualify, non-EU nationals typically need to spend a minimum of $416,000 (£313k) on property in the country. Golden visa holders qualify for full citizenship if they live in the country for longer than five years.
Saint Kitts and Nevis: $400,000 (£300k) investment for citizenship
A lazy retirement in stunning Saint Kitts and Nevis could be yours if you have $400,000 (£300k) to spend on property in the Caribbean nation. This sort of investment will get you all the trappings of full citizenship and a shiny new passport to boot.
Antigua and Barbuda: $400,000 (£300k) investment for citizenship
Antigua and Barbuda operates a similar investment for citizenship program. A minimum property investment of $400,000 (£300k) is required to be eligible for full citizenship and that all-important passport.
Andorra: $475,000 (£359k) investment for residency
This compact country in the Pyrenees will offer a residency permit to any non-EU national who spends $475,000 (£359k) or more on property. The only catch is the permit does not guarantee free movement within the EU, plus permit holders have to wait at least 20 years to qualify for citizenship.
The Bahamas: $500,000 (£376k) investment for residency
Always wanted to live in the Bahamas? Your dream could become reality. That’s if you have a budget of $500,000 (£376k) to splurge on property. An investment of half a million dollars will get you permanent residency and a passport after 10 years.
USA: $500,000 (£376k) investment for residency
The US doesn’t offer residency in exchange for property investment per se, but you may qualify and garner a much sought-after Green Card if you pump $500,000 (£376k) or more into a regional centre real estate investment program.
Mauritius: $500,000 (£376k) investment for residency
A luxury holiday destination for the world’s wealthy, Mauritius offers residency for foreign nationals who want to stay long term if they invest $500,000 (£376k) in property on the island, not to mention citizenship to successful applicants who stay in the country for more than two years.
Montenegro: $595,000 (£448k) investment for citizenship
Foreign nationals with $595,000 (£448k) to spare might want to drop their cash on a property in Montenegro. The country’s authorities will award citizenship to qualifying investors who invest that very amount in real estate or enterprise in the country.
Ireland: $595,000 (£448k) investment for residency
The Republic of Ireland will grant residency to non-EU nationals who invest at least $595,000 (£448k) in Irish property, businesses, bonds and more, as well as full citizenship to successful applicants who reside in the country for five years or more.
Spain: $595,000 (£448k) investment for residency
Non-EU nationals who wish to move to Spain can acquire residency if they purchase property valued at $595,000 (£448k) or more. Successful applicants also get a European residency permit and the chance to live and work in any EU country of their choosing.
Portugal : $595,000 (£448k) investment for residency
Spain’s neighbor has a near-identical investment for residency program for non-EU nationals. Spending $595,000 (£448k) or more on a property in Portugal will entitle you to residency and full citizenship if you reside in the country for six years or longer.
Bulgaria: $595,000 (£448k) investment for residency
Bulgaria has similar requirements. In exchange for a property investment of $595,000 (£448k), non-EU citizens are offered a residency permit and the opportunity to live and work in the EU. Permit holders who live in the country for five years or more are eligible for citizenship.
Switzerland: $1 million (£753k) investment for residency
A magnet for billionaires, Switzerland offers residency permits to foreign nationals who invest $1 million (£753k) in property or a business in the country. Permit holders are free to come and go as they please but have to wait 12 years to be considered for full citizenship.
Turkey: $1 million (£753k) investment for citizenship
Buying a property of any value will get you residency in Turkey but you’d need to stump up $1 million (£753k) or more to qualify for instant citizenship, and will have to commit to living in the country for three years too.
Malta: $1.1 million (£828k) investment for citizenship
The Government of Malta rewards foreign nationals who invest $1.1 million (£828k) or more in property in the country with permanent residency and an EU passport. Processing times are speedy, with successful applicants receiving their passports within 12 months on average.
Monaco: $1.2 million (£904k) investment for residency
To get the right to reside in Monaco, you have to invest $1.2 million (£904k) in property or deposit that sum in a bank account in the principality – they don’t call it a billionaires’ playground for nothing. Residents are granted citizenship after 10 years living in the tiny country.
Italy: $1.2 million (£904k) investment for residency
Italy’s investment for residency program doesn’t usually include property purchases but non-EU nationals who spend $1.2 million (£904k) or more on a property that is deemed in the public interest – a historic restoration project for instance – may qualify.
Cyprus: $2.4 million (£1.8m) investment for citizenship
Cyprus offers the world’s priciest investment for citizenship programme. A property investment of $2.4 million (£1.8m) or more is the minimum requirement, but there are no shortage of wealthy foreign applicants willing to part with that kind of money to get their EU Cypriot passport.
Are you planning for your Retirement to settle down, for which country will you wanted to Stay?