In one article, learn all about the changes and updates to different Golden Visa and Citizenship by investment programs for 2023, from Greece to Dominica. Find out which programs became more expensive and which are now even more affordable for investors.
Greece will double the minimum investment required for the Golden Visa for some regions
From May 1st, 2023, some regions of Greece, including municipalities of Athens, will require a minimum of €500,000 instead of €250,000. Other areas affected by these changes are Thessaloniki municipalities and the Mykonos and Santorini islands. You can find the complete list of the regions affected here.
Investors who purchase real estate in the areas listed above and have already paid 10% of the property value as a deposit by April 31st, 2023, will be able to conclude their contracts until December 31st, 2023, and apply under the scheme that requires the €250,000 investment.
Investors who have already paid their deposit will have the option to replace the initial property with another one and still apply under the €250,000 threshold, provided they conclude the transaction before the end of the transition period.
Under the new rules, you must purchase a single property to qualify for a Golden Visa. In cases of joint property ownership, the minimum value of the ownership share must be €500,000 and must again affect a single property.
Find other details of the Greece Golden Visa program here.
Portugal keeps its Golden Visa and introduces a new option for digital nomads
Despite the ongoing rumors, Portugal isn’t closing its Golden Visa program, and it doesn’t seem like Portugal plans to do it anytime soon, as the Parliament voted against scrapping it in November 2022. For the time being, the Golden Visa remains the sole option for later qualifying for Portuguese citizenship without having to reside in the country. The most popular routes to obtain the Portuguese Golden Visa are through real estate investment starting at €280,000 or fund investment starting at €500,000.
In October 2022, Portugal launched its much-awaited digital nomad visa. The new immigration route is open to remote workers who work for a foreign entity and obtain their income from abroad.
Find more details on the Portugal Golden Visa program here.
Turkey imposes restrictions on Citizenship through Real Estate Investment Program
Investors must invest at least $400,000 in residential or commercial real estate to obtain Turkish citizenship. The amount remains the same, but some investment rules are changing. According to the new rules, only one investor can be the sole owner of a real estate investment. The shared property doesn’t qualify for the Citizenship by Investment program anymore regardless of the size of the shares. However, a sole investor can use multiple properties to reach the minimum investment amount. In this case, all the property units must be registered in the land cadastre to confirm the real estate ownership to one sole proprietor.
An investor can buy real estate with a mortgage, but only if their net worth is at least $400,000 after deducting the loan amount.
Moreover, Investors can use real estate units to obtain citizenship only once. This new rule means that the property bought by a participant of the Citizenship by Investment program can’t be used for the application of another investor later, even if the investor bought it from the first investor.
Find more details about Turkey Citizenship by Real Estate Investment Program here.
Portugal vs Greece: Which Golden Visa program to choose?
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Obtaining Citizenship for Saint Kitts and Nevis became cheaper and faster, but only for a limited time
From January 1st to June 30th, 2023, the main applicant can make a minimum investment of $125,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund and receive an approval within 60 days of the application submission. This is $25,000 less than the minimum investment required before. It will already include the previously considered fast-track approval option of 60 days that came with an additional cost of $25,000, as the usual process took 3-4 months. In other words, the applicant will pay less and receive citizenship faster. Here are more details on prices for the different numbers of family members under the limited-time offer.
From July 1st, 2023, the prices will rise again, and the application approval will take up to 90 days. Also, the option to get faster approval for an additional cost of $25,000 will remain.
If you were considering investing in real estate instead of donating to the SGF, only development projects approved by the government are now eligible for the Citizenship by Investment program. However, the "Approved Projects" from 2022 are not eligible anymore, which means two things. First, the developers of these projects would need to apply again to be on the list of approved projects. And second, their investors would have to change their applications and qualifying investment selection.
Here you can find more information about Saint Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment program.
The minimum investment in real estate in Saint Lucia is now $100,000 cheaper
Starting January 1st, 2023, the minimum requirement for real estate investment is now $200,000 instead of $300,000.
The minimum requirement for investors purchasing non-interest-bearing Government Bonds under the new Bond offer is now $300,000 instead of $500,000 and doesn’t depend on the number of participants. Saint Lucia remains the only Caribbean country offering government bonds as a qualifying investment option for citizenship.
The Covid Relief bond offer that accepted an investment of a minimum of $250,000 expired on Dec 31st, 2022.
Developers applying for approved real estate under the CBI Program or enterprise projects now have to pay a $7,500 due diligence and background check fee.
Investors who have been a citizen of Saint Lucia for 12 months or less and are looking to include a newborn dependent through the country’s National Economic Fund will now have to pay a fee of $5,000 instead of $500.
The replacement fee for a lost or damaged certificate increased from $100 to $500.
Follow here to learn more about Saint Lucia’s program.
Dominica limited the categories of possible dependants on the investor’s application
Before the autumn of 2022, investors could include siblings in the application. But now, investors and their spouses can’t have siblings as dependents in the application under any circumstances.
Adult children of the main applicants must provide proof of attendance at a recognized higher education institution and that the main applicant or their spouse substantially supports them. Unmarried daughters under 25 years of age are now eligible regardless of the fact if they are attending a higher education institution, provided they are living with and supported by the main applicant or their spouse.
As for the parents and grandparents of the main applicant or their spouse, there is now an age limit. The main applicant or spouse can now include their parents and grandparents on the application from the age of 65 years, and they also need to be financially dependent on the main applicant or their spouse to qualify.
Each additional dependant now attracts a fee of $25,000 regardless of age. In the case of a donation to the Economic Diversification Fund, the additional contribution amount for each additional dependent under 18 years remains at $25,000, while the contribution for additional dependents 18 or older is now $50,000.
Find more details of Dominica’s Citizenship by investment program here.
Other parts of the world
Vanuatu citizens lost their advantage of visa-free travel to Europe
The European Council decided to fully suspend the visa waiver agreement with Vanuatu due to "the risks posed by its investor citizenship schemes." The Council had previously temporarily suspended the agreement in May 2022 and now has decided to proceed with strict measures. The citizens of Vanuatu will have to apply for a Schengen visa to travel to the European Union countries. Although the official full suspension comes into force on February 4th, 2023, the citizens of Vanuatu already have to apply for a visa because of the temporary suspension implied before.
Click here for more information about the Vanuatu program.