The Investor Visa: what are your options?
If you are interested in investing in an entrepreneurial activity overseas it could lead to not only a visa for that country but in most cases such a visa would also lead to obtaining residency for you and your family in that country.
We take a look at a few options including Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Portugal, Hungary, Bulgaria and Malta.
1. Australia’s Business Innovation and Investment (Provisional) visa
This visa is for people who have a funding agreement from a third party for at least AUD200 000 to undertake a complying entrepreneur activity that is proposed to lead to either the commercialisation of a product or service in Australia or the development of a business in Australia. Applicants must be nominated by a state or territory government.
You might be able to get this visa if you are nominated by a state or territory government or Australian agency and are invited to apply by the Minister for Immigration and Border Protection.
• be under 55 years of age, although a state or territory can waive this requirement if your proposed investment will be of exceptional economic benefit to the nominating state or territory
• score at least 65 on the points test.
Read more about the Australian Business Innovation Visa
The Immigrant Investor Venture Capital (IIVC) Pilot Program accepts applications from international investors who possess the necessary skills and abilities to contribute to the Canadian economy and to become well integrated into Canadian society.
In order to be eligible for the IIVC Pilot Program, applicants must:
• have a personal net worth of at least CAD $10 million.
• Be prepared to make a non-guaranteed investment in the IIVC Fund in the amount of CAD $2 million.
• Demonstrate sufficient language proficiency (CLB 5) in either English or French in all four language abilities (reading, writing, speaking, and listening) by providing results from a language competency test taken in the past two years at an approved testing agency
If the applicant has a personal net worth of CAD $50 million or more, he or she can request an exemption from the education requirement.
• A minimum net worth of no less than CAD $10 million
• Intending to invest at least CAD $2 million for 15 years
• Compliance with Canadian medical, character, educational and language requirements.
3. New Zealand Investor Visa
The New Zealand Investor Visa (Investor 2 Category) is an option if you plan to invest a minimum of NZ$1.5 million over a four-year period. If you’re looking to invest $NZ10 million or more then the Investor Plus Visa (Investor 1 Category) could be a better option. Below are the main differences between these two options.
You’ll need to provide verifiable evidence that you meet the following criteria:
• Having access to a minimum investment of no less than NZ$ 10 million invested in NZ for three years
• Or plans to invest no less than NZ$ 1.5 million in New Zealand for four years on a regular Investor visa
• Applicants should generally be 65 or younger but this rule is waived for Investor Plus applicants
• Investors must be able to provide evidence of having access to NZ$ 1 million that is seen as being settlement funds
Investors must also provide evidence showing that your intended investment funds:
• are unencumbered, i.e. not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims
• have been earned or acquired legally
• are transferable through the banking system or through a foreign exchange company that uses the banking system (Immigration New Zealand will not be able to approve your application if you are unable to transfer funds to New Zealand through the banking system).
4. Portugal Residence Investor Visa - The Golden Residence Permit for Investment Program
Since August 2012, The Portugal Golden Residence Permit has been in effect and is aimed at attracting foreign investors. This visa is open to anyone who has the minimum funds required for an investment into Portugal and applies to foreign investors who are not citizens of the European Union.
• You will need to make an investment in Portugal privately or through a company and may include the purchasing a home/real estate from 500,000€ (five hundred thousand Euros) and upwards.
Read more about the Portugal Residence Investor Visa
5. Spanish Investor Visa
Residency through Property Purchase in Spain. This residency program allows the investor to become part of the European Union without having to reside permanently in Spain.
The investor must make an investment in Spain privately or through a company conducting at least one of the following investment operations.
• Capital investment of 1,000,000€ (one million Euros) or more in a Spanish company.
• Employing 10 Spanish nationals through the creation of a new business.
• Purchasing a home/real estate from 500,000€ (five hundred thousand Euros) and upwards.
Read more about the Spanish Investor Visa
6. Hungarian Investment Visa Program
In 2012, Hungary opened its doors to foreign investors to help boost the economy and in return offering them permanent residency which would lead to citizenship.
• Lifelong permanent residency
• Access to quality healthcare in Hungary and throughout the EU
• Visa exempt within Schengen countries in Europe by using your Hungarian passort
• Entire family has access to state education
The Hungary Investors Residency Bond program has no set requirements, but administration has the right to request an interview meeting with a prospective applicant.
• Applicants must invest an amount of EUR 250,000 which is refundable after 5 years and must be issued by a Residency Bond Agent which is approved by Hungarian authorities.
Read more about the Hungarian Investment Visa Program
7. Bulgarian Investment Visa
A foreigner may acquire Bulgarian Citizenship and Passport through donation. This is attractive for investors who want a fast track citizenship program and who don’t wish to purchase a property.
The applicant has to provide the following required documents concerning the application for Bulgarian Citizenship.
• applicant’s birth certificate
• certified copy of the applicant’s valid passport
• certificate of good conduct / police clearance certificate
• proof of nationality
• 12 biometric passport photos
• attest of the power of immigration attorney.
Read more about the Bulgarian Investment Visa
8. Cyprus Investment Program
Numerous investors look at Cyprus as a business hub which in turn offers many benefits to prospective investors.
In order to qualify for investment option, applicants would need to meet the following requirements
• The applicant must own permanent private residence in Cyprus, which minimum purchase price should be EUR 500,000 plus VAT
• The applicant must invest in the recommended investment options and sustain it for the required duration. This may include Real Estate, Business, and Financial assets of EUR 5 Million.
• The applicant must be a shareholder or Beneficiary owner of a company, business must be operational in the Republic of Cyprus and have made a minimum contribution of EUR 500,000 per annum in past 3 years to state funds in the form of VAT and Corporate Tax.
Read more about the Cyprus Investment Program
9. Malta Residency Program
The Malta Global Residency program competes with Spain, Cyprus, and Portugal due to its geographical position, climate, low investment requirements, and strong economy. Malta offers a great jurisdiction for international business and more and more investors are considering property here. The calm Mediterranean lifestyle paired with a stable financial sector make Malta worth the visit.
• According to the latest Immigration Act of 2015, applicants must purchase an immovable property valued at €275,000 if in Malta or €220,000 if situated in Gozo or the south of Malta.
What you need to know:
• Medical services are first class and private medical care is available
• There is a golf course with others being built in the near future
• The Yachting facilities are modern with excellent marinas
• The beaches are rated as some of the most beautiful in the Mediterranean
• Cuisine is international. Pork and fish dishes are recommended.
Read more about the Malta Residency Investor Program