Share This Post

Main Slider / Residency

Whats the cheapest residency by investment program in Europe?

Whats the cheapest residency by investment program in Europe?

In the world of investment migration, there are generally two options available: citizenship by investment (CBI) and residency by investment (RBI). While a second passport is attractive to many, there are only 8 true CBI programs across the globe today.

Only two of these programs, Malta and Cyprus, are within the EU. Those who have an ultimate goal to relocate themselves or their family members to Europe may find the CBI route limiting, especially due to the price tag, but that doesn’t make it impossible to live in Europe.

In fact, there are residency by investment programs throughout the EU that provide a direct path to permanent residence. Many of these programs also provide a path to naturalization after a certain period of time and if other requirements are met.

So, it begs the question, what’s the cheapest way to gain permanent residence in the EU, freedom of movement throughout the Schengen Zone, and a very high standard of living? We’ve broken down the costs of each program below.


The first program to consider is Belgium’s investor visa, which is not as clearly defined as the programs from other countries you’ll see on this list. The visa is intended to be for entrepreneurs, so applicants must form a Belgian company or invest in one to apply. These applications are reviewed on a case-by-case basis, but if approved, you and your family can gain permanent residence.

Cost: €350,000 – €500,000 over a 5-year period.
Future Path to Citizenship: Yes


Bulgaria’s bond investment scheme is a bit more straightforward. Applicants who make a minimum investment of €511,292 (BGN 1 million) in government bonds can gain residency with possible citizenship after 5 years. The full investment amount will be returned to the applicant without accrued interest after the 5-year period.

Cost: €511,292 (BGN 1 million) over a 5-year period.
Future Path to Citizenship: Yes


Cyprus is known as one of only two countries in Europe with a citizenship by investment program, but it also has one of the best residency programs in all of Europe. Applicants can invest €300,000 into a brand new property in exchange for permanent residency for themselves and their family, including their spouse, dependent children, and parents. The process is very quick at 2 months or less, and the applicant and family members only need to visit Cyprus once every 2 years to maintain their status.

Cost: €300,000
Future Path to Citizenship: Yes


Greece’s golden visa program has been soaring in popularity ever since its launch in 2013 due to the relative inexpensiveness compared to other EU nations. Applicants must invest a minimum of €250,000 plus taxes in Greek real estate to be granted a 5-year residence permit. This permit can be renewed every 5 years as long as the investment is retained. There is no physical presence requirement, but you must live in Greece for 7 years to be eligible for citizenship.

Cost: €250,000 + taxes (~€300,000)
Future Path to Citizenship: Yes


Latvia was previously the cheapest RBI program in Europe, offering a 5-year residence permit in exchange for a €250,000 investment (plus a 5% fee) in property. However, the government decided to increase this to €500,000 after the program’s runaway success. Applicants can apply for permanent residence after living in the country for 5 years, and citizenship after 10 years.

Cost: €500,000 + 5% fees (€525,000)
Future Path to Citizenship: Yes


Life in Monaco is glamorous, but getting there will come at a heavy price. Foreign nationals must invest a minimum of €1 million that will be split two different ways: €500,000 into real estate and €500,000 into a Monégasque bank. The vetting process for applicants and family members is very intensive. After approval, an applicant and their immediate family will be granted permanent residence, with a path to citizenship after 10 years.

Cost: €1,000,000
Future Path to Citizenship: Yes


Portugal’s golden visa through property investment has been competing with Greece’s in popularity. The investment amount is also competitive at €500,000, and for only a 2-year residence permit that can be renewed by visiting for 2 weeks. However, applicants and their families can qualify for permanent residence after 5 years and citizenship after 6 years without ever needing to reside in Portugal permanently. There is a reduced option that requires only €350,000 for properties that need renovation, but this is a more complex and riskier route.

Cost: €500,000 or €350,000 (riskier)
Future Path to Citizenship: Yes


Spain offers a similar scheme to Portugal’s – a €500,000 investment in real estate for family residency that can be renewed every 2 years from outside the country. However, Spain requires that you live in the country for 5 years before applying for permanent residence and 10 years before being eligible for the naturalization process.

Cost: €500,000
Future Path to Citizenship: Yes

United Kingdom

The UK’s Tier 1 Investor Visa requires the deepest pockets out of all the options on this list with a minimum investment requirement of £2 million. In return, the applicant and their immediate family will be granted temporary residence for 3 years and 4 months. After 5 years, the investor and their family can apply for indefinite leave to remain and then British citizenship after 6 years.

Cost: £2,000,000
Future Path to Citizenship: Yes

The Best Value in Europe: Greece (€250,000)

Greece is currently the clear winner among European residency by investment programs with it’s minimum investment requirement of €250,000. Obtaining the golden visa is also a very straightforward process, usually taking only around 40 days. If you’re looking for the most affordable way to gain EU residency, act quickly. Latvia’s program was also only €250,000 when it was first launched. The minimum amount was quickly increased once the program experienced a similar level of interest that Greece’s is generating now.

Share This Post

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Skip to toolbar