The Easiest Countries To Get Permanent Residency In

World Map With Text "Which Country Is Easy To Get PR"

Are you thinking about moving abroad but overwhelmed by the complex immigration processes? Are you wondering which are the easiest countries to get permanent residency in? You’re not alone. Navigating your way to permanent residency is no easy task. But don’t worry, we can help. Some countries offer a smoother path to permanent residence than others. We’ll explore these countries, their straightforward immigration processes, and the many benefits you could enjoy as a resident.

Whether you’re craving a vibrant cultural experience, dreaming of a place to retire to, or seeking a fresh start with job opportunities, knowing where to find the most straightforward procedures can make all the difference.

Let’s discover the easiest countries to get a permanent residence visa in and why they might be the perfect place for your new beginning.

What is Permanent Residency (PR)?

Permanent Residency, or PR, is a legal status that lets you live and work in a country indefinitely, even if you’re not a citizen. It’s often called “green card” status, especially in the US.

As a permanent resident, you’ll enjoy many of the same rights as citizens. You can take any legal job, own property, and even get financial aid at public colleges and universities. In some places, you can even join the Armed Forces. But remember, with these rights come responsibilities. You must obey all laws to report your income to the tax authorities. For example, if you are a male with permanent residency in America between 18 and 25, you might have to register with the Selective Service.

Obtaining permanent residency varies by country and can involve steps like family or employer sponsorship, refugee or asylum status, or humanitarian programs.

The Easiest Countries To Gain Permanent Residency In

In 2024, countries like Portugal, Malta, Greece, and the UAE are known for their relatively more straightforward PR procedures.

These countries run investment programs, often known as Residency by Investment Programs, a popular route for permanent residency. These initiatives are typically aimed at high-net-worth individuals who are offered the privilege to live, work, and study in exchange for foreign investment, which bolsters the host country’s economy.


Portugal’s appeal to expats is undeniable, with its pleasant climate, reasonably priced property, and robust education and healthcare systems. The process of acquiring PR in Portugal may seem daunting, particularly for non-EU individuals, but the rewards are substantial. The Portuguese government offers several visa options to attract foreign nationals and investors.

The Residency Visa is one option, allowing a two-year stay in Portugal, which can be extended for three more years. The D7 Visa is another alternative, with less stringent financial requirements than other residency visas. Both visas necessitate evidence of regular or passive income, valid health insurance, and housing.

Investment in property is the easiest pathway to PR in Portugal. After five years of legal residency, you can apply for a PR permit. Portugal also offers a Non-Habitual Resident Status, which provides tax exemptions on foreign-source income for ten years.

Portuguese Residency By Investment Options:

  1. Donation to Arts and Heritage:
    • Contribute USD 270,000 to assist in the development, rehabilitation, and maintenance of Portugal’s cultural heritage.
  2. Investment in Scientific Research:
    • Contribute USD 540,000 to support research initiatives in both public and private Portuguese organizations dedicated to scientific advancements.
  3. Investment in Portuguese Funds:
    • Invest USD 540,000 into Venture Capital/Private Equity Funds that focus on sectors such as technology, agriculture, startups, and healthcare.
  4. Company and Job Creation:
    • Option A: Establish at least 10 new ongoing jobs in Portugal (without a specified minimum investment).
    • Option B: Invest a minimum of USD 540,000 in starting a business in Portugal, creating at least 5 stable jobs.

Application Steps for Portuguese Residency By Investment:

The process of obtaining a Golden Visa for Portugal typically takes several months. Here are the steps involved in securing a Portuguese Golden Visa:

  1. Consultation: Engage an immigration specialist like Next Generation Equity to help acquaint you with the process.
  2. Choose Investment Option: Select your preferred investment, such as buying a property in a low-density area of Portugal for €280,000.
  3. Pay Fees: Complete the necessary documentation and pay application fees.
  4. Book Appointment with Immigration: Schedule and attend a meeting at the immigration office.
  5. Obtain Visa: Receive a Temporary Visa, initially valid for one year.
  6. Visa Renewal: Renew the visa every two years, ensuring a minimum 14-day stay in Portugal during this period.


Malta offers several programs for acquiring PR. These include the Ordinary Residence, Global Residence Program, Single Permit Application, Nomad Residence Permit, and Permanent Residence Program. The eligibility criteria for these programs vary but generally encompass financial stability, employment or studies in Malta, having family members in Malta, proof of a physical address in Malta, and a minimum stay in Malta.

However, the easiest way to achieve permanent residency in Malta is through investment. This pathway allows non-European nationals, as well as their families, to become permanent residents of Malta.

Malta Citizenship By Investment Options:

  1. Donate to the National Development and Social Economic Fund:
    • Option A: The primary applicant is required to contribute USD 648,000 to the fund for citizenship eligibility after 36 months of residency, with an additional USD 54,000 required for each dependant.
    • Option B: For citizenship eligibility after 12 months of residency, the primary applicant must contribute USD 810,000 to the fund, plus an additional USD 54,000 for each dependant. Investment in Real Estate:
  2. Real Estate Investment:
    • Option A: Make a minimum investment of USD 756,000 in approved real estate.
    • Option B: Lease a property with a minimum annual rent of USD 17,280.
  3. Donation:
    • Make a minimum donation of USD 10,800 to a recognized non-governmental organization.

Application Steps for Maltaese Residency By Investment:

The Malta Residency by Investment process typically takes 1.5 years for permanent residency. Here’s a simplified overview:

  1. Initial Steps: Engage a licensed agent like Next Generation Equity, submit application forms to the Residency Malta Agency, and pay an initial non-refundable government fee.
  2. Approval and Payment: After getting “approval in principle,” pay the remaining government fee.
  3. Property Transactions: Post-approval, rent (€10,000 annually) or buy property in Malta (minimum €300,000 or USD 327,000).
  4. Charity Donation: Contribute to a local NGO as required.
  5. Completion Timeline: The entire process, including compliance, residency stipulations, and naturalization, takes about 18 months.

A picture of the flag of Malta, one of the easiest countries to get permanent residency (PR) in.


Greece offers a Golden Visa investment program, which allows non-EU/EEA/Swiss nationals to acquire residency by investing in Greek property. This program grants immediate five-year residency to the investor and their immediate family members. After seven years of residency, you can apply for Greek citizenship.

Greek Residency By Investment Options:

  • Real Estate Investment:
    • Invest USD 270,000 in real estate (or invest a minimum of USD 540,000 for areas such as Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini).
  • Capital Investment:
    • Option A: Invest USD 432,000 in government bonds with a mandatory holding period of at least 3 years.
    • Option B: Commit USD 432,000 to corporate bonds, equities, or mutual fund shares focused on investments within Greece.
    • Option C: Invest USD 432,000 into a real estate firm that solely invests in Greek property. Banking Investment:
  • Bank Deposit:
    • Place USD 432,000 in a fixed deposit in a Greek bank for a minimum duration of one year.
  • Securities or Venture Capital Investment:
    • Option A: Invest USD 864,000 into Greek government bonds, retaining them for a minimum of 3 years.
    • Option B: Invest USD 432,000 in a Greek-based venture fund or capital investment firm.
    • Option C: Buy at least USD 864,000 in Greek shares, treasury bills, or bonds.

Application Steps for Greek Residency By Investment:

Obtaining the Greek Golden Visa generally takes 3-5 months, depending on timely paperwork and communication with consulates. Here’s a brief overview of the steps:

  1. Consultation and Property Selection: Engage specialists like Next Generation Equity to set investment criteria and select a property of at least €500,000 (USD 545,000), or invest €400,000 (USD 436,000) in government bonds or venture capital funds.
  2. Legal Compliance: Obtain a Greek Non-Resident Tax number and open a local bank account. Consider a power of attorney for convenience.
  3. Securing Investment Property: Perform ‘Legal Due Diligence’ for the property, culminating in a sale and purchase agreement.
  4. Golden Visa Application: Post-investment, compile all documents for the visa application, possibly with legal assistance.
  5. Visit to Greece: Travel to Greece to submit biometric data.
  6. Receiving the Golden Visa: Acquire the Residence Card, enabling European travel and offering investment perks.
  7. Visa Renewal: Renew the visa every five years, maintaining property ownership and valid contracts.

A picture of the flag of Greece, one of the easiest countries to get permanent residency (PR) in.


Turkey’s Temporary Residency program allows individuals to settle in the country by owning property or running a business. There’s no minimum investment amount required, but you must demonstrate property ownership or business operation and have sufficient financial means to live in the country. After eight years of legal residency, you can apply for a long-term temporary residence permit again, which allows indefinite stay in the country.

However, to get permanent residency easily and quickly, you will want to apply through their investment program.

Turkish Citizenship By Investment Options:

  • Real Estate Investment:
    • Invest a minimum of USD 400,000 in real estate, including residential or commercial properties or land. A combination of properties reaching the USD 400,000 threshold is acceptable if purchased within a two-month timeframe.
  • Fixed Capital Contribution Investment:
    • Make a fixed capital contribution of at least USD 500,000.
  • Bank Deposit:
    • Commit a minimum of USD 500,000 to a deposit in a Turkish bank, maintaining it for at least three years.
  • Government Bonds Investment:
    • Allocate at least USD 500,000 for investment in Turkish government bonds, with a commitment to keep the investment for no less than three years.
  • Invest in Venture Capital or a Real Estate Investment Fund:
    • Invest a minimum of USD 500,000 in venture capital funds or real estate investment funds, with an investment period of at least three years.
  • Create Employment Opportunities:
    • Generate a minimum of 50 jobs by making an investment in a Turkish company’s capital stock.
  • Private Pension System Investment:
    • Contribute at least USD 500,000 to the Turkish private pension system, with the investment to be held for a minimum duration of three years.

Application Steps for Turkish Residency By Investment:

Obtaining Turkish permanent residency through investment involves a series of steps. Here is a general outline of the 6-step process:

  1. Research Investment Options: Explore investment avenues for Turkish residency, like real estate, capital investment, or job creation.
  2. Gather Documents: Collect essential documents, including a passport, proof of investment, financial statements, a clean criminal record, and ID documents.
  3. Invest: Invest as per your chosen path, such as buying real estate meeting the €400,000 (or about USD 436,000) minimum or other investments adhering to legal guidelines.
  4. Apply for Residence Permit: Post-investment, apply for a residence permit via Turkey’s Directorate General of Migration Management.
  5. Acquire Short-term Residence Permit: Initially, receive a short-term permit, maintaining your investment and adhering to local laws.
  6. Apply for Permanent Residency: After a qualifying period with the short-term permit, apply for permanent residency with all necessary documents.
  7. Interview and Approval: Attend any required interviews and await approval. Once granted, you’ll receive Turkish permanent residency.


The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is known for its relatively straightforward procedures for acquiring PR, particularly through property investment options. The UAE offers several programs, such as the Golden Visa and the Retirement Visa, which provide pathways to PR for investors, entrepreneurs, and retirees. Acquiring PR in the UAE provides access to a vibrant business environment, tax benefits, and a high standard of living.

The UAE Permanent Residency Investment Options:

Golden Visa

Different categories of Golden Visa

1. Investment in Public Investments

  • For a 10-year renewable visa, present a letter from an accredited investment fund confirming a deposit of AED 2 million or a valid commercial or industrial license with a memorandum of association demonstrating a capital investment of at least AED 2 million.
  • Provide a letter from the Federal Tax Authority showing annual payments to the government of at least AED 250,000.
  • Submit proof of valid medical insurance for you and your family, if applicable.
  • Ensure full ownership of the investment without loans.

Please note that you must own the investment completely and cannot receive a loan.

2. Investment in Real Estate

  • Obtain a 5-year renewable visa by submitting a letter from the Emirates’ land department confirming ownership of property(ies) worth at least AED 2 million.
  • Provide documentation for properties purchased with a loan from an approved local bank.

3. Entrepreneurs

  • Own an innovative, technical, or future economic project to qualify for a 5-year renewable visa.
  • Present a letter from a UAE auditor valuing your project at a minimum of AED 500, and letters from UAE authorities and a UAE-accredited business incubator supporting the project’s technical or future economic nature.

4. Doctors and Scientists

  • Doctors need approval from the UAE Ministry of Health and Prevention; scientists require a recommendation from the Emirates Council of Scientists or the Mohammed bin Rashid Medal for Scientific Excellence for a 10-year renewable visa.

5. Inventors

  • A recommendation from the Ministry of Economy validating that the patent significantly benefits the country’s economy is necessary for a 10-year renewable visa.

6. Creative People in the Fields of Culture and Art

  • Approval from the Department of Culture and Arts in the respective emirate is needed for a 10-year renewable visa.

7. Executive Directors

  • Provide a recognized bachelor’s or master’s degree, a five-year experience letter in the same position, evidence of a minimum salary of AED 50,000 and a valid work contract for a 10-year renewable visa.

8. Athletes

  • A recommendation from the General Sports Authority or a sports council is required for a 10-year renewable visa.

9. Specialists in Engineering and Science

  • Submit a certified bachelor’s or master’s degree and a work contract for a 10-year renewable visa.

10. High School Students

  • Achieve a minimum grade of 95% in secondary school and a recommendation from the Ministry of Education for a 5-year renewable visa, extendable for university studies exceeding five years.

11. University Students

  • Attend a top 100 global university with at least a 3.5 GPA and graduate within two years for a 10-year renewable visa, with an accredited graduation certificate.

12. Pioneers of Humanitarian Work

  • Membership or significant contribution to humanitarian organizations for five years, receipt of an appreciation award, and a minimum of AED 2 million in humanitarian funding are prerequisites for a 10-year renewable visa.

13. Frontline Heroes

  • Frontline workers showing exceptional efforts in crises like the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for a 10-year renewable visa, with verification from a competent authority.

Retirement Visa 

To qualify for a 5-year renewable retirement visa, applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Be at least 55 years old or have a minimum of 15 years of work experience, either within or outside the UAE.
  • Possess ownership of one or more properties with a total value of at least AED 1 million, maintain savings of AED 1 million, or earn a monthly income of AED 20,000 (with Dubai requiring AED 15,000 per month). A combination that includes at least AED 500,000 in savings or in a term deposit, along with property valued at AED 500,000, is also acceptable.
  • Submit a six-month bank statement for review.

Application  Steps for UAE Residency By Investment:

Obtaining permanent residency in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through investment involves a structured process. Here’s a general 6-step guide:

  1. Consultation and Investment Choice: Seek advice from experts like NGE to pick an investment path in the UAE, such as real estate investment with a minimum of €503,000 (USD 550,000).
  2. Document Preparation: Collect necessary documents, including your passport, investment proof, bank statements, health insurance, and a no-criminal record certificate.
  3. Invest: Make your chosen investment in the UAE, like buying qualified real estate.
  4. Apply for Residency Visa: Post-investment, apply for a residency visa at the General Directorate of Residency and Foreigners Affairs (GDRFA) in the relevant emirate with all required documentation.
  5. Medical Test and Emirates ID: Undergo a medical test and apply for an Emirates ID.
  6. Receive Residency Visa: Following approval and a successful medical test, your residency visa, valid for 2-10 years and renewable, will be issued, provided the investment is maintained.

A picture taken in the UAE with the United Arab Emirates flag being showcased on a boat.

Benefits of Obtaining Permanent Residency

Embracing the idea of a new life in a foreign land can be an exciting prospect. The acquisition of PR can be transformative, opening up a plethora of opportunities and advantages. The best part about gaining permanent residency is the freedom of choice. The freedom to choose where you live based on the cost of living, healthcare, and education, and the culture which you enjoy the most.

1. Work and Employment Opportunities

Permanent residents often have the right to work in the host country without needing a separate work visa, opening up a wider range of employment opportunities.

2. Access to Healthcare

Access to healthcare is another significant benefit of becoming a permanent resident. As a PR holder, you’ll have access to the same healthcare services as the citizens, ensuring that top-notch medical care is readily available for you and your family. The healthcare systems in Greece, Malta, and Portugal offer free or subsidized medical care for residents.

3. Access to Education

For those with children, the education system in many countries is a crucial consideration when contemplating relocation. These countries offer diverse and superior education systems. With PR, your children can benefit from these educational opportunities, paving the way for a promising future.

4. Family Reunification

Many countries allow permanent residents to sponsor relatives for residency, helping families to live together. Most Residency By Investment Programs allow applicants to add dependants at an additional cost.

5. Property Ownership

In some countries, permanent residency removes restrictions on property ownership that are placed on foreigners. This enables permanent residents to invest in real estate, contributing to their sense of belonging and investment in their community.

6. Freedom of Movement

Permanent residency can offer greater freedom of movement within a country and sometimes within a region (e.g., within Schengen Area countries for residents of an EU country). This enhanced mobility is not only convenient for travel and leisure but also opens up broader employment opportunities across the region without the need for additional visas or permits.

7. Experience Cultural Immersion

Cultural immersion is another appealing aspect of obtaining PR. The experience of integrating into a new culture, mastering a new language, and expanding your social and professional circles can be incredibly enriching. It’s an opportunity to widen your worldview, gain fresh insights, and enhance your life experience.

Why You Should Apply For Permanent Residency with NGE

Understanding the legal requirements and documentation procedures of residence permits in each country is crucial for a successful application. Expert advice on residence by investment programs can be invaluable in navigating these complexities. Here at NGE, we specialize in providing such guidance, assisting individuals in obtaining PR in some of the world’s most desirable locations for business and lifestyle.

Charting New Horizons in 2023 With Easy PR

In our increasingly interconnected world, getting permanent residency in a different country can be a life-changing decision for you. It’s a step towards affordable living and access to superior healthcare, educational opportunities, and cultural immersion. Some of the easiest countries to immigrate to, such as Portugal, Malta, Greece, and the UAE, have made this process quite attainable, each with its unique benefits and manageable application procedures.

By familiarizing yourself with the procedures involved and making the necessary preparations, you can take a decisive step towards a new and enriching chapter of your life in 2023. Contact us at NGE if you want to use our experts to help simplify the application process.


What’s the Difference Between PR and Citizenship?

While both residency and citizenship allow you to live in a country, they differ in terms of rights and privileges. Residency, including PR, is a permit that allows you to reside in a country under certain conditions. Citizenship, on the other hand, is the highest legal status you can attain, providing full membership and protection in that nation.

Do Permanent Residents Get Passports?

Permanent Residency holders do not receive passports from the country where they reside. If they maintain citizenship in their original country, they will retain their passport from their home country. However, they can live in the country where they hold their permanent residency and must present their valid residency card upon return if they leave the country.

Is Permanent Resident Status For Life?

Permanent residency status isn’t necessarily lifelong. While it allows you to reside and work in a country indefinitely, it comes with certain conditions. For instance, committing certain crimes or other violations can lead to removal proceedings and potential deportation. Also, suppose you leave the country and stay away for more than six months at a time. In that case, the immigration authorities may determine that you’ve abandoned your intent to make the country your permanent home.

What is the Difference Between a Green Card and a Permanent Residency?

In the US context, a green card and PR are essentially the same. A green card is a common term for the Permanent Resident Card, which is issued to individuals who’ve been granted the right to live and work in the US indefinitely. The green card serves as proof of your eligibility to work in the US and must be presented when returning to the US after traveling abroad. However, like PR, holding a green card comes with certain conditions and responsibilities, and failing to meet these can result in the loss of this status.

What are some of the cheapest countries to live in that offer Residency By Investment?

Greece, Malta, and Portugal all offer Residency By Investment and have a low cost of living.  The expenses related to housing, groceries, transportation, and other daily necessities are often very affordable, making these countries an attractive option for those seeking to maximize their resources. The best part is that these locations are still breathtakingly beautiful, just without the steep price tag.


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Rihab Saad

Managing Director
Next Generation Equity

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