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, it’s not impossible. 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.
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, where the US Citizenship and Immigration Services issues these cards.
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’ll need to obey all laws to report your income to the tax authorities. For example, if you are a male with permanent residency in America between the ages of 18 and 25, you might have to register with the Selective Service.
Being a permanent resident isn’t just about living and working in a country; it’s about making that country your home. You’ll need to follow all local, state, and federal laws and keep your immigration status up to date.
Getting permanent residency can be a process. It varies by country and can involve several steps, like sponsorship by a family member or employer, refugee or asylum status, or other humanitarian programs. Some countries focus on admitting immigrants for family reunification.
Permanent residency can be your ticket to a fresh start in a different country. It can offer a better quality of life, more job opportunities, and a peaceful retirement. But remember, you’ll need to understand the legal landscape of a work visa, necessary documentation, and financial considerations when planning to move to a new country for permanent residence.
Not only are these countries some of the easiest to get permanent residency in, but they also provide access to quality healthcare and diverse education systems. Plus, becoming a permanent resident in these countries can enrich your life culturally, offering an immersive experience that allows for a deeper understanding and appreciation of new traditions, values, and ways of life.
These countries run investment programs, often known as Citizenship by Investment programs, which are 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, extendable for three more years. The D7 Visa is another alternative, with less stringent financial requirements compared to 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.
How to Get PR in Portugal Through 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:
- Consultation: Engage an immigration specialist like Next Generation Equity to help acquaint you with the process.
- Choose Investment Option: Select your preferred investment, such as buying a property in a low-density area of Portugal for €280,000.
- Pay Fees: Complete the necessary documentation and pay application fees.
- Book Appointment with Immigration: Schedule and attend a meeting at the immigration office.
- Obtain Visa: Receive a Temporary Visa, initially valid for one year.
- 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.
How to Get PR in Malta Through Investment:
The Malta Residency by Investment process typically takes 1.5 years for permanent residency. Here’s a simplified overview:
- 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.
- Approval and Payment: After getting “approval in principle,” pay the remaining government fee.
- Property Transactions: Post-approval, rent (€10,000 annually) or buy property in Malta (minimum €300,000 or USD 327,000).
- Charity Donation: Contribute to a local NGO as required.
- Completion Timeline: The entire process, including compliance, residency stipulations, and naturalization, takes about 18 months.
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.
How to Get PR in Greece Through 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:
- 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.
- Legal Compliance: Obtain a Greek Non-Resident Tax number and open a local bank account. Consider a power of attorney for convenience.
- Securing Investment Property: Perform ‘Legal Due Diligence’ for the property, culminating in a sale and purchase agreement.
- Golden Visa Application: Post-investment, compile all documents for the visa application, possibly with legal assistance.
- Visit to Greece: Travel to Greece to submit biometric data.
- Receiving the Golden Visa: Acquire the Residence Card, enabling European travel and offering investment perks.
- Visa Renewal: Renew the visa every five years, maintaining property ownership and valid contracts.
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.
How to Get PR in Turkey Through Investment
Obtaining Turkish permanent residency through investment involves a series of steps. Here is a general outline of the 6-step process:
- Research Investment Options: Explore investment avenues for Turkish residency, like real estate, capital investment, or job creation.
- Gather Documents: Collect essential documents, including a passport, proof of investment, financial statements, a clean criminal record, and ID documents.
- 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.
- Apply for Residence Permit: Post-investment, apply for a residence permit via Turkey’s Directorate General of Migration Management.
- Acquire Short-term Residence Permit: Initially, receive a short-term permit, maintaining your investment and adhering to local laws.
- Apply for Permanent Residency: After a qualifying period with the short-term permit, apply for permanent residency with all necessary documents.
- 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.
How to Get PR in the UAE Through Investment
Obtaining permanent residency in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) through investment involves a structured process. Here’s a general 6-step guide:
- 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).
- Document Preparation: Collect necessary documents, including your passport, investment proof, bank statements, health insurance, and a no-criminal record certificate.
- Invest: Make your chosen investment in the UAE, like buying qualified real estate.
- 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.
- Medical Test and Emirates ID: Undergo a medical test and apply for an Emirates ID.
- 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.
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.
Low Cost of Living
With the ability to choose where you want to obtain permanent residency, you can choose a location such as Greece, Malta, or Portugal that offers 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 involved procedures and making the necessary preparations, you can take a decisive step towards a new and enriching life chapter in 2023. Contact us at NGE if you want to use our experts to help simplify the application process.
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.
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.
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.
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.