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What no one tells you about immigrant visas in Europe

2nd June 2021 Print

Deciding to move to another country is quite a big step. It means leaving your friends, family, and the lifestyle you are accustomed to behind. It is an even more significant step if you have to leave your country of origin to do so. If you are a citizen of a country outside of the European Union, you must be sure to get a visa to reside in one of the EU countries legally. The visa will not only allow you to enter the country, but it will also make it possible for you to work there legally. Each country has a different approach to providing visas. Still, the beauty is that many countries inside the EU are members of the Schengen agreement, meaning that you can freely work and travel around the rest once you have a permit for one of those countries.

What Is The Schengen Agreement?

This 1985 treaty was ratified by all countries involved. The treaty abolished border controls between participating countries. The Schengen Area now consists of 26 countries in Europe, mainly in Western Europe and four non-European countries. It allows the free movement of goods and people.


What is A Schengen Visa?

A Schengen visa is a visa issued by one of the 26 European countries in the Schengen area. While other countries do not require a visa for entry, a Schengen visa is one of the few that allow you to travel freely between 26 countries, including:

- Austria
- Belgium
- Czech Republic
- Denmark
- Estonia
- Finland
- France
- Germany
- Greece
- Hungary
- Iceland
- Italy
- Latvia
- Liechtenstein
- Lithuania
- Luxembourg
- Malta
- Netherlands
- Norway
- Poland
- Portugal
- Slovakia
- Slovenia
- Spain
- Sweden
- Switzerland

How You Can Gain Access To These Countries

As previously mentioned, you can gain access to all of these 26 countries by obtaining a visa for any of them. However, the process of getting such a visa can range from simple to very difficult. Nevertheless, some countries have preferential options for those willing to invest and improve the local economy. One of those countries is Portugal.

Portuguese Golden Visa

If you are an investor and are looking to gain access to Portugal's beautiful and dynamic country, as well as the wider EU, then a Golden Visa could be the best option. It provides a gateway to those 26 nations as well as getting preferential treatment on tax payments. This visa program will also lead to residency and full-blown citizenship after five years.

Benefits Of This Program

Apart from those benefits listed above, there are some other unique advantages to this European visa option.

You Get To Live In Portugal

Portugal is a fantastic place to set up your life with an extremely high standard of living and lower housing costs relative to other European countries.

Business Friendly

While it was badly hurt during the 2008 financial crash, Portugal's economy has rebounded quickly and is one of the fastest-growing in the EU. One of the requirements of thi particular type of visa is that capital investment is needed. However, with a dynamic economy, you will be able to find plenty of things to invest in and get a good return.

You Can Bring Family

Portugal is very family-friendly, and this extends to your visa. You can bring over your immediate family to live with you without requiring extra paperwork or forms to fill. This stands in stark contrast to some other EU countries, which make this difficult to do.

Tax Benefits

Upon receiving residency, you may not be subject to income tax for up to ten years. Moreover, you will not have to pay any tax on money made outside of the country. When you gain access to EU markets, you will no longer be required to pay tax on the products or services you sell there.

Fast Track Residency And Citizenship

Once your visa has been accepted, it can take only 6-12 months to receive residency. This will immediately give you visa-free access to the member Schengen countries. However, after five years, you will be able to apply for citizenship, which will provide you with a powerful passport offering visa-free travel to 186 countries worldwide and all of the benefits afforded to other Portuguese citizens, including healthcare and social security.


Portuguese Requirements

While this is the best option to get access to the EU, some conditions need to be met, such as:

- You must be no younger than 18 years old. There is no upper age limit.

- Passport from the country of your origin must already be valid.

- You must purchase real estate for at least 500,000 Euros.

- At least 1 Million Euros will need to be transferred to a Portuguese bank.

- A minimum of ten jobs needs to be created in the country.

- You should not have a criminal record.

Your application will be approved if all of the above criteria are met. Numerous organizations can aid you through the process because even though it is more straightforward than other places, it still needs some help to navigate the complexities.

Other Ways To European Citizenship

There are other ways that you can become a citizen of an EU country with varying degrees of difficulty and cost, but none are as straightforward as Portugal's investor friendly method. Nonetheless, the ways to be granted citizenship typically include:

- Citizenship By Descent: This is often the easiest as countries that follow this process allow people who have descendants from a specific country to apply.

- Citizenship By Naturalisation: It takes a long time, and each member country has different conditions.

- Marriage: If you are married to an EU citizen, you can often get fast-tracked. However, this is also a common scam, so be prepared to be investigated thoroughly.

- Business and Investment: In a similar vein to Portugal, many EU countries will grant citizenship if a certain threshold is met regarding the investment of job creation or both.

When you are moving to a new country, it is essential to consider the legal side of the move. This can be the most complex part of the transition. If you are moving to a new country, you might need an immigration visa to live and work in the country legally. This is especially true for EU countries.

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