More than 132,000 people obtained citizenship through residency and citizenship investment programs offered in European countries, such as Portugal, Greece, Italy and Spain, from 2011 to 2019 .
Such conclusions were drawn in the recent Biz News report, which notes that the difficulty of obtaining a visa through these systems has not increased significantly, reports SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Furthermore, in 2022, 1,218 golden visas were issued by the Portuguese authorities. At the same time, in the first six months of this year, the country recorded 861 applications, compared to 624 in the same period last year.
Greece received a total of 4,365 golden visa applications last year, including 2,432 in the last quarter of 2022 alone.
In Italy, 79 golden visas were granted last year, the majority of them going to Russians, Americans and Brits. This is about double the amount from the previous year.
Spanish authorities granted a total of 2,462 golden visas last year, representing a 60% increase compared to 2021 statistics.
As for Ireland, the country received 1,16 applications for the Golden Visa program in 2022, while from January to May 25, 2023, a total of 1,350 Golden Visa applications were registered.
However, the Biz News report indicates that the uncertain future of this type of visa is leading to an increase in demand and interest in alternative options such as the digital nomad visa.
Although the European Commission has often asked countries that offer such programs to end them, so far several European countries allow wealthy foreigners to obtain residency and citizenship rights through the Golden Visa and Golden Passport programs.
While residency by investment allows internationals and their families to acquire residency in specific countries if they invest a specific amount and meet the necessary requirements, the citizenship by investment program allows them to acquire citizenship through their financial contribution.
However, the future of this residency and citizenship could be uncertain given that these programs have often allegedly allowed people involved in illegal businesses such as money laundering and corruption to benefit. Such claims have led several countries to put an end to it.
On the other hand, The digital nomad visa allows people to legally stay in countries that offer such visas and work for companies or clients located outside the country.
Among the countries obliged Cyprus has ended its Golden Visa program, following Al Jazeera’s report entitled “The Cyprus Papers”, which highlighted several illegal cases linked to this program.
In February this year, Ireland has announced that its investor visa program would no longer be available to candidates.
The same month, due to the housing crisis, Portugal announced it would end two routes to acquiring residency thanks to its Golden Visa program.
The decision by Ireland and Portugal has led wealthy foreign investors, particularly those from the United States, to look to other European countries that run such projects, such as Greece And Spain.
Despite the fact that the authorities Spain also announced that its Golden Visa program could soon end, following a bill submitted to Congress earlier this year by the leader of the Mas Pais political party, Íñigo Errejón, such a decision has not yet been made.