An EU passport is seen as an opportunity for wealthy people to ensure a higher standard of living for a whole family, run a new business, build strong and mutual business relations in other countries. It is relevantly easy to obtain an EU passport if you have a necessary amount of money (the amount depends on the county). Moreover, some European countries allow you to obtain EU citizenship without giving up your initial citizenship.
Benefits of EU citizenship: new perspectives for you
A European passport issued by one of the EU countries immediately opens up impressive opportunities for its owner. We would like to mention the following benefits:
Visa free travel
EU citizenship guarantees visa-free travel to any EU country, as well as entering on average 160 countries of the world, including the UK and the Schengen countries. Moreover, a European passport gives you an opportunity to travel without a visa or to obtain a visa under the simplified procedure in such countries as the United States, Australia, Canada or Japan. It depends on the country issuing the passport.
High living standards
An EU passport allows you to live, work and study within the Eurozone. Its owner will fully appreciate obvious advantages of a modern education, the world’s advanced methods of study, qualified healthcare services and a judicial system that guarantees the full protection of rights and freedom of citizens and the right to a fair trial.
EU citizenship means an access to major international markets, the opportunity to run a business in a politically and economically stable country, low tax rates for entrepreneurs and a good reputation in business communities. You can open deposits in reliable banks and hold them in a stable currency, carry out transactions for the purchase and sale of assets, real estate and other types of property, take credits and arrange mortgages on the most favourable terms.
How to obtain an EU passport? A step-by-step guide
If you want to settle down in a Eurozone country, there are three main steps of the standard procedure for obtaining a European passport:
• Applying for a residence permit;
• Obtaining a permanent residency and a resident status;
• Issuing citizenship and an EU passport.
How soon is it possible to get an EU passport?
On average, the process takes from 7 to 12 years from the initial application to obtaining a European passport. In some countries, wealthy foreigners can go through an accelerated process of naturalisation if they invest a certain amount of money in the local economy (usually it takes from 6 to 12 months). These are called citizenship by investment programs. Your chances of obtaining EU citizenship increase significantly if you meet the following criteria:
• Clean immigration and criminal record;
• Financial self and family sufficiency while living in the country;
• No tax or other debts.
• Knowledge of the language, culture and history of the country will be an additional benefit, but it is not necessary for the citizenship by investment program.
How to settle in Europe: options for obtaining EU citizenship
According to experts there are four options for obtaining a European passport. Each of them is focused on a particular group of foreigners. They include:
Foreigners can apply for immigration only if their close relatives (no further than a certain generation) are citizens of this European country. You will have to provide documents confirming blood relations, as well as demonstrate knowledge of national traditions and legislation. EU passports are issued to returnees by the immigration authorities of Germany, Spain, Greece, Ireland, and Hungary.
Granting a refugee status
Such applicants need to carry documents considered proof of persecution in their home country for national, racial, religious, or political reasons.
It is the most popular option to obtain EU citizenship, but it takes a lot of time. You will have to reside in that European country for a long time (from 5 to 12 years, sometimes more) on legal grounds. Such grounds include family reunion (marriage), study or work in Europe.
Citizenship by Investment
You can get an EU passport if you invest a certain amount of money in real estate or the economy of the country. It is not necessary to reside in the country before or after obtaining citizenship.
Malta Citizenship by Investment- an easy way to obtain a European passport
Obtaining Maltese citizenship and an EU passport takes on average from 1 year to 1 year and 2 months. The necessary investment amounts and requirements are listed below:
• Purchasing a real estate property with a minimum value of €700,000 or renting a property for a minimum yearly rent of €16,000;
• Making a donation of at least €10,000 to a charitable organisation;
• Making a non-refundable contribution of €650,000 to the national development fund.
• A Maltese passport by investment can be received not only by the main applicant, but also by a spouse, children under the age of 26 (if they are not married) and parents over 55 years, if they are financially dependent on the applicant.
Cyprus Citizenship by Investment- the fastest way to obtain a European citizenship
The process for gaining the Cyprus passport will be completed within 6-8 months. The main applicant must invest at least €2,000,000 in one of the following options:
• Purchase either a residential or a commercial property (a real estate purchased through a secondary market must cost at least €2,500,000);
• Run a new business in Cyprus or buy an already established company.
Moreover, the main applicant must make a contribution of €75,000 to an affordable housing program for citizens and to the Governmental Research and Development fund. A spouse and children under 28 years of age who are unmarried and financially dependent on the main applicant can also obtain Cyprus citizenship by investment.
Investor’s parents are entitled to apply for citizenship if they are owners of a Cyprus residential property which costs at least €500,000.
However, it is very important to mention that Cyprus citizenship by investment program stopped accepting new applications from 1 November 2023. That is why we suggest that you have a look at another investment programs.
Montenegro Citizenship by Investment: what benefits will you get?
Although Montenegro is not yet in the European Union, but at the same time a Montenegrin passport holder can enjoy visa-free travel to the EU countries. That’s why we can also call it a European passport. You can become a citizen of Montenegro within 7 months after submitting your application. Only after that visa-free entry to the
European Union countries will be available. You have to fulfill all the necessary investment requirements:
• A one-off non-refundable donation of €100,000 to the national fund;
• A real estate investment ranged from €250,000 in the northern region to €450,000 in the coastal region.
The main applicant can include their spouse and dependent children up to the age of 18 years old under a family application.
There is no residency requirement in these countries before or after applying for citizenship by investment, which is done remotely (often through a legal advisor).
Although you are required to show that you visit the country frequently.
Qualified specialists of Imperial & Legal offer a comprehensive legal support to clients who are planning to obtain an EU passport. We will help you quickly and effortlessly to get European citizenship by investment and find a program that is ideally suited to your request and solve all issues with the move. Our company works with the above mentioned countries, as well as with Portugal, Spain, Latvia, Belgium and some other European jurisdictions.