As of August 17, 2023, a significant milestone has been reached, with over 132,000 individuals successfully
securing citizenship or residency rights through Europe’s diverse residency and citizenship Investment programs.
This achievement marks a substantial surge compared to previous years, shedding light on the increasing
popularity of these programs among individuals seeking enhanced global opportunities.
Overview of citizenship programs
The spotlight is on the Residency and Citizenship Investment programs that have gained prominence across various
European countries. Notable players in this realm include Portugal, Greece, Italy, and Spain, each offering
unique avenues for individuals to achieve residency or citizenship in exchange for investment. These programs
have emerged as attractive gateways for those aiming to broaden their horizons.
Amid the evolving landscape, it’s noteworthy that the difficulty level for acquiring visas through these
investment schemes remains relatively unchanged. A recent Biz News report underlines the ongoing demand for such
programs and their accessibility.
In 2022, Portugal issued a total of 1,218 Golden Visas. The trend continues in the first half of 2023, with 861
applications, surpassing the figures from the corresponding period last year.
Greece experienced a surge in Golden Visa applications in 2022, reaching a staggering 4,365. This momentum was
maintained in Q4 2022, with 2,432 applications.
Italy extended Golden Visas to 79 individuals in 2022. Among the recipients were citizens from Russia, the United
States, and Britain.
Spain emerged as a frontrunner, granting 2,462 Golden Visas in 2022, marking a remarkable 60% increase from the
In Ireland, 2022 witnessed 1,160 Golden Visa applications, a figure that further escalated to 1,350 from January
to May 2023. Additionally, the growing interest in the digital nomad visa is indicative of the changing
landscape, likely fuelled by uncertainties.
Two predominant program types come into focus: Residency by Investment and Citizenship by Investment Program. The
former grants individuals residency rights through substantial investments and adherence to specified criteria.
The latter, Citizenship by Investment, allows for citizenship attainment through financial contributions.
The burgeoning popularity of these programs also raises concerns about potential misuse, leading to the termination
of such programs in certain countries. As the landscape evolves, a growing number of nations are opting to
terminate these programs due to misuse, redirecting investor attention elsewhere.
Digital nomad visa
A new player in the realm of visas is the digital nomad visa. This innovative concept permits individuals to work
for foreign companies while residing in a foreign country, catering to the changing demands of a dynamic
Termination of programs
Countries such as Cyprus, Ireland, and Portugal have decided to terminate their investment-based citizenship
programs. This decision was prompted by factors such as revelations in “The Cyprus Papers” report by Al Jazeera
and concerns linked to housing crises. Consequently, investors are adjusting their focus to alternative European
countries offering these opportunities.
Spain is currently engaged in discussions regarding the potential termination of its Golden Visa Program. A bill
submitted to Congress by Íñigo Errejón is indicative of the ongoing discourse and potential changes in the
investment migration landscape.