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The best destinations that offer residency to foreign investors

In the investment sector, one of the golden premises to keep in mind is to diversify your portfolio. Either by targeting a different good or service that you offer or investing in a different market.

The growing uncertainty and volatility of the South African economy are making many local investors seek opportunities in foreign countries. And thanks to programs like Residency-by-investment (RBI), many leading world economies offer investors the chance to invest in their soil in exchange for a permanent visa permit to reside in the country. Many of the RBI programs later offer the chance for investors to apply for citizenship to the country where they’re investing.

Down below, we list some of the best residency-by-investment programs available and the investment requirements for you to obtain these “golden visas”.


Portugal offers permanent residency with an option to obtain full Portuguese citizenship after five years without even needing to reside in Portugal for a long period of time.

Portugal’s investment program for foreigners is called “Golden Visa” and it requires suitors a minimum investment of €500,000 (with reduced options at €350,000 and €280,000). The investment is set to be made on real estate projects such as rehabilitation projects in areas with a low density of population.

The Golden Visa will grant you and your family full residency, and the only requirement is to visit Portugal for a minimum of two weeks over a period of two years to renew the residency.

To the north of Portugal, you get to enjoy phenomenal cities such as Porto alongside the Douro River estuary. Porto has been named as the best destination in Europe in 2012, 2014, and 2017 and is also a renowned city for the commercial dynamics generated over Vinho do Porto (Porto wine).

And if you fancy paradisiac beaches, to the very south of the country you’ll encounter Algarve which is one the most touristic destinations in Europe thanks to its good weather conditions and considered as one of the best places to retire.


Malta is one of the jewels of the Mediterranean Sea. An island located right in the middle of the Mediterranean and neighboring closely with Italy as well as with Northern African countries such as Tunisia and Libya. The country receives around 1.6 million tourists a year which is more than three times the total population of 560,000 Maltesers.

Famous for its banking and finance sector, home to two of the biggest commercial banks in HSBC and Bank of Valletta. Malta also boasts of a powerful private sector and technology companies that have contributed to the growth of the online gambling industry that today sees betting and casino sites offering their services for clients all over the world. Nowadays these platforms help millions of people to find the best bookmakers that offer welcome bonuses and even free rounds in games like slots. From sports betting to the best casino games all in one place. No wonder why Malta ranks in 27th place for the Global Innovation Index.

Malta offers a Citizenship by investment program and the requirements are as follows: Minimum investment of €600,000 to the national development fund and prove 36 months of residency. The other option is to invest €750,000 in this fund in which case it’s only required to present evidence of 12 months of residency. This will grant you the Maltese passport and European Citizenship for you and your family after 1 or 3 years of residency depending on the amount invested.


Sun, beaches, mountains, great food, and great wine. Spain has one of the best standards of living thanks to the great weather conditions and accessibility to public services of great quality such as healthcare and education.

You can find big cities with powerful companies and industries like Madrid, Barcelona, Bilbao, and Valencia. But if you wish to retreat to calmer areas you can find beautiful countryside regions around Castilla y León, Galicia, or the Mediterranean coast.

To obtain the Spanish Golden Visa, investors are required to contribute €500,000 in real estate and this will grant them an investor visa that can be renewed every two years. The option to obtain permanent residency opens after five years of residency and citizenship can be obtained after ten years of residency. The Spanish real estate market offers a great return on investment capabilities as it records one of the lowest prices in Europe.


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