The six easiest countries to obtain residency in the EU

Residence in the European Union has many advantages. Not only does a foreign citizen residing in an EU country benefit from the advantages offered by the country in which he lives, but he also enjoys the advantages offered by the EU as a whole.

A resident of one of the EU countries, among others, can travel freely within the Schengen area without borders, most often without even having to present papers when moving from one country to another.

Residence in one of the EU countries generally leads to EU citizenship of that same country. Once a person obtains citizenship, they can then move to any other EU country and settle there.

Below we have compiled a list of the EU countries in which it is easiest to obtain residency, in all of which it is also possible to become resident by investing a certain amount of money through residency through investment schemes, which are often known as golden visas.


© Kravka |

There are several ways to settle as a legal resident in Austria. The country issues residence permits for the purposes of family reunification, to pupils, students and researchers, to skilled workers, as well as to job seekers.

These types of permits are further categorized into other subcategories. For example, when applying to move to Austria as a skilled worker, you may match one of the following:

  • Very Highly Skilled Workers
  • Skilled workers in shortage occupations
  • Other key workers
  • Graduate students from Austrian universities and colleges
  • Independent key workers
  • Start-up founders

One of the main requirements for obtaining residency in Austria is to prove that you earn enough money. If you live alone, you must prove that you earn €1,030.49 per month, while if you live with a partner/spouse, this amount for both of you increases to €1,625.71. An additional amount of €159.00 is requested for each child.

Still, the easiest way to become an Austrian resident is to invest. All persons who have German language skills at level A1, comprehensive health insurance and who have a minimum of €40,000 cash in a bank account, the amount of which depends on the size of the applicant’s family, are eligible to become Austrian residents through this route. .

The applicant must also submit proof of residential real estate, which may be owned or leased.

The processing time varies from one month to three. The residence permit is issued for one year and must be renewed every year. When the new resident intends to renew his residence permit in Austria, he must ensure that the conditions listed above are still met.

The downside of this program is that the annual quota of eligible people is around 300.


Nicosia, Cyprus
© Kirill Makarov |

The easiest way to become a permanent resident of Cyprus is also to invest in the country. The purchase of a new property with a total market value of at least €300,000 plus VAT is sufficient for a person to fulfill the first criteria to become a legal resident in Cyprus via the so-called Golden Visa.

Those who do not wish to buy a property can either invest €300,000 in a physical company registered and operating in Cyprus territory, which employs at least five people, or invest shares of the same amount in the collective investments of the Cyprus Investment Funds Association .

The applicant must also have an annual income of at least €30,000, which can come from salaries, rents, pensions, etc.

Foreigners can also become residents of Cyprus through other means, including applying for a residence permit for employment, study or family reunification.


Tourist traveling in Santorini, Oia island in Greece
© Sergiomonti |

This famous tourist destination, Greece, is also well known for its Golden Visa program, which grants eligible foreigners residency in the country within 60 days of application.

There are several types of investments foreigners can make, in order to qualify for this program, which also include:

  • Buy a property worth at least €250,000
  • A minimum investment of €400,000 in a company having its registered office or establishment in Greece
  • A minimum investment of €400,000 in a real estate investment company that will invest exclusively in Greece
  • Purchase of Greek government bonds with a minimum acquisition value of €400,000 and a residual maturity of at least three years at the date of purchase
  • Term deposit of a minimum amount of €400,000 with a domestic credit institution, for a period of at least one year, with a standing order for renewal

There are many other ways to get residency in Greece here including employment in different fields, students, researchers, vocational training, voluntary work, family reunification, etc.

>> Greece suspends Golden Visa program for Russian citizens


Tower of Pisa in Italy, tourism
© Wing Ho Tsang |

Another famous tourist destination, where foreign residents can obtain citizenship after ten years of legal residence in the country.

The easiest way to become a resident in Italy is to invest a certain amount of money in this country. A foreigner can invest a minimum of 2 million euros in Italian government bonds, a minimum of 500,000 euros in Italian stocks or a minimum of 1 million euros in projects of public interest in Italy, such as the culture, education, ecology, immigration management, research and development, arts and heritage.

Other ways to obtain residence in Italy are work, studies and family reunification, but also seasonal work between six and nine months.


Alley and tram in Lisbon, Portugal
© Sean Pavon |

Living in Portugal does not only mean living in a beautiful country with a warm climate and blue waters, but also living in a country with a low crime rate and a relatively affordable cost of living.

Foreigners can obtain residency in Portugal through two types of investment – ​​transfer of capital or purchase of property. Some of the capital transfer investments are:

  • At least €5 million capital transfer to a Portuguese bank account or approved investments
  • €500,000 for research activities of public or private entities that are part of the national science and technology system – €400,000 in low population density areas
  • €250,000 to support artistic production or in the recovery or maintenance of national cultural heritage – €200,000 in a sparsely populated area

Regarding the purchase of real estate, the minimum amounts to invest are as follows:

  • Real estate purchase minimum €500,000 – €400,000 in low population density areas
  • €350,000 minimum in a real estate purchase for the rehabilitation of housing over 30 years old or in an urban regeneration area, including renovation costs – €280,000 in a low population density area

Other ways to benefit from Portugal’s Residency by Investment program are to bring a business to the country that will create at least ten new jobs (eight in a sparsely populated area) or to invest €500,000 for the incorporation or increase in the share capital of a company registered in Portugal, creating or maintaining a minimum of five permanent jobs for a period of three years.

>> Portuguese Parliament refuses to end Golden Visa programs


Landscape with Garachico, Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain
© Marius Dorin Balate |

Spain is one of the most sought-after investment destinations, as the country attracts foreigners with its beautiful beaches, warm weather and rich history.

Residence in Spain can be obtained by purchasing a property worth at least €500,000, setting up a business recognized as “of general interest” for Spain, bank deposits with a minimum value of 1 million euros in Spanish financial institutions or government bonds. investment with a minimum value of 2 million euros.

Another way to settle in this country is the non-profit residence visa, which is granted to those with an income of at least €25,560 per year, plus €6,390 for each additional family member. . Other residence permits are also available, such as those for employment, family reunification, studies, etc.

Spain also offers the possibility for its residents to become Spanish nationals by naturalization after ten years of legal residence in the country. Nationals of specific countries – the Philippines, Andorra, Hispanic American countries, Equatorial Guinea, Portugal, as well as people of Sephardic Jewish background – may be eligible for citizenship after two years of legal residency.

>> Significant increase in British interest in Spain and Portugal’s golden visa programs

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