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3 Countries Make up 84% of Europe’s €5bn-a-Year Golden Visa Market

Three countries issued 84% of golden visas in Europe last year; one country alone made up more than half the market.

We’ve compared Europe’s golden visa programs by application approval volumes and foreign direct investment raised over the last 12-month period. 

A note on our figures:

For the number of approved main applicants during the last 12 months, we’ve used the latest available figures for each jurisdiction. For programs that report only annual figures, we’ve used data from the latest full year (2017 for Spain, for example, and 2016 for Ireland). For programs that report more frequently, we’ve used the freshest possible data (12 months to September 2018 for Portugal and Greece, for instance).

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In terms of programs included in the market-place, we’ve left out non-standardized programs like Belgium or Germany. We also omitted programs with a very limited number of applications, like Jersey and Switzerland, which combined make up less than 10% of the market.

For Bulgaria, we only know cumulative figures for the last five years, so we’ve divided that total by five to get an estimate for the last 12 months.

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Nearly 8,000 main applicants (and about 15,000 dependents) obtained a golden visa in Europe last year, nearly half of whom got theirs in Greece. In 2017, Spain’s golden visa program saw, for the first time, more applications than its Portuguese neighbor.

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While in terms of absolute figures raised by golden visa programs the gains are more widely distributed, the top four programs – Portugal, Spain, Greece, and the UK – split 93% of the market (about €4.7 billion) between themselves.

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Christian Henrik Nesheim AdministratorKeymaster

Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.

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