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Permanent Residence

In most countries foreigner wishing to immigrate to this or that country can not as a general rule obtain permanent residence directly. First he must get temporary immigration status (temporary residence), then he must renew it for several years (subject to fulfillment of certain requirements of course), and only after three, five, or even ten years he can apply for permanent residency. We shall give several examples of this:

  1. The United Kingdom: foreigner invests £ 1,000,000 and gets temporary residence for 3 years, and then there is a renewal for 2 more years. And after 5 years he can get so called Indefinite Leave to Remain (equivalent of permanent residence).
  2. The United States: foreigner invests USD 500,000 and gets EB5 visa (equivalent of temporary residence). And after 2 years investor can get so called Green Card (equivalent of permanent residence).
  3. Belgium, Hungary: Permanent residence is possible after three years of temporary permits.
  4. Austria, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, and Bulgaria: Permanent residence is possible after 5 years of temporary permits.
  5. Switzerland: Permanent residence (Permit C) is possible after 10 year of temporary residence (Permit B). Also, if you know the language of the canton where you reside you may apply for Permit C after 5 years from the date of the initial Permit B.

In some countries ((Canada, Bulgaria, Singapore) permanent residence can be obtained directly through investment route of immigration. Also we strongly recommend you to read the material composed by experts of Elma Global: Comparison of the Best Investment Programs of the World.

  1. Canada: foreigner invests CAD 800,000 (or donates about CAD 220,000 under loan option) and gets permanent residence. After 3 years of physical residence in Canada he can apply for Canadian citizenship and passport.
  2. Bulgaria: foreigner invests EUR 512,000 (or donates about EUR 180,000 under loan option) and gets permanent residence. After 5 years he can apply for Bulgarian (EU) citizenship and passport. Physical residence is not required for citizenship applications (waived for investors).

Questions Regarding Permanent Residencies:

Question: We are interested in citizenship program in Greece. What happens in Greece for investors from abroad?
Answer: Greece does not offer a citizenship by investment program. Only residence permit is granted if you invest 300,000 EUR into Greek business. Foreigners may apply for citizenship after 10 years of legal residence in Greece but the foreigners who obtained temporary residence permit through residency permit are not eligible for permanent residency and citizenship. They can renew their permit as long as their property is not sold.

Question: I am interested in getting a permanent residence through the investment route. I am a wealthy individual running different hospitals in India. My question is not about the minimum stay required before getting PR, but the minimum stay after getting PR. For Example in New Zealand they have minimum requirement to stay before getting PR but after getting PR in NZ they don’t care if I stay there or not. But in USA green card they question if you stay outside of the US for a long period after getting a green card. I can manage to stay in a country for few months in a year (for few years) just to comply with the rules to get PR. But I would like to have the freedom to stay or not to stay in that country after getting PR. This should not affect my PR status (for renewal or whatsoever).  Which countries offer investment PR which would fit in the above Category?
Answer: In Bulgaria you may invest 512,000 EUR into bonds for 5 year period and get permanent residence. After 5 years you can apply for citizenship. There is no residence requirement after PR in Bulgaria. If you want to fast-track your citizenship application then you will be expected to invest in a risky project on a Bulgarian territory another 512,000 EUR and apply for citizenship after 1 year instead of 5 years. Another country is Portugal. Golden Visa Program allows investor and his close family members get residency based on purchase of property valued 500,000 EUR or more. Physical residence requirement is very modest – 7 days annually. After 5 years with Golden Visa you may get the permanent residency and from that point no physical residence requirement applies.

Question: I am a Russian citizen and I hold a permanent residence permit in Czech Republic. Can I relocate to Austria and live there?
Answer: The Austrian Law provides for specific rules for citizens of non-EU-countries which have already obtained a so called “permanent residence EU” in one of the EU-countries. Austria grants this right after 5 years of permanent residence in Austria. So we should know whether you have already such a “permanent residence right -EU” in the Czech Republic. Otherwise, no preferential treatment applies. However, even though you might have a permanent residence right – EU you still have to apply for a certain residence title in Austria. The specific kind of title depends on what you are going to do in Austria – just stay here without working or working as employed or self-employed. The difference to “normal” foreigners is that there is a separate quota, i.e. a specific number of titles granted each year to foreigners with an EU-residence right.

Question: I would like to have some info regarding gaining permanent resident in Latvia by purchasing property; like the detail procedures and fees involves including the possibility to travel to Latvia to see the potential properties there. Kindly email me the all the requirements including the step by step procedures and time frame to follow. Thank you very much for your kind assistance.
Answer: Purchase of property in Latvia does not lead to permanent residency. Based on purchase of property (provided the property cost is 250,000 EUR or more) non-EU nationals can apply for temporary residence. In addition to the mentioned amount investors are expected to pay 5 % (12,500 EUR or more depending on the property price) to the Government and this contribution is not refundable being indirect payment for residency. Temporary residence permit must be renewed annually. Only after 5 years of physical residence in Latvia you can apply for a permanent status. Alternatively, if you are not going to reside in Latvia you can renew your temporary residence permit as long as the property is not sold and has no debts for public services (unsettled utility bills or bills for gas, electricity, taxes, etc). Our legal fee for assistance in obtaining temporary residence permit in Latvia based on purchase of property is 5,000 EUR per main applicant and 1,000 EUR per each additional family member (wife and kids) included into application.

Question: I am interested to know more about a suitable program of yours (preferring Hungary naturalization program if it is short period as mentioned). Or any residency that leads to naturalization. I have my own work in the trading; financially independent; visited countries in the past freely (Canada, Bulgaria, Cyprus, etc). I am looking for a reasonable program price. Preferably an English speaking country. Or the English must be widely spoken. I am not interested to work in any future plans.
Answer: In Hungary the typical way to get residence permit is incorporation of a company with paid-up charter capital of EUR 30,000. The company must create 3 new jobs for Hungarian citizens of permanent residents. The foreigner is also expected to buy or rent an apartment in Hungary. Moreover, good business plan must be presented to the authorities. If all the conditions are met a foreigner from non-EU country can apply for temporary residence permit. It will be granted for one year and renewable annually during three years. In case the temporary resident can prove he resided 9 out of 12 months in Hungary every year he can get Permanent Residence after three years. So, it is not that simple. Moreover, Hungarian language is difficult and English is not widely spoken there. Hungarian and German are widely spoken in Hungary. If you seek a good country that has an official program for financially independent persons, this is  Cyprus. They have a category F residence permit there. We can assist in getting this type of permit. Our legal fee will depend upon your family composition and other factors. Permanent residency in Cyprus is possible after 5 years of legal residence, citizenship – after 7 years of residence.

Question: I am Syrian, and I am currently living and studying in Germany. I am searching for a second citizenship or at least a permanent residency preferably from the EU. I am able to invest, live, study, or even buy an apartment for this case. If there is any possibilities for this case please contact me.
Answer: Real estate options of relocation to EU are limited. The best way is to invest EUR 500,000 in Portugal. You will have a residence permit that will lead to citizenship after 6 years. Dual citizenship is allowed in Portugal, so, you will not have to renounce your current citizenship. Another option is Latvia. You will be expected to invest into property EUR 143,000. Permanent residency is possible after 5 years of physical residence in Latvia. Citizenship in Latvia is possible after another 5 years of residence (10 years from the initial permit). Dual citizenship is not allowed. You will be expected to renounce your Syrian citizenship before getting Latvian passport.

If you have any questions or wish to use our legal assistance in obtaining permanent residence or second citizenship, contact us today.


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