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Post Brexit, Britons seek ‘golden visas’ to settle in EU

Posted on October 19, 2016
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Europe Golden Visa

Following June’s referendum, which saw the United Kingdom vote to leave the EU and the single market in the bargain, many Britons are looking to seek an EU passport by opting for ‘golden visa,’ which are being offered by quite a few European countries.

A consequence of the 2008 Great Recession was the introduction of ‘golden visas’ by south European countries such as Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Portugal and Spain to attract required investment via investment in the realty sector.

Although the terms of citizens of the UK wanting to live or work in the single market have not yet been negotiated, fearing that their freedom to travel across the Continent may be curtailed, some Britons are looking to get a citizenship through the investment programme.

Paul Williams, La Vida chief executive, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that they have received lots of enquiries from UK citizens who do want to sever their links with the EU. One of the UK’s largest agencies offering planning in citizenship, Henley & Partners, said visits from their country to their website grew ninefold in the month of July when compared to the same month last year.

The visa investment programme introduced by some of these countries have proved to be a godsend, says Williams. He says that they view property as an investment, through which residency comes as a bonus.

For instance, Portuguese residency programme, which costs €500,000, gives investors residency and citizenship six years after they have applied. Spain’s basic residency investment visas introduced in 2013 based on the same guidelines allows the people the right to work and affords many benefits to the investor’s family. In Spain, they must reside for ten years before they can apply for citizenship.

Apart from that, there are Cyprus, Greece and Malta. Meanwhile, others in Britain are hoping that their country will get the same privileges as Norwegians or Swiss, whose countries are not in the EU, but are yet allowed to travel and work unrestrictedly in Europe.

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