Unlike close neighbors Austria, Germany does not offer a Citizenship by Investor program, but for those high net worth individuals who are determined to become residents and eventually citizens of Germany and would one day like to own the most Powerful Passport in the World, there is always the German Investor Visa program to consider
If you are in the market for second citizenship and a more powerful passport than the one you currently have, and you are prepared to spend a few years as a temporary then permanent resident, there is no better citizenship and passport to aspire to than that of Germany. Some may argue that US or UK citizenship may carry more clout internationally, and that may be true, but by the same token, Brits and Americans are also considered arrogant, pompous and condescending in many countries, while these days Germans are seemingly welcome everywhere.
That is reflected by the power of the German passport. A passport’s power is measured by the number of countries it has access to without the additional need of a visa. Germany’s passport is currently ranked no.1 in the world with access to no less than 177 countries without the holder having to apply for an additional visa. The US passport is currently the joint-4th most powerful with access to 174 countries, and while the UK passport currently has visa-free access to 175 countries, that figure could fall dramatically as the fallout from Brexit and Britain’s imminent departure from the European Union draws closer.
Germany – officially the Federal Republic of Germany – is a large, geographically varied country located in Central-Western Europe that borders Denmark, Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria, Switzerland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Germany covers a surface area of 357,021 square km and has a population of 82 million, making it the fifth largest (behind France, Spain, Sweden and Norway) in terms of landmass and the most populous nation in Western Europe. Germany’s capital is Bonn, but with a population of less than 320,000 , there are multiple German cities which are much larger, including (in order of population) Berlin, Hamburg, Munich, Cologne, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Bremen, Dresden, Hannover and Nuremberg.
Germany is the second most popular immigration destination in the world after the United States, and has a multi-ethnic population that includes more than nine million foreign nationals, with large numbers of Turks, Poles, Italians, Romanians, Syrians and Greeks to name only the groups which number more than 300,000.
As the founder of both the European Union and the Eurozone, Germany’s sphere of influence is massive, not just in Europe but internationally, and is backed up by decades of global economic success. The German economy is the largest in Europe and the fourth largest in the world, behind only the US, China and Japan. In 2016 Germany recorded a trade surplus of $310 billion, which is the highest in the world and gives an indication into the nation’s wealth. It also rubberstamped Germany as the biggest capital exporter globally.
70% of Germany’s economy is powered by its service sector (banking, finance, acomadation, business and trade, hotels and restaurants, transport etc), industry (including iron and steel production, coal, cement, chemicals, plastics, the production of cars, trains, aircraft and ships) accounts for 29.1%, and agriculture, which currently accounts for just 0.9%.
The standard of education, healthcare and employment in Germany is among the highest in Europe. Most Germans speak more than one language, with the majority speaking English, while many are fluent in French and Italian also. On the whole, crime is low, streets are clean and safe, property is inexpensive, and the cost of living is reasonable. The German people as a whole are warm and friendly, and extremely respectful of foreigners.
Germany Investor Visa Program
Neighboring Austria has a Citizenship by Investment program, allowing investors the chance to gain Austrian citizenship and its powerful passport within a matter of months, but at a price: An investor can either make a non-refundable charitable donation of €2-3 million, or make a recoverable investment for a minimum of €10 million. Austria’s CBI program is the most expensive in the world, and is priced out of reach of many investors.
By comparison, the German Investor Visa Program is far more economical, although becoming a German citizen is a more lengthy process. Germany’s program is very similar the United States’ EB-5 Investment Visa Program, and its aim is to encourage foreign (Non-EU) investors to either open a new business or to take over an established one and employ local German citizens.
Any applicant wishing to qualify for the German Investor Visa Program and the resulting residency permit must have the financial means to be able to invest a minimum amount of €1 million into either establishing a new a German business or taking over a business that is already established.
Either option must employ at least 10 German citizens, either by creating new jobs or maintaining the jobs of individuals already employed in a business. Once the new business is established – or ownership of the established business is completed – the applicant and their family members are eligible to receive their German residency permits.
After five years of German residency (during which time applicants are required to become fluent in the German language and also knowledgeable of the German legal system and culture) permanent German residency can be applied for. After one year of German permanent residency, an applicant can then apply for full German citizenship.
Summary of German Investor Visa Program Requirements and Benefits
Here is an “at-a-glance” roundup of what is required of an applicant who is keen to embark on the German Investor Visa program, and how they can expect to benefit from it:
- An applicant must have a valid passport, authorized birth and marriage certificates, and an authorized letter detailing their intent to reside in Germany
- An applicant must have a valid medical and health insurance policy
- An applicant must provide authorized proof that they have sufficient means to support themselves (and their families) while living in Germany
- An applicant must invest a minimum of €1 million into establishing a new German business or purchase an established German business for a minimum of €1 million
- An applicant must either create new jobs for ten German citizens or maintain the employment for ten German workers. Both options must be maintained for a minimum of five years
- The German Investor Visa Program includes an applicant’s family members
- The German Investor Visa residency permit gives the holder full and unrestricted access to the EU Schengen Zone
- After five years, an applicant can apply for permanent German residency
- After one year of permanent residency an applicant can apply for full German citizenship and passport
- The German passport is currently the most powerful in the world, with visa-free access to 177 countries
- Germany is the largest economy and most influential nation in Europe, and the fourth largest economy in the world, so becoming a German citizen grants an individual a high level of respect
For more information on the Germany Investor Visa program, contact 2ndPassports.com today. Feel free to contact us via email, WhatsApp or Telegram. If you prefer you can chat to one of our expert representatives directly – you can call us using our encrypted phone and Skype lines. All of our contact details are listed at the top of the 2ndPassports.com homepage.
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