Since polls began, Italy has regularly been voted the Most Beautiful Country On Earth and for good reason; it’s almost impossible to think of another nation that can boast the beautiful coastline and beaches, spectacular countryside highlighted by breathtaking mountainous regions, vibrant cities and unrivaled ancient architecture of Italy.
Add to that the fact that the Italians build the world’s coolest cars (Ferrari, Maserati, Lamborghini, Alfa Romeo, Lancia) and have the coolest designer brands (Gucci, D&G, Georgio Armani, Hugo Boss, Prada, Versace etc.), their great film directors (Federico Fellini, Bernardo Bertolucci, Sergio Leone), iconic football teams (Juventus, Inter, Milan plus their national team) and their amazing sing-song language, not to mention pride of place in the history of the civilized world (think the Roman Empire), Italians have an awful lot to be proud about.
Admit it; If you had to be another nationality other than your own, what would be cooler than being Italian?
Many high net-worth individuals from locations like Asia, the Middle-East and Africa find their lives hampered by the constant need for visas whenever they wish to travel. As a result, they are investing in dual citizenship and a second passport for the purpose of improving upon their freedom of travel, with EU passports being the most desirable.
Many EU nations have welcomed these foreign investors with open arms, and countries like Austria, Belgium, Germany, Greece, Cyprus and Malta have created Citizenship by Investment programs to cater for these wealthy business people.
Can I Become An Italian Citizen?
Rumors have been circulating for some time that Italy will soon be following the path set by Latin neighbors Spain and Portugal and announcing their own Golden Visa program. The Spanish and Portuguese Golden Visa programs are basically Citizenship by Investment programs that allow high net-worth individuals of good character and with no criminal convictions the chance to invest their way to Spanish or Portuguese citizenship.
Unfortunately, at the time of writing the only guaranteed way of gaining Italian citizenship is by Jus Sanguinis (Latin for Right of Blood) which means by heritage, i.e., Italian parentage. A case can also be made if one is born in Italy to non-Italian parents. Italian citizenship can also be granted via marriage to an Italian national. Finally, if an individual has been living and working in Italy for at least ten years, has sufficient funds and no criminal record they too can apply for Italian citizenship.
In the meantime, why not take a quick look at what Spain and Portugal have to offer.
Spanish Golden Visa
In terms of its beauty and its heritage, Spain compares favorably with Italy both geographically and historically. Spain has almost 5,000 KMs of coastline, much of it beautiful beaches, as well as fabulous mountain regions both in the North and South. Madrid and Barcelona are two of the most exciting and vibrant cities in the world.
For a minimum financial investment of 500,000 (this is a recoverable investment and normally used by the applicant to purchase Spanish real estate which they can sell after five years) a Golden Visa residency will be granted. This gives the holder the right to live and work in Spain.
After five years, permanent residency will be granted to applicants, allowing them to live, work and study anywhere within the European Union. After a further five years of residency applicants can apply for full Spanish citizenship and a passport.
Applicants for the Spanish Golden Visa only need to enter Spain twice in the initial five years of residency. For more information on Spain’s Golden Visa program contact 2ndPassports.com.
Portuguese Golden Visa
A major downside of Spain’s Golden Visa program is the ten-year wait for full Spanish citizenship and a passport. This is not the case with neighbors Portugal, whose Golden Visa program is some four years faster, and proving to be hugely popular with wealthy Chinese and South African investors looking to bring their families and their fortunes to Europe.
Since its initiation in 2012, there have been more than 1000 successful applicants for Portugal’s Golden Visa program. Like the Spanish version, the Portuguese program requires a minimum recoverable investment of 500,000 in real estate which can be sold after five years of residency. And like Spain’s Golden Visa, the Portuguese program has minimal residency requirements of its applicants, who need spend just one week in Portugal during their first year of residency.
For breaking news on Italy’s Golden Visa program or further information about any of the Citizenship by Investment programs featured on 2ndPassports.com, don’t hesitate to contact us direct via email, WhatsApp or Telegram. You can also speak directly to one of our expert representatives using our encrypted phone and Skype lines.
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