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What Exactly Is A 'Golden Visa' And How Much Does It Cost?

Want a second passport? Here's one option!
golden visa, citizenship by investment
PHOTO: Shutterstock, Unsplash

ICYDK, "revenge travel" is a thing. Many are planning on taking their first big trip since the beginning of the pandemic, and since borders are slowly opening to international travelers, people have been renewing their passports and applying for visas in preparation.

But if you're looking for a more *permanent* way to enjoy your new life in another country, you might want to check out the so-called "Golden Visa." Bea Alonzo recently touched upon it in her vlog "APARTMENT HUNTING IN MADRID!". Because the actress loves the country so much, Bea started looking into owning a residence in Spain. Due to her research, Bea found an article about Spain's Golden Visa program. Essentially, it grants residency permits, and depending on the European country that grants you a golden visa, holders would be allowed to freely travel to any of the countries in the Schengen Area.

According to, there are actually three types of travel-related investments:

  • Citizenship by investment - earn citizenship and a second passport through investment
  • Residency by investment - earn a second residency that provides flexibility to live and travel freely
  • Immigration by investment - move permanently with a residence permit for you and your family

But what's the main difference? Here are some important factors to consider: Only citizens can apply for a passport (permanent residents don't have that right). As a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Union, you also have the right to work and study in any of those countries. Citizens also have full voting rights as long as you meet the country’s age requirement. Lastly, in some countries, your permanent residency status can be revoked if you stay out of the country for too long; citizenship is for life.

Here is a more visual comparison by

what is the difference between permanent residency and citizenship?
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Now that you know the difference, it's time to look into specific programs in the EU. In Bea's case Spain's Golden Visa requires an investment of €500,000 (approx. P28.6 million) in real estate to gain family residency. The Spanish investor visa can then be renewed every two years, and it's not necessary to live in Spain in order to retain and renew the residency visa permit. Due to the Philippines being a former colony of Spain, Filipinos can eventually apply for Spanish citizenship after only two years of effective residence in Spain, instead of the normal ten-year process.

Take note that Spains Residence by Investment Program grants the right to live, work, and study in Spain, and free movement to the EU and Europe’s Schengen Area. That's an incredibly important distinction, because for example, Portugal requires a minimum contribution of €200,000 (approx. P11.4 million)—it's one of the less expensive options, but just like Portugal most EU states only grant the right to live/work/study in the *host nation*. Other European nations that offer Residence by Investment Programs with free movement within the Schengen area (for a more pricey contribution) are Luxembourg and Malta.


The golden visa isn't limited to *just* the EU, however. If your main concern is travel (not residence and work permits), then Antigua and Barbuda and St. Kitts and Nevis are two of several countries that offer Citizenship by Investment Programs. As a member of the Commonwealth, an Antigua and Barbuda passport gives you visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 150 destinations including Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and Europe's Schengen Area for USD $100,000 (approx. P5.5 million). Meanwhile, a A St. Kitts and Nevis passport provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to 156 destinations including Hong Kong, Russia, Singapore, the UK, and Europe’s Schengen Area. For a minimum solo contribution of USD $150,000 (approx. P8 million), you can pass on your citizenship to future generations (dual citizenship is allowed!), and there is no minimum stay required.

Does your dream destination offer these types of programs? Learn more on,, and



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