The Greek passport is among the strongest in the world ranking eighth on the 2021 Henley Passport Index, with its holders enjoying visa-free access to 184 countries.
This marks the third consecutive year that Japan has held the top spot.
Singapore sits in 2nd position, with access to 190 destinations, and South Korea holds onto 3rd place alongside Germany, with both having a visa-free/visa-on-arrival score of 189.
Slightly further down but still in the top 10, New Zealand is in 7th position, with visa-free access to 185 destinations, while Australia is in 8th position with Greece, with access to 184 destinations.
The best passports to hold in 2021 are:
Japan (191 destinations)
South Korea, Germany (189)
Italy, Finland, Spain, Luxembourg (188)
Denmark, Austria (187)
Sweden, France, Portugal, Netherlands, Ireland (186)
Switzerland, United States, United Kingdom, Norway, Belgium, New Zealand (185)
Greece, Malta, Czech Republic, Australia (184)
Due to pandemic-related travel constraints, travelers from both the UK and the US currently face significant restrictions from over 105 countries, with US nationals travelling to fewer than 75 destinations. In contrast, UK nationals now have access to fewer than 70.
For advice on how to obtain Greek citizenship and furthermore the possession of a Greek passport, please get in touch for to book a viewing or free advice regarding Golden Visa investments.
Due to its favorable location on the Mediterranean Sea coast, as well as a high level of innovation and technological development, Barcelona occupies the fourth place among the most exciting cities in the world. Besides, this city has a great business potential that is able to meet the expectations of future property investors.
Therefore we provide you 10 reasons why it worth investing in Barcelona:
1. High quality of life in Europe.
According to the European Cities Monitor, for the past 14 years Barcelona continues to consolidate its position as the best city for quality of life in Europe.
2. The best city for executives of the leading multinational companies.
Barcelona is considered to be a leading European city for business due to its perfect location, along with the rapid technological development and excellent transportation connectivity to the main European cities.
3. Attractive location
Barcelona lies in an exceptional area, namely on the Mediterranean coast, allowing you to enjoy its beautiful beaches 320 days a year. At the same time it is situated close to the Pyrenees, which beauty will take your breath away. In addition, the proximity of the international airport is another great advantage.
4. Entrepreneurial spirit of the city
The capital of Catalonia, Barcelona, provides available business services in the Entrepreneur Assistance Office for both local and foreign entrepreneurs. Here the start-uppers can get an advice and assistance for any kind of issue. Besides, the government has set up a special area called the “22 @ Barcelona», which is free of taxes and obligations.
5. Global brand of the city
According to the international statistics, Barcelona has been highlighted among other European cities as:
• 1st European city in quality of life for the working population
• 2nd European city with the highest progress rate
• 3rd European city with the highest number of foreign investments
6. Gastronomy is one of the best in the world
It can be said that Barcelona can offer not only sea and mountains, but also the world’s best restaurants with Michelin stars.
Great chefs such as Ferran Adria and Brothers Rock have turned traditional Spanish dishes into the world-class masterpieces.
The excellent medical assistance is provided to both locals and foreigners. The extensive network of private and public health centers are in charge of the healthcare, as it has been recognized and approved at the international level.
Every year thousands of international students come to study in Barcelona. The city possesses more than 50 universities, both public and private.
9. Green City
Barcelona has made significant progress in solving the environmental issues, as the government is investing heavily in ecology and nature improvement.
Barcelona is one of the most attractive destinations for tourists. Besides the above-mentioned, it is extremely famous for its unique culture. A great variety of all that Barcelona is offering to its tourists, makes them coming back to this incredible city.
11. Spanish Golden Visa
The Spain Golden Visa Program encourages investors outside the EU to invest in real estate, job creation and public debts. Under the program, investors and their families are eligible to obtain temporary residency in a matter of months through minimum property investments of €500000.00.
The Spain Golden Visa Program is a true gateway to Europe, expanding your visa-free travel mobility within the Schengen Zone. This program allows the investor to consider residency acquisition as their first step towards permanent residency and citizenship acquisition if required. Further residency requirements will need to be met; after 5 years permanent residency can be obtained, and citizenship after 10 years living in the country. It is not necessary to live in Spain in order to retain and renew the residency visa permit. However, the route to permanent residency and citizenship requires the investor and their family to reside in Spain. The Spanish Golden Visa is an investment only route and does not require any contribution or donation to a fund.
Contact us to book a property viewing or free advice regarding Golden Visa investments.
Buying property in Spain is a fantastic life investment. Not only can you benefit from a second home in one of Europe’s best countries with the opportunity to get Spanish residency, but you can also get high returns on your investment due to the high demand of short-term rental property. This guide gives you useful insights on how to buy real estate in Spain.
Spain real estate market history and overview
If you are considering purchasing property in Spain, now is the time to do it as selling prices are currently going down. With Spain’s high quality of life, incredible culture, diversity, and delicious cuisine, it’s no wonder why a high number of foreigners are drawn to Spanish real estate — in fact, foreigners account for around 20% of Spain’s real estate market buyers.
There are many advantages for foreigners looking to buy property in Spain:
From Andalusia and the Asturias to Galicia and Catalonia, Spain’s regions are very diversified and have diverse climates. You can decide if you want to live by the sea, in the countryside, or in the mountains.
There are many different types of properties to choose from at various prices: from newly built apartments and farmhouses to villas and family homes.
Get profitable yields by renting your property — short-term holiday rentals are very popular in Spain due to the high number of tourists coming to Spain every year.
Invest in Spanish real estate and get Spanish residency and eventually Spanish citizenship via the Spain Golden Visa scheme.
Get residency in Spain by buying property
Buying property in Spain can give you the incredible opportunity to receive Spanish residency, ultimately allowing you to get a Spanish passport. Launched in 2013, the Spain Golden Visa program allows investors and their families to receive Spanish citizenship in exchange for an investment in real estate of a minimum value of €500,000.
To learn more about the Spain Golden Visa and its different investment routes, get in touch for a free consultation.
Where to buy property in Spain?
You can basically buy property anywhere in Spain. Ultimately it comes down to what region you prefer and the type of lifestyle you are looking for. Below are some of the best places to buy property in Spain.
Costa del Sol
Located in Andalusia, Costa del Sol is one of the most famous places to get holiday homes in Spain. Foreigners are drawn to Costa del Sol’s amazing climate and fantastic beaches. You will find that life is very relaxed and charming in Costa del Sol, with plenty of activities and enjoyments available. Málaga and Marbella are also some of the best cities to live and buy property in Costa del Sol.
Barcelona is the main city of Catalonia, and one of the most famous destinations in the world. The city is very multicultural and is bustling with cultural activities and entrepreneurial spirit. In a nutshell, Barcelona is a fantastic place to live in and ideally located by the sea. With the city being extremely popular among tourists, it is a very good place to invest in rental apartments. Be aware that real estate property in Barcelona is more expensive than in other Spanish locations.
Madrid is the capital city of Spain. It is famous for having a very good work-life balance, offering plenty of jobs and entertainment. It has great museums, restaurants, and bars. Its infrastructures and facilities are very developed and it is easy to feel welcomed. As it is the capital city, real estate prices are higher than average.
Valencia is the third-largest city in Spain. Its climate is very pleasant and mild, and it is appreciated for its relaxed pace of living – way more peaceful than Madrid and Barcelona. Located close to the sea, Valencia has a large port area with a beautiful promenade filled with bars and restaurants. It is also famous for its many green spaces. The real estate market in Valencia is considerably cheaper than in Madrid and Barcelona.
Balearic & Canary islands
Famous for their beauty and idyllic beaches, the Balearic and Canary islands are some of the best places to invest in. Whether it is in Menorca, Mallorca or Ibiza in the Balearics or Tenerife in the Canary Islands, you will find fantastic properties right by the sea. Not only is the quality of life amazing, but owning a property brings high returns on investments as, during tourist seasons, demand for rental properties is high.
How to buy real estate in Spain?
There are no restrictions on buying real estate in Spain as a foreigner. You just need to find the right property, and make sure that all the paperwork is in order to proceed with the transaction. We recommend hiring a lawyer during the process in order to get the best legal guidance.
Be aware that there are two types of properties in Spain, their main differences come from the taxes that will need to be paid during the purchase.
New home: a property in Spain is considered a new home if it has never been sold before. Buyers of a new home must pay a Value Added Tax (VAT), as well as a stamp duty.
Resale home: a property in Spain is considered a resale if it has previously been owned by someone. When purchasing a resale home, buyers will have to pay for a property transfer tax
Tax on buying property in Spain
Capital Gains Tax (CGT) applies to any profit made from the sale of a property. CGT starts at 24%, increasing to 27% for gains exceeding €50,000. Allowances and deductions can be made.
Annual property taxes = around €200 to €400 per year for an apartment.
Notary fees = 0.03% – 0.45% of property value
Registration fee = 0.2% – 1.8% of property value
Property transfer tax = 6%-10% of property value (applicable to resale home)
VAT = 10% of the property value (applicable to new home)
Stamp duty = 0.5% to 1.5% of property value depending on the region (applicable to new home)
A step-by-step guide to buying property in Spain
• Look for property and choose the one you want
• Hire a lawyer to assist you in the buying process
• Make an offer to the seller and agree on a contract
• Sign a preliminary contract
• Pay a deposit of 10% of the property price value
• Sign the contract of sale in front of a notary
• Register your property with the local authorities
Spain real estate prices
Below is an estimation of Spain real estate market prices per m2 per region:
Balearic Islands = €3,113 pm2
Madrid = €2,350 pm2
Catalonia = €2,000 pm2
Basque Country = €1,950 pm2
Andalusia = €1,800 pm2
Valencia region = €1,363 pm2
How can Prime Land Ventures help me?
Interested in buying property in Spain? Get in touch with one of our real estate specialists.
We are a boutique investment firm with years of experience in assisting international families purchasing property, investing in citizenship or residency abroad.
At Prime Land Ventures we give the insight and data analysis to allow our clients to make investments with confidence.
Vanuatu is one of the youngest players in the investment immigration market. The country’s citizenship by investment program was launched in 2014 and has become one of the fastest growing programs in the Citizenship by Investment market. The passport is ranked 41st in the Henley 2021 Passport Index, with visa free access to 130 countries. Here are some of the advantages of the program:
1. Freedom of movement.
The holders of Vanuatu passport have visa-free access to 130 countries. There is a zero possibility of you being questioned by authorities at any airport or port upon arrival to the UK, Singapore and the Schengen Area. This makes travel much easier, saves the time you previously spent on obtaining travel documents.
Furthermore, the residents of this Pacific state are allowed to stay in the Schengen countries without visas for up to 90 days within any 180 day period, and for 6 months a year in the UK.
2. Favorable tax environment.
The country’s tax system is based on the principles of loyalty. There is no tax on the global income, inheritance and capital gains. According to the World Bank, Vanuatu is one of the top 100 countries in terms of ease of doing business.
3. No need to fly across the ocean to get a passport.
It is not necessary to come to the islands halfway around the world neither before nor after issuance of a passport. Documents may be submitted in Hong Kong or Dubai. Citizenship application is handled exclusively through a licensed agent. The list of agents is approved by the government.
4. Confidentiality of the application process.
Information on obtaining the second passport is discrete and is not reported to the country of first citizenship. Vanuatu recognizes dual citizenship.
5. Transparent application procedure.
Before submitting a package of documents, the applicant pays due diligence fees and 25% of the required contribution. The remaining part of the contribution must be paid only after the government approves the application.
6. Passport for the whole family in a very short time.
Along with the main applicant, Vanuatu citizenship may also be granted to a spouse, children under 25 years and parents aged 65 and above.
There is no other country except Vanuatu where the application process is this quick. Even in the Caribbean, it takes from 3 to 5 months. The duration of the citizenship application process in Vanuatu is two months.
7. Citizenship is granted for life.
Dependents together with the main applicant obtain citizenship for life. However, as far as passport is concerned, it is issued for a period of 5 years with the right of subsequent extension for a five-year period. There is no need to visit the island to renew a passport. Citizenship may be passed down to descendants (inherited).
Cost of a Vanuatu passport
The Vanuatu passport program attracts investors primarily due to the relatively low investment threshold and short application process. By the way, this is the only immigration program that is available in Oceania.
To participate in the program an applicant is required to contribute at least $130,000 to the country’s National Development Fund. This is a non-refundable contribution. The total cost of Vanuatu passport depends on the number of persons included in the application and on the amount of additional fees to be paid by the investor.
Travel restrictions for South Africa as countries ban entry over Covid-19 variant. What options do you have?
A number of countries have announced travel bans to and from South Africa, citing fears of the new Covid-19 variant discovered in the country.
At the end of December, the UK’s Health and Social Care secretary Matt Hancock moved to ban travel between the two countries, citing the second variant as a key concern.
This week Denmark said that it has also include South Africa on its list of ‘banned countries’. “The entry ban for foreigners who do not reside in Denmark and travel from South Africa is in place from 6 January 2021 until and including 17 January 2021,” it said.
Other countries which currently have restrictions in place on South Africa include Israel and Turkey.
Countries such as the Netherlands and Ireland had originally blocked travel but are now allowing South African travelers limited access provided they provide a negative PCR test on arrival.
Is it time for a plan B? Have you considered a Golden Visa?
Here are 5 reasons to invest in a Golden Visa (residency or citizenship by investment):
• Political and economic instability are the primary reasons people seek a second citizenship.
• Freedom of travel
• A second citizenship or residency offers the recipient more opportunities for travel without the hassle and rigorous paperwork requirements of a standard visa.
• Tax benefits
While tax benefits vary from country to country, many countries offer exceptional tax benefits for their citizens.
Business and investment opportunities
Most countries reserve access to their business markets for their citizens, a second citizenship undoubtedly unlocks a host of new business and investment opportunities.
A plan B for economic instability
The world can be unpredictable, should your own country find itself subject to financial, political, or economic instability, a second citizenship or residency affords you the opportunity to protect your assets by transferring them to a more stable nation.
Have you considered investing in a Golden Visa? Call +41 44 586 73 10 or email email@example.com to book a free consultation regarding Golden Visa property investments.
Property Investment Fundamentals – Rental Demand
This one’s a no brainer. If there’s not a high rental demand, why are you going to want to invest in a property there?
Answer: you’re not.
So it’s important to make sure that whatever location you’re looking into whether that’s domestically or overseas, there’s a good rental demand.
An easy way to find this information out would be to speak to agents who specialize in the area, city or country, you are looking to invest in and find out from them what the rental demand (that is for both short term Airbnb type rentals and longer term rentals) is like. It may even differ from street to street – yes, that can happen. But getting in touch with the local experts would be the first obvious tip.
You could also have a scour through property portals and see how long properties took to let out in the location you’re interested in. Airbnb and the paid service AirDNA provide area, city and country details for short term rentals globally. If the demand is high, properties will get snapped up quickly and for a decent rental yield too.
If you are interested in investing in real estate and gaining residency or citizenship call +41 44 586 73 10 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a viewing or free advice regarding Golden Visa investments.
2020 has been a tough year everywhere and Switzerland is no exception. Having made it through the first wave barely touched, Switzerland saw a sudden ramp-up in cases of COVID-19 in October and is now headed for a new lockdown with stricter measures to check the virus' rise.
But it hasn't been too bad a year for the Swiss housing market. Official statistics show residential prices broadly stable, though there are some differences of emphasis between different sectoral and geographical markets.
Renting or buying a property? What do residents tend to these days?
Halfway through the year, house prices had risen just 0.61% year-on-year, and that represented a slight fall from Q1 levels - not surprising given the coronavirus emergency. This left Switzerland looking broadly stable, with minimal price movements.
The third quarter saw the pace pick up a little, with stronger demand particularly in Suisse Romande - Geneva, Vaud, and Valais very strong, and Ticino/Tessin also showing strength.
Data on advertised real estate suggests that Swiss residents are swapping from renting to owner occupation and from apartments to houses, if they can afford it. Apartment rents fell 0.6% in November, while house rental prices increased by 1.7% month-on-month, and house prices were up 6.7%. (These figures are of course based on asking prices, not finalised transactions.)
According to Credit Suisse, apartments outside the major city centres are seeing a perfect storm of bad news. The vacancy rate may sound low at 1.72% (London, by contrast, usually runs above 2% and New York is hitting 6%) but in fact the total number of vacant flats rose again this year, for the eleventh year in succession. Low interest rates and low returns on other investments have pushed investors into the rental market, which is now heading for oversupply - except in the city centres which remain highly covetable, and expensive. There's less than a quarter of a percent of property vacant in Zurich!
Construction has been focused on the rental apartment sector, rather than on owner-occupied housing. This doesn't bode well for rental apartment prices, but the dearth of newbuild single-family units should help keep single-family house prices looking good. Combine tight supply with the post-pandemic preference for more space and private gardens, and it looks as if 2021 will be the Year of the House in Switzerland.
What should we expect of the market as a whole for 2021?
Geneva bank Edmond de Rothschild expects the Swiss market to show an increase in volume next year - but admits prices could be soft.
Developments that were delayed by COVID-related building site close-downs will probably come on the market between now and Q2 2021, following a period of relatively tight supply. The sudden increase in properties being marketed could soak up a lot of demand, and it wouldn't be surprising to see temporarily lower pricing levels.
However, any pricing decline is likely to be a temporary deflation, rather than a crash.
Switzerland has one property index that is quite unusual - the UBS 'bubble index' which analyses the risk of a boom-and-bust. The bubble index was up in Q3, but that's mainly due to the pandemic exacerbating imbalances in the market. And of course, house prices are not sustainable if you take the current, lockdown-affected, GDP statistics as your basis. Even so, on balance the market is in 'risk' but not 'bubble' territory - highly valued, but not so much so that UBS thinks a crash is likely.
It's also worth pointing out that credit applications, outstanding mortgages, and construction supply are all in neutral territory, so the Swiss market is not exposed to high debt, or massive oversupply - both of which, for instance, affected the Spanish market in the credit crunch.
UBS points out that economic recovery is expected to be fast once vaccines start being rolled out to the population. The only area that UBS has any concern over is Zurich and central Switzerland, where the house price to income ratio is stretched and rental yields are low.
It has now confirmed a new lockdown for winter 2020-2021; even before that, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs was forecasting a 6.2% fall in GDP. But in the longer term, once we get through to late spring and early summer 2021, the country looks set for recovery, and the housing market should be pulled along behind GDP.
Things to consider both for buyers and sellers
One thing that agents will be looking at very closely next year is space. Floorplans will become very important as lockdown-weary homebuyers look for big spaces, flexible live/work areas for telecommuters, and balconies or rooftop gardens (in apartments). Houses with good amounts of garden space will be particularly keenly sought after.
At the same time, there may be a move away from city centres towards the periphery, and away from the major cities to smaller satellite towns. This wouldn't be unlike what's already happening in France and could mean that transport access becomes a slightly lower priority for many buyers.
So, while house prices in Switzerland may not move a huge amount, it's likely the market in 2021 will be qualitatively different from what it was in 2019. Buyers will be looking for different features, in different places… but at broadly similar prices.
As Brexit finally sends the UK and EU in separate directions, nationals of both entities find themselves in a peculiar position; EU nationals residing in the UK must now apply for settlement, while UK citizens residing throughout the EU must follow suit and obtain resident permits one way or another. Except, of course, the Irish.
The citizens of the only English-speaking EU country, which enjoys unique ties with both the UK and the EU, find themselves in an enviable position, as they can roam both the areas visa-free under the Common Travel Area (CTA) agreement.
The Common Travel Area and the right to reside in the UK
The CTA is an agreement between Ireland and the UK which provides citizens of both nations with unparalleled rights such as the right to work, study, vote in certain elections, access social welfare benefits and health services, and, the right to travel freely between the two countries.
In May 2019, both the Irish and UK governments reaffirmed their continued commitment to maintaining the CTA and the associated rights under all circumstances. The signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by both governments ensures the special status will continue even after free movement ends on the 31st of December 2020.
Under the CTA’s umbrella, Irish citizens do not require a visa or any form of residence or employment permit to enter or remain in the UK. Irish citizens wishing to continue residing in the UK are not required to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme; as under the CTA, they have the right to live, work, and access public services in the UK.
Ireland’s EU status post-Brexit
Ireland remains a vital member of the union and continues to benefit from an EU membership’s economic and political stability. As EU citizens, Irish nationals may continue to live and work freely in any EU Member State.
Irish citizens continue to enjoy other privileges like access to the European Health Insurance Car providing them health care while traveling throughout the EU. For students belonging to Irish institutions, they have access to Erasmus+ and the right to study in the EU. Other perks for Irish nationals include waived mobile phone roaming charges when traveling within the EU.
Qualifying for the Irish IIP Program
Investors interested in the Irish IIP may choose from four different investment options; all providing a pathway towards Irish residence, and eventually, citizenship. These options are:
1 – Enterprise Investment:
A minimum investment of €1 million towards an Irish enterprise, held for no less than three years.
2 – Endowment:
A philanthropic donation at the sum of €500,000 areas of public interests of Ireland such as arts, sports, health, culture, or education.
3 – Real Estate Investment Trusts (REIT):
A minimum investment of €2 million towards an Irish REIT listed on the Irish Stock Exchange to be held for at least three years is required.
4 – Investment Fund:
Similar to the Enterprise Investment option, a €1 million investment in an approved fund for a period of at least three years, such funds must be regulated and approved by the Central Bank.
This diversity provides investors with more options so they can choose what suits them best. The most popular option by far, however, is the enterprise investment, with little surprise there as it offers a safe venture, simple exit strategy, and a nifty ROI. In the time between 2015 -2019, a whopping 77.2% of all applicants chose the enterprise investment option, followed by the endowment option at 12.2%.
The reasons the enterprise investment option dominates the IIP landscape are quite clear, in addition to the safety and profitability it provides, the enterprise investment option is a clear cut pathway to meet the preferences of the Irish government; as the government has highlighted preferred areas of investments such as nursing homes, social housing projects, and primary care centers. Those who invest in the fixed asset sector in these areas are not only perfectly positioned to gain approval but are safeguarding their investments as well. This risk-averse route means that the ultimate total cost of the program comes down to zero Euros, literally.
The Irish IIP versus Golden Visa options in Europe
Compared to other Golden Visa Programs in Europe, the Irish IIP program outshines its peers. The Irish IIP’s investment options are a great example of this, especially when investing in enterprises, as the holding period of 3 years is low compared to other European investment migration options (Greece for example requires an indefinite holding period), while the exit strategy is simple and straightforward, no need to hassle yourself with liquidating your investment; you just simply get your money back.
Not only is it simple and safe, but you can make a good ROI when choosing a strong investment option, much like the ones we offer at Prime Land Ventures. Both of our Endowment projects and our Social Housing projects are safe investments that derive income from the Irish state, 100% repayment guaranteed.
In terms of the country itself, Ireland enjoys one of the lowest corporate tax rates at 12.5% while Malta, Spain, Portugal, and Greece command a much higher tax rate at 35, 25, 21, and 24% respectively; for entrepreneurs and investors alike, this makes the Irish IIP program a desirable proposition.
IIP best option post-Brexit
There are many advantages to the Irish IIP in comparison with Golden Visa Programs in Europe. The ability for Irish citizens to freely travel, reside, and study in both the UK and EU post-Brexit however, makes the program stand out among its European counterparts.
Ireland’s competitive corporate tax rate and the IIP’s enterprise investment pathway provide business investors with an added incentive from both a professional and financial perspective.
If you have more questions about the Ireland IIP Program or would like to speak further, please do not hesitate to call +41 44 586 73 10 or email email@example.com