Passports: Best ‘golden visa’ citizenships to beat Brexit travel restrictions

Holidays: Europe post-Brexit travel advice provided by expert

Though acquiring citizenship in another country may seem like a drastic move, experts have revealed a number of nations which will have better freedom of movement allowances than the UK after Brexit. This is particularly true if a no-deal is the outcome.

At present, residency and citizenships experts from international property investors Astos, say this “looks like the most likely outcome”.

However, they have identified some of the best places to acquire international citizenship which they say could act as “routes around the Brexit roadblock”.

According to the experts, there are three key categories to identify – the speed of acquisition, the cost of acquisition and how freely passport holders will be able to travel without the need for a visa.

Greece, Cyprus, Ireland and Spain are all cited among the fastest passports to acquire.

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“A number of EU nations do provide the option to obtain residency within one month, however, in these instances, you must have lived in the country for a specified number of years, usually around five,” said Arthur Sarkisian, managing director of Astons.

“However, Greece, Cyprus, Ireland and Spain all allow investors to obtain EU residency within as little as two months from the start of the process without any prior time residing in the country.”

There is one nation which trumps them all, though.

“Malta provides the swiftest route EU citizenship with investors able to obtain Maltese citizenship in just one year,” pointed out the expert.

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Malta also ranks highly when it comes to visa-free travel.

Not only will citizens have European citizenship, but they are also able to travel to 182 countries without the need for a visa.

“The Maltese program again tops the table where visa-free travel is concerned,” said the spokesperson.

“Most options provide uninhibited travel within the Schengen Zone, however, securing Maltese citizenship will see investors receive visa-free access to 182 other countries.

“This is even more than the 163 nations accessed visa-free with UK citizenship.”

Of course, becoming an investor is not cheap, which is why the experts have also looked at the most cost-effective way to getting your hands on what they describe as a “golden visa”.

“There’s a minimum investment requirement of £2m if you want to obtain UK citizenship. However, if you’re looking to maintain EU status there are some far more affordable routes,” said Mr Sarkisian.

“Again, Croatia offers the most affordable path to maintain EU citizenship with a minimum investment of €50,000.

“However, if you want to begin the process immediately, Greece offers the most affordable route to maintaining EU status with investors able to secure Greek residency for as little as €250,000 without any prior time spent living in the country.

“Cyprus and Portugal also present fairly affordable options at €300,000 and €350,000 Euro respectively.

“While Malta comes in a little higher at €800,000, it is the most affordable option for those seeking to secure immediate EU citizenship via investment.”

He continued: “Malta is quickly becoming one of the investment routes of choice for many investors looking to secure secondary residency or citizenship within the EU.

“The mix of affordability, speed and access is something that is particularly popular at present with the lingering uncertainty caused by covid.

“It has also become very popular amongst UK investors, as Brexit once again continues to prove a problematic issue.

“With the likelihood of a no-deal scenario growing stronger and many anticipating the issues this may bring, UK investors are already looking to additional residency or citizenships to help them sidestep this roadblock once it does finally appear for good.

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