Wealthy Brit expats can buy out of Brexit uncertainty

Published:  3 May at 6 PM
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As the chance of finding a fair and just solution for UK expats in EU member states recedes still further, those with enough spare cash can make sure they're sitting pretty via a Golden Visa.

As with much in the UK, Golden Visas are for the wealthy and are unobtainable due to their cost for the average British state pensioner who’s chosen to live abroad for economic reasons. As the reality of Brexit begins to dawn, those with gold-plated pensions and money in the bank will be able to choose between five already popular expat destinations offering residency and even citizenship for hard cash.

Spain is perhaps the most popular expat haven for those on UK state pensions who’ve sold their British homes and migrated in order to stretch their monthly stipend further than would be possible in the home country. For wealthy retirees escaping Brexit Britain, the purchase of a £420,000 Spanish property gets family residency with bi-annual renewals and a permanent residency option after five years. After 10 years, the Golden Visa kicks in without the requirement to live in or even visit the country.

Portugal’s Golden Visa option runs on similar lines and is dependent on the purchase of a £420,000 property. The visa itself is renewable as long as the holder spends at least two weeks in every two years in the country, and citizenship is granted after six years. Cyprus’s version is two-tier and offers permanent residency via a home costing £253,000 or more, with the deal covering full family qualifications including children under the age of 25. A single visit every two years is necessary and, for the seriously rich, citizenship plus an EU passport can be purchased via an investment of £1.68 million.

Malta’s offering is also two-tiered, giving residency to those investing £210,000 in government bonds, plus a £25,000 gift to the government and £34,000 in fees. In addition, a home worth £270,000 or more must be bought, or rented for no less than £8450 annually. Citizenship costs half a million in sterling plus another half a million in extras and house purchase. For those without unlimited funds, Greece offers the cheapest deal at £210,000 for a renewable residency visa, even although holders of the visa don’t need to live in the country. However, if citizenship is the goal, living in Greece for seven years is mandatory.
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