Is it Possible to Obtain a European Passport by Purchasing a Property?

In some European countries if you buy a flat, a house, a share in a hotel, it is considered as a full-fledged investment in the economy which allows to obtain a residence permit and citizenship of the country. These programs are called residence or citizenship by investment.

In general, there are different rules everywhere for buying property for investment immigration. But before we start a detailed analysis of them, let’s see why this method is so beneficial with Imperial & Legal?

Firstly, a flat or a house in a modern European country is a profitable investment of money. In a few years of ownership, you are able to sell the property, and you will not only get your money back, but also make a good profit on the price difference.

Secondly, when you buy a property, in some cases it is the least costly investment option for obtaining a European passport. Thirdly, in some European jurisdictions, it is allowed that the investor can receive monthly income from renting out a house, flat or share in a tourist complex. Fourthly, for wealthy foreigners owning a flat or a house is a sort of a safe area with a stable economy and high quality of life.

The ability to provide permanent residence for your family


In general, almost all programs by investment provide permanent residence and citizenship by investment for close relatives. Usually, a spouse and children are included, but it may vary. Most immigration laws consider children to be under 18.

But in some cases, the rules also apply to students who are financially dependent on their parents. Elderly parents are sometimes included as dependents as well. Also, some countries require a minimum amount of money in a bank account to provide for each family member. For some countries, it is not necessary.

The ability to get a second citizenship

At first, you need to find out whether your country gives you this right. The same applies to the countries where you are going to receive a European passport. Most of them are flexible in this matter. But some countries, like Spain, don’t encourage dual citizenship. So, you would need to make a choice.

How much time is it required to obtain citizenship?


None of the European countries grant citizenship by investment alone. As a rule, a person must obtain a visa first. Then on its basis, a residence permit is issued. In a few years, subject to all conditions, you can get Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR). And then, finally, go through the naturalization procedure and become a citizen.

To go through this path “residence permit -ILR – citizenship” takes a lot of time – from 5 to 10 years. Malta and Montenegro are pleasant exceptions, where citizenship by investment can be obtained just in 1 year or even 6 months!

Where can you invest in property?

In almost all countries recommended by experienced immigration lawyers for a second passport, there is an opportunity to invest in the purchase of a property. However, it will not be enough everywhere.

In Montenegro, part of the amount will be spent on a non-refundable contribution to the state fund. In Malta, according to the rules, in addition to a non-refundable contribution to the state, part of the capital will need to be spent on securities.

The UK can be mentioned as an exception. The authorities welcome investors and grant them citizenship after some years of living. However, they consider only the purchase of shares of British companies as an investment.

Comparison of European investment programs


Below you can find comparison tables for investment programs of 6 European countries, where the investment can be fully or partially used to buy a property.

Here we will consider single immigration to avoid confusion with additional payments that arise during the issuance of passports of individual states for family members of the investor. What is more, in order to understand the idea of investing in a European property better, we provide with two options for each country:

1. Minimal, dependent on the specifications of the purchased object (location, technical condition or special status).

2. Optimal – purchase with an amount exceeding the minimum possible, high-quality property that does not require additional investments for restoration, with high liquidity and a gradually increasing price.

Table 1. European countries with the possibility of full investment in property

Country  Permanent residence and citizenship  Investment amount and commentaries
Latvia  Permanent residence in 5 years
Citizenship in 10 years
From € 250,000
Portugal  Permanent residence in 5 years

Citizenship in 6 years


€ 350,000 – for the purchase of a property built more than 30 years ago, located in a historical area that is under reconstruction.


from € 500,000 investment in existing or under construction objects

Spain  Permanent residence in 5 years 

Citizenship in 10 years

From € 350,000


Table 2. European countries with the possibility of partial investment in property

Country Permanent residence and citizenship Investment amount and commentaries
Montenegro  Permanent residence in 2-3 weeks

Citizenship in 6 months

€ 100,000 is a non-refundable contribution to the state development fund.



€250,000 – for the purchase of a ready-built property or investment in constructions of a property in underdeveloped districts of the country.


investments from €450,000 in constructions in Podgorica or in the coastal areas of the country.

Malta  Citizenship in 1 year after getting a residence permit From € 1,150,000 investments, including:

€ 650,000 is a non-refundable contribution to the state;

investments of € 150,000 in securities;

€ 350,000for a purchase of a flat or a small house.

The minimal period of ownership of a purchased property which is from 3 to 5 years will be the common clause for all these countries. After that, you can use your property in any way.

If you apply for second citizenship for all family members in Malta, the amount of dotation to the state will be increased by € 25,000 for a married couple, and € 75,000 for a family with two minor children. If you have children over 18 years old, you must pay an additional € 50,000. But you can get citizenship by investment in just 1 year!

As you can see, the timeframes of obtaining second citizenship differ. The optimal choice based on the “speed of obtaining a passport/amount of investment” ratio is Montenegro. However, today the country is only a candidate to enter into the European Union.

But the holders of a Montenegrin passport do not have problems with crossing the borders of more than 124 countries without a visa. So, each of the countries has its own advantages and disadvantages, unique rules for investors who want to obtain European citizenship via buying a property.

Duly study the immigration rules of your chosen country before investing to prevent making mistakes or use the services of an experienced lawyer. In this way, you will not only obtain a new passport as soon as possible, but also minimize the costs for the purchase of overseas property and government fees.