William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

Top EU and North American Investment Visas

Many Asian and African countries are speedily developing, yet it remains a major pursuit for many citizens of these nations to live in Western nations, such as the US, Canada or EU nations. Likewise, cross immigration is on the rise among Western nations. For high-net-worth individuals from these nations, investment visas have become a popular means to acquire residency and, ultimately, citizenship in their potential host countries. In addition to the ease of travel that comes with having a Golden Visa from certain countries, these individuals are drawn by the opportunities for them and their families to study, work, do business, and receive healthcare in these developed countries.

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

William Huston, AIF®, AIFA®

If you're seeking an investment pathway to obtain residency or citizenship in Europe or North America, this blog highlights some top investment visa programs you should definitely consider.

Key Takeaways

  • Greece, Latvia, Portugal, and Malta stand out for their investor-friendly policies and promising returns on investment.

  • Portugal's Golden Visa program offers multiple investment options, including capital transfer, job creation, and support for research and cultural activities.

  • Canada's Start-Up Visa Program and the EB-5 Immigrant Visa program in the US are prominent investment visa options in North America.

  • Investing in Bay Street's Alt Path Fund gives you access to attractive hotel investment opportunities in Portugal and the Bahamas. These projects not only promise attractive returns on investment but also support residency and citizenship applications.


The contents of this article are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to be a source of professional financial advice. You will find experts on investing here.

Invest with Bay Street

As a leading investment firm representing one of the forty approved funds for the Portugal Golden Visa program, Bay Street Capital Holdings offers foreign investors the opportunity to invest in Portugal's booming hospitality industry. The firm also offers support in processing their application for a Portuguese Golden Visa.

With four approved projects, one each in four different Portuguese cities, these assets have an estimated 18.87% IRR over their holding period, and they come with 45-55% cash back incentives from the Portuguese government. By investing with Bay Street's Alt Path Hotel Fund, you get to enjoy all these benefits. You also have the chance to take advantage of a structured investing plan, and for US citizens, to invest directly from your retirement account.

Find our more here or schedule a meeting with us here.

Begin your hotel investing journey here.

The Investment Visa Landscape

Europe and North America present different investment visa programs, each tailored to offer mutually beneficial advantages and opportunities for prospective investors and host countries. These programs promote personal and professional development for applicants and their families, and contribute to the economic growth of the host nations.

Top EU Visa Programs

Some of the top EU visa programs include Greece, Latvia, and Portugal. They stand out for their investor-friendly policies and promising returns on investment.

eu visas

Greece Golden Visa

Greece's Golden Visa program has caught the attention of many investors. Foreign investors can obtain residency in Greece by investing in real estate, business ventures, or government bonds. With a minimum investment of €250,000 (€500,000 in certain areas) in real estate, investors gain the right to reside in Greece and enjoy visa-free travel within the Schengen Area. Moreover, Greece's vibrant culture, stunning landscapes, and favorable tax regime make it an appealing destination for investors seeking both financial returns and lifestyle benefits.

Latvia Investor Visa

Latvia's Investor Visa program offers investors a straightforward path to residency through strategic investments. By investing in Latvian businesses or real estate, investors can secure residency permits for themselves and their families.

Latvia's strategic location, robust economy, and growing opportunities in sectors such as technology and manufacturing make it an attractive investment destination. Additionally, investors benefit from Latvia's low corporate tax rates and access to the European Union market, positioning them for long-term success and growth.

Latvia's $50k Investment Visa

For investors looking to acquire an affordable Golden Visa, Latvia's Investor Golden Visa offers a straightforward pathway to residency for you and your family. For just €50,000 investment in a Latvian company and a €10,000 donation to the government, you can enjoy:

  • Full family residency

  • Flexibility - No residency requirements

  • Renewable after 5 years

  • EU Schengen visa travel

  • Eurozone currency

With Latvia's strategic location and significant Russian-speaking population, it's a convenient and welcoming destination. After five years, permanent residence is within reach, with citizenship possible after a decade.

Malta Investment Visa

Malta Golden Visa or the Maltese Permanent Residency Programme (MPRP) presents an opportunity for international investors to obtain permanent residency rights in Malta. This program offers a secure and low-risk path to acquiring a residency visa in an EU Schengen country, with no mandatory residency requirement.

To qualify, investors need to contribute €98,000 to the government, make a mandatory charitable donation of €2,000 to a Maltese registered NGO, and cover application fees. Additionally, applicants must enter a property rental agreement of at least €10,000 per annum for five years.

Portugal Investment Visa

Portugal's Investment Visa or Golden Visa program has gained popularity among investors seeking European residency and citizenship. With its rich history, stunning landscapes, and thriving hospitality market, Portugal presents investors with an uncommon opportunity for growth and prosperity.

Through this program, foreign investors can obtain residency in Portugal through investment funds, job creation, arts contribution or heritage restoration. Despite the removal of the previously popular real estate option, the program remains the leading residency by investment program in Europe and across the world.

Portugal's Golden Visa offers numerous benefits, including visa-free travel within the Schengen Area, access to high-quality healthcare and education, and a favorable tax regime, including the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) tax regime for foreign retirees.

Portuguese Golden Visa Investment Options

Portugal Golden Visa

With the real estate or property investment option removed as the Portuguese Golden Visa investment program, here are available options for foreign investors interested in the Portuguese Golden Visa:

Investment Fund

Investors can choose to make a capital investment transfer into Portugal's economy. The minimum investment threshold for this option is €500,000. The invested funds can be directed towards various sectors such as business expansion, venture capital, or establishing new companies, contributing to the country's economic development.

Job Creation

Investors can choose to create jobs in Portugal by establishing a business or investing in an existing business. This option requires the creation of a minimum of ten full-time jobs for Portuguese citizens. The business must be legally registered and operational in Portugal.

Research Activities

Investors can support research and development activities conducted by public or private entities in Portugal. This option involves investing a minimum of €500,000 (€400,000 in low density area) in research activities that contribute to the country's scientific and technological advancement.

Cultural Heritage Restoration

For this option, investors donate €250,000 (€200,000 in low-density areas) to support cultural projects like museums and monuments. A 20% reduction applies in low-density regions. The GEPAC certifies investments, and the Portuguese government handles the Golden Visa application.

Artistic Production

Similar to the cultural heritage restoration option, investors can contribute €250,000 (€200,000 in low-density areas) to artistic projects such as music and film. Likewise, a 20% reduction applies in low-density regions. Approval by DGArtes is required, and the Golden Visa application is managed by a legal representative.

Begin your Portugal Golden Visa journey today.

Top North American Investment Visa

Canada and the US are the two major North American countries that offer visa by investment programs.

Canada Investment Visa

The Canadian Start-Up Visa Program (SUV) caters to immigrant entrepreneurs with skills to build businesses in Canada. The SUV offers a fast, cost-effective route to Canada with fees from CAD$195,000 (USD$145,000), providing Permanent Residency (PR). PR status isn't tied to business success.

Applicants need a net worth of $200,000 income or $1,000,000 financial assets, and they can include their spouses and children under 21. The process takes 12-18 months and successful applicants can live anywhere in Canada except Quebec.

US Investment Visa

The EB-5 Immigrant Visa program provides a pathway to permanent residency in the United States for immigrant investors and their immediate family members. To qualify, investors must make a significant investment in a new commercial enterprise that creates or preserves at least 10 full-time jobs for U.S. workers.

The minimum investment amount varies depending on whether the investment is made in a targeted employment area or a non-targeted area. A successful EB5 immigrant petition grants a lawful permanent residence (immigrant visas) to applicants and their families, which can become a regular Green Card after two years.

Apart from the TEA and non-TEA distinctions, potential EB-5 investors need to consider whether to invest through a Regional Center or opt for Direct Investment. Each option has its own features, with regional centers serving as hubs for investment funds and direct investment enabling investors to oversee their own investments.

Benefits of Investment Visa

North American visa

Many visa by investment programs offer several advantages, including:

They grant residency rights. Investors gain the right to legally reside in the country offering the investment visa, which is attractive for those seeking a second home or exploring business opportunities in a new location.

They provide lucrative investment opportunities. Visas by investments enable investors to diversify their portfolios and earn returns through qualifying investments like real estate purchases or government securities.

They promote increased global mobility. Investment visa programs often provide visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to multiple countries, beneficial for families who enjoy traveling together.

They support family inclusion. Most programs extend benefits to spouses, children, and sometimes parents and grandparents, allowing families to relocate and enjoy residency benefits together.

The grant access to topnotch education and healthcare. Residency typically grants access to quality education and healthcare systems in the host country for investors and their families.

They are often pathways to citizenship. Some programs offer a route to citizenship after a certain period of residency, providing the opportunity for second citizenship.

They come with very appealing tax benefits. Depending on the country's tax regulations, golden visa holders may enjoy favorable tax conditions, such as exemptions or reduced rates on certain income types.

They lead to stability and security. Residency in a stable and secure country offers a sense of security, especially for individuals and families from regions with political or economic uncertainties.

They promote networking and business opportunities. Living in a new country opens doors to networking and business opportunities, enabling investors to establish connections beneficial for their entrepreneurial endeavors.

Invest with Bay Street

Bay Street is a leading investment firm in the hospitality sector, and our current projects in Portugal and in the Bahamas offer foreign investors both attractive ROIs as well as pathways to residency and, ultimately, citizenship. Take advantage and invest with Bay Street today.

Begin your hotel investment journey here.







Let's Talk

Schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our advisors to learn more about Bay Street and how we can help you achieve your goals for your financial future.

form img