Sweeping sanctions against Putin’s oligarchs has led governments to limit and in some cases end their lucrative pay-for-passport programs.

Source: Russian oligarchs: ‘Golden passports’ for the rich face new restrictions

Many countries, in the past, offered “retirement visas” enabling permanent residency for those wishing to retire in a different country.

Recently, retirement visas were mostly phased out and replaced with investment visas. This enabled a person to invest from US$100,000 to $10 million (depends on country, and until recently, Panama had an investment visa for as little as $25,0000) in local real estate or businesses and then receive a residency visa.

In general terms, it is typically difficult to stay in many or most countries for more than 90 days. Tourist visits, with or without a visa, are normally restricted to a maximum of a 90 day stay. For example, Americans traveling to Europe can stay within the EU region for 90 days but then must exist for at least 90 days before returning to Europe.

The primary way individuals receive a residency permit in another country is

  1. Education/study abroad visa
  2. In some countries, via marriage (but that is not a done deal in all countries)
  3. Hired for a job with an employment visa
  4. In a few countries (Italy, Ireland, as examples, or Canada with “right of descent” visas) persons with ancestors born in the country may qualify for some visas
  5. Or an investment visa for investing in the local economy

Looking at that list you can see that most options favor the young (1, 2 and 3) and 5 was the primary option for older adults to stay longer than 90 days.

My guess is that investment visas will mostly remain as they are good for the local economy – and some countries like Italy, Spain, Portugal, have suffered declines in population, especially in rural areas and thus, are seeking qualified immigrants. But I do expect that there may be future visa requirements and restrictions.

I intend to write some comments about this soon – the pandemic era, Russia’s invasion and economic sanctions – are a day the world has changed moment. More on that later, perhaps.

By EdwardM