Comprised of 28 member states, the European Union is an economic and political union of many of the most powerful countries in Europe including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Estonia, France, Greece, Portugal, Netherlands, and Denmark to name just a few. The purpose of the EU, which came into existence after the Second World War, is to foster economic cooperation and therefore ensure political stability among all of the nations. To achieve this, the EU has adopted a single currency, its own European Parliament, multiple councils, and the European Central Bank. All of these institutions work to unify the member nations of the EU.
As another method to preserve and promote unity among the member states, the EU also maintains open door travel and work policies that allow citizens of one EU member state to travel, relocate, live, work, and study in another EU member state without the need of a country specific visa or work permit.
This open door policy is particularly enticing to foreign investors who are seeking to relocate to one of the EU member states and obtain its citizenship, since in doing so the investor will then have unfettered access to all of the other member states. Since many EU countries offer investor visas that lead to permanent residence and ultimately to citizenship, there are several opportunities available to foreign nationals to relocate to and retire in Europe. Each country’s program has its merits and its downfalls. This pamphlet offers a brief explanation and comparison of a number of countries’ investor visa programs. All of these programs are extensively detailed in other pamphlets.