EU residency programs compared – Hungary, Malta, Portugal

2 мая, 2016

You might have several reasons for getting EU residency. Whether you want to move to Europe, on your own or with your family, or you want to do business in Europe, or you want to travel freely in the Schengen zone, Europe offers several options. You just have to find the one that suits your needs and conditions best.

Which EU residency program to choose?

Many European countries offer residency programs aimed at businesspeople. They are all similar as they all offer EU residency in exchange for some kind of investment. However, the programs are all different; each has its own advantages and disadvantages.

As an investor, you must already know how important it is to collect all available information before you make a commitment for so many years. How much do you have to invest? Are there any hidden costs? How cost-effective is the program?

The below comparison of EU residency programs might be helpful for you to make an informed decision. We have chosen the three most popular programs: Hungary, Malta, and Portugal. See for yourself which will fit your needs.


Hungarian Residency Bond Program: EUR 300,000

Malta Global Residence Programme: not applicable, because it has no initial investment cost, but an annual tax must be paid in advance (minimum EUR 15,000).

Portugal’s Golden Visa: EUR 500,000

Commissions and fees

Hungarian Residency Bond Program: EUR 60,000 for the whole process, for the whole family (spouse and underage children)

Malta Global Residence Programme: a non-refundable fee of EUR 6,000/applicant to start the process

Portugal’s Golden Visa: processing fee varies between 5% to 20% , depending on which agent is going to help you with the process; plus EUR 80.04 per family member; with the initial Golden Visa: EUR 5,137.50. Golden Visa for Family members: also EUR 5,137.50

Residence stay requirements

Hungarian Residency Bond Program: no requirement

Malta Global Residence Programme: minimum 183 days / year

Portugal’s Golden Visa: 7 days / first year; 14 days / year for the second and third year

Processing time

Hungarian Residency Bond Program: 14 days

Malta Global Residence Programme: 3-4 months

Portugal’s Golden Visa: 30 days


Hungarian Residency Bond Program: no taxes involved if the resident has no income from local sources and does not spend more than 183 days in Hungary

Malta Global Residence Programme: Minimum EUR 15,000 / year, all income transferred in Malta is taxed 15%.

Portugal’s Golden Visa: no taxes involved if the resident does not spend more than 183 days in Portugal, but rental income and income from the real estate investment will be taxed at 28%.

Renewal requirements

Hungarian Residency Bond Program: a formality, in 5 years

Malta Global Residence Programme: a formality, in 5 years

Portugal’s Golden Visa: in 1 year, then after every 2 years

Working in the jurisdiction of residence

Hungarian Residency Bond Program: allowed without a work permit

Malta Global Residence Programme: allowed with a work permit

Portugal’s Golden Visa: allowed

Time necessary for obtaining a permanent resident permit

Hungarian Residency Bond Program: 30 days (as of July 1, 2016)

Malta Global Residence Programme: 5 years

Portugal’s Golden Visa: 5 years

Time until you can obtain citizenship

Hungarian Residency Bond Program: 8 years

Malta Global Residence Programme: 10 years

Portugal’s Golden Visa: 6 years

As you may see from the above, the Hungarian Residency Bond Program is the best of the three in several aspects. It is the cheapest, most cost-effective, and fastest EU residency program. Moreover, if you decide in favor of the Hungarian program, we can guarantee you VIP assistance throughout the whole process, which will make the experience pleasant as well as cost-effective.

UPDATE November 2023: A new Hungarian investment residency program has just been announced to replace the old scheme. Click here to learn more.

For a comprehensive database of residency and citizenship programs worldwide, visit Whatever you decide, good luck with your ventures in Europe!


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