Looking for the most affordable route to eventual German Citizenship by investment in 2020? While Germany currently only offers foreign investors a path to residency by investment, a clear path to citizenship through naturalisation exists:  Permanent residency can be applied for after 5 years, and citizenship can be obtained after 8 years.

Find out more about how you can obtain German residency by investment with the Germany Golden Visa Programme in 2022, or contact us now for a free consultation to learn more about the process.  

The German Residency By Investment Programme at a glance

A path to eventual German citizenship

As of the end of 2019, a €250,000 off-plan property investment, combined with a 5 year investment in a regional entrepreneurial development fund can serve as the basis upon which you can apply for German residency on the basis of business investment.

The German residency investment is fundamentally a passive business investment, which makes the application process far less onerous and time consuming: Unlike with regular Entrepreneurial and Startup visas, there is no need for you to get involved in the day to running of a business.

Your spouse and dependent children can also be included in your application, and the application process is fast, simple and straightforward.

As is the case with most European Golden Visa Programmes, direct citizenship in Germany is not an option (it is an option in Malta and Cyprus, the latter with an investment requirement in excess of €2 million).

As a third country investor, you first have to apply for residency by investment, then for permanent residency after 5 years, and eventually, for citizenship through regular naturalisation after 8 years or longer.

Investment migration products are typically divided into 3 categories: Citizenship By Investment Programmes (CIPs), Residency By Investment Programmes (RIPs) and Start-up Visas / Entrepreneurial Investment Visa Programmes (SUVs). RIPs are also referred to as Golden Visa Programmes, while CIPs are commonly known as Golden Passport Programmes.

In recent years, a fairly rapid commoditisation of investment migration products has led to the establishment of a number of far more affordable Golden Passport Programmes – with the Turkish Citizenship By Investment Programme presently taking the market by storm.

The number of programmes in existence has also resulted in a critical mass for normalising these programmes, as the establishment of a German investment visa product attests to.

The German Golden Visa, however, has learnt from the mistakes and shortcomings of programmes such as the Portuguese Golden Visa Programme: Rather than requiring applicants to invest in existing properties, which could potentially lead to local investors being pushed out of the market due to increasing demand, the German investment residency programme requires investment in off-plan property developments worth €250,000 or more.

In addition, investors are required to make an entrepreneurial investment of €100,000 in a regional development fund for a minimum of 5 years. This ensures meaningful impact investing with tangible benefits to German regional areas and their citizens, rather than only driving a property market boom, as has been the case in Lisbon’s real estate market. 


In simple terms, the German Residency Act, Section 21, since October 2017 has made provision for third country investors to obtain German residency by means of business or entrepreneurial activity.

The German Golden Visa Programme, which is technical more of a hybrid between a Golden Visa and a German Startup Visa, meets the legal requirements set out under this act in a seamless, simple and investor-friendly format.

Why choose the German Golden Visa

TOP TIER NATION: Gain a foothold in Europe’s top performing economy. Offering world class healthcare and education, combined with some of the highest standards of living in the world, Germany is an excellent choice for third country families and business professionals wishing to establish a foothold in Western Europe.

 VISA FREE SCHENGEN TRAVEL: Enjoy visa-free travel to 26 Schengen countries – no more cumbersome visa applications, ever.

 NO MINIMUM STAY REQUIREMENTS: Given that no material minimum stay requirements are applicable, you can spend as much – or as little – time in Germany as you wish.

LOW CAPITAL INVESTMENT: With a total investment requirement of only €350,000, and this being a top tier Western European country, the German economic residency programme offers unparalleled value for money.

 FAMILY INCLUDED: Your spouse and dependent family members can be included in your residency application, making the German Golden Residency the perfect Plan B. 

NO COUNTRY RESTRICTIONS: Whether you hail from Lebanon, Iran, Iraq South Africa Vietnam, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Nigeria, Russia or even China, you are eligible to apply for this residency programme.

Disclaimer: The above information as intended for use as general guidance on the topic. While every reasonable effort has been made to ensure its accuracy, the accuracy is not guaranteed, and neither the authors of this site, nor their associates, will be held responsible for any losses whatsoever incurred as the direct or indirect result of relying on the above information.