EU Retirement Visas & Recurring Income Visas 2024

Looking to retire in Europe but not interested in getting a Golden Visa? Discover five affordable, lesser-known EU retirement and recurring income visa programs below, or contact us now for more information.

The Portugal D7 Visa, Spain’s Non Lucrative Visa, the Greek FIP, French Long Stay Visa and Italy Elective Residency Visa offer a viable path to EU residency for retirees and individuals or families with stable recurring or passive income.

We’ve also included a handy comparison table below to give you a clear sense of the respective passive income requirements, along with the expected applications fees for each of these financially independent visa programs.

Who should consider a Golden Visa?

Golden Visas were made famous through a combination of government PR and the efforts of citizenship by investment firms marketing these programs around the world. Given that Golden Visa investments are typically in the 6-figure range (or even higher), this is not a product for everybody.

It is also not surprising that the client fees associated with these can range from €30,000+.

The price point for Golden Visas is typically justified by the fact that they have incredibly low minimum stay requirements, making them highly suitable as a “Plan B” option. Most Golden Visa holders don’t relocate to their new country of residency – at least not immediately.

These individuals and their families use Golden Visas as an insurance policy, as a place to run to should the situation in their home country deteriorate suddenly.

In exchange for this peace of mind, they are typically happy to buy a home in an overheated property market, paying a significant premium on what the property should be worth with a view to obtain the Golden Visa. Some of them use their Golden Visa property as vacation accommodation or as a second summer home. Others rent it out in order to generate a typically low return on their investment, up until the point they’re ready to retire there.

And this is absolutely fine – for these people.

What Golden Visa marketers and Citizenship By Investment firms typically won’t tell you is that you don’t need a Golden Visa to settle in European countries such as Spain, Portugal and Italy.

Why?

Because it is not in their financial interests to do so.

Fortunately, there is a far more affordable way to immigrate to the EU.

For people seeking to relocate and settle in Europe on a long-term (6 months per year+) or full-time basis, there exists a variety of alternative visa options worthy of exploration – and they’re significantly cheaper than your typical Golden Visa…

The EU residency programs compared at a glance

Country Minimum Income Requirements Per Month (2024)………………………. Apply Based On Savings Only Time To Citizenship & Passport Minimum Stay Requirement Do You Have To Be Retired? Official program website / resource
Portugal: D7 Visa Program Primary applicant: €820+;

Spouse: €410+

Per additional dependent: €246+

Per family of 4 (2 dependent children): €1,596+

No. (Unless it is a VERY substantial amount.) After 5 years. 6 months+ per year No. DRE.pt
Spain: Non Lucrative Visa Program Primary applicant – 4 x IPREM: €2,400+

Spouse – 1 x IPREM: €600+

Per additional dependent – 1 x IPREM: €600+

Per family of 4 (2 dependent children): €4,200+

Yes. Required Savings:

Primary applicant: €28,800

Spouse: €7,200

Per additional dependent:€7,200

Per Family of four: €50,400+

After 10 years. 6 months+ per year No. Exteriores.gob.es
Italy: Elective Residency Program Primary applicant: €2596,50+ (€31,159+ p.a.) No. (Unless you have a VERY substantial amount of savings.) After 8 years. 6 months+ per year Ideally. Miami Italian Consular Guidance
France: VLS-TS Long Stay Visa Program Primary applicant: €1,709.28+

Spouse: €1,709.28+

Per additional dependent: €1,709.28+

Per Family of four:  €6,837+

No. (Unless you have $100,000+ in cash.) After 5 years. No minimum stay enforced presently, but 6 months+ per year could be required. Ideally. Welcome To France Program Guidance
Greece: Financially Independent Visa Program Primary applicant: €2,000+

Spouse – add 20%: €400+

Per additional dependent – add 15%: €300+

Per Family of four: €3,000+

Yes. Required Savings:

Primary applicant: €48,000+

Married couple:€57,600+

Per Family of four: €86,400+

After 7 years. No minimum stay enforced presently, but 6 months+ per year could be required. No. Greek Immigration Code
Malta Retirement Visa Pension should constitute 75%+ of your entire income, and you should bring the entire pension amount to Malta and pay tax on it.

And…

You have to sign a 12-month rental lease worth €9,600 p.a., or €8,750 p.a. in Southern Malta or Gozo.

Or…

You have to buy a Maltese property worth €275,000+ (€220,000+ in southern Malta and Gozo).

No. You become eligible after 5 years of residency, however bank on it taking 10 years (more more). Minimum 90 days per year, and never spend 183 uninterrupted days or more in any other country. Yes. Retirement Program – Government Guidance
Latvia Retirement Visa Primary applicant: €900+

Spouse: €500+

Per additional dependent: €150+

Per Family of four: €1,700+

No. (Unless you have a VERY substantial amount of savings.) You can qualify for Latvian permanent residency after 5 years, provided that you never leave the country for 6 consecutive  months,

And…

You don’t leave Latvia for a total of 10 months during your first five years of temporary residency. 

After 5 more years of PR – i.e. 10 years in total – you become eligible to apply for Latvian citizenship.

You must remain in Latvia for at least 6 months per year to keep your residency status renewable. Yes, you need to be at least 65 years old.

And…

You need to be from a country that has visa-free access to the Schengen Area.

Latvia Pensioner Residency Permit – Government Guidance
Cyprus Category F Visa Primary applicant (official requirement: €797.33 (€9,568 p.a.)

Generally you’ll need at least 3X this amount to qualify.

Additional dependents: €384.43 (€4613,22 p.a.)

And…

You have to buy a Cypriot property worth €100,000+.

No. After 5 years. You have to visit Cyprus at least once every 2 years. Generally, yes. N/A
Austria Retirement Visa Column 2 Value 10 Column 4 Value 10 Column 5 Value 10
Ireland Retirement Visa (Stamp 0 – Independent Means Visa) €4,167+ per applicant (€50,000+ p.a.) plus additional lump sum savings equivalent to the price of a residential home in the State. No. (You must have income.) Consult your nearest Irish consulate for more information. Consult your nearest Irish consulate for more information. Generally, yes. Governmental Program Guidance

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Comparing the EU income visas – more detail

Portugal, Spain, Italy and Greece all offer alternative, stable income based residency programs, enabling you to settle in these countries, obtain permanent residency, and eventually apply for citizenship:

  1. Portugal D7 Visa Program

  2. Spain Non Lucrative Visa Program

  3. Italy Elective Residency Visa Program

  4. Greece Financially Independent Person (FIP) Visa Program

  5. France Long Stay Visa Program

Typically referred to as pensioner visas, financially independent visas or non-lucrative residency visas, most of these programs require you to spend more than 6 months per year living there in order to keep your residency permit renewable and apply for permanent residency.

(France is the exception in this regard; the French immigration authorities are currently not enforcing any minimum stays for renewals and issuance of subsequent residency permits – although it is important to note that legally, they could.)

What’s more, none of these residency programs require a mandatory investment in property or securities. And should you choose to buy a home, there is no minimum value requirement either.

What these residency programs also have in common, however, is that you will need to be able to prove having the means to support yourself in-country without having to rely on salaried income. In Portugal and Italy, you’re required to have a stable source of passive income.

In Spain, significant savings can be used to meet this requirement, but in that instance the annually accessible savings requirement can be up to 400% higher than the annual passive income requirement in Portugal.

Moreover, in Spain, you’re not allowed to seek gainful local employment for the first 12 months of your residency, and in Italy you’re not allowed to take up local employment at all.

While you can apply on the basis of savings only in France, you’ll need to show at least $100,000 in accessible savings. Greece also accept savings, but there you’ll be required to deposit and keep at least €48,000 in a local Greek bank account for the entire duration of your residency.

While these residency programs typically appeal to retirees and pensioners, they are also open to younger, non-retired applicants – provided that they can meet the respective program requirements.

What are the professional service fees for applying?

ESTIMATED MINIMUM APPLICATION FEES PORTUGAL
D7 VISA
SPAIN NON
LUCRATIVE VISA
ITALY ELECTIVE
RESIDENCY VISA
Individual €2,500  €1,700

 €3,500

Married Couple €3,000  €1,200

 €1,500

Per Additional Adult Dependent €600 €1,200  €900
Per Additional Minor Dependent  €600 €1,200 €900

Ready to gain EU residency without investment? Contact us now.