The German Investor Visa Program offers a unique opportunity to gain German citizenship through business investment. Learn more in this guide.
GERMANY’S INVESTOR VISA PROGRAM
Germany has developed a unique balance between building and maintaining a prosperous economy, whilst at the same time fostering a well-educated and happy populace that lives in harmony. Not surprisingly, many wish to enjoy such benefits, and the German Investor Program makes this achievable. The Program is based upon the United States’ Investor Visa program which encourages foreign investment in existing business or the establishment of new ones, with investors ultimately gaining a German passport and citizenship.
A BRIEF OVERVIEW OF GERMANY
As the most populous country in Europe, and with the largest economy in Western Europe, Germany wields huge influence throughout the world. Germany is viewed as the powerbroker within the European Union, and enjoys a healthy relationship with global business. These factors are reflected in the freedom afforded German passport holders who have unique visa-free access to 177 countries across the globe.
Germany has historically been a powerhouse for the arts, science and technology. Economic health and a reputation for precision and organisation are synonymous with the German nation. Germany has also demonstrated an ability to assimilate the best characteristics of its neighbours; for example, Swiss efficiency, Italian creativity and artistic mastery, the romanticism of the French and Spanish and the multi-cultural disposition of the Dutch. Also very noticeable in Germany is the British work ethic.
The above have helped Germany become a forerunner in economic and business growth, and the country stands fourth in the world’s top economies, with predictions that it will usurp Japan from its third place in the near future.
Basic statistics and facts regarding Germany give further insight into its character: the country’s official language is of course German, and its capital city is Berlin, also the country’s largest city. Germany is a Republic, with a legal system based on Roman law. The official currency is the Euro, and the
dominant religious persuasion Christian Protestant. Germany has a surface area covering 357,168 square kilometres and a population of around 82 million. The climate offers warm summers and cold winters with snow. GDP per capita was reckoned at $44,072.39 in 2016.
THE INVESTOR VISA PROGRAM IN GERMANY
Based on the United States’ EB-5 Investment Visa Program, Germany’s version uses the same principles of providing incentives to encourage foreign investors to either start up new business or invest in established businesses, employing local German citizens. The ultimate reward for the investor is a German passport and citizenship; this is a different approach to other citizenship through investment strategies which grant a passport in return for purely financial investment.
REQUIREMENTS FOR APPLICANTS
The most significant requirement to be met is the financial ability to do so. This requires applicants to invest one million EURO. The investment can be to start a new business, or to assume control of an existing one. If investment is in a new business, that business must create 10 new jobs for German citizens. If the business is an existing one, that business must also employ 10 German citizens. Upon establishment of the business, applicants and members of their families are eligible to make application for residency permits.
After the business has been functioning profitably for three years, applicants and dependants are eligible for an unlimited permanent residence permit. Once this has been granted, the holders are able to leave and re-enter Germany without limitation. Following five years of residency, applicants may seek permanent residency status, the precursor to full German citizenship. It should be noted that during the first five years of residency there is an expectation that applicants will become fluent in the German language and gain knowledge of German culture and its legal system.
- Applicants must be able to invest €1 million in a new business or to gain control of an established one
- Applicants must either create 10 jobs for German citizens in a new business or employ 10 German citizens in existing business
- Family members of the applicant are included in the Program with regard to attaining residency and citizenship
- The whole process leading to German citizenship and obtaining a German passport can be completed in five years
POSITIVES AND NEGATIVES OF LIVING IN GERMANY
Germany offers a standard of living, including education and health care that is among the best in Europe. Property is relatively inexpensive and the general cost of living is very reasonable. Streets are kept clean and are safe, with the German people displaying a tolerant and friendly disposition towards foreigners.
It is difficult to identify any negative aspects to living in Germany.