Migration: How Residence By Investment Works

  Nigeria is a country with a rich cultural heritage. However, some Nigerians want to immigrate to other countries to pursue better opportunities and improve … Continue reading Migration: How Residence By Investment Works


Nigeria is a country with a rich cultural heritage. However, some Nigerians want to immigrate to other countries to pursue better opportunities and improve their quality of life. If you’re one of them, you’re probably wondering where to start your search for a future second home. 

In this article, we’ll explore potential countries to depart from Nigeria. They offer government programs which allow investors to obtain residence permits by purchasing properties or other assets.

Residence by investment is a popular way for individuals and families to immigrate to new countries and enjoy the many benefits of living and working abroad. Applicants can gain residency status by investing €150,000 or more. The perks that come with it include access to high-quality healthcare, education, and a high standard of living. 

At Immigrant Invest, we specialise in helping individuals and families find the right immigration solution for their needs. Our team of experts has extensive knowledge of immigration laws and policies in various countries, and we’re committed to providing personalised and professional services to our clients. 

For Nigerians looking for the best country to relocate to from Nigeria, please note that there are many potential countries to consider for residence by investment. Here are some of the top options.


Portugal is one of the best countries to immigrate to from Nigeria because of its high standard of living, welcoming culture, safety and the variety of paths to residency for investors and entrepreneurs.

The main benefits of immigrating to Portugal include the following: 

  1. A well-developed healthcare system that provides high-quality medical care to its residents. Many medical professionals speak English, making it easy for Nigerians to access healthcare services.
  2. Affordable cost of living, which is relatively low compared to other countries in the region. The particular costs vary depending on one’s lifestyle and location. On average, a single person needs about €600, and a family of four needs about €2,100 on everyday expenses per month, excluding rent.
  3. Safety. Portugal is known for having one of the lowest crime rates in Europe. The country is considered to be very safe, with low levels of violent crime and theft.
  4. Tax incentives for new tax residents. They may apply for a 10-year Non-habitual Resident status, allowing them to pay taxes from income earned in Portugal at a fixed 20% rate and optimise some other taxes.
  5. Vibrant culture, picturesque nature and beautiful cities and towns.

Once a Nigerian has obtained a Portugal residence permit, they can live and work in the country and travel throughout the Schengen Area for 90 days in any 180.

After five years of continuous residence, residents can apply for permanent residence or Portuguese citizenship. The Portuguese passport, which ranks among the world’s most powerful, enables visa-free travel to 188 countries and freedom to live in any EU country.

Portugal’s Golden Visa is one of the most popular residency-by-investment programs globally, and it offers many attractive benefits for Nigerians looking to immigrate. 

By investing €250,000+, applicants can gain residency status, allowing them to move to Portugal or visit the country anytime. There’s no obligation to reside in the state: investors may visit it for seven days a year to retain residency. 

The Portuguese government is now discussing a bill that will terminate the Golden Visa program. However, according to the renewed text of the document, investors’ applications that will be submitted before the law comes into force might proceed. Thus, investors have some time to apply.

If this program is no longer available in the near future, other options exist, such as the Portugal D7 Visa and the Startup Visa.
The Portugal D7 Visa is also known as the passive income visa. It provides excellent opportunities for financially independent Nigerians who dream of relocating to a picturesque European country and obtaining a passport of an EU state in future.

With a minimum income requirement of €760 per month, the D7 visa caters to pensioners, investors, and individuals with sustainable passive income sources. Successful applicants receive their visas, and then residence permits, granting them the right to work in the country.

D7 visa holders must spend at least 183 days per year in Portugal to maintain residency.

The Portugal Startup Visa is designed for ambitious entrepreneurs seeking to launch innovative projects in Portugal. 

The main applicant must be a non-EU citizen or resident, and up to five startup founders can be included in the application. The minimum bank balance requirement is €5,176 for each applicant; this amount is relatively low compared to other visas’ requirements. Also, residents must provide proof of having accommodation — rented or owned housing.

There is no mandatory investment threshold for opening a company; entrepreneurs can allocate funds to develop the project, relocate their existing business to Portugal, or establish a new venture.

The Startup Visa applicants collaborate with a Portuguese business incubator and present their project to IAPMEI, the Portuguese agency responsible for funding entrepreneurial programs. The project must have the prospects to create highly-qualified jobs and reach €325,000+ of annual turnover or assets value in five years.

Upon approval, applicants receive a Portugal residence permit, initially valid for two years and renewable for three years. Family members may also obtain residency through family reunification. 

To maintain residency, StartUp Visa holders must spend at least 183 days per year in Portugal.

For Nigerian entrepreneurs, the Portugal StartUp Visa is an exciting opportunity to bring their innovative ideas to life in a supportive business environment while using the benefits of European residency.


The Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) allows Nigerian investors to live in the country and travel to the Schengen Area without a visa for 90 days within 180. 
The main benefits of immigrating to Malta include the following: 

  1. Stable political and economic environment. Malta has a well-established democracy, a strong legal system, and a stable economy with a low inflation rate.
  2. A high standard of living, with access to high-quality healthcare, education, and social services. The country has a well-developed infrastructure, and a wide range of cultural and recreational activities are available to residents.
  3. The English language is one of the official languages of Malta, and it’s widely spoken. About 90% of locals use English in everyday conversations.
  4. The tax system may be beneficial compared to some other countries: for example, companies’ shareholders may return up to 100% of the corporate tax paid in Malta.
  5. The warm sunny climate and the opportunity to live by the Mediterranean Sea.

The Malta Permanent Residence Programme (MPRP) is available to investors from countries outside the European Economic Community (EEC). It allows HNWIs to obtain permanent residence permits.

Investors may include spouses, children, parents, and grandparents in residency applications.
To qualify for the MPRP, applicants must fulfil several investment conditions:

  1. Purchasing real estate for €300,000+ in the south of Malta and the island of Gozo or for €350,000+ in other regions.
  2. Renting real estate as an alternative to purchasing. The minimum annual price is €10,000+ for housing in the south of Malta and the island of Gozo and €12,000+ in other regions.
  3. Paying an administrative fee of €40,000.
  4. Contributing €28,000+ if one buys real estate and €58,000+ if one rents housing. An additional €7,500 is paid for each parent or grandparent.
  5. Making a charitable donation to a non-government organisation — €2,000.
  6. Confirming one has a minimum €500,000 of assets, including at least €150,000 of liquid assets.

Malta permanent residence is granted for life, but the residence card must be renewed every five years — a less frequent requirement than the one for temporary residence permits.

Significantly, investors are not obliged to live in Malta to obtain or maintain permanent residence status. They can create a “safe haven” by purchasing or renting property and opening a bank account to transfer capital into the country. If any issues arise in their country of living, investors and their families can swiftly relocate to Malta.
For Nigerians seeking a secure and stable European base, the Malta Permanent Residence Programme presents an attractive opportunity to establish a lifelong connection to this beautiful island country. Additionally, they may use the benefits of visa-free travel within the Schengen Area and running a business in the country.

Ngozi, a Nigerian entrepreneur who obtained Malta’s permanent residence permit with Immigrant Invest, commented on his goals: “I was attracting more and more European customers but had to work with them through a partner. I didn’t like the fact that my business depended on someone else too much. I wanted to work with clients directly. So I decided to obtain a residence permit in Europe — and chose Malta.” 


Greece is another country to consider when choosing a place to get a residence permit and relocate.

The following are some of the main benefits of immigrating to Greece

  1. A warm Mediterranean climate with long, sunny summers and mild winters makes Greece an excellent destination for those looking to escape cold or rainy weather.
  2. A relatively affordable place to live in. The cost of living in Greece is quite low compared to other countries in the region. A rough estimate of the monthly expenses for a single person living in the country is €740, and a family of four needs about €2,500 without rent. These costs can vary depending on your lifestyle and the city you choose to live in.
  3. A strong education system that provides free education in schools and universities.
  4. A well-developed healthcare system that provides high-quality medical care to residents.
  5. A nice place to live, with rich history and cultural heritage, delicious cuisine and beautiful nature.

The Greece Golden Visa is a program that allows foreign nationals to obtain residency in Greece in exchange for making a significant investment in the country. 

Under the program, Nigerians can obtain residency in Greece by investing €250,000+ in real estate or €400,000+ in securities or deposits. An investor can also invite family members: spouses, children under 21 and parents.

“My wife has always dreamt of moving from Africa to Europe, and as time went by, I got into the idea. We chose Greece: it is a lovely country that offers residence permits under very attractive conditions, and wasting this opportunity is not for us,” — said Umar, a shareholder in a family business from Nigeria. He obtained Greek residence permits for himself and his family members.

After getting residence permits, Greece Golden Visa holders are not obliged to live in the country. However, if they choose to move, they may apply for citizenship after 7+ years of residence.


Another attractive country to relocate to is Cyprus — an island state in the Mediterranean and a member of the EU.

Some of the main benefits of immigrating to Cyprus are the following:

  1. The country is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa, making it an important hub for international trade and commerce.
  2. Cyprus offers a high standard of living. Residents get access to quality healthcare, education and other social services. Also, there are many leisure opportunities.
  3. Cyprus has a favourable tax system for foreign residents. Also, it provides some tax incentives for entrepreneurs and investors, making it an attractive location for those looking to start a business. For instance, the corporate tax rate in the country is a competitive 12.5%. 

Cyprus permanent residence program offers Nigerians a unique opportunity to get a life-long residence status by investing at least €300,000 in real estate or securities. One can invest in residential or commercial real estate.

Investors may live in Cyprus, but it’s not an obligation. This program requires only a single mandatory visit to the country every two years. 

After five years of living there, permanent residents can apply for citizenship in Cyprus. A passport grants its holder visa-free travel to 170+ countries, including the European Union and the UK. 

These perks make the Cyprus Permanent Residency Program an appealing option for Nigerians seeking to optimise their tax situation while accessing the lucrative European business environment and enjoying the prospect of future citizenship. 

The United Arab Emirates

The UAE is a popular destination among expats: about 80% of the country’s population are foreigners. Let’s discuss the benefits and ways to move there.

Some of the benefits of immigrating to the UAE are the following:

  1. A beneficial tax system without taxes on income or capital gains makes the country attractive for professionals and investors who want to keep more of their earnings.
  2. One of the fastest-growing economies in the world, with a thriving business sector and a range of opportunities for entrepreneurs and investors.
  3. Cosmopolitan lifestyle with a mix of cultures and nationalities living and working together in harmony. The country has thriving arts and culture, including various recreational activities.
  4. A high standard of living: the UAE is known as a safe country with high-quality education and healthcare.

The UAE Golden Visa allows foreign nationals like Nigerians to obtain residency in the country in exchange for an investment or other merit. Investors, entrepreneurs, qualified professionals and talents are eligible to apply for a visa.

Investors may obtain a 10-year UAE Golden Visa by investing AED 2 million (about $545,000) in real estate. Also, there’s an opportunity for investors who buy objects for AED 750,000+ (about $204,000) — they may apply for a 2-year residence visa.

Main points on the countries to move from Nigeria as an investor

  1. Some countries allow Nigerians to get residence permits by investing in real estate, securities or other assets. It’s an opportunity to get residency in several months and skip some difficulties that are usually connected to the process, such as looking for a job abroad to get a permit or living in the country permanently after obtaining it.
  2. Portugal, Malta, Greece and Cyprus are among the European countries where investors may apply for residency by investment. The UAE also provides investors and entrepreneurs with Golden Visas.
  3. A residence permit allows one to relocate from Nigeria or create a safe haven and get access to new business opportunities and a new standard of living for the whole family.