EU statement
EU statementiStock

Around 6% of Israeli people emigrate to other countries. Many of them choose Europe due to the region's high quality of life, stable economy, and business opportunities.

One of the quickest ways to settle in Europe or use its advantages is to obtain residency by investing in the specific country's economy.

This article delves into the six best EU Residency by Investment Programs for Israelis. They were listed by the Immigrant Invest experts working in immigration by investment since 2006.

4 Main Advantages of EU Residency

1. Safety and stability. The European Union generally offers a stable and secure environment, especially compared to some volatile situations in Israel's immediate neighborhood. Israelis seeking a respite from the political tensions of their home country might find solace in the EU.

Many EU countries are characterized by stable economies, providing security regarding investments, savings, and job opportunities.

2. Tax benefits. Some EU countries offer attractive tax incentives to attract foreign investors or professionals. For instance, Malta, Cyprus, and Portugal have schemes that can provide tax benefits for new residents, particularly for high-net-worth individuals.

3. Business opportunities. The European Union is one of the world's largest and most integrated economies.

For Israeli entrepreneurs and business owners, EU residency can provide many benefits. For example, increased access to markets and more accessible business registration processes. They also get the ability to tap into a vast network of potential customers, partners, and investors.

4. Education for children. EU residency can grant Israelis access to some of the world's top universities and educational institutions, often at local tuition rates much lower than international rates. Moreover, Israeli students can benefit from various EU scholarships and student exchange programs.

6. Italy

Italy's proximity, rich history, and Mediterranean flavors appeal to Israelis. Its ancient landmarks, from Roman ruins to Renaissance art, resonate with Israel's deep historical roots. The familiar Mediterranean cuisine, warm climate, and emphasis on family align with Israeli culture, making it a favored destination for relaxation and exploration.

Italy offers a residence-by-investment program, commonly called the "Investor Visa". The investor applying for an Italian residence permit can include their family members: a spouse, children and parents. One of the program's advantages is that children and parents can be added regardless of age.

Investment options under the program include:

  • Purchase of an Italian government bond for €2 million and committing to keep the investment for a minimum of two years;
  • Investing in an Italian company for at least €1 million in shares of a limited one or at least €500,000 in shares of an innovative start-up;
  • Philanthropic donation of at least €1 million to a project in fields such as culture, education, immigration management, research, or restoration of cultural and landscape assets.

“Italy has a special tax regime for wealthy individuals, investors included. This fixed tax covers all foreign income, meaning that, regardless of how much one earns outside of Italy, they would only pay the flat fee of €100,000”, explains Elena Ruda, Chief Development Officer in Immigrant Invest, lawyer.

In addition, a €25,000 substitute tax is applied for each qualifying family member who relocates to Italy with the main applicant.

5. Spain

Spain, conveniently accessible from Israel, entices Israelis with its rich Sephardic heritage, vibrant cities like Barcelona and Madrid, and sun-soaked beaches. The shared Mediterranean climate and flavors and Spain's diverse landscapes and festivals provide a familiar yet unique experience.

The country's historical Jewish quarters and synagogues also offer a connection to ancestral roots for many Israeli residents.

To become a Spanish resident, you can participate in the Spanish Golden Visa program. There are a wide variety of options, and in contrast with the Italian Golden Visa program, a Spanish one allows an investor to buy real estate to be eligible.

Investors can include their family members in the application. There are no limits for children and parents participating in the program alongside the investor.

To qualify, you must make one of the following investments:

  • Purchase of real estate for at least €500,000 in real estate properties. The sum can be spread across multiple properties as long as the total value meets or exceeds the threshold;
  • Purchase of Spanish public debt with a minimum value of €2 million;
  • Investment in shares of a minimum of €1 million;
  • Opening a bank deposit in Spanish financial institutions with at least €1 million in it;
  • Investment in business projects in Spain that are deemed to be of general interest. Typically, this means projects that create jobs, contribute to technological or scientific innovation, or have a significant socioeconomic impact.

4. Greece

In close proximity to Israel, Greece presents Israeli immigrants with a favourable Mediterranean climate and affordable living costs.

The country's deep-rooted history, intertwined with Jewish heritage, especially in places like Thessaloniki, offers cultural familiarity. The shared culinary flavours and emphasis on family-centric lifestyles can ease the transition for Israelis seeking a new yet relatable environment.

There are many investment options under the Greece residency by investment program.

However, Elena Ruda mentions that "the primary avenue to secure residency by investment in Greece is via the real estate route. The applicant must invest at least €250,000 in real estate property in Greece. It could be one or multiple properties if the combined value meets or exceeds the threshold".

Alternative investments include:

  • renting a hotel or tourist residence for 10 years for €250,000;
  • purchase of land plot for construction or agriculture for €250,000;
  • timeshare for 10 years — €250,000;
  • purchase of securities for €400,000;
  • opening a bank deposit with a minimum sum of €450,000;

If a person inherits real estate or receives it as a gift and its cost is at least €250,000, they also can get residency by investment.

“One of the main advantages of the Greece Residency by Investment is a flat tax. Foreigners who become tax residents pay a flat tax on their global income of €100,000 annually. The investor’s family members pay €20,000. It is especially beneficial for people with high global income because it can be taxed up to 45%”, adds Elena, founder of Immigrant Invest, lawyer.

3. Portugal

Portugal offers Israeli immigrants a mild climate, competitive cost of living, and opportunities through the Sephardic Jewish citizenship pathway. The country's history, infused with Jewish heritage, and a growing expatriate community provide newcomers with a sense of cultural familiarity and community.

"For many years, the purchase of real estate was the most popular option under the Portugal Golden Visa program. But in September 2023, it was dismissed. Still, investors don't need to worry; there are a wide range of available options", encouraged Elena Ruda, Chief Development Officer in Immigrant Invest, lawyer.

Portugal Golden Visa program still has the following ones:

  • supporting arts and restoring cultural heritage — €250,000;
  • purchase of investment funds units — €500,000;
  • investment in research activities — €500,000;
  • business investment — €500,000.

Besides the Golden Visa program, Portugal offers foreigners D7 and Digital Nomad Visas. They are issued if one proves to have a specific sum of money on them.

D7 Visa is designed for retirees and those living on a passive income, whether it's through pensions, rental income, or other stable sources.

Applicants must prove they have sufficient income to sustain themselves during their stay in Portugal. The exact amount can vary, but typically, it's based on the Portuguese minimum wage multiplied by the number of applicants. In 2023 it is €760.

Digital Nomad Visa is granted to people who can work remotely and have a monthly income of at least €3,040. Portugal is one of the few countries that allows investors to include siblings in the application. The majority of the programs enable adding spouses, children, and sometimes parents.

2. Malta

Malta, an English-speaking EU member, offers Israeli immigrants a warm Mediterranean climate, competitive living costs, and a strategic location between Europe and Africa. Its robust economy, particularly in sectors like iGaming and finance, presents job opportunities, while the island's compact size ensures close-knit communities and easy accessibility.

Malta has a Permanent Residency Programme that grants PR by investment.

“The program mandates specific financial commitments for applicants to qualify. All of them must be completed fully. The investor can’t choose one of the options”, explains Elena Ruda.

Rental or purchase of a property. Applicants buy a property in Malta for €300,000 if it’s located in the south of the country or on the Gozo island. If real estate is located in other parts of Malta, the minimum sum is €350.

Alternatively, if purchasing isn't the preferred route, there's an option to rent a property. The minimum annual rent might be around €12,000 for properties in primary areas and about €10,000 for those in the South of Malta or Gozo.

In both cases, a property must be maintained for five years.

An administrative fee of €40,000. Contribution fee. If the investor buys real estate, they must pay €28,000; if they rent it — €58,000. Charitable donation of €2,000.

A small minimum sum of investment characterizes Malta's Permanent Residence program. It can be as low as €150,000.

Another advantage is that the status is given for life, and one doesn't need to undergo the application procedure repeatedly. Another benefit is an opportunity to add four generations of family members, from children to grandparents, without age limits.


Cyprus, situated close to Israel, attracts Israeli immigrants with its appealing combination of stable economic opportunities, especially in the finance and tech sectors, and a relaxed island lifestyle. The tax incentives for businesses and foreign residents can be lucrative.

Additionally, its robust education system, which includes several English-speaking schools and universities, is a draw for families. Given its history of trade and cultural exchanges with the Levant, many Israelis find in Cyprus a familiar yet distinct Mediterranean ambiance.

“The primary method of securing permanent residency in Cyprus is buying real estate. The investor can buy a residential or commercial property for at least €300,000”. Elena Ruda, Chief Development Officer in Immigrant Invest, lawyer, says.

Other options also cost €300,000, and they are:

  • purchase of shares of Cypriot companies — it must conduct business and employ at least 5 employees;
  • purchase of securities.

Just like Malta Permanent Residence Cyprus, one is granted for life, so you wouldn't need to go through the application process again. Moreover, people with PR are eligible for Cypriot citizenship in just 5 years.

Before delving into the specifics of each program, it's crucial to understand the legal context. Each EU country has its legislative framework governing residency by investment. A key consideration is how these residency programs might lead to citizenship.

Paying attention to the chosen country's economic stability and growth potential, job opportunities, and cultural and linguistic adjustments is also essential.

To make sure the process of obtaining residency by investment is smooth, turn to professionals in the field of immigration by investment. Immigrant Invest has been helping foreigners get legal status in other countries since 2006. Our preliminary Due Diligence helps us reduce refusal risks down to 1%.