A Look At The Best Secondary Residency Programs For Luxury Real Estate Investors

By Sotheby's International Realty |

Niko Lakovic – Montenegro Sotheby’s International Realty

The concept of “home” has evolved. The mobility afforded by hybrid ways of working, combined with access to international residency programs, means that luxury real estate investors can now diversify their portfolios in some of the most desirable locations in the world.

These programs provide valuable opportunities to become deeply entrenched in perspective-broadening international experiences not to be found in one’s primary country of residence. Let’s take a look at four countries that offer programs that cater to foreign investors.

New Zealand: The Investor Plus Visa Program

Scarlett Wood and Patrick McAteer – New Zealand Sotheby’s International Realty

New Zealand is renowned for its picturesque landscapes and relaxed lifestyle, making it a sought-after destination for those seeking refuge from the stresses of city life. With its unspoiled wildlife, scenic mountains, and active volcanoes, the country has much to offer for those who wish to gaze upon or adventure amidst its natural splendor.

But New Zealand’s allure extends beyond its stunning scenery, as it offers an attractive Investor Plus Visa Program. This program grants permanent residence to those who make a significant financial investment in New Zealand, allowing them and their immediate family to live, work, and study in New Zealand.

Among the exclusive properties available is Towers Bay Lodge in Kaiteriteri, Nelson. This award-winning, luxurious retreat offers unparalleled seclusion, breathtaking ocean views from every level, and more than 1,300 feet of private beach. Immerse yourself in the beauty of New Zealand’s golden sands and crystal-clear waters as you unwind in your own piece of paradise.

Montenegro: Eastern Europe’s Hidden Gem

Niko Lakovic – Montenegro Sotheby’s International Realty

Nestled between the Adriatic Sea and the Dinaric Alps, Montenegro is an Eastern European country that has yet to be fully discovered by tourists. Its stunning coastline, quaint towns, and rich history make it a hidden gem for luxury investors.

This makes the fact that foreign investors are able to buy property in Montenegro without any restrictions welcome news—and those who own property or run local companies may be eligible for longer residency. After five years of maintaining temporary residency, investors can apply for permanent residency. And after 10 years, they may even qualify for Montenegrin citizenship.

Once you land in Montenegro, explore the beautiful coastal town of Sveti Stefan and its surrounding areas. Casa Mare e Monti, a one-of-a-kind luxury mansion, offers over 21,500 square feet of residential space with breathtaking vistas and access to private beaches. Featuring 12 bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, and a pool house on an expansive plot of land, this property offers the perfect Adriatic retreat.

Portugal: The Golden Visa Program

Virgolino Gomes – Portugal Sotheby’s International Realty

Situated along the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal offers a captivating blend of rich history, astonishing landscapes, and a welcoming culture. Its mild Mediterranean climate makes it an attractive option for those seeking a high quality of life with easy access to both picturesque beaches and historic cities.

The country’s Golden Visa Program has become a popular choice for luxury real estate investors, granting residency to those investing €280,000 to €500,000—and they can also qualify for citizenship within five years. While the program is undergoing changes that may limit future investment options, there are still opportunities such as capital transfers to venture capital funds, the creation of jobs, and investments in research activities.

Consider this exclusive villa in vibrant Albufeira, Algarve, for a taste of distinctly Portuguese opulence. A contemporary four-bedroom villa offering a breathtaking sea view, the property has been recently augmented with luxury finishes, and stands out for its modern and unmistakable style. And as it’s just two minutes from the amenity-rich Albufeira marina, the villa boasts a prime location for marine enthusiasts.

Hong Kong: A Gateway to Asia

May Lo – List Sotheby’s International Realty

Known as a hub for international business and finance, Hong Kong is a sought-after destination for luxury real estate investors in Asia. With a strong economy and access to some of the most luxurious properties in Asia, this independent city is an ideal location for would-be investors.

While secondary passports are currently limited in Hong Kong, foreigners enjoy the same ownership rights as locals when buying property in the city. Entrepreneurs seeking to establish or join businesses in Hong Kong can also apply for a 36-month visa through the Investment as an Entrepreneur program.

Among the most notable properties is Redhill Peninsula, a luxurious development in Tai Tam, part of the Southern District of Hong Kong. With awe-inspiring sightlines and an infinity pool overlooking the South China Sea, this property features open-plan living spaces, state-of-the-art kitchens, and marble bathrooms fit for royalty.

As the potential to live abroad increases, our idea of “home” shifts accordingly. No longer is it merely where we are—now, it can be where we truly want to be.