Countries with minimal requirements on physical presence?

Hi there,

I’m brand new to the community so apologies if this question has been asked, but there are a lot of threads on this forum!

I just read the Permanent Traveler article where it mentions setting up a domicile in a country that provides “permanent residence visa with minimal requirements on physical presence

Is there a list of such countries, and info about their visa requirements? The article just mentions: “Panama, UAE, Costa Rica, Paraguay, Cyprus, Malta, and a handful other jurisdictions.


I’m not sure how limited you’re talking about Mike, but Panama is very limited. If memory serves me it’s only a few days every 2 years, but the issue with that period of time is that it’s likely never to meet a domicile test.

Where I am in Andorra there’s a residence category known as “passive residence” and this only requires your presence for 90 days of the year. The theory is that you won’t spend more than 90 days in any other country either, so Andorra will be the country you spend the most time in.

I don’t have a detailed list I’m sorry, but I’d just browse through the usual suspects and make a spreadsheet of the minimum number of days for each.

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i did a simple google search and came up with at least 6 countries.

I’ve obviously googled quite a bit, but there’s a lot of outdated, misleading, and incorrect information. I am looking for trusted sources and well-researched articles.

Most “articles” are going to be disguised promotional materials. Additionally the laws are changing in material ways each year, more so in the last 1-2 years. So, yes, the articles are going to be outdated and biased. The trusted sources probably won’t be so trusted. In short, there is no substitute for doing your own research. There really are not that many countries that will give residency without wanting something in return.

You’d think that for some countries the “something in return” would be tax revenue and/or contributions to the local economy in the form of real estate, rentals, financial services, and other costs of living and operating.

In short, there is no substitute for doing your own research.

I am certainly doing plenty of my own research. My reason for posting is that it seemed from the article that some countries are well known/documented for this, and that would give me a good starting point for my own personal research.

There are, but there’s a lot of ifs ands maybes and caveats. Have you considered the ancestry angles? Are you willing to fork for GVs? How much time are you willing to commit on the ground for how long in order to get PR, or do you want easy PR with total minimal time on ground ever? The answers just don’t fit themselves into a short easy to maintain list, and the articles required make for a ton of writing.

FWIW, Costa Rica is NOT your easy answer. It’s 4mo/yr for a long time to get and keep residence, there is no real PR, you naturalize after 7 years IIRC. Malta you can get it if you fork over for GV. Same for Portugal, Greece, Spain. Some others. Panama is really the go-to answer for the cheaper simple option, a day a year, if you meet the criteria.

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Thanks for the info about Costa Rica. 4 months/year is actually better than many other options.

In my own research Panama has come up along with possibly UAE and some Caribbean nations. Most countries expect around 180 days presence per year. How strictly each country enforces these rules seems to vary widely though, but that sort of info is harder to track down.

At any rate, I’ve begun leaning more towards picking a country I’m ok with spending some time in and going the more standard residency visa route.

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