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10 of the Best Investors’ Residence Programs in South America
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10 of the Best Investors’ Residence Programs in South America

Did you know that several South American countries offer creative ways to minimize taxes you would otherwise pay by residing in your country? Some of the countries even charge 0% taxes on income or revenue.

This article discusses top South American nations offering residence programs with favorable tax rates and reasonable investment requirements.


The country is a hidden gem for investors looking to benefit from low taxes. Moreover, Bolivia is much cheaper to live in than other countries surrounding it. The landlocked nation has a stable political environment, so it’s conducive to entrepreneurship.

Bolivia enjoys economic diversity, facilitating multiple investment opportunities. According to data from the Bolivian Institute of Foreign Trade, Bolivia had the lowest accumulated inflation in Latin America as of October 2021.

You have several ways to acquire residency in Bolivia as an investor:

  • Specific purpose visa: Temporary, 30-day visa. Show proof of your intended activities.
  • Multiple-entry visa: Runs for a year, extendable by another year. Great fit if you intend to run a business in the country without living in it.
  • Temporary resident visa: One or two-year options. Grants same status as a Bolivian investor.
  • Permanent resident: Acquire one after living in the country for over two years.

The requirements for obtaining investment residency are at least $30,000 sunk into a local business or real estate investment, showing proof of residency, and passing a criminal background check. Some of the benefits of a Bolivian passport include:

  • Low cost of living
  • You can bring your family
  • Diverse investment options
  •  Low taxes – tax exemptions for agriculture, tourism, mining, forestry, renewable energy, infrastructure projects, and industrial manufacturing


Venezuela boasts extensive oil and natural deposits. It’s the largest oil exporter in South America, accounting for 50% of its GDP. Services, industry, and agriculture are the three main drivers of the economy.

Unlike other investor programs, Venezuela does not have specific minimum amounts for investment requirements, but you must acquire 20% shares of an existing business. Investors make their offer, and the authorities will decide if it is sufficient.

Immigration issues a renewable, 3-year temporary residence initially. You can acquire a residency visa (valid for five years) after two years of your stay. The most popular ways to gain residency include:

  • Transient Investor Visa (TR-I)
  • Transient Business Visa (TR-N)

The country charges a tax on all the investors’ earnings (including worldwide). They charge personal and business income from 6-34% on a sliding scale. WHT tax is 1% on sale prices, while dividend income can vary from 34%, 10%, 5%, or 0%.  

The major advantages of a Venezuela residency include:

  • Low-cost living
  • Dual citizenship
  • A clear path to citizenship
  • Taxes can be as low as 0%


Uruguay enjoys one of the most robust economies in Latin America, bolstered by the services, energy, industry, and agriculture sectors. The country boasts beautiful beaches, low crime rates, and even lower tax rates.

To acquire Uruguayan residency, you only have to prove a steady income of over $1,500. You can obtain a permanent residency after 6-12 months of continued stay in the country, which you can apply for after entering the country as a tourist.

Apart from its economic and political stability, here’s why you would want to reside in Uruguay:

  • Tax breaks, exemptions, and tax-free incentives
  • People refer to Uruguay as the Switzerland of South America, as it bears a strong semblance of a European lifestyle
  • Obtaining residency is fairly straightforward
  • Earn tax exemptions on worldwide income for 11 years
  • Visa-free entry to all South American countries and the European Schengen Zone

For as little as $390,000 investment in real estate or $1.7 million in a company that generates at least 15 jobs annually and a 60-day stay in the country for at least a year, you can acquire citizenship in Uruguay.


If you’re looking to invest in South America, Ecuador should be a serious contender. The country has the 8th largest economy in the continent, fueled by the services, industry, and agricultural industries. The leading exports include oil, shrimp, bananas, and gold.

You can choose from a variety of residency options:

  1. Investor visa – make a real estate (minimum $42,500) or local economy investment (minimum $25,000) in a company or start yours.
  2. Rentista visa – for remote workers not working at an Ecuadorian company. Must make three times the minimum wage in Ecuador.
  3. Pensioner visa – prove you have a regular, lifetime-guaranteed income pension scheme or fund at 3X the minimum wage. You also need to prove accommodation for at least two years.
  4. Bank deposit – make a minimum $42,500 deposit and leave it untouched for at least four years. Apply for citizenship after four years without a requirement for any investment after that.
  5. Professional visa – have a university degree and a minimum $400 recurring income.

Whichever residencey visa you settle on, expect the following:

  • Low visa charges and minimum investment requirements
  • Dual citizenship
  • Citizens can import vehicles up to a certain value duty-free
  • Low tax rates, for instance, 25% corporate tax, VAT 12%, Dividends tax 10%


The Paraguay Residence by Investment Program is one of the most cost-effective South American immigration options for investors.

People in Paraguay mainly speak Spanish. Agriculture exports and oil imports play crucial roles in its economy, with Uruguay, Brazil, and Argentina as main trading partners.

Investing US$70,000 through the country’s Permanent Residency program entitles you to permanent residency in Paraguay. It’s not a requirement to shell out the cash all at once, but you should outline how you intend to spend it over the next decade in your business plan.

Here is what you stand to gain when investing in permanent residence in Paraguay:

  • Visa-free travel: A Paraguayan passport entitles you to visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to more than 130 countries, including the EU, Russia, and the UK.
  • Tax benefits: The country has some of the lowest taxes in South America.
  • US employment visa: You can quickly obtain a work visa in the US as a Paraguayan citizen.
  • Settle in any MERCOSUR country: Citizens of Paraguay are free to move to any of the other MERCOSUR countries, including Brazil, Argentina, and Uruguay.


The Brazil investor visa (Golden Visa) grants permanent residency in Brazil. It’s an initiative aimed at bringing foreign currency to the country’s economy. 

Brazil has one of the world’s top 12 largest economies and is home to the world’s largest manufacturing sector and a wide range of innovative service providers. Its major economic drivers are the textile, machinery and equipment, agricultural, and automotive sectors.

To be eligible for the Brazil Investor Visa Program, you must invest at least R$500,000 or $100k in commercial investment or R$700,000 to R$1,000,000 or $200,000 in real estate investment.

Advantages of the Brazil Investor Visa Program include:

  • Visa-free travel: Travel to 164 countries without a visa, including 59 that offer electronic visas or visas upon arrival.
  • Investment opportunities: The Brazilian economy is sizable and competitive, with the best in the world.
  • Incentives: Brazil provides several incentives to attract and retain foreign investors.
  • Work and live permit: An investor visa grants holders the right to stay in Brazil indefinitely.


The Colombia Business Investor Visa is a program established to attract foreign firms and investors to make investments in Colombia and boost the country’s economy. 

Colombia is the fourth largest economy in Latin America. The petroleum industry accounts for 49% of its exports. It also boasts one of the largest shipbuilding industry in the world. 

Currently, you need a minimum investment of 754,000,000 Pesos (approximately $160,426) in real estate or company stock to secure residency.

Investors can benefit from The Colombia Business Investor Visa in the following ways:

  • Residency and work permit: The visa holders and their immediate families can reside and work legally in Colombia.
  • Tax benefits: Investors with valid Colombian Investment Visas are eligible for several tax breaks, such as lower tax rates or exemptions depending on the sectors they have invested in.
  • Access to social services: Access to the country’s public and social services, such as healthcare, education, and transport.


The country is a rapidly growing emerging market reliant on commodity exports. Its government welcomes investors to learn more about the country’s investment opportunities.

Peru has recorded robust GDP growth rates in recent years, and the country’s currency exchange rate and inflation rate have remained stable at historically low levels.

Investors who can either invest 500,000 Soles in a publicly traded Peruvian company or establish their own Peruvian business independently are eligible to apply for Peru’s Independent Investor Visa. 

You stand to gain from a Peruvian residency in the following ways:

  • Residency and work permit: The visa will enable you and your dependents to stay and work in Peru.
  • Tax benefits: The Peru Investment Visa will allow you to travel visa-free to over 135 countries.
  • More investment opportunities: The program opens the door to business opportunities in Peru, allowing foreign investors to participate in the country’s economic growth.
  • Education and healthcare: You can access Peruvian healthcare and send your children to Peruvian schools. 


The Argentina Investment Residence Program (or Argentine Investor Visa) is an initiative to encourage international investment in the country and boost its economy. 

Famous for its Andes Mountains, glacial lakes, and football, Argentina is a South American country with the third-largest economy in Latin America.

Argentina is both a developing nation and an emerging market, with abundant valuable natural resources. Manufacturing, tourism, service, and energy sectors account for most of the economy’s output.

You may need a minimum ARS 1,500,000 investment in a business to get an Argentine Investor Visa.

The Argentina Investment Residence Program provides several pros to international investors, such as:

  • Visa-free travel: When an investor obtains permanent residency through the Argentina Investor Visa program, they enjoy visa-free entry and exit from the country.
  • Tax benefits: Investors in Argentina can take advantage of several tax breaks, including an exemption from paying capital gains tax on profits from investments in specific industries. The country also has a territorial tax system.
  • Education and healthcare: Families of visa holders are eligible for Argentine healthcare and education.
  • Wider market access: Investors can enter the third-largest economy in Latin America by applying for permanent residency through Argentina’s Investor Visa program.


Chile, like many other countries, has its residence-by-investment program. Many well-off investors can benefit from this, especially those needing to acquire second citizenship fast. 

The country has become an increasingly popular destination for foreigners seeking a friendly and secure place to settle down. It’s one of the most cost-effective, convenient, and low-maintenance places to call home worldwide.

Chile’s economy is one of the fast-growing in South America. The country offers lucrative investment opportunities in real estate, mining, infrastructure, technology, tourism, and energy.

The World Bank classifies Chile’s economy as high-income and widely regards it as the most prosperous and stable country in South America. 

To be eligible, you must own a foreign company with a physical presence (with at least 10% foreign capital) or have a project in its planning or execution stages valued at least US$500,000 in Chile. 

Benefits of the Chile Investor Visa Program include:

  • Residency and work permit: The visa enables foreign investors and the members of their immediate families to live and work legally in Chile.
  • Education and health: Healthcare and educational services are available to visa holders and their families.
  • Tax benefits: Chile provides incentives and a welcoming business environment to attract foreign investment, such as tax breaks.
  • Visa-free travel: Chile has an excellent passport that allows visa-free US and EU entry. 

Final Word

Before deciding to invest in any of these countries, research their immigration websites for updated requirements, as they change occasionally. Be aware that the application process is tedious, and some countries don’t even allow you to apply directly for an investment visa.

In such a case, Wealthy Expat could be of help. At Wealthy Expat, we assist our clients secure residency in regions that reduce their taxes and protect their assets.

Contact or call us at +971504857297 if you need to secure residence in South America and enjoy minimal taxes.


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