El Salvador has unveiled its innovative “Freedom VISA” initiative, aiming to attract bitcoin and crypto millionaires to become long-term residents in the country. Launched on Thursday, the program offers residency to a maximum of 1,000 individuals annually who invest a minimum of $1 million in bitcoin or tether (USDT) stablecoins. Eligible participants not only secure a long-term residency permit but also gain a pathway to full citizenship. The application, costing a non-refundable $999 in BTC or USDT, is handled through Tether Global, the issuer of USDT.
This groundbreaking approach parallels the “Golden VISA” concept in other nations, where wealthy individuals invest in bonds or property for residency permits. However, El Salvador’s distinctiveness lies in accepting bitcoin and tether investments for residency—a global first. If the quota is fulfilled each year, the country stands to receive a substantial influx of at least $1 billion in deposits.
This initiative follows El Salvador’s historic move in September 2021, making it the first country to recognize bitcoin as legal tender. With over 2,700 BTC in its treasury, the nation has garnered over $3 million in unrealized profit, showcasing its continued commitment to embracing cryptocurrencies in various aspects of its economic and social framework.