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Citizenship guide
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European passport

Live and work in Europe with Imperial & Legal

What is a European passport?

A European passport is a passport of any member country of the European Union, but at the same time it is an EU passport because it gives the rights to live, work and study in any EU country.

Apart from citizenship rights of an EU citizen, an EU passport opens borders of many countries worldwide. It is ideal for businessmen and entrepreneurs that want to live in the EU and do business there, but at the same time need freedom to travel visa-free in order to grow their business and build international relationships.

One way of becoming an EU citizen is obtaining a second passport either directly or through obtaining permanent residence first. EU countries, such as Malta, Spain, Latvia, Cyprus, Portugal, UK, Belgium, Switzerland, Jersey, Guernsey, etc. are the countries that offers permanent residence or second citizenship through their residence by investment and citizenship by investment programs.

Which countries offer European citizenship by investment programs?

If you’d like to learn more about each particular country and program, refer to the corresponding page of the country.

Malta citizenship by investment

Cyprus citizenship by investment

Montenegro citizenship by investment

British citizenship by investment

Which countries offer European residence by investment programs?

Spain residence by investment

Portugal residence by investment

Latvia residence by investment

Belgium residence by investment

Switzerland residence by investment

Jersey residence by investment

Guernsey residence by investment

Benefits of obtaining a European passport

There is a world of opportunities that a European passport can offer to a foreign citizen that wishes to get permanent residence by investment or citizenship by investment. Here we give just a few of the benefits of residence by investment programs and citizenship by investment programs offered by some EU countries.

European rights

A European passport, for example a passport of Malta or Cyprus, offers the following European rights for EU citizens:

  • Right to live in any EU country
  • Right to study in any EU country
  • Right to work in any EU country
  • Right to move freely around Europe
  • Right to retire in any EU country, etc.

Visa-free travel

A European passport offers visa-free entry to around 160 countries, including Schengen states and UK. For example, a passport of Cyprus gives visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 156 countries, and the best passports in terms of visa-free travel are passport of Spain (164 countries) and passports of Portugal, Belgium, UK and Switzerland (163 countries). Malta’s passport is a door to 161 countries and Latvia’s passport to 160 countries.

Tax benefits

A European passport and careful planning can decrease tax burden and protect assets, especially for high net worth and ultra-high net worth individuals.

Every affluent individual or successful businessman has at least once heard about lump-sum taxation in Switzerland. Portugal, particularly Madeira, has a preferential taxation regime. Guernsey offers a special high-income tax regime to cap tax liability and there is no VAT on the island. There are no net-wealth, inheritance or real property taxes in Malta. Dividends and interest income is not taxed in Cyprus, and neither are inheritance or gifts.

Some European countries, such as UK and Malta, offer a special basis for taxation of non-domiciled residents; their foreign income is only taxed in the country of residence when earned or remitted there.

EU Citizenship for the whole family

European residence by investment programs and citizenship by investment programs offer permanent residence and second passport to eligible family members of the main applicant. Eligible dependants include a spouse of the main applicant, financially dependent children and financially dependent parents and/or grandparents.

Moreover, citizenship is passed to future generations by descent. This way you provide for a better future and life not only for yourself but for all generations to come.

Dual citizenship

Many European countries permit dual citizenship, so neither you nor your family members have to renounce your current citizenship. You can read more about dual citizenship here.

Affordable investments

Residence by investment programs are more affordable than citizenship by investment programs. For example, Latvia’s residence by investment program costs just €50,000, while to get a passport of Cyprus you need to invest at least €2,000,000. There is no investment in Switzerland residence program, but you can only apply for a Swiss passport in 12 years. In most cases there is a direct correlation between the investment amount and time to citizenship, so it is always your choice.

Imperial & Legal works on the global market providing advice and support for the European residence by investment programs and citizenship by investment programs. We assist our clients and their families in obtaining their second passport in a country of their choice.

We strongly believe in offering our valued customers only bespoke and personalised services, that’s why we know which investment program for getting permanent residence or a second citizenship is best for you and your family. Be it visa-free travel, beneficial taxation or security, there is a program and a country for everyone.

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