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Everything you need to know about citizenship and residence programs around the globe.
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Citizenship by investment programs are ideal for wealthy people who want to get second passport fast and at a reasonable price. First program started operating in 1984 on the Caribbean islands of St. Kitts and Nevis. Back then, a year after becoming independent and in such a need for investment, St. Kittitians would not have thought that their idea would become so popular.
As of mid-2019, there are at least 12 Citizenship by investment programs in the world, in the Caribbean, Europe, Asia and even Middle East. If you want to invest in a second passport, a choice can be very challenging. This is where this article can come very handy.
If you look closely, you will notice that countries offering passports to investors do not normally have a lot of natural resources or heavy engineering industry. Their wealth mainly relies on tourism, infrastructure projects and international companies attracted by a favourable tax regime. All these sectors need influx of money from outside through purchases of real estate, business investments or non-refundable contributions into government funds.
Citizenship schemes are win-win solutions. In return for your money, the government will give you a passport with the following opportunities:
Immigration lawyers at Imperial & Legal can offer several Citizenship by investment programs in different jurisdictions. We will talk about them in detail.
Citizenship by investment on one of the Caribbean islands that form part of the Commonwealth, has the following unique advantages:
First option is ideal for those who do not want to spend time managing their purchase. Besides, a fund contribution is much less than real estate investment. However, if you buy a flat or a share in a hotel, you can sell it in 3-5 years and return your money, maybe with a gain. Until then you will have your own apartment for a couple of weeks per year in a tropical paradise.
For your convenience we have made a table of Caribbean states that offer citizenship by investment programs, with pros and cons of each one of them. Things to consider: size of your family, refundable or non-refundable investment and extra costs. This will help you choose the best option for you.
Fast-track option – get your passport in 1.5-2 months
No income tax, no inheritance and gift tax, no capital gains tax
Visa-free travel to 156 countries including EU and UK
$150,000 – contribution to Sustainable Growth Fund
$200,000 – purchase of a share in real estate
Most affordable solution for a single applicant
Recover your money in 3 years with investment in real estate
Visa-free travel to 143 countries including EU and UK
$100,000 – donation to Economic Diversification Fund
$200,000 – investment in properties
Invest in real estate and get your money back in 3 years
Visa-free travel or visa on arrival with 144 countries including UK, China and EU
Apply for an Е2 work visa to the USA
$150,000 – contribution to National Transformation Fund
$220,000 – purchase of a property, whole or a share
Another great option for an investor without a family
Travel without a visa to 146 countries including Europe and UK
Apply for family members later
$100,000 – donation to National Economic Fund
$300,000 – property investment
$1,000,000 – business investment
Most affordable solution for a big family
No income tax, inheritance tax, capital gains tax and wealth tax
Visa-free entry to 151 countries
$100,000 – contribution to National Development Fund
$400,000 – joint investment in properties
$150,000 – non-refundable donation to UWI Education Fund
There are a few countries in Europe that secure money for their economies through investment programs. A European passport will cost you more, take longer to prepare the required documents and obtain citizenship and in most cases you will need to move to the country and live there.
Regardless of anything, European citizenship by investment programs are reliable and popular. Most of the time you will get an EU passport with all benefits it come with such as visa-free regime with many countries, right to live in and EU country, access to world-class education and healthcare. Besides, it will be easier to open a bank account in any EU and Swiss bank, even being a non-resident. For some of you Europe is closer to home.
Let’s have a look at European jurisdictions that offer their citizenship by investment programs, Malta, Cyprus and Montenegro, with the latter having just recently launched its scheme.
Visa-free access to 184 countries including USA
European standards of healthcare and education
Beneficial taxation for businesses
Right to live and work in any EU country
From €840,000 including:
€750,000* – government contribution
€700,000 – purchase or rent of real estate (rent from €16,000 a year) for at least 5 years
€10,000 – donation
Travel without visa to 174 countries
Citizenship in 6 months
Low corporation tax rate, no foreign income tax
You can return part of invested money in 5 years
Investment starts at €2,150,000 including:
€150,000 – 2 non-refundable donations
€500,000 – purchase of a home for life
€1,500,000 – investment in real estate, business or financial assets
Most affordable citizenship by investment program in Europe
124 countries without a visa
Passport in 6 months
Mild tax regime
€100,000 – contribution to a state fund
€250,000 – investment in real estate projects
*We are taking the amount of government contribution that buys you a Maltese passport in a year. If you can wait to get an EU passport in 3 years, you will need to pay €600,000.
If the Montenegrin minimum of €350,000 still seems too much for you, there is an alternative to a European passport – residence in Europe.
Latvia or Portugal Golden Visa will cost you significantly less than European passport, but it will also take much longer till you get naturalised, in average 5-7 years. If you have time and are ready to move to the country, then one of these programs is for you. You can learn more about them on our website.
It is not that UK economy desperately needs foreign investment; however, for the last few years it has been in the top 5 investment destinations of the world. Great Britain does not have any special government program that would give you a British passport in 3-6 months in return for your contribution to the economy, but they do have an Investor visa that offers certain perks.
Experienced immigration lawyers at Imperial & Legal would be happy to give you advice on any matter in relation to residence and citizenship by investment programs and work out the best solution for your needs and budget.
Today there is neither a wide choice of countries, nor a great number of investment options under European citizenship by investment programs.
If you want to obtain a European passport, your almost single option will be to obtain Malta citizenship on a fast-track basis. The investment in the economy of Malta starts at €1,310,000 per applicant. According to the procedure, first you must apply for residence permit and in three years you may apply for naturalisation.
If you don’t feel like waiting that long, you can obtain Montenegro citizenship by investment twice as fast as this – only in 6 months. The minimum investment in the economy of Montenegro is also not so high, it is €372,000 per person including all additional costs. Although Montenegro is not a member of the European Union, its citizens may enter the Schengen zone without any visa.
There are 4 Caribbean jurisdictions which offer citizenship by investment programs remotely and an applicant would not even need to visit their new country of nationality to swear allegiance or to fulfill bureaucratic procedures. These 4 are St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Dominica and Saint Lucia.
To get a Caribbean passport without leaving your house is possible because of two specific traits of investment programs in the region:
One might say that citizenship by investment on a relatively remote basis is possible in the following countries:
According to the Henley Passport index, citizens of Malta have visa-free access (or simplified access) to 184 countries, including the EU countries, the UK, Canada and the USA.
In other words, a passport of the Republic of Malta gives more opportunities of travelling the world without visas than a passport of any other jurisdiction, where economic citizenship by investment may be granted relatively fast.
Once again former British colonies offer the best opportunities. Caribbean passport tends to cost less than economic citizenship in Europe.
Minimum non-refundable investment to obtain citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and Saint Lucia is only $100,000, additional costs not included. The more dependants are included in your application, the more you will have to pay, but you will still have to pay less than to get citizenship in Europe.
If the possibility to obtain second citizenship in 4-12 months is not crucial for you, you have 2 favorable options to consider.
Whatever route of investment in second citizenship you choose, legal services of well-qualified experts of Imperial & Legal will make the processing as fast and easy as possible and help you to avoid unexpected costs or time-wasting.
We will work with you to find a customised solution for your immigration, second citizenship, business, tax and other needs.
Second passport by investment
Residence by investment
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