At First Celtic International we specialize in 2nd Passports via Citizenship by Investment programs with five countries Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, St Lucia and Grenada all offering 2nd Passports in return for investment in their countries. First Celtic have done extensive research and come to the view that two passports stand out from the rest and this article I will give you the reasons we came to the conclusion we did. Unless you want to retire to either St Kitts, St Lucia or Dominica then really then First Celtic came to the conclusion when analyzing the value of the passport against the costs that you should really pick either Antigua or Grenada. ANTIGUA PASSPORT BY DONATION We would put St Kitts and Antigua both in a similar category but the lower costs of an Antigua passport make it the only real choice unless you have some affiliations to St Kitts. Dominica would be the cheapest option for Donation only but it is nowhere near the caliber and quality of an Antigua passport. Antigua gives you Visa free travel to all the major countries of the world excluding USA and Australia and at a Donation rate currently at only 100,000 US Dollars this is the best value for money passport by donation in the Caribbean. When you add Government fees and processing a single applicant can have a brand new passport for as little as 155,000 USD. GRENADA PASSPORT BY REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT Grenada has always been in our mind the number one Passport in the Caribbean for the following reasons:
• Visa Free Travel to China, Russia, Brazil and UAE in addition to all the major countries such as UK, EU, Hong Kong, Singapore etc.
• EB2 treaty with USA opening the possibility to get a Green card. Also very fast approval rates for USA visas.
• Excellent Real Estate Options returning clients investment after 5 years if required.
• New Changes making Real Estate Investment option only 220,000 USD
• New Law that allows you to add your siblings to your application subject to Government fees.
When you add all of the above together for a real estate based Citizenship by Investment program Grenada is way out in front. So for a single applicant they can invest approx. 300,000 USD and get returned 220,000 in 5 years’ time plus receive income on the investment in that 5 years. Hence why we believe this is the best choice if the client is in a position to invest 300,000 Dollars into a passport. CONCLUSION If the client is on a low budget, then the Antigua passport is the best choice but if the client can afford a bit more money the Grenada real estate option is the best choice for the superior passport and the net amount of money they pay over a 5-year period basically 70,000 USD saving and a superior passport. If you have enjoyed reading this article and want to know more about how First Celtic International could help you or your clients in obtaining a second passport, please reach out to me at LinkedIn or email firstname.lastname@example.org
In reality both Spain and Portugal offer a great Golden Visa Residency program in exchange for 500,000 Euros investment in real estate. Portugal also offer real estate investment products with only 350,000 Investment level but this won’t give you your own property to live in for yourself.
Being a global citizen having lived 12 years in Spain and spent a lot of time in Lisbon and El Faro this puts in a good position to offer this completely impartial overview of what each country has to offer.
Then you also have to add Cyprus in to the equation at 300,000 with no catches it’s the best program in the EU. However because of the location of Cyprus to the rest of Western Europe it is not a first choice lifestyle destination like Marbella or Lisbon so I have left it out of the comparison for this article.
This is pretty neutral generally speaking Portugal has much lower buying taxes than Spain but has higher government and legal associated with the implementation of the Golden Visa, for example on Spanish Property Purchase of 500,000 Euros your total cost would be between 553,000 to 570,000 depending if you buy a new or old property whereas your costs in Portugal it would be about 547,000 Euros. However, you do have additional costs each year of maintaining the Golden Visa in Portugal. When you add all the factors in. I would say this is the Neutral and shouldn’t affect your final decision as to which country to choose.
It’s a personal choice but I think there is so much more to do in Andalucía in Spain compared to Portugal but that’s a personal choice and both countries have a lot to offer and I really guess it’s the type of lifestyle you want. I would choose Spain over Portugal but I could understand someone opting for Portugal.
Here Portugal wins by a landslide it’s not even close. Firstly, Spain insists that you stay in the country for at least six months in the final year that you intend to apply for Citizenship in Portugal it two weeks. So for most Global Citizens who are doing this to get an EU passport they just couldn’t comply with the Spanish demand.
Secondly both countries have a nationality and language test but If you don’t speak really good Spanish you won’t pass the test and this is not the case in Portugal. Also the Test in Spain is much harder.
Again this is massively in favour of Portugal and the reason I would choose Portugal if ever I returned to Europe. Basically in Spain you have to pay tax on your worldwide income at a higher rate of 43% that’s pretty massive whereas Portugal has a very favourable habitual tax regime making it vastly superior to the Spain option.
Now if you’re a USA citizen unlike most other citizens your owned by the IRS and have to pay tax on your worldwide income even if you don’t live in Spain. As Spain is asking the same thing you see the major issues ahead even the USA Spain double taxation treaty. You’re also going to pay 43% on your worldwide income. I would like to point out that I am not a tax expert but for our clients we have the very best tax advisors, Lawyers and accountants to make sure our clients are protected as much as possible and going through this exercise I know these very important basics to relay to any potential Golden Visa client.
In simple terms if you are thinking of converting the Golden Visa to Citizenship then Portugal is a must both from a taxation and actually obtaining Nationality point of view. If it is just for lifestyle and you don’t intend to become a Spanish Tax Resident and want visa free travel in Europe, then I would recommend Spain. So I would suggest Portugal would come out on top for most of our clients.
Our company First Celtic International specialize in Golden Visas and 2nd Passports via Citizenship by Investment programs and we would be happy to give advice to anyone who is thinking of starting on that journey.
First Celtic deems that Cyprus offers the best Residency program by a very long way but it is fair to say Cyprus does not offer the same lifestyle benefits of Spain or Portugal. So if your aim is to eventually get EU Citizenship you should really consider Cyprus.
So those of you looking to invest in Cyprus with a view to getting 2nd Citizenship and a EU passport First Celtic International has launched a fantastic Financed product that brings the entry level to 850,000. This is made up of 500,000 for you prime home that you cannot sell without giving up your citizenship and 350,000 in various fees including Government Donations.
For those of you who know the details of the full non financed scheme with the new Government donation and VAT on the property you buy this now gets close to 2.5M Euros. This represents a great saving for those not wanting to invest 2.5m plus into Cyprus property. However, the new changes to the scheme mean that it will not be the people who are price hunting that will get the benefit of this new product.
So the major changes to the scheme to keep the EU happy and for the program to continue have some major new conditions. The first one being you must have a net worth of at least 3 Million Euro and show proof of funds. Also you must be in possession of a Schengen Visa. This is a big change and rules out a lot of Asian investors as they struggle to get a Schengen Visa.
Saying all of this it is still the best 2nd Citizenship program in the world with the best passport in the world where you can go straight to Passport. What I mean by that is in USA, Canada, Australia and UK you have to do 5 years’ residency before you are considered for Citizenship.
As an EU Citizen you get to live and work in any one of the 27 Member states of your choice and have visa free travel to nearly every important country in the World including USA and Australia. This option is also excellent for Estate Planning.
Cyprus is also one of the most tax effective places in the world to reside even though you don’t have to live in Cyprus to keep your citizenship.
How long this program will continue for nobody knows but we believe once the EU has BREXIT out of the way they will look to standardize the granting of Residency and Citizenship across the EU. Whilst the EU cannot tell a member state who they can and who they cannot accept as a citizen they can formulate a set of ground rules for all that could include the EU Blue Card.
Should you want to know more information about the Cyprus investment program or other Citizenship by Investment programs throughout the world then please email email@example.com or reach out to me on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/nick-j-stuart/
Thank you for taking the time to read this article.
The Important Difference Between Citizenship and Residency
The most important thing to start with is to fully understand the difference between permanent residency and Citizenship because there are major differences between the two with citizenship having major advantages. However, some of the major countries in the world such as USA, Canada, Australia and UK only offer permanent residency through investment and not citizenship that can be then turned into citizenship but with no guarantee that it will be granted. However, for example EU citizenship gives you all the benefits of living and working in the EU country of your choice and not necessarily the EU country that granted you citizenship. Also for most Asian and UAE clients the biggest problem with permanent residency it doesn’t deal with the visa free travel issue that a 2nd passport immediately solves. PR only gives you the right of travel to and from that country. For Example, if you’re a Filipino with UK permanent residency then you have no problems leaving or entering the UK but you will still need a visa for USA, Canada, Australia and maybe the EU after BREXIT.
So when looking at making some form of citizenship or residency through investment there are some very important questions you should ask yourself do I want a 2nd Passport for Visa free travel or to relocate to another country or both. Secondly how much money do I have to invest into this project and how quickly would I need or want a second passport.
Knowing the answers to the above will help you make the right decision but you also have to understand each country has different investment criteria. Some countries offer Government Donation, some offer Investment in Government Bonds, some via investment in property and some offer different combinations of the above.
To help you make that decision I am going to give you the overview of the different countries offering programs:
EU CITIZENSHIP VIA CYPRUS
The Cyprus citizenship program offers the simplest and efficient means of obtaining EU citizenship, it is the only direct EU citizenship program as it has absolutely no residency requirement and citizenship is approved in just 3 months. Investors and their families can obtain full EU rights, including the ability to live and work in any EU country practically immediately! Dual citizenship offers an effective tool for international tax planning and provides financial privacy for banking and investment. It improves personal security, enables freedom of movement and allows access to the best healthcare and education opportunities.
€2 Million investment in residential real estate
(The investment can be in a single property or portfolio)
Parents of the main investor can be included in the application provided that they purchase a permanent residence property with a value of at least €500,000. This amount can be pooled in the main investment if preferred
BENEFITS OF THE PROGRAM
> Citizenship granted within six months
> No physical residency requirement
> Passports issued to the investor, their spouse, dependent children up to age 28 provided they are studying and parents of main investor
> Cyprus allows dual citizenship
> All nationalities eligible
> No language requirement, medical test or interview
> Exit strategy after 3 years
> Citizenship is passed on by descent, thus offering a legacy to future generations
> No tax consequences
>Pure investment, no donation required
Very simply you can choose Antigua and Barbuda, Dominican Republic, St Kitts or St Lucia. In the Caribbean you have two choices
The first option is by Government Donation which can be as low as 100,000 US Dollars plus fees and in this case we would recommend Antigua as they have just reduced their donation fee to the same level as the other Islands.
The second option is by property investment and here will very much depend on your investment level as Dominica entry level is 220,000 US Dollars plus fees and Antigua is 400,000 US Dollars plus Fees. If you have an affinity to one particular island you decide to choose that one.
CANADA PERMANENT RESIDENCY
Currently the only investment Residency option that is getting processed is the Quebec Investment Visa with the following requirements
>The full amount of CAN$800,000 (refundable) after 5 years
>financed amount CAN$220,000 (non-refundable)
Separately, you will need to pay the government fees of CAN$15,000 per application, it does not matter how many people are included in the same application.
The legal/processing fees are CAN$25,000.
Upon the application approval by the Quebec immigration, your file will be sent to the Federal immigration of Canada for the landing visa approval. The application fees for the file processing from the Federal immigration is around CAN$3,000.
If you decide to go for the financed option which is CAN$220, 000, plus the other fees, the total amount would be CAN$263,000.
UNITED KINGDOM INVESTMENT VISA
Applicants must have a minimum of £2,000,000 to invest in their business or businesses. The funds must have been legally obtained and may be any of the following:
>The applicant’s own funds
>Made available to them by an outside investor or partner, who is not also applying for his/her own visa. This option includes getting funds from a seed-funding competition, venture capitalist, or other approved body.
>Held in a joint account with the applicant’s spouse or partner, as long as the joint account holder is not also applying for Investment Visa.
If the funds have previously been invested in a UK business, and the applicant wants to use those funds for their application, then this individual must have made that investment less than 12 months before he/she applies.
The funds must be available purely for establishing or running the business venture. They may not be used for personal remuneration or living expenses, or for payment to the previous owner. One example would be, if the applicant is taking over an existing business.
USA – EB5
There are many ways to do this but generally the most common is via EB5 and you are looking for an investment of at least 950,000 US Dollars in reality it can be more. This is probably the hardest country to organize permanent residency in but the more money you have the easier the situation is to fix.
If this is your chosen country of origin and your prepared to jump through all the necessary hoops to achieve long term citizenship in the USA I would suggest an in depth consultation with your citizenship and residency consultant to discuss the options.
This is just a quick overview and I clearly haven’t covered all the countries but hopefully it gives you a good overview of the options out there. Should you need any help or advice on any of the matters raised in this article please feel free to contact me via private message or email firstname.lastname@example.org