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 email@example.com