Citizenship by Investment (CBI) schemes are paid citizenship schemes that offer instant passports within very short periods of time by purchasing real estate or one time donation to the government. Prices start from USD 100,000 onwards. There are currently more than 10 active CBI schemes run by governments in the Pacific, Caribbean and Europe. In just 10 years, the CBI industry has become a multi-billion dollar industry attracting investors from all over the world.
Having a second passport is not only about being able to travel with less hassle. It means more than that – tax breaks, higher education, possibility of doing business in a pristine jurisdiction & universal healthcare are some of the associated benefits of acquiring a second passport.
Although the concept of citizenship by investment can be traced back to ancient times, the first modern citizenship by investment program was introduced by St. Kitts and Nevis in 1984. This was followed by Canada’s Federal Immigrant Investor Program in 1986, the Republic Of Irelands Naturalization and Citizenship Program in 1988, the US EB5 Program in 1990, the Dominica Citizenship Program in 1993, the UK Visa Program in 1994 and the Grenada Citizenship Program in 1996. Today, there are 13 countries which grant citizenship on the basis of a substantial investment, without having to first acquire a residency status or satisfying any residency requirement.
Before choosing a Citizenship Program you need to answer the following questions in order to make the right choice :
- What is your allotted investment budget?
- Do you need to finance the investment amount rather than make a lump sum payment?
- What are your desired investment returns?
- How quickly do you need to achieve citizenship?
- Are you planning to reside in your country of choice? If not, how much time are you willing & able to spend there?
- How important are the country’s international economic memberships & visa-free travel arrangements?
- If your primary goal to secure an advantageous tax regimen & secure asset protection?
- What is the importance of the country’s geographical location?
- How important is the language, education opportunities, health care, business opportunities, tax regimens, lifestyle & culture for your family?
Additionally, access to quality & responsive healthcare services is a factor that has gained considerable importance due to the ongoing worldwide pandemic. Investors are laying increasing emphasis on existing health facilities in destination countries.
NATURE OF INVESTMENTS
All RBI and CBI programs in the world today grant residence or citizenship in return for any one or more of the following types of investments :
- Active Investments – this requires investors to provide detailed business plans and actively build a business, including satisfying human capital and job creation requirements
- Passive Investments – this requires investors to invest in market securities or in an existing company that the investor will not usually run or in government bonds or the property sector
- Government Donation – this requires paying of a non-refundable amount to a government
Investment options and required investments vary greatly depending on the program and the type of investment.
Some of the top benefits that Citizenship by Investment Immigration Programs worldwide offer are as follows :
- Quality of Life: This is one of the prime reasons why people opt for Residency by Investment and Citizenship by Investment The increasing awareness and knowledge people now have of various countries and/or regions offering economic migration programs such as the European countries offering citizenship by investment, and also the fact that they are now travelling much more, gives them an insight into the very high quality of life prevailing in many countries including access to better basic services such as healthcare, education, security and travel. These aspirations can now be fulfilled via such economic migration or investment migration programs, which allow families to access these benefits from a large number of alternate countries.
- Education: Education of children is top priority for parents worldwide. Having their children study in the top educational institutions is a dream for most. By obtaining residency and/or citizenship in alternate countries, parents are able to ensure that their children benefit from the following:
- Considerably reduced tuition fees
- Possibility to work during and after study, without having to apply for another visa
- No need to look for a sponsor for a work visa after completion of studies
- No need to apply for an immigrant visa after completion of studies
- Upon completion of studies, children can even opt for setting up their own business or start-up without having to go through the process of applying for any further visas.
- Process of permanent migration & subsequent citizenship is much faster
- Expansion of business: Businessmen in many countries face major hindrances in establishing new businesses or expanding existing business abroad, and even in travelling abroad. The Business Migration Programs on offer by some countries enable them to travel freely to favored destinations for business expansion and collaborations, in the process opening up new opportunities and technologies they can have access to.
- Visa free Travel: The type of passport you possess has a huge bearing on where in the world you can go and with whom you can do business. This limits the opportunities for investments, business partnerships and tax efficiency. Freedom to travel is one of the major benefits of Citizenship investment migration Being able to avoid costly and time consuming visa applications and act on travel plans very quickly because of the large number of countries to which these programs allow visa-free travel, is a major factor in favor of such programs.
- Tax Planning: Citizenship investment immigration programs allow investors considerable benefits in tax planning. The extent of these benefits primarily depends on
- The incentive offerings of the country to which an investor is migrating, and
- Where the investor decides his primary tax residence will be.
Tax planning must go hand-in-hand with any migration goal one might decide upon. Contact us for choosing the destination that encompasses all relevant factors and is best suited for you.
- Wealth management and Portfolio diversification: Residency & Citizenship investment migration programs offer HNI investors an option to diversify their investment portfolio and engage in more prudent wealth management.
- Reunion with family abroad: Strict visa regimes in many countries sometimes mean that families are split apart with little hope of reunification.Citizenship investment migration programs present an avenue for families to re-unite.
- Retiring abroad: Some of the countries which offer Residency and Citizenship Programs are amongst the most exotic, beautiful, safest and healthiest places on the planet, also offering visa free travel to a very large number of countries in the world. Choose your own little paradise to retire to, by investing in one of these investment immigration
- Avoiding political and economic instability: For citizens living in countries with high political and economic unrest, this factor assumes a lot of significance. A second citizenship program and a second passport provide an escape route from potential conflict, civil unrest or travel sanctions imposed by or upon your home country.