Citizenship by investment programs offer applicants the right to gain second citizenship in exchange for an investment in the country or donation pursuant to a citizenship by investment programs specific criteria. These types of programs are becoming increasingly popular and many countries now offer them as an attractive option for individuals and families seeking a second passport or greater economic freedom.
Citizenship by investment programs provide a range of tangible benefits, including access to education, healthcare, visa-free travel, and even tax optimization. Moreover, numerous business opportunities can open up by having a second passport. In this article, we explore these advantages and explain why doing a specific citizenship by investment program is beneficial for any individual interested in a foreign citizenship document and passport.
What is citizenship by investment program?
Also known as immigrant investor programs, citizenship by investment programs allow individuals to legally obtain citizenship of a country of their choice that has a citizenship by investment program by making a direct investment to a government or other eligible institution as per the citizenship by investment laws and regulations of the country.
Immigrant investors have many incentives to pursue citizenship through investment programs, such as gaining visa-free access to many areas of the world and giving themselves and their families better education, work, and investment options.
To qualify, foreign investors must contribute to the country in some way in accordance with the laws and regulations of the country. While this may vary depending on the country, a country can offer citizenship by investment in return for contributions to government funds, investment in government bonds or the purchase of government-approved real estate, investing in a qualifying business, or creating a sizeable number of jobs.
Another alternative to citizenship by investment is residency by investment which is different. In some cases, applicants can access residency by investment programs which can sometimes lead to eventual citizenship. Certain residency by investment programs, through payment of designated fees and meeting certain requirements can put a person on track to eventually obtaining citizenship after a few years.
7 reasons to have a specific citizenship by investment program
1. Visa-free Travel
Citizenship by investment offers foreign investors a passport they can use to travel between countries with a level of freedom their current passport may not allow. Visa-free access to most of the world gives one the chance to become a true nomad capitalist regardless of their country of origin.
Visa-free travel offers individuals whose original country of citizenship limits their traveling options the opportunity to have increased mobility and live a more international lifestyle. Many citizenship by investment programs are family friendly and often you can include; main applicant, spouse, children, parents and grandparents. The inclusion of family members depends on whether or not a family member meets the definition of dependent specific to the desired citizenship by investment program.
2. Foreign travel documents for one’s whole family
The perks of citizenship include visa-free access to travel, study and working rights for the family. Although family composition may play a role in the citizenship by investment program, an experienced lawyer can help you choose the most cost-effective citizenship by investment route for you and your family.
3. Permanent residence
A person is free to reside in their country of citizenship indefinetly. Having a second place to call home can help safeguard your physical and economic safety from any abrupt changes in policy made by your home country.
4. Foreign investment opportunities
Citizenship by investment can allow people to start businesses locally, manage their wealth internationally without the need for investor visas or any other additional documents in some cases. People can use the citizenship that is most advantageous to them depending on their current situation.
5. Dual citizenship
A person can have more than one country of citizenship provided their countries of citizenship permit dual citizenship. For example, someone with Canadian citizenship who is approved for citizenship and makes a capital investment in a Caribbean country’s citizenship by investment program can maintain both nationalities.
6. Access better public health care and services
Economic citizenship can also be considered an investment in one’s health. The primary applicant and their family can gain access to the social services, including medical examinations, of the country they apply to. Likewise, investors can travel between countries with greater ease, which may make it easier to access foreign health services.
As a citizen of a particular country you can send your children to school in your country of citizenship. Many Caribbean citizenship by investment countries have medical schools and vetrinary schools.
7. Optimize your taxes
Changing your country of residence can help you legally optimize your tax liabilities. This way you can potentially free up money to drive your business’s growth or any other purpose.
What is the best citizenship by investment program?
The best citizenship by investment program depends on the applicant’s wishes and goals. For example, if they wish to freely live, work, and invest in the European Union, their best option is to obtain the Malta citizenship.
Many countries offering citizenship by investment are found in the Caribbean. These include Saint Kitts and Nevis, Antigua, Grenada, Dominica, and Saint Lucia. Caribbean country citizenships are highly sought after because they can grant an individual visa-free travel across the EU and the UK, among other territories.
How can you enjoy citizenship through investment?
The most effective way to handle citizenship and immigration applications is to work alongside a qualified law specialist. The right attorney can help you with your citizenship or resident documentation, and other related personal and corporate needs.
A citizenship program can often be done from a distance without ever visiting the country of citizenship if you don’t want. However, some people who do citizenship by investment decide that they wish to relocate to their country of citizenship.
Malta is the only current country where citizenship applications allow an individual to gain citizenship in the EU. Through it, individuals can access better education and business opportunities for themselves, their spouses, and their children. Until recently, Cyprus was also an option but international pressure stopped economic citizenship programs in the country. However, applications for a Cyprus residency are still possible.
European authorities are also pressuring Malta to close its program, which has led to an increase in demand for Maltese passports through investment. Many individuals with a second passport from Caribbean programs have shown interest in Malta citizenship as well to become citizens of the EU to access even more visa free travel to countries like Canada, USA, Australia.
The principal applicant for Malta citizenship must go through a rigid due diligence procedure and possess a clean criminal record. Similarly other family members in an application need to undergo due diligence. Likewise, a minimum investment must be made. Individuals can make a direct investment into a national development fund or the real estate option is also available for those who wish to purchase property in Malta. Specific terms apply for applying for Maltese citizenship by investment.
How to apply for a second passport
At JH Marlin Attorneys at Law, we specialize in citizenship by investment, residency by investment, corporate commercial law, and real estate services. We have helped hundreds of clients change their lives by obtaining a second passport or do residency by investment.
JH Marlin can help you with more than just your citizenship. Besides helping you obtain a foreign travel document that gives you improved global mobility, we can also help you create a holistic offshore plan. Our services include helping our clients with their new residential properties, lifestyle planning, and the protection of their wealth.
* Important Disclaimer: This article is for information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Information in this article can change at any time without notice. JH Marlin is not responsible for the accuracy of the information contained in this article