Affluent investors are increasingly considering acquiring a second passport for a variety of reasons ranging from political stability to greater global mobility. Unlike permanent residence, acquiring a second citizenship minimizes the risk of deportation and entitles the individual to voting rights in the country. Investment immigrants often prefer nations with strong passports that allow greater travel privileges with fewer restrictions.
Conventionally, nations award citizenship to those born in the country, those related by blood to individuals born in the country and through a process of naturalization. The USA grants citizenship to individuals born there as well as to children of US citizens irrespective of the place of birth of such children.
Some expecting parents intentionally finalize their child’s delivery in nations like the USA, Canada, and Hong Kong to ensure their children automatically gain a second citizenship upon birth. However, birth tourism is coming under the spotlight with nations taking steps to discourage those trying to game the system.
With wealthy individuals ready to pay to acquire citizenship, more and more nations are leveraging their popularity as attractive immigrant destinations to attract foreign investment into their economies.
Currently, applicants can choose between a number of countries in Europe and the Caribbean with Malta, Cyprus, Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis and other nations that offer direct citizenship to individuals complying with their minimum investment requirements. Malta is very popular because its citizenship entitles the individual to the right to travel, reside, and work in EU nations with minimal restrictions.
Few western nations including USA, the UK, Australia, or Canada offers direct citizenship in lieu of investment. Applicants to these countries may only consider fast-track permanent residence programs which operate under a myriad of rules and annual quotas.
The US EB-5 visa which is undergoing major reform currently requires a minimum investment of $1 million, reduced to $500,000 in targeted employment areas, along with creation of at least ten jobs in the country. The program has an annual cap of 10,000 visas that is consistently being met in the past few years due to very high demand from Chinese and other investors.
While second citizenship or fast-track permanent residence programs may offer benefits like high standards of living, protection of assets, and better opportunities for children, applicants must consider risks including considerably higher tax liabilities. The US green card results in automatic imposition of federal income, estate, and gift tax rules on the global income of the individual. Industry insiders expect new programs to be announced in 2016.
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Interested Investors: Kindly complete the following form and we will contact you to discuss your global residency and citizenship investment options.