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Citizenship and Residency Investment Immigration Options Growing

High-net worth individuals are being urged to consider a growing list of options when it comes to citizenship-by-investment and residency-by-investment.

Citizenship and Residency Investment Immigration Options GrowingWith the number of programs available set to increase in 2017, high-net worth individuals will have a greater choice when it comes to considering dual citizenship, or becoming a permanent resident of another country.

Ireland, Montenegro, Turkey and Italy are among those countries considering the launch of investment immigration programs.

Key benefits of second citizenships and residency programs include greater global mobility (both personal and business), liberal tax regimes and simply a better life for a candidate’s family.

European Union countries such as Portugal and Malta have built successful programs based on the benefit of free travel to the 28 member nations.

Investment Requirements: Portugal Golden Residence Investor Program

Capital Investment
Transfer of capital of minimum value of €1 million into Portugal including through purchase of shares in companies

Creation of at least 10 new positions in Portugal

Real Estate
Purchase of unencumbered real estate in Portugal of a minimum value of €350,000. Co-ownership or purchase of property through finance is permissible provided each individual makes a mandatory minimum investment of €350,000.

Urban Rehabilitation
Investment of at least €350,000 in constructed 30 years ago or investment for rehabilitation of properties located in Urban Rehabilitation Areas

Scientific Research and Development
Investment of at least €350,000 in R&D activities of institutions that are part of the national technological system.

Promotion of Culture
Investment of at least €250,000 towards financing of bodies pursuing cultural or artistic activities or towards renovation or maintenance of cultural heritage.

Small-Cap and Mid-Cap Finance
Investment of at least €500,000 towards purchase of units of small-cap or mid-cap venture capital funds.

Investment in Low Population Areas
20 per cent reduction in minimum investments in the above-mentioned categories when investment is made in a low population-density area.

Chinese citizens are key customers of programs all over the world, with the stated goal of providing better educational opportunities for their children.

In general, a citizenship program will require greater investment than a residency one, with Cyprus a good example of a country offering both options.

Cyprus Citizenship Investment Thresholds

Purchase of financial assets issued by Cypriot companies: €2m

Investment in real estate, land development, or infrastructure projects: €2m

Purchase, creation, or participation in Cypriot businesses or companies: €2m

Combination of the five three investment options (may include purchase of special government bonds worth €500,000): €2m

As the industry grows, competition increases, which could drive investment thresholds down.

Countries that consider themselves ‘top tier’, such as the UK, US or Canada, would hope to be able to maintain higher thresholds for their residency programs based on their status.

The US, for example, is currently considering raising the threshold of its EB-5 investment program, while others are calling for it to be abolished.

Elsewhere, Caribbean nations running citizenship programs are competing directly with each other for investment, forcing down the thresholds and lowering physical presence requirements.

As more nations come online in the investment immigration arena, it will be worth noting how the industry shift to accommodate new players.

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