Residence and Citizenship Planning
Today’s world functions as a global village, transcending all forms of linguistic and physiological barriers. With the massive advances in information and communications technology, the task of staying connected even with people who are situated far and wide has become child’s play. Concurrently, the nature of markets and business ventures have also transformed into multinational undertakings. With the rise in this phenomenon of internationalization, the interest among entrepreneurs and high net worth individuals to explore different markets, ways of living and culture has also soared significantly. While technology has been successful in connecting us from the different parts of the world, geopolitical boundaries continue to limit our desires to travel, which is where the power of a passport plays an important role.
International travel has become desirable for the process of creation and preservation of wealth. Moreover, given that certain countries offer better career and educational opportunities than the others, there has been an emerging trend of shifting bases across the borders. There are also instances of enforced migration due to political instability, ongoing conflicts or inclement weather. Further, the affluent classes often tend to retreat to quieter and more suitable destinations in pursuit of an upgraded and luxurious lifestyle. Whatever may be the reason behind the movement, countries foster different degrees of flexibility in terms of permitting entry within their territory. In that context, passports and citizenships that facilitate greater global mobility becomes a valued possession. Visa waivers or favorable visa policies enhance access to different countries, and it has been observed passports with higher rankings in the global passport index have an advantage over lower-ranking passports based on the access allowed to different countries.
Fortunately, in order to enhance access to foreign countries, it is no longer necessary to be dependent on the mercy of visas and permits. Acquiring a citizenship of a country with strategic global standing can prove to be a useful talisman for every prospective global citizen. Usually citizenship is determined according to birth, descent or naturalization, which is essentially a long period of residence at a given place. However, with the development of the unique program of citizenship by investment, now anyone can acquire the citizenship of any country by making certain specific financial investments. Countries like Malta, Cyprus, Antigua and Barbuda have designed some ingenious Citizenship and Residency programs which make a wide range of benefits available to anyone in exchange for certain requisite investments. While the process to apply to such programs is straightforward and hassle-free, the decision to choose the right citizenship program is essential for a judicious investment. This where Citizenship Planning plays a pivotal role.
Citizenship by Investment
Citizenship by Investment is a popular scheme through which individuals from different corners of the world can avail of the citizenship of a particular country in exchange for a requisite amount of investment. Businessmen, students, travellers, diplomats and even retired professionals are getting attracted to this offer for a variety of reasons. On the other hand, citizenship by investment countries stand to make a substantial economic gain as well as diversify their culture and society by including people from different parts of the world and different experiences within their fold. This mutually profitable program has, therefore, tasted widespread success and the number of participating countries is increasing rapidly. With more number of countries facilitating such provisions, the applicants can now choose between different countries and choose the one best suited to their needs. One factor that is worth considering is the passport index of the country in terms of the range of visa-free travel that it enables.
Citizenship by Investment avails the applicants of myriad advantages.
- Ease of travel, facilitated by increased prospects of visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel opportunities.
- Luxury of choosing an alternative domicile as per the requirements of the applicants, be it to escape political unrest or for professional and academic pursuits or even for recreational purposes.
- Enhanced international reputation by acquiring a passport with an impressive global index.
- Most citizenship by investment programs offer enormous tax relief to the applicants.
- Chance to have a second home in an exotic location without disrupting life in the country of origin.
- Citizenship by investment may be inherited by descendants of the main applicant.
Residency by Investment
For those who are more keen on establishing a second domicile rather than the perks of acquiring a more robust passport and its ancillary perks, the option of Residency by Investment would be better suited than the citizenship by investment. The Global Residence Programs offered by several nations are different from other citizenship programmes in that the end result does not necessarily mean getting another citizenship or passport but essentially it provides a residence permit with the chance to own a property and also provisions to work and earn in the concerned nation, subject to a few conditions. The requirements are fairly simple and the requisite investment is reasonable. Further, the processing time is a lot shorter than the citizenship schemes and applicants can ordinarily gets a residence permit within a short span of time after applying. The most prominent boon of the Global Residence Programs for those looking to make sustainable international investments is its expedient taxation rules. For most beneficiaries of this programme, there are discounted income tax rates and in most occasions taxes are levied on the basis of a remittance. This implies the income generated outside the country are not taxable. In light of such a wide range of benefits, the Residency by Investment programs have been garnering a lot of positive attention from far and wide.
Some of the benefits of this program would be as follows:
- An applicant is granted a special tax status which primarily includes attractive tax rates and no tax on unremitted foreign sourced income.
- It is a fast-track process, permitting one residence in within 3-4 months.
- A single application usually includes the family members, including a spouse, dependent children and dependent parents.
- There is provision for the applicants to include domestic staff within the purview of the application, on payment of the applicable fees.
- The applicant is entitled to a work permit in the country or have an establishment.
- The applicant shall have visa-free access to the Schengen area in Europe and several other countries.
Citizenship by Investment vs Residency by Investment
While the benefits of both the programs may come across as highly lucrative, some expert guidance can go a long way in magnifying the advantages and ensuring that applicants get assured returns on their investment. Which is why Citizenship planning by experienced firms is the ideal way of pursuing residence and citizenships by investment.
In general, the world citizenship requirements are easy to comprehend as well as comply with. However, professionals engaged in citizenship planning are able to ensure that the eligibility requirements are well met thereby facilitating a smooth outcome of the rigorous background checks that most countries conduct. Trends suggest that the credibility of the applicants also increases when the applications demonstrate legitimate citizenship planning.
World Citizenship Requirements
The general requirements of the global residence and citizenship programs are usually very straightforward. The programs entail specific financial requirements which vary from country to country, but the general requirements are as listed below:
- The applicant must be a minimum of 18 years in age
- The applicant must meet the necessary application requirements
- The applicant must possess a valid primary citizenship or in other words be a third-country national;
- The applicant must possess a valid travel document;
- The applicant must possess a relevant health insurance policy;
- The application must be based on lawful sources and not against the public interest.
The financial aspects of the world citizenship requirements ordinarily involves the ability to invest in a real estate asset, contribute towards government approved equities and bonds, contribution towards the state or national development funds. Further, the applicant is usually required to demonstrate the ability to bear the additional costs of the family members.
Similarly, the requirements of the residency programs also entail financial and non-financial aspects. The set of requirements that applicants are expected to fulfill for the residency by investment program varies according to the specific country’s requirements. While some programs require that applicants make a certain number of trips to the host country or spend a certain number of days in the host countries, others do not.
Common requirements are:
- The applicants must have an immaculate criminal record
- The applicants must show that the source of the investment funds are legal
- The applicants are required to invest in one of the government-approved options, such as real estate, government bonds or a national economic fund.
The world citizenship requirements, straightforward as they may be, needs to be fulfilled with utmost care. Most countries conduct strict due diligence verifications on the individuals to ascertain that their intention to acquire a citizenship is a genuine one and not an escape route for any unscrupulous activities. In that context, guidance by experts and professionals trained and experienced in citizenship planning can significantly boost one’s chance of succeeding with the application.
Henley and Partners: Global Leader in Residence and Citizenship Planning
With the widespread interest in an alternative citizenship by different high-net-worth individuals or those seeking a tranquil location to retire to or even start a new business venture, the need for guidance over the most suitable citizenship program has also increased. Given the sensitive nature of the application process, involving huge scales of investment and international stakes, there has to be a minimum margin of error. In that regard, Henley and Partners have been the most trusted name since the past two decades. Henley and Partners have been the pioneers in creating and popularizing the concept of residence and citizenship planning. Their reputation as one of the leading government advisory groups has earned Henley and Partners the trust of various governments.
Henley and Partners have been involved in strategic consulting and in the conception, design, and implementation of some of the most successful residence and citizenship programs in the world. The expert group at Henley and Partners offer bespoke consulting and procedural help to individuals looking for alternative citizenships.
Since its inception in 1997, the Henley and Partners’ much acclaimed Residence and Citizenship Practice Group has been advising an exclusive clientele base and their associated advisors such as lawyers and private bankers on the pros and cons of residence and citizenship planning. The firm lays claim to peerless expertise and experience with regard to residence and citizenship planning, having been involved in all the major citizenship planning programs that have existed over the last 20 years, from their nascent stages.
Maintaining direct contact with the government authorities of the relevant countries, Henley and Partners persistently examine the worldwide situation with regard to residence and citizenship programs. Besides providing advice on the advantages of acquiring resident status and citizenship by investment, the group of experts also advise on the prospects of (re-)acquisition of citizenship, based on descent or birth, as well as on residence planning for individual clients with regard to various possibilities of post-immigration citizenship.
Henley and Partners provides a comprehensive range of services related to residence and citizenship planning. Not only do they advise on the specific residence visa or citizenship programs but also give expert opinions on the trends relating to investment migration and the global passport rankings. Over the years, Henley and Partners has become synonymous to a credible global index ranking.
The Henley and Partners Residence and Citizen planning report offers one of the most reliable guidelines to investment migration. The report analyses factors such as relevant immigration and tax laws, cost versus quality of living, risk and compliance matters, transparency and efficient processing and accords scores and ranks using high tech infographics and figures, along with explanation.
The Henley Passport Index reports highlights the global trends in terms of passport strengths by following a specific methodology to derive the given rankings. This extremely reliable report not only provided an insight into the relative position of one nation versus the other but also enlightens the readers on the current regional trends and the factors that trigger such trends. The index is compiled in accordance to the data supplied by the International Air Transport Authority or IATA and rigorous research and monitoring in order to maintain accuracy of the information. The Henley Passport Index has been a unique ranking system and on countless occasions been used by international organizations and governments across the world for their respective reference.
Henley and Partners Residence and Citizenship Planning
Malta’s citizenship and residence planning have been among Henley and Partners’ most successful projects, vouching for a near perfect success rate on the applications. The firm has been actively involved in the development of Malta’s unique Residence and Citizenship planning.
There are two routes that commonly lead to a Maltese citizenship namely the citizenship by investment Individual Investor Program (IIP) and citizenship by residency Indefinite Residency Visa Program (IRVP). The IRVP grants applicants an indefinite leave to remain in Malta and by extension, makes all the benefits accruing to any citizen of an EU Schengen nation available to all successful candidates. To apply to the citizenship by residency in Malta, the applicants are required to make a contribution of €250,000 in any government bonds or equities for a period of at least five years. Moreover, a candidate must invest €30,000 towards the State Funds of Malta, and purchase or rent a property in Malta. The candidate must also bear the processing fee of €40,000.
The Malta citizenship program has emerged as a popular route to procuring a second citizenship and more importantly a passport with an impressive ranking at a reasonable cost and efficient processing time. The Malta citizenship provides applicants with lifelong permanent EU citizenship, permitting the beneficiaries to work, settle, travel to or even build an establishment in any of the 28 EU countries and Switzerland. Also, the candidates are not expected to reside permanently in Malta.
The Individual Investor Program (IIP) entails an investment of €650,000 towards the Malta National Development Fund maintained by the government, and a €150,000 contribution in government approved financial instruments like bonds and stocks. A candidate must also invest in a property in Malta of a minimum value of €350,000, either by purchasing the property or renting one, maintaining the property for a minimum of 5 years.
The Citizenship by Investment may be passed onto the future descendants and immediate family members are also included within the scope of the main application. However, for every additional dependent, a contribution of €25,000 per family member has to be made towards the National Development Fund. This program translates into a Maltese citizenship and gives access to a Maltese passport within the span of a year.
Henley and Partners have also played an important role in architecting the ingenious residence and citizenship programs of several other countries like Cyprus, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada and St Kitts and Nevis and has been ensuring the smooth functioning of the same ever since, creating a strong nexus between these programs and the potential citizenship seekers.
Let our experts guide you on your journey towards a second residence or investment, register now for further details.