Most people are interested in migrating to other countries for various reasons. It could be for education, business, tax management, personal security, or increased global mobility. Thus, they look for all possible ways to migrate to new countries.
There are several ways to migrate and acquire citizenship in other countries. Examples include marriage, business, naturalization, and investment.
There is always confusion between citizenship or residency by investment and immigration by investment regarding relocating options. However, residency and citizenship by investment fall under the category of immigration by investment.
What Is Citizenship by Investment?
Citizenship by investment is the process by which a country legally grants an individual, and sometimes their families, second citizenship. But first, they’ll have to contribute financially to that country’s economy. It’s one of the fastest ways to acquire citizenship.
Citizenship Investment Programs
You can acquire citizenship by investing in the country’s real estate or their official investment programs. The waiting may be as fast as 30 days, 6 months, or more depending on the country’s regulations.
After the waiting period, you can get your second passport through investment.
Take, for example, Europe. A second passport from an Eu country can grant you access to over 150 visa-free countries in 1 or 2 months. Europe offers one of the fastest citizenship by investment programs. The investment costs here can go as low as 100,000 EUR.
Historically, only two European countries had citizenship investment programs. These are Malta and Cyprus. Unfortunately, Cyprus suspended its program recently. New programs have fortunately cropped up to cover the demand for second citizenship and passports.
How to Get Citizenship Through Investment
Only a handful of countries across the globe offer citizenship by investment. This concept was first developed in the Caribbean- Nevis and Kitts were the first to offer this scheme in 1984.
Let’s take Europe as an example. Most people are curious about becoming European citizens and acquiring a passport from an EU nation. Even though highly sorted, it’s not the easiest to obtain.
European citizenship lets you enjoy different benefits from moving, settling, and getting employed across 28 EU member countries.
Getting residency through investment is one of the fastest ways of obtaining citizenship in a European country. It has fewer requirements, unlike citizenship through naturalization, work, and business.
Here, citizenship is not granted immediately after you’ve invested. You’ll have to undergo the naturalization process first. You have to live here for a couple of years before qualifying to apply for it. Nevertheless, this method is still relatively faster than the other options.
These programs are commonly referred to as ‘Golden Visas.’ Spain and Portugal offer the two most popular programs in Europe. It will take you around 500,000 EUR to get you started.
Other options are offered in Bulgaria, Latvia, and Greece. These options are relatively cheaper and cost around 250 000 EUR. However, they are more complicated and give slimmer chances of acquiring their citizenship.
What Is Residency by Investment?
Residency by investment is the process of getting a permanent residency in another country by investing in that country’s economy. Each country has a different set of requirements for residency by investment.
Here are some of the requirements that apply to most countries:
- A clean criminal record
- A legal source of the investment funds
- Invest in one of the government-approved options like a government bond, real estate, or national economic fund
You should meet the requirements of the host country for your residency application to be accepted.
Citizenship by Residency Programs
Unlike citizenship by investment, residency programs offer you a resident status without you pursuing citizenship. With the residency program, you have the right to live in that country and the ability to travel or live visa-free in other countries. Residency programs can be categorized into two.
- Residency programs that are renewed after a couple of years
- The permanent residency lasts a lifetime. Successful applicants don’t have to renew it after a couple of years. Canada is an example of a country that offers permanent residency.
Obtaining residency may take as little as 3 months. It all depends on the country and the type of program that’s offered. For instance, Malta’s residency program gives applicants a five-year residency permit that’s renewable indefinitely.
You don’t have to relocate permanently into this country. With a permit, you can travel throughout the Schengen zone visa-free.
One can also obtain residency through financing investment options.
What Are the Benefits of Residency and Citizenship by Investment?
Both citizenships by investment and residency by investment come with several perks. It could be the ticket to better education and a better lifestyle for your kids.
Having second citizenship also enables you to use visa-free travel treaties. Each government has signed treaties with countries that their citizens can visit for free.
You can travel throughout Europe, China, Russia, and other countries without a visa. Here are some of the benefits of a second passport.
1. Better Life
For people seeking to enhance their lifestyle in Europe or other locations, citizenship by investment is an excellent option. Examples of lifestyle advantages are better infrastructure, health care, and a new culture.
2. Safe Future for Your Family
It’s always excellent to have a plan B. You’ll always have a place to seek refuge in case of conflicts. Europe, Vanuatu, or the Caribbean offer safety and stability.
3. Quality Education
With a second passport. your children will have access to that country’s educational system. For example, you and your family have acquired a second passport in Canada. Your family members can enjoy the benefits of the Canadian education system.
Immigration by investment is one of the best things you can do for yourself. It comes with several benefits, including freedom of movement.
Different countries have different requirements before an individual acquires residency or citizenship by investment. It’s necessary to be financially stable and identify a country to settle in. Look into various residency and citizenship by investment programs before settling for a choice.
Once you’ve invested and are finally a citizen of that nation, you can buy your second passport.
If you are confused about your options of immigration by investment, seek help from Wilner and O’Reilly professionals. Book a consultation with us and let us walk you through your immigration by investment journey.