The world today is increasingly moving towards globalisation. More and more wealthy individuals are looking for alternative citizenship options to ensure their own safety and security of their assets, as well as to travel the world freely, with no restrictions. Some countries are developing national citizenship by investment schemes, supported and secured by legislation.
There is no universally adopted exact definition of the term “Citizenship”, but by collating all the various opinions, we can conclude that, first and foremost, it is the legal relationship between an individual and the state which amounts to a mutual honouring of obligations; this relationship is stable and secure and is not terminated even if the citizen resides abroad for lengthy periods of time.
Citizenship by investment schemes are clearly defined and state-legislated procedures for naturalisation by way of investment. This process is regulated by authorised government agencies and is completely legal.
In which cases would you benefit from alternative citizenship?
- In your own country, obtaining a visa for your destination country is complicated due to bureaucracy or other reasons.
- You have limited choices in terms of which country to live, work or invest in.
- In your native country, you or your assets are subject to a high level of economic or legal risk.
What are the benefits of a second passport?
- unrestricted residence rights in the issuer country.
- unlimited enjoyment of the civil and political rights stipulated in the local legislation.
- ability to engage in entrepreneurial activities in the country of your choice, buy property or seek employment; many countries offering citizenship by investment schemes provide tax incentives and a favourable environment for business.
- freedom to open bank accounts worldwide without the risk of rejection due to your jurisdiction of origin classified as high-risk.
- a “Plan B” haven for the whole family in case of any eventualities in the country of origin.
- visa-free travel to more than 100 countries around the world (including the Schengen Area, Great Britain, Canada, etc.), and in some cases the added benefit of a long-term US visa.
- unlike a residence permit, citizenship is a life-long status that does not require extending and can be transferred to your descendants.
In terms of status, citizenship by investment, or ‘economic’ citizenship is in no way different from the standard citizenship granted by the countries offering such schemes. The only difference is the procedure for obtaining naturalisation.
The following investment options are available:
1. With possible return on investment: property acquisition; business set up; government securities acquisition.
2. Without return on investment: contributions to the country’s economy and/or various government funds.
There are relatively few countries worldwide offering legislatively supported options for naturalisation within a comparatively short space of time and without meeting any residency requirements or taking any language exams.
Citizenship schemes are specific to each country, but the following standard process stages can be identified:
- investment target selection;
- application paperwork preparation, due diligence checks;
- investment completion;
- passport issue.
Citizenship by investment schemes in the Caribbean are much more attractive in terms of cost compared to the European residence permit by investment schemes. The minimum required investment is 100,000 USD (Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and Saint Lucia). In Vanuatu, the minimum investment is set at 80,000 USD. Applications are processed quicker as well, making it a great choice for investors unwilling to spend a long time waiting.
For your consideration, we are offering the following schemes which have performed particularly well in the citizenship by investment market.
Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis – the oldest citizenship by investment scheme in the world, a template for all subsequent schemes in the Caribbean and worldwide.
Commonwealth of Dominica – an appealing scheme in terms of the cost, offering an attractive tax residency.
Antigua and Barbuda – one of the largest countries and most developed economies in the Caribbean.
Grenada – offers the added benefit of subsequently obtaining an E2 Treaty Investor US visa.
Saint Lucia – one of the more recently introduced schemes offering the widest range of investment options.
Vanuatu – an attractive scheme in terms of the cost and the quality of life in the country, as well as the quickest in terms of processing.
Your choice of a specific citizenship by investment scheme depends on your objectives and financial resources.
Our consultants would be delighted to offer you comprehensive support and guidance.