By Julian Bartolo
With the possibility of obtaining a second residence or citizenship by investment, applicants and their families are choosing to migrate permanently to other countries. Business, education, better healthcare and political or social disturbances are only a few of the reasons these individuals opt to relocate to another country. Others need assurances and a default ”plan b” in the event of uncertain times.
Obtaining dual citizenship or a second residency is more than just a document in hand. Although the advantages vary from one programme and jurisdiction to another, the results of investing in citizenship & residency can determine the way primarily your life will unfold and later on that of your children.
The question asked by many is, “Why should my birth country influence the way I live?”
Freedom of movement is one of the most common reasons applicants obtain a second residence or Citizenship. Many passports are limited to pre-defined conditions, forcing citizens to obtain visas whenever they need to travel abroad, be it for business or pleasure. This is when a second passport can prove handy, offering individuals from these countries increased global mobility. In current times, when even obtaining a visa can somehow be difficult or in certain cases not possible, this option would facilitate travel arrangements. For instance, a Cypriot passport gives visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 156 countries, and a Maltese passport opens the door to 161 other countries.
Having a plan B is a popular point of discussion amongst investors, especially now with all the uncertainty we are experiencing worldwide. What if something happens? Do I have to worry about my family’s future? The fact is that, should anything happen in your country and you are in possession of a second passport, you have the right to reside in another country. This is incredible insurance especially if you choose an EU citizenship which gives you access to settle down in 32 countries. If something does happen, you can safely say that you and your family can relocate to a different country. The main advantages of having a second EU passport such as a Maltese or Cypriot passport, include that you and your family have the luxury of living, studying, working, moving freely and even retiring in any of the EU member states.
Countries with an unpredictable economy can have a negative impact on entrepreneurs and the future of their businesses. Countries with more stable economies provide adequate laws and judicial processes. As a result of these investment programmes, new business opportunities present themselves to applicants who obtain citizenship by investment, as they can now do business in a second country, as well as travel abroad more freely. This may prove crucial when visa delays can result in loss of business or not closing the deal.
A second passport in certain cases can decrease the tax burden and provide for the protection of assets, especially for high net worth individuals. As an example, there are no net-wealth, inheritance or real property taxes in Malta, with a special basis for taxation of non-domiciled residents, meaning their foreign income is only taxed in the country of residence when earned or remitted there.
The Caribbean Citizenship programmes are also very popular, as they have similar benefits to EU investment programmes and offer an excellent solution for those looking to invest in a second citizenship. These programmes offer a quick and simpler route to citizenship with a relatively cheaper cost than the EU and citizenship programmes. The list of visa-free countries that you can travel to using Caribbean passports is ever increasing. St Kitts allows the passport holder to travel to 151 countries worldwide, and Dominica to 137 countries worldwide. Most of the Caribbean countries have no minimum stay requirements. Antigua requires a minimum stay of 5 days in 5 years, which can be simply achieved by taking a short holiday during your first five years and enjoying the country’s beautiful beaches. Grenada holds a visa treaty with the USA, therefore Grenadian passport holders have the right to apply for the E2 visa which enables one to live, work and study in the USA.
The beauty of these investment programmes is that there is no one size fits all, and with all the options available, one can definitely find the right choice to suit their needs. Finding the most suitable programme can sometimes confuse individuals looking to invest in a second residence or citizenship. That is why at Integritas we offer free consultations, whilst having a wide range of services to cater to the specific needs of individuals. With Integritas as an immigration partner at your side ensures your requirements are fulfilled, making your journey a tad simpler.
Head of Private Clients