When choosing to invest in a country and thus acquiring either residency or citizenship, it’s crucial that you dig deep and that you are fully aware of the benefits and drawbacks as well as the requirements involved in the process. Too many investors and entrepreneurs tend to see a price tag attached to citizenship and automatically feel that this is the one and only option. The truth is that there are numerous options out there, hence why it’s important that you are aware of the various options you have. Don’t have the time to do this? Don’t worry, this is what we are here for. This article will outline the differences between each country that you can invest in exchange for citizenship.
Cyprus Investment Visa Program
In order to receive Cyprus citizenship, you need to invest a minimum of two million Euros in real estate property in the country. You must have no criminal record and must provide proof of your source of funds. The benefit of this, however, is that you can get direct citizenship within six to eight months. With the passport, you can travel to up to 172 countries in the world without a visa, have freedom of movement throughout the European Union (can therefore study and work within the EU), the possibility of reducing your financial commitment to 500 000 Euros after five years, a minimal physical stay requirement, as well as a low tax regime for foreign-sourced income.
Cyprus Permanent Residency
To obtain a residency permit in Cyprus, you must invest a minimum of 300 000 Euros in real estate property in Cyprus. You must also have no criminal record and must provide proof of your source of funds.
The residency is easier to achieve as it requires lower investment, however, you must reside in Cyprus for 7 years before you receive citizenship. With the residency, you are able to reside in Cyprus indefinitely and can enjoy a low tax regime for foreign-sourced income. The healthcare system in Cyprus is one that allows you to receive free treatment both in Cyprus and in all EU countries. The quality of life is also excellent as the living costs are low, thus allowing you to live a truly luxurious lifestyle without completely breaking the bank. Finally, you may receive citizenship after staying in Cyprus for seven years.
Australian Investor Visa Program
The Australian Investor Visa is different from Cyprus as it does not award you with direct citizenship unless you have physically stayed in Australia for 4 years as a residence. The requirements to receive this visa are as follows: you must be below 55-year-old and must invest a minimum of 800 000 AUD. Moreover, you must pass the business points test in most cases and have to provide proof of business or your investor track records. Furthermore, you must acquire a state sponsorship. Be aware that there are limited quotas for every state.
Benefits of the Australian Residency
With the Australian visa, you are able to remain in Australia temporarily until you have acquired the permanent residence; this is possible once you have achieved certain business milestones in order to convert to the Permanent Residency. Then, you can apply for the passport after living in Australia for four years. This provides a wide array of benefits including the possibility to work in Australia, the freedom to travel throughout Australia as well as New Zealand, the ability to have Australian-born children, as well as healthcare and social welfare entitlement.
St Kitts and Nevis Investment Visa
St Kitts and Nevis form a country in the Caribbean. With the investment program, you have access to citizenship as well as a passport. The requirements for this investment visa are that you donate either 150 000 USD as a single applicant (add 25 000 for a spouse and 10 000 for every additional dependent) to the Government or that you invest 400 000 USD for a five-year period, or 200 000 for a seven-year period, in real estate. You must also be of outstanding character, hold no criminal record, have excellent health, and have a high personal net worth. You are expected to pay additional applicable taxes and fees.
Benefits of St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship
There are plenty of benefits to this citizenship. First, you have access to fast processing within four months. You may also use the accelerated application process which provides approval within sixty days. There are no physical residency requirements, no requirement to travel to St Kitts and Nevis during the application process (it is possible to apply remotely), and no interview, education, or managerial experience required. Moreover, you can travel to more than 135 countries which include Schengen member states, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, and many more. There are no taxes on worldwide income, and finally, the country recognizes dual citizenship, thus you can enjoy the benefits of both this passport and your current one.
Singapore Investment Visa Program (Global Investor Program)
The Singapore visa is called the “Global Investor Program”, or GIP. This visa requires you to fit one of three categories. The first option is for well-established business owners. First, you must be able to provide three years of entrepreneurial and business track records. Furthermore, you must be running a company with at least 200 million SGD in yearly revenues. You should also be the owner of 30% of the shares in the company if it is privately held and your company must engage in at least one of the targeted industries.
The second company is geared towards the next generation business owners. To obtain this visa, your immediate family should have a minimum of 30% shareholding in the family. You should be running a company that has a minimum of 500 million SGD in yearly revenues. You must be a part of the management team on the company board and your company has to be engaged in at least one of the targeted industries.
The third option is geared towards founders of fast-growing companies. For this visa, you must be the co-founder or founder and the biggest individual shareholder of a company with a minimum of 500 million SGD valuation. You must also be funded by a reputable Venture Capital or Private Equity Firm, and must be engaged in at least one of the targeted industries.
The final option is the family office scheme for which you must have a minimum of five years of experience in business, investment, or management. You must also have a net investible asset that reaches a minimum of 200 million SGD.
Regarding the investment, you must be able to invest a minimum of 2.5 million SGD in a Singapore-based company. The processing time is between 9-12 months (for the entire application process), and you can begin applying for citizenship after two years of permanent residence in Singapore.
Benefits of the Singapore Investor Visa Program
Singapore has become an incredibly rich-cultured country that has a lot to offer. Singapore passports give you access to 190 visa-free countries, which is the second best according to the Henley Passport Index. Singapore has been ranked as the “Happiest country in South-East Asia” according to the 2018 World Happiness Record and has also been ranked as the top city in Asia in terms of quality of life. Singapore students score among the best in the world and is widely known as being superior to many other countries. Health care was ranked the world’s most efficient in 2014 and it is universal. Additionally, international income is not taxed in Singapore; only income made in Singapore is taxed at very attractive rates: corporate tax is capped at 17%, and personal taxes are capped at 22%. For non-residents, taxe rates are a fixed 15%.
Requirements for US EB5 Visa
The United States of America has long been seen as the land of the free and that of the American dream. In other words, anything is possible in America with the right kind of investment. The US EB5 visa requires you to invest a minimum of 900, 000 USD. You must also provide proof of funds and create ten full-time employed positions. You must also provide a clean criminal record, and if you want to bring your children with you or want them to benefit from the visa, they must be under twenty-one. The processing time is between 24 and 48 months, and you do not need to have any English language skills to achieve it. You do not need to be in the country physically, however, if you want to get citizenship, you must prove that you are staying in the United States for a minimum of 180 days a year. Also, consider that with a visa from the United States, you are expected to pay US taxes on all your worldwide income.
Benefits of the US EB5 Visa
As mentioned, the United States has the reputation of being a country where dreams come true. Alongside this, it is undeniably a superpower, if not the world’s most powerful economy. With this visa, you have the opportunity to live, work and study in the United States. You get access to excellent education and have access to the pathway to being a US citizen after five years with this visa. With this passport, you have access to 185 visa-free countries. Health care is also one of the best in the world due to highly skilled doctors and other medical practitioners.
Requirements for a New Zealand Visa
To apply for the New Zealand investor visa, you have the choice between three options. With the Entrepreneur Visa (min 100 000 NZD), the New Zealand (NZ) Investor Visa, (min 3 000 000 NZD in funds or assets in New Zealand), or the New Zealand (NZ) Investor Plus visa (invest 10 million NZD into acceptable investments such as bonds, equities, property or other investments including philanthropic investments, angel funds or network investments). This must be done over a period of three years, and you must have no criminal record. Most applications will be processed within eight to ten months, however, the highest category is usually processed within three months. With a residency in New Zealand, you will be expected to pay tax on your worldwide income.
Benefits of the New Zealand Visa
New Zealand is an incredible country that has a rich culture to share with its visitors and newcomers. New Zealand is one of the places in the world that has the happiest citizens and the education system is at the top of the list. Healthcare is publicly funded in many cases, however you have the possibility to acquire private health care. A New Zealand passport provides visa-free entry into 129 countries.
Requirements for Portuguese Golden Visa
The Portuguese Golden Visa is arguably the best visa to acquire in Europe as it leads to citizenship without a physical stay. This visa has two options. The first requires you to invest a minimum of 500 000 Euros in real estate property in Portugal as well as to show that you hold no criminal record and that you have proof of source of funds. The second option requires the latter but only that you invest 350 000 euro in real estate that needs to be renovated.
Benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa
The Portuguese Golden Visa is extremely beneficial as the investment is very low for the number of benefits that you get to enjoy. The processing time is very fast as it is done within four to six weeks. Family members are eligible for the program as well. The visa allows travel across the Schengen zone, including freedom of movement, access to healthcare, and more. Permanent residency and citizenship can be acquired after as little as five years and there is only a minimal physical stay required (only seven days for the first year and a minimum of 14 days every two years after this). You get access to 183 countries without needing a visa and get to enjoy the quality education and health care provided both in Portugal and throughout the European Union. You also have the option to become a “non-habitual resident” and therefore will have to pay little to no tax for 10 years.
When looking at all things considered, the Portugese Golden Visa is by far the best option. Its low investment requirements are already enticing, and the opportunity to receive a passport that opens up the European Union, which gives you access to freedom of movement as well as all the benefits enjoyed by EU members, is unbeatable. The processing times are quick to receive a passport and you get to stay in your country when applying; indeed, you do not need to be on Portugese soil to apply. Thus, we strongly believe that this is the best residency programme in the world!
At One Visa, we understand that you may be overwhelmed by the options and possibilities. This is why we have made it our mission to provide top-of-the-class service that takes the stress off your shoulders. With One Visa, you will get to have no more stress due to your visa application(s) as our team will assist you in handling the entire visa application process from the start until the end efficiently. And if necessary, we will help you liaise with the local authority. Not only this, but we will advise and assist you in preparing value-add documents (e.g. justification, appeal letters, etc.) based on the latest immigration policies that can increase your chances of success substantially. Don’t forget that incomplete forms or improper documentation can lead to complications or delays; that’s only more paperwork for you. Our knowledge of immigration policies can help you save time and money Contact us today to find out more about your Citizenship By Investment Options.