Each country has specific requirements the applicant must meet to be able to apply for its citizenship or residency by investment programs. Some of the basic conditions are being over 18 years of age, having a clean criminal record, a legal source of funds and investing in one of the government-approved options.
Governments contract independent third-party Due Diligence Agencies who use intelligence tools to check the applicants’ background. These checks include verification of all documents issued by official institutions at the applicant’s country of origin and residence, media reports, verification of their businesses and companies the applicant owns or is related with. The Government also carries out a vetting of the applicant by law enforcement agencies and INTERPOL to ensure a clean criminal record. Once all checks have been finished the Government draws a decision.
The rejection rate varies depending on each program’s criteria and standards. Malta has a 30% rejection rate while others have a 1% rejection rate on average. To prevent a possible rejection and prior to onboarding you as our client, we conduct a pre-screening check - at no cost to you- using sophisticated systems which enable us to understand if there is any potential threat to your application.
Difficulties can arise once the client goes through Due Diligence and our combined expertise of being one of the oldest companies in the industry is the best support a client can have under these circumstances.
Eligibility of dependents differs in every country, but usually a spouse and underage children, biological or adopted are eligible. Dependent children over the age of 18 can be included as well if they meet specific criteria. Additionally, parents and sometimes grandparents of the main applicant and their spouse can be included, given that they fit the requirements. Some exceptional programs also accept siblings of the main applicant and wife within certain criteria.
It is important to understand what the criteria and costs involved in the particular country of choice to add family members in the future. This might be a key for you to choose between once program or the other.
This does not necessarily mean that you will be rejected. We need to carefully assess your case and all support documentation you might have related to the case. Before taking a high-risk application, we pre-screen it with the Government.
None of the country that offer second citizenship by investment require investors to renounce their nationality by birth.
Some countries have certain nationalities banned to apply for citizenship, however, there is a solution for every nationality. Residence programs are in general more flexible when it comes to this as the country is not granting you citizenship but just the right to reside in their country.
Citizenship by Investment programs do not require the applicant to learn the language. Residence programs, on the other hand, once the applicant meets the criteria to apply for citizenship at this stage a language test could be required. This varies from country to country.
Citizenship by investment programs do not require the applicant to reside in the country to obtain the citizenship. However, some of the citizenship programs do require a physical short visit to be granted to passport. On the other hand, residency programs could require some visits over time to keep the residency. Residency programs could also have as a criteria to live in the country for a certain period of time to be able to apply for citizenship.
Second Citizenship, Second Passport and Dual Nationality refers to a person who is a legal citizen of two or more countries at the same time. Some countries do not allow their citizens to hold a second citizenship, so it is essential to verify whether this is the case for your country of birth before applying to acquire another one. All programs we promote allow dual citizenship.
Citizenship by Investment is a particular category of the citizenship law and only a few countries in the world have this provision. Citizenship by investment programs allow foreign investors and their families to legally obtain citizenship through an investment in the economy of the country. The benefit of this citizenship category is that citizenship status is achieved in a shorter timeframe than traditional immigration processes, with little or no physical residency requirements.
Holding a second citizenship has several advantages you can have access to safe and prosperous economy, better access to business opportunities and global markets, world-class healthcare, education opportunities for this and future generations. You should not be defined and limited by your nationality by birth. A second citizenship helps you to have a more expansive life.
Countries that offer Citizenship by Investment programs include Cyprus (on hold), Malta, Montenegro, Turkey, Vanuatu, St. Kitts and Nevis, Commonwealth of Dominica, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Lucia.
The application costs of citizenship by investment depend on each program, the number of family members and ages of the children. The cost also varies depending on what route you chose to apply for citizenship, whether it is a donation to a Government fund, real estate investment or investment on other financial assets.
As a guideline the most cost-effective citizenship program starts at USD 100,000 for a single applicant and USD 150,000 for a family of four members.
There are different routes to apply for citizenship by investment and these are making a financial contribution to a pre-approved Government fund, investing in a Government approved real estate project, or investing in other financial assets such as Government Bonds; in a local business or a creating a new start-up. Each country has different laws and pre-established investment routes to qualify for citizenship.
Certain Governments establish investment funds and allow applicants to financially contribute to these funds in exchange for citizenship. There are no returns generated from these funds and the capital is non-refundable therefore they are known as “Donations”.
Countries can then use these funds to invest in their own projects, such as real estate development, business development and job creation, aimed at boosting the economy.
The non-refundable financial contribution is in the form of a one-time payment executed upon approval of the citizenship application after a stringent vetting and due diligence process.
There are certain citizenship by investment programs which do not require applicants to move to that country and grant the citizenship and passport in approximately 2 to 6 months (depending on the program and the complexity of the applicant’s profile). Residency by investment programs issue the residency within 3 months (not citizenship) and after 5 years the applicant could potentially apply for the citizenship if they have complied with all the requirements by law. Some of these requirements could be residing in the country for a number of years, paying taxes and in some cases residency programs might not lead to citizenship at all as this at Governments’ discretion.
Depending on the program the process of applying for a second citizenship is done through an Authorized Government Agency such as Citizenship Invest. We have been working closely with the governments on countless applications. We are continuously updating and refining our systems and protocols to meet the requirements of the governments. You can contact us and book a free consultation to gain more insight into the application procedure.
To understand the process in detail please contact one of our Certified Consultants.
A second residency is one obtained in a different country in addition to the primary or current residency of the applicant. A significant number of countries allow their citizens or residents to hold multiple residencies and benefit from all of them.
Residency by Investment, commonly known as Golden Visa is a category of the residency law which allows individuals to obtain legal residency into a country by making an investment in a designated sector established by the residency law of each country. The difference between a Residency by Investment and a residency obtained by the conventional process is that the residency through investment has little or no physical residency requirements.
A residency permit allows to legally reside in the host country without being a citizen. Residents are entitled to live, work, go to school and access health care in the host country. After a number of years and complying with certain requirements, which could be living in the country for a certain amount of time and learning the language, some countries grant citizenship.
Countries that offer Residency by Investment include Portugal, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria, Malta, Ireland, United Kingdom, among others.
When a second residence is obtained, the family benefits through access to the health system, universities and job opportunities that may not be available in your home country.
To apply for citizenship several countries with citizenship-by-investment programs require the applicant to apply through a Government Approved Firm. We have been a Government Approved company for over 10 years since the inception of many of these programs.
There is certain information which is key to pre-assess your case such as:
• What is your nationality of birth?
• What is your country of residence?
• Do you have any other residency permit from other countries?
• Have you resided anywhere else in the last 10 years? If yes, how long have you lived in that country?
• Have you been rejected any tourist of business visas before? If yes, have you re-applied?
• Have you been rejected any citizenship/residency in the past?
• How often do you travel? What countries do you go to?
• What is the source of funds to pay for the investment?
There are a few factors you can consider when choosing the most suitable program for you and your family.
- Do you need a second passport in a short period of time or could you go through a more lengthy process of first applying for residence and in a few year time for citizenship
- Do you want to move to another country or you would like to remain where you are but with better mobility
- Number of dependent children and their ages (some programs accept older children while others do not and these older children would need to apply as single applicants, which could become costly)
- Do you want to include your siblings under your application (some programs accept siblings, but most do not)
- What are your travelling habits and goals when it comes to access specific countries visa free
Fast citizenship programs take from 3 to 6 months to issue the approval and residency programs around 2 to 4 months.
• Property tax ranging from 0,6% to 1,9%
• Transfer tax on properties ranging from 3%-8%
• A non-resident individual is taxed on Cyprus-source income only
• Progressive tax rates imposed up to 35% on incomes above EUR 19,500
• No capital duty, capital acquisitions tax, inheritance/estate tax, wealth/net worth tax
• Persons who are resident or domiciled in Malta are taxable on their income
• No capital duty, real property tax, no inheritance, net wealth/net worth tax
• Tax is generally due on any gain on the transfer of property
• Moldova has 48 operational tax treaties in place, which safeguard against double taxation with other jurisdictions, this contributes for one of the most competitive tax systems in the region.
• The standard VAT rate is 20%, while the reduced rate is 8%. The recent fiscal reform established a unique tax rate on the income of individuals and legal entities at the level of 12%.
• The wealth tax rate is 0.8% of the taxable base.
• Montenegro offers one of the lowest personal income tax rates in Europe starting at 9%
• The corporate tax rate is only 9%.
• Non-residents are taxed on Greece-source profits only
• No capital duty, no net wealth/ net worth tax
• Stamp duty for individuals is 3,6%
• Property taxation includes a main tax depending on the characteristics of the property and an additional tax calculated for properties value exceeding EUR 300,000
• Inheritance tax ranging from 1-10% for close relatives
• Non-residents are taxed on their Portuguese-source income only
• Real estate income is taxed at a flat rate of 28%
• A municipal tax is levied on property sales and transfers
• 10% stamp duty on inheritance/estate tax with exceptions on a few cases
• No net wealth/net worth tax
• Non-residents are taxed on Spanish-source income
• For capital gains progressive rates apply
• Stamp duty is applicable at 0,5-1%
• Capital acquisitions tax is 7%
• As real property tax the municipal authorities levy a real estate tax, with a temporary surcharge of upto 10%
• Inheritance estate tax ranges from 7-34%
• Non-residents are taxed only on Bulgaria-source income
• Individuals who have a permanent address in Bulgaria but whose center of vital interests is not in the country are not considered a Bulgarian tax resident
• No stamp duty, capital duty, wealth/net worth tax
• Non-residents are taxed on income derived or sourced in Grenada only
• No capital gains, stamp duty, capital acquisitions tax, no inheritance tax, net wealth/net worth tax
• Real property tax is ranging 0-0,5% depending on the property’s use
-No capital gains, no property tax, stamp duty, capital acquisitions tax, inheritance tax, net wealth/net worth
-Non-residents are taxed on income derived or sourced in Dominica
Tax treaty is in force with CARICOM
-Non-residents are taxed on income derived or sourced in Antigua and Barbuda only
-Capital gains are not subject to tax
-No capital duty, capital acquisitions tax, inheritance tax, net wealth/net worth tax
-Treaties are in force with CARICOM and the United Kingdom
-Non-residents are taxed on St. Lucia-source profits only
-No capital gains, stamp duty, capital acquisitions tax, no inheritance tax, net wealth/net worth tax
-Real property tax is ranging 0-0,5% depending on the property’s use
-No personal income tax, capital duty, capital acquisitions tax, inheritance/estate tax, net wealth/net worth tax
-Property tax ranges 0,2-0,3% depending on the property’s use and location
-Stamp duty on the transfer of real estate property ranges from 2% to 18,5% and payable by the seller
-Tax treaties are in force with CARICOM, Monaco, Switzerland and the United Kingdom
• There is no tax on global income, inheritance and capital gains
• Vanuatu has zero corporation tax for both domestic and international companies
• Turkey holds a double taxation treaty with most nations in the developed world
• Non-residents pay taxes only on their Turkish-source income
• No wealth tax in Turkey
• V.A.T. is levied at a 18% rate. Reduced rates of 8% and 1% may apply for certain goods and services
• With an E-2 Investors visa the person is only liable for taxes generated by the business they hold in the United States and are not taxed on worldwide income (as they do not hold US citizenship or permanent residency)