Best Countries for Investor Residence & Citizenships
Immigration and residence in a foreign country are most saught by many wealthy investors and business persons. Unfortunately many are not aware that many Governments abroad encourage and offer a whole lot of significant benefits and incentives to investors and business entrepreneurs, who invest in their country which is why “economic investment programs” are officially adopted by these Governments. This also means that you can legally move, relocate or immigrate to another another country through investment.
Let us see a quick summary of investment programs available with different countries in Asia, Europe and Carribean.
In Europe, the following are the countries which are widely popular among non-EU and foreign nationals coming from other countries. These countries offer various residence programs for investors against a minimum investment and a residence permit can be obtained.
Austria is often seen as ‘swiss alternative’ destination as the costs arent that expensive compared to Switzerland. You directly qualify for austrian passport by making direct non-refundable charity donation of EUR 4-5 million euros.
Switzerland is the most attractive destination for wealthy clients who wish to relocate or retire in Europe. Switzerland has a “lump sum” taxation program of a minimum of CHF 150’000 you will given a choice of swiss canton and location to live and granted a swiss residence permit. No employment is allowed. This program is available for retirees, business entrepreneurs and self-employed persons.
Belgium is a major international financial center in Europe. To obtain residence in Belgium, you will need to form a new company with office/employees or join an already existing Belgium firm. The minimum investment usually needed about EUR 400’000 along with few additional costs. Belgium is the only country in europe, where it is possible to apply for citizenship after just 3 yrs of residence. Belgium residence permit requires no minimum stay during the year and offers visa free access to borderless schengen countries in europe.
United Kingdom has an official `Investor Immigration Program` for wealth and high net worth individuals who make a substantial high investment in the economy and development in the United Kingdom. Foreign nationals who are interested to immigrate to UK are required to make a high net worth investment of GBP 1,000,000 (1 million) and getting a UK residence permit is much faster than other countries in about 2 months of time.
France has a residency program for investors and entrepreneurs. The minimum business investment needed is 10 million euros and you will be given a residence permit renewable annually. You can visit all EU countries with this permit. Family members can also move to France.
Canada has a investor immigration program under Quebec and Federal level to foreign nationals who are willing to invest a minimum of CAD$ 800,000 which has to be invested in a government backed term deposit. No interest is paid and financing option is available and the whole amount can be financed. For this you will need to pay a down payment of approx CAD$ 220’000. Family dependents such as spouse and children under 18 years can be accompanied by the investor. The processing time for application is very lengthy in Canada and it may take about 8-14 months.
Bulgaria is a EU member country and currently offers a “investor program” for non-EU citizens where upon investing 1 million BGN (approx EUR 530,000), it is possible to get residence permit for 5 yrs. The investment can be placed in a govt guaranteed secure bonds or can be invested in bulgarian business venture.
Bulgaria has low tax rates on corporate and personal income. Bulgaria is likely to join the schengen in the near future.
Latvia offers a new residence program for investors and the residence program allows visa free travel in other European and schengen countries. A temporary residence permit can be obtained against a investment of EUR 300,000 in bank term deposit for 5 years (or) invest approx EUR 70,000 buying a real estate (or) by forming a business in Latvia.
Czech Republic has the cheapest residence program in Europe. Foreign nationals coming from outside Europe can get long stay business visa by forming a SRO company in Czech Republic. SRO works just like LLC and single person can be the owner. The capital required is approx EUR 8000 and atleast 50% of the capital must be paid up. As a owner of the company, you will qualify for long stay residence permit, along with your family and members. Permanent residence can only be obtained after 5 years of legal residence. Purchase of real estate property is possible through the SRO company. All company incorporation costs would come around EUR 5’000 and in addition you will need EUR 10’000 to EUR 15’000 annually to cover living costs and expenses.
Monaco is a very popular destination for wealthy millionaires. Getting residence in Monaco is possible against a minimum investment of EUR 1,000,000 (1 million) which has to be invested either with a Monaco bank or in Real estate or with a good mix of both. Monaco is not a EU member country and non-EU persons have to apply through France. There are no income, wealth, gift or capital gains taxes in Monaco and the prices of real estate are very expensive.
In Asia, the following countries are widely popular for residence among international foreign investors coming from other countries.
Hong Kong has low corporate taxes and its a major financial and business centre in Asia. Hong Kong has a “Investor Residence Program” and the minimum investment needed is HK$ 10 million or more (approx US$ 1.2 mill) and this money can be invested in Real Estate or Certificates of Deposit (CD), equities, securities or investment schemes endorsed by HK Immigration Dept.
Singapore excels in modern major financial and banking sector in south east Asia. Singapore offers a “Global Investment Program” which encourages overseas investors and business entrepreneurs to make a significant contribution to the economy of the country. The minimum investment needed is SG$ 5 million (approx US$ 4 million) which has to be deposited in a bank or financial institution authorized by Singapore Financial Authority.
The following are the countries in Carribean which are widely popular among non-EU and foreign nationals coming from other countries. These countries offer various residence or even directly “economic citizenship” to those who invest in the development and economy of the country.
St.Kitts and Nevis
St.Kitts and Nevis offers directly “citizenship” to foreign clients and the minimum investment needed is USD 250,000 and there are no residency requirements. The major advantage of gaining St.Kitts Citizenship and passport is it allows visa free travel to schengen and other 180 countries including Europe. Investment in Real estate is also possible with higher amount. No personal visit is needed.
Panama has a investor program to foreign nationals who invest in the country. The minimum investment is USD 80,000 which has to be invested in agriculture project or USD 300,000 in a real estate or a bank term deposit. A temporary or permanent residence can be obtained under investor, business or pensioner category.
Bahamas is a major offshore “Tax haven” for company formations in the Carribean. Bahamas has “economic investment program” for which a permanent residence is granted foreign nationals who make minimum investment of USD 500’000, in buying purchase a residence (a home or condominim) in Bahamas. The permanent residence grants the investor right to live and work in Bahamas.
Dominica offers direct “citizenship” upon investing a non refundable investment of USD$ 75,000 in the economic development of the country. The formalities invoved with the Govt is very strict and the personal interview in Dominica is a must.
Restrictions on Dual citizenship: In the above list, Austria, Monaco, Latvia, Singapore, Hong Kong does not permit dual nationality, which means when you become a citizen, you will need to renounce your previous nationality.
For more information, please visit http://www.best-citizenships.com
Our team of lawyers and legal experts in residence and citizenship, provide the best advice and assistance our clients in residence, immigration and citizenships in various countries. Please do not hesitate to contact us, should you need specific assistance.
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