Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIPs) enable investors from around the world to gain a second citizenship by making a government approved investment in the country’s associated citizenship by investment programme. Traditionally, the right to citizenship is granted on the basis of being born in a particular country, descent from parents, marriage and naturalisation (which is often a lengthy process and the terms of which vary significantly from country to country).
However in recent years the phenomenon of CIPs has led to an alternative means of acquiring the citizenship of foreign countries. Such programmes have minimum investment and residency requirements and are subject to strict due diligence and KYC processes. People invest in such programmes for a multitude of reasons, be it to gain greater travel opportunities, fulfil personal dreams, provide a better life for their family or simply to explore an alternate lifestyle.
Malta is a leading destination for people seeking alternative citizenship
Before choosing your preferred programme, here are 5 things you must consider:
- Investment amount: Each programme contains a different investment amount ranging from a donation of €100,000 to the Antigua and Barbuda National Development Fund to €2,500,000 (investment and property) for the Cyprus citizenship by investment scheme.
- Location: Lifestyle is inevitably an integral part of your decision to relocate to a different country/continent. With citizenship by investment available in several locations around the globe, primarily the Caribbean, Europe and the South Pacific, the destination should be high up on your list of things to consider.
- Benefits obtained upon acquisition of citizenship: A primary reason for investing in a citizenship by investment programme is not only to gain greater personal freedom and opportunities, but also to provide your family with a better life. You must ask what benefits you will receive upon being granted citizenship. For example, is the education system in your chosen destination among the finest in the world? Is the country home to a cutting edge healthcare system?
- Travel mobility: Being granted with citizenship rights also confers the granting of a second passport to you and your family. For investors from countries with traditionally low travel mobility this is inevitably incredibly important as increased travel flexibility provides you with greater both personal liberty and professional opportunities. People are often limited from traveling simply due to being born in the “wrong” country; however the majority of countries offering CIPs often have very strong passport and global mobility ranking meaning that you will no longer be constrained by simple geography.
- Tax optimisation: Many countries have dual taxation agreements and only subject income earned in that particular jurisdiction to tax. Also, many countries do not require you to contribute capital gains and/or other taxes. This means that you can manager your tax more efficiently and effectively.
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