Citizenship programs have varying processing timeframes based on country in question. Most programs in the Caribbean are processed within 4 – 6 months, while European programs are processed within 6 – 12 months, and Turkey within 6 – 12 months.
No, you do not need to be a High Net Worth individual in order to qualify for Second Citizenship or Residency, though certain programs like the Saint Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program and the European Golden Visa programs require a minimum net worth in order to be eligible.
All Citizenship by Investment and Residency (Golden Visa) programs allow for main applicants to apply along with their families. Details for each program can be found here.
A Golden visa in Portugal or Greece allows you freedom of movement through the Schengen Zone area. However, in order to avail the Visa Free or Visa on Arrival services afforded by the passports of these countries, you must become Citizens of these countries through their specific Naturalization processes.
Saint Kitts and Nevis has the most powerful Citizenship by Investment passport, with Visa Free access to over 161 countries worldwide.
The general rule of thumb is that you should not have been rejected for a visa in any country that allows visa free access to your new country of Citizenship. However, a visa rejection is not the end of the world. If you are able to apply for the specific region where you have had a visa rejection and get another visa before you apply for your Second Citizenship, your application will not be rejected.
Citizenship through Investment in Malta and Portugal allow for access to the United States through the United States Visa Waiver program. Both programs allow visa free entry to Canada for upto six months.
The E2 visa is a Treaty Trader and Investor Visa for the United States, issued for individual investors or investing companies from countries that have a treaty with the United States. The investment can be in any industry or business such as tourism, IT, marketing, etc.
To be eligible for an E2 visa, there are several criteria that you must meet, such as:
- You and all dependent applicants must already have received Turkish, Montenegrin or Grenadian Citizenship through the Citizenship by Investment program.
- You must have the intent to invest a substantial amount of capital in an existing or new bona fide business. A bona fide company is a real company that produces products or services and is profitable.
- You must ensure that the business generates more profit than to just make a living. New businesses are exempt from the requirement of marginal profit, but should meet this requirement within five years.
- You must have the goal to develop the business further through that investment.
- You must place the funds in a bank account or with an agent until your visa is approved.
It is also recommended that the investment should be of an amount between $100,000 to $200,000 in an existing business or in a new business, although smaller investment qualifies sometimes. In addition, the investment should be expected to increase employment, at least for 3 to 4 people.
Yes, it is legal to do so in the interest of protecting your wealth and assets, however, you must fulfill any current obligations to your country of current Citizenship before you move your wealth. The United States of America and Eritrea tax their Citizens globally, which means that even if you do obtain Second Citizenship as an American or an Eritrean, you are liable to pay taxes in your home country. For all other nationalities, tax implications are based on their tax residency.
Global political, social and environmental systems are in a constant state of flux. Being a Citizen of any one country can often leave you prone to travel, residence and banking restrictions based on the rules-du-jour. Having a Second Citizenship allows you to legally overcome restrictions placed on your birth country through your Second Citizenship. Most Second Citizenship jurisdictions are impartial and neutral in the Global political sphere and as a consequence afford their Citizens right of movement at all times. Social upheaval and Environmental disasters often occur without warning and having a Second Citizenship in such times offers safe harbors.
In most cases, countries offer Citizenship by Investment through donations to Government Development programs, Investments into Approved Real Estate or through Financial Instruments like Government Approved Bonds, Bank Deposits etc. Some programs require a combination of two or more of the above in order to qualify for Citizenship or Residency.
Any businessperson looking to do business globally needs to ensure his or her Global Mobility is unhindered. A Second Citizenship or Golden Visa allows for such individuals to travel to most areas of the world for important, often last-minute meetings with ease, without having to apply for visas, submit copious amounts of documentation and wait endlessly for their passports to be stamped. With a Second Citizenship you can visit most countries without a Visa (visa-free access) or with visa on arrival.
Golden Visas in Europe enable freedom of movement through Europe’s Schengen area, and eventually the advantages of Visa Free access once Citizenship is approved.
Second Citizenship and Residency also allows for choosing suitable jurisdictions to optimize taxes, most countries that offer Second Citizenship also feature low taxation regimes that can be highly advantageous.
While the exact percentage of tax savings will vary based on several factors including the tax percentage in your present country, and the specific program you choose to apply for, we have in the past helped to bring down taxes to as low as less than 1% of total taxable income for our clients, saving them hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.
All countries reserve the right to approve or restrict other nationalities from applying for their respective Citizenship or Golden Visa programs. You can find more details about individual programs from here.
EB5 Visas are the US equivalent of Golden Visas. This visa allows holders to live, work, study, or retire in the US without having to find employment.
As with other Golden Visa types, EB-5 visas require you to make a very substantial investment in the US. This visa is ideal for foreign nationals who are aspiring to obtain American citizenship or a Green Card.
In a nutshell, the EB-5 visa is:
In order to qualify for this visa, you must invest at least $900,000 in a US company and create at least 10 American jobs.
The EB-5 Visa allows you to receive a Green Card and live in the United States if you qualify.
Dependent family members can also apply. Your spouse and children can also receive a Green Card.
Only 10,000 EB-5 investment visas are issued each year. This includes visas issued to family members.
Investment options for EB-5 visas
EB-5 Visas can be obtained through two types of investments:
- By investing at least $900,000 in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA). Investing in a rural area or a region with a high unemployment rate in a government-approved program.
- Investing at least $1.8 million outside a TEA. You can invest in another company/enterprise of your choice or start your own business in the US, but make sure it meets the USCIS requirements.