The subject of economic citizenship is becoming increasingly popular and more and more HNWIs are applying for their second passports in various jurisdictions. Over the last three years a number of the Caribbean countries: Antigua, Grenada, Dominica and St Lucia introduced their citizenship by investment programmes.
The subject of economic citizenship is becoming increasingly popular and more and more HNWIs are applying for their second passports in various jurisdictions.
Over the last three years a number of the Caribbean countries: Antigua, Grenada, Dominica and St Lucia introduced their citizenship by investment programmes. They are more less copy cats of the oldest running programme in the world of St Kitts and Nevis.
There are currently three European countries – Malta, Cyprus and Portugal offering their citizenships in return for an investment.
The American EB-5 Immigration Program was created by the Congress the in 1990 to stimulate the U.S. economy. Both Canada and Australia have various investment based Immigration schemes in place.
This is aside a numerous permanent residency programmes worldwide.
The number of service providers in the citizenship by investment industry has surged in the last couple of years. Not to mention various conferences, summits and seminars taking place almost on a weekly basis in various locations worldwide.
There is no clear statistics on the overall number of applicants as the governments of the respective jurisdictions do not tend to publish this data.
I personally find this subject totally fascinating as it gives people who are in a position to afford these programmes more choices in life. Having worked with a number of clients over the years and advising them on different programmes I have come to a conclusion that they all have something in common. They all want to have freedom – freedom of movement, freedom of choosing their tax residency, freedom of deciding where to educate their children. This basically boils down to freedom of choice. People who were born in the first world countries take this freedom of choice for granted but for the majority of the world’s population this is a luxury they will never be able to afford.
There is not a typical client’s profile. Each family is different and have their personal agenda. A lot of factors need to be taking into account before deciding what programme suits their individual needs. One thing is clear that an EU passport opens more doors than a Caribbean and entails no tax liability unlike its US competitor. There are a few beneficial tax programmes worldwide available to the EU citizens only – Switzerland, Portugal and Panama to mention a few. An EU passport allows your children to study and live in any of the European Union country. I am sure if more HNWIs in China, Russia, India, Vietnam, Nigeria and other emerging market countries knew about the options available to them a number of applicants would double.