In these times of uncertainty where not only a worldwide pandemic but political strife, economic upheaval has made it difficult for people to live in their home country or to freely move around, a second passport is the best option for those who can afford one.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Second Passport
- Cost of citizenship by investment
- Personal lifestyle and requirements
The benefits of a second passport or dual citizenship are:
- A better quality of life
Countries that have a high standard of living, stable political and economic situation, an excellent healthcare system and high-quality education are always a good option.
- Increased freedom of movement
A second passport gives the holder the freedom to travel.
- Tax optimization
Many of the countries that offer citizenship by investment have different tax incentives for the investor.
- Plan B
In this time of uncertainty, it is always good to have an alternative plan that will allow one to conserve or improve their lifestyle.
- Investment opportunities
The investments that the citizenship by investment program offers are in real estate or financial instruments that have been vetted by the government and guarantee good return on investments.
St. Kitts and Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis, two islands located in the eastern Caribbean Sea and known for its mountains and beaches appears in most lists. It has the oldest citizenship by investment program in the world and only a processing period of 60 days upon submission of application.
- A minimum investment of US$150,000 into a sustainable growth fund for an individual or family of up to four persons
- US$200,000 investment in property for 7 years or $400,000 for 5 years.
A St. Kitts and Nevis passport allows the holder visa-free access to 156 countries around the world.
Vanuatu is an island nation in the South Pacific Ocean with the fastest processing period for a second passport of only 30 days for investor and his family. No physical presence is required.
A minimum investment of US$130,000 is all that is required and the holder will have visa-free access to 129 countries that include the EU, UK, Singapore and Hongkong.
A Golden Visa Portugal allows the holder to live, work, and study in Portugal and anywhere else within the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.
Benefits of the Golden Visa Portugal
- A minimum investment of €500,000 in real estate property or capital investments.
- Travel visa-free within the European Union, European Economic Area, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and 186 other countries.
- Includes family members.
- Renewable every two years with no residency requirements.
- Citizenship is possible in 5 years.
- Allows holder to live, work, and study in Portugal.
- Excellent educational system.
- Excellent healthcare system.
Golden Visa Portugal, real estate option
The Golden Visa Portugal real estate option is perhaps the most popular way to get residency in Portugal. This is because Portugal is seen as a prime destination among property investors, with a flourishing real estate market, high rental yields, and booming tourism industry.
- Many expats buy properties in Portugal for tourism purposes, or to serve as a second home or a retirement destination. You can invest in newly-built properties in thriving Lisbon or Porto starting from €500,000.
- However, the Portuguese government would like to transfer the focus of real estate investments from the high-density areas like Lisbon, Porto, the Algrave, and the high-density coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast to low-density areas like the Azores, Madeira and the cities and towns in the interior of Portugal where you can invest €350,000 for existing properties located in urban re-generation areas
- The most economical investment route for the scheme is to make a €280K investment in the rehabilitation of real estate in low-density areas. The Portugal Golden Visa property for sale must at least be more than thirty years old and undergoing renovation.
Golden Visa Portugal, capital investment options
Investing in private equity funds or Golden Visa Portugal venture capital funds is a good option for acquiring residency in Portugal. The funds are managed by fund managers who are accredited by Portugal’s regulatory body, the CMVM. Your dedicated fund manager ensures that the Golden Visa Portugal fund investments are appropriately managed in start-ups or medium-sized projects with optimal growth potential.
- A capital transfer of at least €1.5 million
- A €500,000 investment into private equity or venture capital funds providing capital to specified companies
- A €500,000 investment in companies that are scientific or technological in nature
- A €500,000 business investment in the form of either the purchase of shares in a Portuguese company or setting up a company in sectors like energy, industry, technology, and real estate.
- Generate at least five permanent jobs for at least three years for Portuguese citizens.
Golden Visa Portugal, tax benefits
- Golden Visa Portugal’s income tax benefits are a big draw for foreign investors looking to get the most out of their financial contribution. Visa holders don’t need to pay extra taxes on income produced outside of Portugal.
- There’s also an option to register as a fiscal resident for tax purposes in Portugal. This is a fantastic option as it’ll allow you to then directly benefit from Portugal’s Non-Habitual Tax (NHR) Regime. NHR is a generous tax program with numerous benefits pertaining to your global income. It offers tax-free incentives on certain categories for a period of up to ten years.
- Additionally, any Portuguese-sourced income would be taxed at a flat rate of 20% during the first ten years and there is also the ability to pass on your wealth to a spouse or dependent without incurring inheritance or gift taxes.
The Greek Golden Visa
The Greek experience and lifestyle can be yours through the Greek Golden Visa. For a minimum investment of €250,000, through a real estate purchase for private ownership or rental, one can avail of a five-year residency after which one can apply for the citizenship program.
The Greek Golden Visa allows the holder the following benefits:
- The right to live in Greece
- The entire family is eligible
- Visa-free travel to Schengen zone
- Good quality of life
- High standards of education
- Free and equal access to the Greek Healthcare System
- The Greek Golden Visa is approved within 60 days
- Does not require the applicant to live in Greece.
Benefits of the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program:
- The Turkish passport has visa-free access to 125 countries and territories all over the world. However, it does not benefit from visa-free travel to the Schengen areas.
- Turkey holds an E-2 visa treaty with the United States. This means that once the applicant becomes a citizen of Turkey, he can apply for US residency through the E-2 visa program. This is a much quicker and more cost-effective route for the Turkish citizen.
- Turkey also has an agreement with the United Kingdom through the Turkish Businessperson Visa wherein the holder of a Turkish passport who would like to establish a business or has employment options in the United Kingdom can apply for a special business visa from the United Kingdom and start the process for applying for British citizenship.
- Turkey allows dual citizenship.
- Spouses, children below 18 years old and parents who are dependents of the applicant can avail of Turkish passports.
- Residency in Turkey is not required.
- Turkish language proficiency is not required.
- Applicants are required to hold their real estate purchases for three years, after which they can sell the property or hold the property for five years and not have to pay capital gains tax.
- An applicant can earn an average of 8% annually on real estate rentals
Requirements of the Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program:
US$250,000 real estate investment in one or several properties.
The program features a straightforward application process without any obligation to declare the investor’s assets or income generated in other countries. The physical presence of the applicant is also not required.
There is a wide range property choices from modern apartments to luxury seafront villas at very competitive prices. Istanbul and holiday destination Antalya are the most popular. Property owners can choose to rent their properties with an average return on investment of 8%. Investors are not limited to one property and can invest in several properties. Investors can resell after 3 years or after 5 years and not have to pay capital gains tax.
Applicants can take out loans for real estate investments and the government has brought down mortgage loan rates by state lenders and well-known property construction firms offer good discounts.
US$500,000 deposit in a Turkish bank for at least 3 years. Applicant can also make a fixed-asset investment that has been confirmed by the Ministry of Industry and Technology or invest in government bonds with the potential to receive interest as income. Investments need to be kept for at least 3 years.
US$500,000 capital investment in a Turkish Real Estate Investment Trust or a venture capital fund or set up a business and create employment for at least 50 Turkish citizens confirmed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Security.
The Turkish Citizenship by Investment Program is certainly worth looking into especially after all the appealing changes they have made to the program. Turkey also benefits from the citizenship by investment program as it boosts investment in the economy and shore up the lira.