The exit of the United Kingdom from the EU politically and economically, has left British citizens residing in a European country wondering how it will affect them. According to the official website of the European Union, UK nationals, along with their family members, will have to apply for a new residence status. The new biometric residence card, which is similar to the residence cards that are issued to other non-EU nationals living in the EU, grants one access to the rights defined in the Withdrawal Agreement, wherein the cardholder and family members will be exempt from ETIAS and visa requirements when moving to the European country of choice. Here are the rules to be met by non-EU residents that opt to apply for the new residence card:

  • Reporting presence
  • Registering your residence abroad
  • Registering your EU family
  • Registering your non-EU family

In order to obtain the new card, you will have to ensure that you meet all the stated requirements, so you can keep using your current residence card until you get your new biometric residence card. Although it is not obligatory to get the new card, it is recommended.

Once you have updated your residency status and ensured that you have gathered all the required documents, you will continue to be allowed to live in the country you have been living in. Nevertheless, all the benefits you are entitled to while residing in the EU country have to be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement in order to be lawful. For expats that are planning to return to the UK, the right to live, work, and access benefits and services, such as healthcare in the UK or the right to vote, has not changed.

There are different options for British nationals to choose where to live in Europe after Brexit. For all the options, however, you will need to register as a resident in the country, register for healthcare, and exchange your UK driver’s license for one from the country. 

Living in Europe: best options

One of the best options is Greece, with its ideal climate and marvelous landscapes, wherein great business opportunities can be available within the 2,000 islands that the country has to offer. All UK nationals resident in Greece should get the new biometric residence document before the June 30, 2021 deadline, in order to retain the rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. The eligibility for residency depends on how long one has stayed in the country: for those residing for 5 or more years, they will be eligible for permanent residency and a 10-year renewable residency document; for those with less than 5 years residing, they will be eligible for a document with 5 years validity.

The request for documents depends on the location, where you will be instructed to visit the Aliens Department of your area. For example, those living in Attica and Thessaloniki will be visiting the nearest Hellenic Police station that has an Aliens Department.

Another place where British nationals can live in Europe after Brexit is Spain and Portugal. The biometric residence is needed to ensure your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement, regardless of how long one has lived in the country or is just planning to do so. If you have been registered as a resident before July 6, 2020, you will have a certificate that ensures your rights regardless if you choose to get the new biometric residence or not.

Different fees are also required to be paid in order to successfully acquire the biometric residence card and start living the European dream after leaving the UK. Furthermore, UK nationals that are seeking additional help to secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement can approach the UK nations Support Fund.

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The Golden Visa Spain is the best option for international entrepreneurs that are planning to invest in the country to benefit from the country’s potential for financial and lifestyle growth. Aside from having the opportunity to live and work within the countries in the Schengen region, once you become a holder of this visa, you and your family will be eligible to access the healthcare and educational system of the country. In recent years, Spain has been updating its education system through new and innovative teaching methodologies to offer the best quality education to their Spanish and foreign students. Therefore, the Golden Visa Spain will give your children the opportunity to learn in a school that leads in the world rankings.

Aside from its low cost of living and appealing weather, Spain is known to be among the best in terms of the educational system, as some schools in the country have been declared as among the best schools by the elite of education worldwide, proven to be even better than institutions in Finland, Japan or Korea. International students will have the opportunity to learn from the linguistic, historic, artistic, architectural, natural, musical, athletic, and gastronomical wealth of the country. Moreover, according to the 2015 PISA/OECD survey on the education standard of 70 countries, Spain has shown its great potential in terms of Science and Mathematics performance. All of these have led the country to guarantee that students develop a sense of belonging at school, wherein they are able to grow and achieve their full potential when it comes to career development.

The school system in Spain is divided into four levels: preschool (0-3 years and 3-6 years), primary school (6-12 years), compulsory secondary education or ESO (12-16 years) and post-16 education (16-18 years). The first 10 years of the students between the ages of 6 to 16 are obligatory and free of charge, for those who have enrolled in a public state school. After graduating from the compulsory secondary school (ESO), the child may choose what path to take: they can choose to take a vocational training of two years or continue on to post-16 education (Bachillerato). Upon deciding on the second option, the major he chooses in the Bachillerato will determine what course he will be taking at the University of their choice after they have passed the entrance examination (Selectividad). Pompeu Fabra University, Autonomous University of Barcelona, and the University of Barcelona are top 3 universities in the country that are part of the World University Rank of 2021, all of them in the Catalan city of Barcelona.

Furthermore, international students can also acquire their graduate degrees in the country from some of the best business schools in Europe. The Barcelona Campus of IESE Business School – Universidad de Navarra is on top of the list in the Spanish MBAs, placed 12th globally in 2019. As a further testament to its international notoriety, IESE’s Full Time MBA program consistently boasts a student class that is predominantly non-Spaniard. The school offers flexible and comprehensive courses to maximize students’ potential in the fields of investment banking, management consulting, or entrepreneurship, among others.

The reason why families aspire to obtain the Golden Visa Spain and decide to study in the country is not only for the quality of education but also for the budget-friendly lifestyle, an important factor for college students that are looking forward to getting international level education for less than in other schools in Europe. Moreover, students will have the opportunity to learn the second most spoken language in the world, after Chinese, which will be a huge advantage when it comes to work application and culture development, particularly useful in the emerging markets of Latin America.

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Portugal is in the process of updating its Golden Visa programs in 2021, as we had announced some months ago. The changes in the requirements of the Portuguese Golden Visa will encourage international investors to target other areas of the country with low population, rather than in the more popular cities of Porto and Lisbon. This will help the country gain a more balanced environmental and social status, as entrepreneurs must redirect their companies and funds to more remote places than in the typical urban cities. Nevertheless, international investors will still have the opportunity to benefit from this long-term plan, while experiencing the Mediterranean lifestyle in one of the safest countries in Europe.

The new deadline before international investors can acquire their Portuguese Golden Visa through investment in the metropolitan cities of the country is in March 2021; therefore, all the applicants that have submitted their residency permit petition before the end of 2020 are holding their breath for it to be released before the third month of 2021. The new restriction will fully affect investors that are planning to purchase property this year, as Portugal wants to spread the locations where international entrepreneurs are buying real estate.

These modifications in the Portuguese Golden Visa do not change its popularity among investors and their families that want to live, work and study in one of the most peaceful countries in the world. Portugal is consistently on top of the Annual Global Retirement Index for 2020 for its affordable lifestyle, high safety rating and the professional quality of healthcare; the main reasons international investors choose this country as their life plan despite the new restrictions. Aside from these advantages, the Portuguese Golden Visa will give you the right to work in the country, and choose from a variety of schools with a high standard international educational system, which includes 2 of the 10 best European universities. And as part of the Schengen Area, once you acquire the Portuguese Golden Visa, you can travel to the countries that are in the Schengen Zone without the need of another visa. Among the 26 countries that you could visit include Germany, the Netherlands and Finland.

However, the new restrictions in the Portuguese Golden Visa will not apply to the fund investment option or other investment options. Therefore, the investment fund option with a 350,000€ investment minimum remains the best opportunity for entrepreneurs to invest in a start-up or medium-sized project with great development potential. This investment opportunity introduced in 2018 has different sectors regulated by CMVM, Portugal’s regulator, where the applicant can choose to invest in different sectors, such as real estate, technology and industry. The main benefits of the Portuguese Golden Visa option are that the sectors are being handled by qualified experts, and the capital that is invested are tax-friendly, where dividends and capital gains are returned to the investor through subsidies or financed by the FDI, the Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento. On the other hand, the Algarve is another alternative for international investors that want to purchase real estate with the new restrictions on the Portuguese Golden Visa. It complies with the minimum requirement to be submitted for its lower density location, compared to more populous cities in Portugal, for as low as 280,000€ or 400,000€.

Portuguese Golden Visa, acquisition process

To apply for the Portuguese Golden Visa, applicants must prepare their documents and submit their residence application. Upon approval and payment of the permit issue fee, the residence certificate will be released with a validity of one year. In order to successfully obtain the permit, applicants must stay in the country for at least 7 days during the first year, and 14 days in the two following years. Once you have the Portuguese Golden Visa, you will have the option to later apply for Portuguese citizenship, wherein you will be a holder of one of the most valuable passports: the Portuguese passport.

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The Italy Golden Visa is for international investors that are planning to reside and work in the 2nd largest manufacturing economy in Europe, and one of the most important manufacturing centers in the world. Its strategic position, at the crossroads between Europe, Northern Africa and the Middle East, makes Italy one of the countries with the biggest markets in the EU; perfect for startup entrepreneurs that want to widen their opportunities, and for families that are looking forward to invest in real estate in the country while living in the home of artisanal pasta, historical art and Mediterranean landscapes.

For international entrepreneurs that are planning to live and work in Italy, there are different options for them to acquire a residency permit through investment or the Italy Golden Visa. To be eligible to apply, the minimum amount that an individual must invest in order to benefit from this visa is €500,000, whose origin of funds must be backed by evidence that they were obtained legally. In order to apply for the Italy Golden Visa, international citizens must obtain a no impediment certificate (nulla osta) before starting the procedure which typically takes 6 months before entering Italy. In addition, legal documents, such as a valid passport, the bank statement of the investment, and a health certificate must be submitted.

The investment can be done by buying real estate or setting up a company in Italy, which will lead the investor and his family to be beneficiaries of the advantages that the visa provides. This would include access to excellent higher education, successful business-related activities, and the possibility of traveling to the countries that are in the Schengen Area, including France, Switzerland and Spain without the need of an additional visa or permit. Moreover, obtaining a second citizenship in the 3rd most powerful European country will provide you with flat tax rates and 0% rate for residing individuals that are retiring in Italy.

One of the visas that Italy offers is for innovative companies that are just starting up. There are two choices under this visa:

  1. The StartUp Visa Scheme, which is for foreign entrepreneurs that are seeking to obtain citizenship by setting up a company in the country.
  2. The StartUp Hub, which follows the same scheme but is addressed to non-EU citizens that are already holding an Italian residence permit.

The application for these visas may be done online and the certificate of no impediment is issued in just 30 days.

On the other hand, there are other options from the Italy Golden Visa that are more suited for international entrepreneurs that want to invest in real estate. The first option is the Long Term Schengen Tourist Visa, wherein for a period of 5 years, the investor will acquire a permit which will provide a multi-entry tourist visa where the stay in the country should not exceed 90 days every 6 months. The investor should submit the same requirements as those needed to obtain a normal tourist entry visa, along with the proof of having completed the purchase of real estate property in Italy. As an Italy Golden Visa holder, the beneficiary will be allowed to travel to all the countries in the Schengen area.

For international investors that are aiming to obtain a residence visa instead of a tourist visa, the Elective Residence Visa is the best choice. This Italy Golden Visa targets financially self-sufficient international individuals that want to enjoy settlement rights in the country without having to make a significant capital investment. For this visa, applicants should provide a proof of having a stable, passive source of income of at least €31,160 annually. This Italy Golden Visa will lead to a permanent residency in Italy after living for an uninterrupted period of 5 years.

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The revolutionary changes in the management of the government and economy of Panama has made this Latin American country the choice destination for foreign investors to get the Panama residency.

The country is located in the world’s most biodiverse region, where the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Chiriqui and the Gulf of Panama meet and offer different coastlines and waters that are all beautiful and clean. Aside from its variety of landscapes wherein forest, mountains, beaches and pastures are protected to preserve its beauty and richness, the capital of the tropical country is famous for its cosmopolitan life; bringing together the best of both worlds.

Panama residency permits and investment options:   

Panama City is known to be one of the financial centres in the world, welcoming international direct investment and ranking the highest in Central America. International investors that want to live and/or work in Panama permanently may apply for Panama residency permits that are easy and cheap to acquire, as there is no minimum number of days required for applicants to stay in the country, for as low as a $5,000 deposit. The two more popular residency programs permit in Panama are:

  • Panama Friendly Nations Visa – this visa allows citizens from one of the 50 friendly nations (which includes countries in Europe such as the Netherlands and Spain, as well as from the United States and parts of Latin America) to immigrate to Panama along with their family. With a deposit of $5,000 and an additional amount of $2,000 for each dependent, you will be eligible for economic ties to Panama. After 5 years, you can apply for Panamanian Citizenship.
  • Pensionado Programme – pensioners that receive a pension of at least $1,000 a month and an additional of $250 for each dependent, in case of a married couple, can apply for this visa without the need of buying real estate in the country. For this residency permit, they will be protected from changes in the law, but will not be entitled to apply for Panamanian Citizenship.

One of the main reasons international investors choose Panama as their destination to relocate is for its territorial tax system that applies to residents and companies domiciled in the country. Due to the high number of persons that possess Panamanian Citizenship but are not required to live in the country, the Tax Code does not use the terms “resident” and “non-resident”.

Under the Panama tax law, individuals are subject to income tax at progressive rates on their taxable income wherein taxable net between PAB 11,001 and PAB 50,000 is subject to a tax rate of 15%, while a 25% of tax rate is for taxable net income of over PAB 50,000, approximately USD 49,900.

The taxable income includes all sources directly from Panama, which includes salaries, income from investments, compensations for personal services, income from commercial, industrial and agricultural activities, and expenses paid by an employer on behalf of an employee. Nevertheless, the following categories of income are exempted from tax:

  • Taxable net income not exceeding PAB 11,000 per year
  • Employment income not exceeding PAB 10,400 per year
  • Other profit distributions paid by small or medium sized enterprises to their shareholders
  • Payments of up to PAB 5,000 made to employees upon termination
  • Gains from public lotteries, games or bets
  • Inheritances, legacies and gifts
  • Income of individuals engaged in farming, provided that the annual gross incomes does not exceed PAB 250,000
  • Dividends on nominative preferred shares when certain conditions are met

The main reason Panama has opted for this long-term solution for its slow growing economy is to let overseas investors boost the job market, which is dominated by the supply and demand game. Fast and affordable permanent residence permits, as well as the Panama favorable tax and lifestyle, attracts foreign business people that will help grow the country’s economy.

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According to the Canadian consultancy firm Resonance, Barcelona is the eight-best city in the world to live and work. The report The World’s best cities 2021 says that Barcelona earns its ranking for its “intoxicating mix of beach, architecture and creativity” which has “framed the city as the poster child of overtourism-and its solutions”.

Those ranking led by London in the first place, followed by New York, Paris, Moscow, Dubai, Singapore and Barcelona. They complete the Top 10, Los Angeles and the Spanish capital, Madrid.

The report, describes Barcelona as almost ideal European city, one with near-perfect weather year-round, miles and miles of beaches, iconic parks, striking architecture and colorful neighborhoods that march to their own beat—artistic, sophisticated, bohemian.

It is also important to highlight the tenth position achieved by Madrid. In this way, Spain has its two most important cities in the top 10 of the ranking.

 Why it is a good idea to invest in Spain?

As this ranking has demonstrate, Spain offers many benefits for those living and working on it. If you are an international investor considering to invest abroad the Golden Visa Spain is a great idea. The Spanish Golden Visa it is eligible for all your family and gives the opportunity to work and travel through the Schengen area. Moreover, those permit does not require any length of stay before having benefit from its advantages.

In addition, by receiving the Golden Visa Spain, you and your family will be entitled to the right to access the educational system and healthcare of the country. This will mean that your children can enroll in the Child Education Primary Education, Secondary and University. In terms of the Spanish healthcare system, the country offers both state healthcare services that guarantee high-quality health care of universal coverage for all resident free of charge.

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International direct investment in Spain has a wide range of opportunities for entrepreneurs that are looking forward to investing in a long-time plan while having the chance to live, work and study in the country along with their family members. International investors that apply for the Golden Visa Spain will surely benefit through the measurements under the Spanish Government such as the principle of free establishment and non-discrimination of international investors, incentives for FDI like tax benefits, professional training and preferential access to credit, among others, as well as guaranteed talented and skilled labor for the success of their businesses. Nevertheless, there are more reasons to consider when it comes to the lifestyle and advantages in the way of life in Spain, for the recent updates in the Spanish Education System and the free high-quality healthcare system will finalize your decision in investing and living in the Mediterranean dream.

Two benefits of the Golden Visa Spain

By receiving the Golden Visa Spain, you and your family will be entitled to the right to access the educational system and healthcare of the country. This will mean that your children will be able to enroll in a state school, a partially state-funded independent school, or in a private school of your choice. In recent years, Spain has undercome through updates in their education system, which has widely improve the teaching quality, innovation, infrastructure, and curriculum to adapt to Spanish and foreign pupils. According to the most recent Pisa survey of Schools in the OECD, Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the quality of education in this country has been proved to be better than schools in Finland, Japan or Korea, whereas some schools in Spain are declared as best schools by the elite of education worldwide. Furthermore, this has been possible because many education programs in Spain provide international curricula, such as International Baccalaureate (IB), or the British Curriculum (GCSE and A Levels) that offer innovative methodologies that are suited to ensure the success of their foreign pupils.

Children that are under the Golden Visa Spain program can enroll in the Child Education, Primary Education, Secondary and University in the country. There is a wide range of schools available that ensure the utmost quality for international students that are aiming for an excellent academic experience. Spanish schools are committed to continuous innovation and training in new methodologies which are praised for their international quality. Furthermore, studying in Spain will provide international students the opportunity to learn the second most spoken language in the world, which will be a huge advantage when it comes to work application and cultural development. For that, Spain has been a great academic destination for families that seek their children to become a competitive shot wherein the highly prestigious schools offer education in both Spanish and English language.

In terms of the Spanish healthcare system, the country offers both state healthcare services that guarantee high-quality health care of universal coverage for all residents (including foreigners who had obtained the Golden Visa Spain) free of charge. To do so, you must register first with the Spanish social security, get your Spanish social security system and apply for a health card (tarjeta sanitaria individual or TSI); then you will be entitled to medical help. Although residents in Spain through the Golden Visa Spain are able to get free healthcare services, they can still apply for private healthcare. As matter of fact, Spain ranks 19th on the 2018 Euro Consumer Health Index and it is praised for its improving health outcomes.

The advantages that come from investing in Spain are the main reason why, amidst the ongoing pandemic, there has been a total of 6,198 Golden Visa Spain issued by the end of June. International investors that see the country’s potential for financial and lifestyle growth are taking the chance to turn the Golden Visa Spain into their life plan. Are you interested on the Golden Visa Spain?

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New Zealand is known to be the most naturally beautiful and safest country in the world; not only it is famous for its stunning national parks and famous hiking trails, but also for being consistently present in the top 10 in terms of protecting investors, starting a business, and ease of doing business. This country has a globally competitive market that gives the opportunity to foreign investors to grow their business while achieving a work-life balance with world-class education and healthcare system for them and their families. For the year 2021, the country is expecting more applications for their Golden Visa New Zealand for their transparency in government and lack of corruption, which has been a key point for their successful response amidst COVID-19. The country is lead by a government that encourages cooperation, communication, and empathy through their New Zealand Model, which makes it one of the best countries for foreign investors to start a life.

The Golden Visa New Zealand offers options for immigrant investors that are planning to establish a business in their country and later on get a permanent residency along with their family. It can be obtained by investing in residential property, commercial property, and certain high growth investments. The investments available in order to apply for the Golden Visa New Zealand are:

  • Equity in public or private NZ firms. It can be rather active or passive, whereas only the proportion of the Fund that is invested in BZ is counted as acceptable.
  • Bonds issued by the NZ Government, NZ local authorities, or approved NZ banks, finance companies, or firms.
  • New residential property development that is not for the investor’s personal use and designed to make a commercial return on the open market.
  • The chance to invest in 15% of the fees.

Requirements to get the Golden Visa New Zealand

The requirements of the available options are:

  • Investor 1 Category Visa– An investment of NZ$10,000,000 for 3 years. There is no age limit for the investor, neither a requirement for the English language. The investor has to live at least 33 days in NZ in each of the last 2 years after the residence is approved, or 88 days over the three year investment period.
  • Investor 2 Category Visa– An investment of NZ$3,000,000 for 4 years. Maximum age of 65, whereas the investor and family members must have English language ability the same as principal applicant or pre-purchase ESOL tuition. The investor has to stay for 438 days over 4 years after the residence is approved. This investment option has an annual quota of 400 applicants.
  • New Zealand Entrepreneur Visa– A capital investment of NZ$100,000 with 120 points or more. The investor must have an existing business or management experience and present a clear business plan.

On both categories 1 and 2 visas, the investors must invest an entry of 25% of their investment funds into assets other than Bonds and Philanthropic Investment; however, if investors are capable of investing at least 50%, there will be a reduction of $0.5m on the totality of their investment amount. For example, if you nominate $3,000,000 of investment funds and invest $1,500,000 outside of Bonds and Philanthropic Investment, you will only be required to invest a further $1,000,000 to meet the visa requirements.

After choosing the category that is more suited to you, you must transfer your investment funds in an acceptable investment in New Zealand during the next 12 months, or apply for an extension. Once your documents have been verified, you will be granted with the Golden Visa New Zealand and can qualify for the citizenship after five years.

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The Golden Visa Canada allows entrepreneurs to invest in the Top 1 country for Quality Life in 2020 by becoming permanent residents with the opportunity to enjoy the same benefits as Canadians, which includes free public education and universal healthcare.

As the world’s second-largest country, Canada is a G7 country with one of the world’s best-performing economies, with a diverse business environment that welcomes international investors to relocate their business for a successful outcome. The residency will also be granted to the family members of the investors, as well as the benefits that come with the permit, which include access to an excellent education system with numerous respected private schools and elite universities that will ensure the best performance of their students. As a matter of fact, in the country, there are five of the world’s top 100 business schools.

Canada is known for its high standard of living, ensuring a safe environment due to its low crime rate, and its political and economic stability that backs up its title of the world’s best country to live in given by the UN. In addition, this huge country has an unspoiled environment with strict environmental controls that ensures preserving the variety of natural resources with delightful landscapes of well-reserved forests, mountains, and oceanic coastlines, being the world’s second-largest oil reserves and fourth-largest supply of freshwater.

The Quebec Immigrant Investor, also known as the Golden Visa Canada, will allow you to become a resident of the number one country in quality life by choosing an investment option:

  • Full investment of CAD $1.2 million in a government-guaranteed bond held for a period of five years
  • Financed investment of CAD $350,000 paid to a financial intermediary who purchases the government bonds on behalf of the client.

At the end of the full investment, the money invested will be returned to the investor without any accrued interest (0%). On the other hand, the money invested in fees and interest as a financed investment is non-recoverable as it will cover the full $1.2 million bond purchase.

Aside from choosing from the two options for investment, the investor must demonstrate knowledge and business experience and provide the documents that support the source and origin of the funds. The investors (along with their families, if applicable) should have lived in Canada for at least 3 years preceding the application to be qualified for citizenship. The Golden Visa Canada can lead investors to Canadian Citizenship, which grants visa-free access to 171 countries from around the globe; the whole family will be eligible to visit majestic beaches from the Mediterranean to Latin America, have a taste of international traditional delicacies, and experience multiple cultures with the Canadian passport. After 3 to 4 years the investor and his family can apply for Canadian citizenship, as long as they also possess a good level of English and/or French, have no criminal record, and have acquired knowledge about the right and responsibilities of citizenship, as well as an understanding of Canada’s history, values, institutions, and symbols; this will ensure that the international investors and their families adapt to the strong sense of community that Canadians have, as according to OECD, Canadians trust their fellowmen.

After you have compared and chosen from the different options with the help of professionals that will guide you to the most suitable option for you and your family, here are the expected government fees for the application for your residency:

  • Government application Fees – CAD $15,235 for the principal applicant and family members
  • Federal Government Fees – the permanent resident application processing fees will cost more or less $1,750 depending on the number of children ($150 each); the right of permanent residence fee will cost $980 for the applicant and spouse; children are exempted from this fee.

As you become a citizen of the country through the Golden Visa Canada, you will now be part of one of the safest countries to live in. This life-long investment will benefit the investor and his family with business opportunities in the number 1 country for the best quality of life.

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