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CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT

Some countries have provisions in law that allow wealthy individuals to obtain citizenship on the basis of investment, however, the USA, the UK, Canada, Australia and some other countries offer citizenship by investments through the stages of temporary residence, permanent residence and naturalization.

 

This means that the main investor and his family have to permanently reside in the country before they obtain citizenship.

If a wealthy individual wishes to obtain new citizenship quickly without disruptions to life, the Citizenship by Investment Program is an attractive option.

The acquisition of citizenship on the basis of the investment made in the economy of a country involves many complex procedures and approval of the respective Government. That is why it is essential that an applicant is professionally advised and receives qualified help from the commencement of an application process which starts far before an application has been officially lodged. It is very important that highly qualified immigration solicitors evaluate and approve the key issues of a case before the official application procedure commences.

 

CPMLaw has successfully operated for over 20 years and with business partners (immigration solicitors, brokers, accountants, auditors, real estate agents and other specialist) in all EU countries, as well as in the USA, Canada and Australia.

CPMLaw has within its team accredited international immigration lawyers with substantial experience in immigration legal practice.

 

Further, you will find basic descriptions on the main conditions on which different countries grant citizenship on the basis of Citizenship by Investment Programs.

Malta

Maltese Citizenship by Investment is provided for by an amendment proposed to the Maltese Citizenship Act, Chapter 188 of the Laws of Malta and under the Individual Investor Programme Rules, 2013 issued under the Citizenship Act.

Under these rules, affluent persons of impeccable standing and repute are able to apply to be naturalized and to receive a Maltese passport on the basis of a contribution to be made to a National Development Fund, to be applied for use in the national interest. The first pilot programme is scheduled for November 2013.

The requirements in obtaining Maltese Citizenship are the following:

Applications for Maltese citizenship have to be represented by Authorised Registered Mandatariesin Malta;

 

The main applicant has to contribute Euro 650,000.00 to National Development Fund which is established by the Government of Malta for this purpose;

Spouses and children under 18 years old are required to contribute Euro 25,000 each;

Unmarried children 18-25 years old and dependent parents are required to contribute Euro 50,000 each;

To pass a due diligence test including a clear criminal record and visibility source of funds;

 

Upon engagement, we will provide you with a documents checklist and detailed guidelines. We will also guide you through preparing the application file with a view to facilitating the process for you.

 

The expected processing time is between 3 and 4 months.

 

Applications are recommended for approval by Identity Malta Agency of Ministry of Justice and the contribution, less the non-refundable deposit already paid of €10,000, should be paid within 20 days of the in-principle approval, upon which the Minister responsible for citizenship will be requested to issue a certificate of naturalization.

 

Benefits:

Malta is a stable, neutral and respected member of the European Union since 2004 and became part of the Schengen Area in 2007. Citizenship under this programme grants the benefits of full citizenship and access to all investment opportunities in Malta and throughout the 27 European Union countries as are open to Maltese and European Union citizens.

 

The Malta Citizenship Act allows dual citizenship.

Taxation of New Citizens:

Residents of Malta and who are not domiciled in Malta are taxable on a remittance basis. The grant of Maltese citizenship to a non-domiciliary of Malta does not of itself, cause the beneficiary to acquire a new domicile of choice in Malta. Accordingly, non-doms who are not domiciled in Malta are not taxable on foreign source income not received in Malta and also not taxable on any capital gains arising outside Malta, whether remitted to Malta or otherwise.

Saint Christopher & Nevis

St Kitts & Nevis Citizenship By Investment Programme was established in 1984 under the regulations of the 1984 Citizenship Act Section 3(5) making it the longest established economic citizenship programme in the world.

 

Through considerable contribution Investors of good character and reputation can apply for citizenship and passport within the legal framework of the Federation of St Kitts & Nevis.

 

Requirements to qualify for citizenship through investment:

 

Clear criminal record

Good background report

Proof of the source of funds and banking history

C.V. and character reference.

Make an investment in a government approved Real Estate Development, or monetary contribution in the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF)

Real Estate Development – this option requires a minimum investment of $400,000.00 (for each main applicant) in a designated project approved by St Kitts &Nevis government.

SIDF Contribution – to qualify for this option the government requires a contribution to St Kitts and Nevis Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation:

 

Single Applicant – a non-refundable contribution of $ 250,000.00 is required

Applicant with up to 3 family members (i.e. spouse and 2 children under 18) – a non-refundable contribution of $300,000.00 is required.

 

Applicant with up to 5 family members (i.e. spouse and 4 children under 18) – a non-refundable contribution of $350,000.00 is required.

 

Applicant with up to 7 family members – a non-refundable contribution of $450,000.00 is required.

 

The citizenship application is usually processed for 4-6 months from the time it has been lodged.

 

Advantages:

Citizenship for life;

 

Dual citizenship is possible;

 

Visa-free travel to numerous countries of the world;

 

Full residence status – a resident has the right to work in St Kitts and Nevis;

 

Tax Breaks – a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis will enjoy tax free status on all income, capital gains, gifts, wealth and inheritance;

 

Excellent Real Estate Investment – guaranteed return of real estate investment after 5 years.

Even if after 5 years you sell your share to a next investor you will be entitled to retain St Kitts and Nevis citizenship.

 

All the applications for economic citizenship must be lodged through a government approved agents.

Feod Group business partners are government approved agents.

Antigua and Barbuda

The Citizenship by Investment programme in Antigua and Barbuda was launched in 2013. The programme offers investors the chance to become a citizen of Antigua and holder of Antiguan passport.

“The singular goal of the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment programme is to generate investments and jobs for Antiguans and Barbudans and to put Antigua and Barbuda on the road to sustainable growth and development”, Baldwin Spence, the Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of Antigua and Barbuda said.

 

Requirements to qualify for citizenship through investment (all documents must have apostille seal, for use in Antigua and Barbuda and be lodged through an authorized agent):

 

Clear criminal record (Police clearance certificate or no criminal record);

Good background report;

Proof of the source of the funds, letter from banker;

C.V., character reference and a letter of intent are required;

 

Make an investment by one of the following investment programmes:

$250,000.00 donation to National Development Fund (NDF) – for a single applicant;

$1,5 million business investment;

 

$400,000.00 – investment in real estate in an approved project within a designated zone.

 

To qualify for Antigua and Barbuda passport the value of purchase must be not less than $400,000.00 (it is advisable to invest more). After receiving citizenship the applicant who proceeds with real estate investment cannot withdraw either from his property or his shares from a company owning such real estate before the expiry of five years, unless the applicant purchases another approved project (directly or through beneficiary ownership) for at least the minimum required investment.

The main applicant’s dependents (spouse, dependent children under 25 and elderly parents over 65) can apply with the main applicant.

 

Passports are issued for the period of 5 years with application to renewal thereafter.

 

The Antigua Citizenship Investment Unit reserves the right to interview any applicant.

 

There is a residency requirement of 35 days within the first 5 years after the citizenship and passports have been obtained.

 

Advantages:

Visa-free travel to many countries including the countries-members of Schengen zone and the UK;

Dual nationality possible;

Permanent citizenship after 5 years of qualification citizenship.

Cyprus

Citizenship by Investment Programme in Cyprus has lately had an increased dynamics and demand due to the following reasons:

 

Attractive and feasible eligibility conditions;

 

These conditions have recently been relaxed;

 

Fast track processing procedure implemented;

 

Successful applicants are not required to permanently reside in Cyprus;

 

Geographically Cyprus being the first EU member state for Asia and the Middle East;

 

Good weather and quality of life in Cyprus.

The whole process of the application takes 3 to 5 months including examination of liability of the main applicant and his/her spouse, consideration of the applications, making a solemn oath and handing passports in.

The requirements in obtaining Cyprus Citizenship by Investment are the following:

The main applicant has to invest 2.5 million Euro from abroad in a number of available options which include deposits, government bonds, properties, shares or Cyprus companies with local operations;

 

Acquisition of property with a minimum value of 500,000.00 Euro + VAT;

 

Clear criminal records, source of funds confirmation;

Good background report.

The application applies to the main applicant, spouse and dependent children upon approval of the main applicant.

By obtaining Cypriot citizenship and passport one does not automatically become tax resident of Cyprus.

 

Cyprus tax residency is based on the number of days one spends in the Republic of Cyprus in a year (183 days test). Cyprus tax residents are taxed on their worldwide income whereas non-Cyprus tax residents are taxed only on Cyprus sourced income.

Dominica

The Commonwealth of Dominica is an island nation located in the Caribbean Sea. The state received its independence from the United Kingdom in 1978 and is a parliamentary democracy.

Established in 1993 Economic Citizenship Programme is aimed at attracting capital from people with good character and financial abilities.

 

In return the Government grants citizenship to the investors.

 

The investment is non-refundable and is made to the National Bank of Dominica upon approval by the Financial Services Unit of Ministry of Finance.

 

The funds are used for development of both private and public sectors – schools, hospitals, tourism, information technologies projects etc.

 

Requirements to qualify for citizenship through investment:

- the main investor is over 21 years old;

- Clear criminal record;

- Good background report;

- Proof of the source of funds and     banker’s reference;

- CV ,character reference and a letter of -- -- intent are required;

- Basic knowledge of English;

- Make an investment with the     Government of Dominica.

To qualify for citizenship the available investment options are as follows:

Single applicant – where an investor is a sole applicant no matter his/her marital status. Such investor would be required to make a $100,000.00 non-refundable investment.

Family Application One (applicant and spouse) – the investor-applicant makes a $175,000,00 non-refundable investment

Family Application Two (Main applicant, spouse, two children under 18) – the investor-applicant makes a $200,000.00 non-refundable investment.

Family Application Three (the main applicant, spouse and more than 2 children under 18) – a non-refundable investment of US$200,000.00 and US$50,000.00 for every additional person below the age of 18.

The applicant has to transfer his investment to a Dominica government account after the due diligence has been approved and the applicant has received a letter from Dominica Government that his application has been approved.

 

All the applications are to be submitted through an authorized agent. Processing of applications for Citizenship by Investment can take up to 12 months (4-6 months from filing date to the issuance of applicants’ passports.

 

Personal interview in Dominica is required. The granting of citizenship is at the sole discretion of the Dominica Government.

 

After Government Review and interview the Prime Minister will approve the citizenship application and within 8 weeks will issue Naturalization Certificates.

 

The passports are usually issued one week after this.

Advantages:

Citizenship for life;

Dual nationality possible;

No physical residence requirements;

No minimum education level required;

No management experience required;

Visa-free travel to about 100 countries including the countries-members of Schengen zone.

All the applications for economic citizenship must be lodged through a government approved agents.

Countries where we offer visa and immigration support:

Canada

UK

USA

Austria

Spain

Italy

France

Bulgaria

Germany

Greece

Cyprus

Malta

Poland

Switzerland, and other EU countries.  Australia

Ukraine

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