Published Dec 4, 2020
Investment migration opens a world of opportunity from diversiﬁcation of your assets to providing you with greater freedom of movement and a better lifestyle as well reassurance in times of crisis, however it is important to understand your objective to ascertain the suitability of a residence or citizenship program.
No doubt the world has shrunk to a global village, but the pandemic has more compellingly unveiled the global landscape for wealthy individuals to re-etch their addresses on the world canvas to be called ‘home’.
In the elite world of investment migration, the ultra-rich individuals are closely looking at Citizenship-by-Investment (CBI) and Residence-by-Investment (RBI) programs, also popularly known as “golden visas” that provide citizenship or residency in exchange for investment in the host country. These programs not only help you to diversify your portfolios but also enable you to enjoy the benefits of citizenship and/or residency.
Investment migration programs offer residence or citizenship in exchange for substantial investment in a country’s economy, usually in the form of real estate, creation of local jobs, infrastructure, donation or government bonds.
CBI programs can confer on you the same rights as ordinary citizens whereby you are provided with the right to vote, usually the ability to pass the citizenship to future generations and international visa-free travel, subject to the passport strength. The merit of CBI is that it bypasses the traditional route of naturalisation whereby you and your family have to relocate to another country to spend a certain amount of time to qualify for citizenship. For instance, the top CBI programs in Europe are Malta, and Austria that not only offer a high-quality passport but also settlement rights to 27 countries in the European Union.
On the other hand, the RBI programs provide you the right to live, work, travel and study in a particular country. These programs usually come with certain conditions or requirements that you need to meet to qualify for the program. For instance, the Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program is one of the popular programs in the European Union whereby apart from meeting the investment criteria with a lock-in for a certain period, you need to meet the stay requirements too.
While remote lifestyles, healthcare facilities, pandemic responses and safe havens have become added factors to evaluate such programs, there are many other reasons that private clients consider when evaluating investment migration options.
The motivations can be lifestyle driven, perhaps better standard of living, education plans for children or grandchildren, proximity to family members or even future retirement plans. Individuals are also looking at programs at the family level i.e. programs that include parents and children under one application.
At the other end of the spectrum, political or economic issues in home country or the need to have a ‘Plan B’ to safeguard against such issues emerging later are other driving factors.
When you evaluate such programs, it is important to understand your objectives to ascertain the suitability of a residence or citizenship program. Various factors such as cost, time, goals at the individual and family level need to be further assessed before concluding on a suitable migration option.
Whether you choose your second home address in the European landscapes of Portugal or the picturesque countryside in the United Kingdom, it is important to choose the right advisor who can facilitate comprehensive advice from pre-migration to post-migration!
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