This 3-part HLG article series will provide a comprehensive overview of dominant trends of immigration and detail the growing trend toward residency and citizenship-by-investment programs ("RCBI").
TOP 5 DESTINATIONS FOR INVESTMENT IMMIGRATION
- The United States of America: The US is the most preferred destination of investment immigrants. It is home to over 50 million immigrants. The US runs multiple immigration investment programs including, E2, EB-5, and EB-2.
- The United Kingdom: The UK ranks at number four in terms of the population of immigrants. It offers a UK Tier 1 investment immigration program, which allows immigrants to gain UK citizenship by investing GBP 2 million or more. Another option is UK Innovator visa where applicant must invest a minimum of GBP 50,000 into a business with an innovative business plan.
- Canada: Canada is among one of the most immigrant-friendly nations, with a steady rise in the immigrant population. An applicant can gain permanent residency quickly (12-18 months approx.) through Canada Start-Up Visa program (Canada SUV). Other programs would take between 5 to 7 years.
- Portugal: Portugal has gained popularity as an immigration destination over the past couple of years. The European country has a Golden Resident Permit Program (Golden Visa) that allows immigrants to purchase property or invest in a variety of projects to gain resident status in the country. For entrepreneurs, the Portugal Startup visa program requires a startup or entrepreneur investment into an incubator of EUR 175,000.
- New Zealand: New Zealand is an ideal destination for immigrants seeking a high-quality education system and robust healthcare network. The country offers two investment immigration visas, including New Zealand investor 1 visa and New Zealand investor 2 visa.
POPULAR SECOND PASSPORTS
European, Caribbean; and Pacific passports have gained immense popularity over the decades due to their strong passport benefits. Ranging from attractive tax regime to visa-free travel or right to settle across the Schengen countries and around the globe, a second citizenship is offered for a lifetime (and passable through generations) with a one-time investment. For all Caribbean and Vanuatu investment immigration programs, investors have the options of donation to the National Development Fund (NDF), Real Estate, and in certain jurisdictions, business. Most programs require no residency, language proficiency, or professional skills.
Grenada: The Grenada Citizenship-by-investment program provides options to investors. Donation to the NDF starts at USD 150,000 for a single applicant, USD 200,000 for applicant and 3 dependents. The most popular program is a share of ownership into the prestigious 5-star hospitality brand Six Senses La Sagesse Grenada starting at USD 220,000. A Grenadian passport holder can appreciate visa-free travel to 140+ countries, including China, and able to apply for a U.S.A. E-2 Treaty visa.
Commonwealth of Dominica: The Dominica Citizenship-by-investment program can be acquired through a donation to the government with a minimum of USD 100,000 for a single applicant, USD 150,000 for applicant with spouse, or USD 175,000 for applicant and 3 dependents. Investors can also opt for a direct real estate purchase through an authorized project with a minimum value of USD 200,000 to obtain their Dominica passport. A Dominica passport holder is allowed visa-free travel to 140+ countries.
Antigua & Barbuda: The Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship-by-investment program provides following options to those interested in their passport: a donation to the NDF at a minimum of USD 100,000 for a family of four or USD 125,000 for a family of 5 or more. Through the real estate investment option, investor needs to make a minimum investment of USD 200,000 as a joint investment or USD 400,000 as a single investor in a government-approved project with the investment to be maintained for 5 years. For either option, an Antigua & Barbuda passport allows visa-free travel to over 165 countries.
Vanuatu: The long running Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Program has been attracting foreign investors for over decades. Investor can invest through a government donation with a minimum of USD 130,000 for a single applicant, USD 180,000 for applicant with up to 3 dependents and USD 25,000 for each additional dependent.
Most people may find it challenging to navigate through the entire procedure. Working with a professional immigration lawyer with a government-appointed immigration firm only improves your chances of successfully completing the process and approval, but it also protects you from any kind of immigration frauds.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.