Visa-free travel, tax advantages, access to better healthcare and educational opportunities for the family – these are just a few reasons why Citizenship and Residency by Investment (CBI & RBI) programs are gaining ground. We ask Hiran Chohan, Managing Director of specialist firm, Windsor Capital Management, why this investment pathway is proving so popular
Q1) What is Citizenship by Investment (CBI) and Residency by Investment (RBI)?
Citizenship and Residency by Investment are pathways for one to acquire the opportunity to move around globally visa-free and/or have the ability to live, work and study in another country. Specifically, Citizenship by Investment is when one makes an investment in direct exchange for citizenship rights of that country and Residency by Investment is when one makes an investment for the residency rights of a country, which in turn may lead to the opportunity to apply for Citizenship of that country.
Q2) What can CBI/RBI offer and why has it become so popular among high net worth investors (HNWIs)?
Citizenship and Residency by Investment can offer those fortunate enough to be eligible an opportunity for visa-free travel as well as the ability to live, work and study abroad. The rise in popularity of these programs has come about because more and more HNWIs are seeking to have a plan B – the recent pandemic has only highlighted the need for those living in less developed nations to have access to better healthcare, education and opportunity.
Q3) Which countries does Windsor Capital Management specialise in and why?
There are many countries globally that offer these programs and their requirements differ from country to country. Windsor Capital Management focuses on offering 12 programs across 10 different countries. We pride ourselves on being experts in the jurisdictions we offer and focus on providing clients with the best opportunities in these regions. The 10 countries we offer programs in are Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, St Lucia, Dominica, Portugal, Malta, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States of America (USA).
Q4) What are the most common reasons among your clients for going down this path?
Having worked with many clients from Africa and Asia, the most common reasons for clients seeking a second Citizenship or Residency is to gain access to visa-free travel and for security, having a plan B. We see applicants wanting to expand their business and visa-free travel to Europe and the Far East helps them achieve this aim. Those wanting to access better education opportunities for their children have multiple options they can consider through Citizenship and Residency by Investment. I had a client who wanted his children to study in the US, but he did not have the funds necessary to make an EB5 application, therefore we helped the client acquire a Citizenship of Grenada and through this citizenship he was able to apply for a US E2 visa by setting up a business in the United States which in turn enabled him and his family to relocate to the US and the children to attend state school.
Q5) How long does it typically take from start to finish?
Every program has their unique processing methods and approval time, however one can typically obtain Citizenship or Residency of another country in 3 to 6 months.
Q6) I have heard that the rules in Portugal are changing – which will affect property locations and investment amounts – but that there is still time to apply under the current rules?
That is correct. Portugal is a country which has the most popular Residency by Investment in the world. The Golden Visa program which was launched in 2012 has raised in excess of €4.8bn in foreign direct investment into the country. The main highlights of the program are:
- You can choose from a range of relatively affordable investment options that will give you both permanent residency and citizenship in 5-6 years.
- Required time spent in Portugal averages only 7 days per year.
- While a resident of Portugal you are allowed to travel freely in the entire Schengen area.
Whilst the program has been a success, the investment into the country has been mainly confined to the major cities of Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. To ensure that investment into the country is spread throughout the country, the government has announced sweeping changes to the program that will take effect from 1st January 2022. From January, applicants will no longer be able to invest in real estate in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve, rather they will be restricted to investing in real estate in the less densely populated regions of the country. Furthermore, the fund investment option is raising its minimum investment amount from €350,000 to €500,000.
Therefore, for those that wish to take advantage of the current rules in Portugal, time is running out. Windsor Capital Management has strong relationships with both developers and fund administrators with a proven track record, to assist those who wish to apply for residency via the Portugal Golden Visa program.
Q7) What is the minimum investment amount and how can I find out more?
Once again, each program has their own individual investment amounts and associated fees. For example, second citizenships in the Caribbean start from as little as US $100,000, whereas residency in Europe starts from €280,000. To find out more and have a free consultation to discuss the most suitable program for you, please contact the team at email@example.com or any one of our social media pages via the below links to find out more.