6 Factors to Consider Before Applying For Alternative Citizenship or Residency

Posted by Jessikaschwartz on September 8th, 2016

It is an excellent arrangement, but, before sending your application to be part of the program, you should consider the following factors:

1- Rules of the country you seek to invest in

To invest in an alternative residence or citizenship is an investment that probably only the wealthy in the society can afford. The motivation lies in the fact that their home countries are considered as unstable economies, and that the governments and politics are changing or do not hundred percent stick to democratic values. If we transfer this to the new country, this means of course you must understand the rules set by the country you intend invest in as well. For instance, Cyprus has outlined new rules for the Cypriot citizenship program. The new rules require the citizenship investor to spend a certain minimum time in Cyprus before he can receive his Cypriot passport., The collective investment option, which enabled five collective investors to invest only 2.5 million euros, instead of 5 million euros if invested as single investor will be abolished. Last but not least the examination period will be (artificially) extended. You must keep such rules and conditions in mind when choosing an alternative citizenship investment program.

2- Quality of the nationality

As outlined by Citizen Lane, one of the best citizenship advisors globally, go through the database of the Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index and check the quality of nationality or citizenship you intend to apply for. You will note that there are internal and external factors influencing the index. Evaluate them, then determine the suitability of the investment. Engage an experienced global consultant to get the best program, and not someone who just wants to sell you “his” program.

3- Wait time

Besides the country rules, extra attention should be given to the wait time. For instance, rules on citizenship St. Kitts & Nevis have been revamped to reduce the wait time. As a result, there is an increased market for second citizenship in the country. The shortest wait time you will experience in Vanuatu. The applications can be processed in Vanuatu in usually within one or two months. The reason is quite simple, it is a small not very much advertised citizenship program, which results in a zero queue and fast processing. A further reason of fast processing lies within Vanuatu’s praxis of a pre approval procedure: Before accepting applications the Vanuatu citizenship comission asks the applicants to submit passport and police clearance certificates (certificate of no criminal record), in order to conduct a check against international blacklists and wanted lists.

4- Overall citizenship costs

As mentioned above, the alternative citizenship and residency programs are investments. You should do your research on all costs related with the investment. You should think about if the investment is quaranteed, e.g. in through a real estate investment or by any other security. You should be aware of the country’s economy and it’s potential in future. You should of cause also consult a citizenship and residency advisor who id independent from investment opportunities and also countries. Depending on the country you intend to invest in and of the chosen citizenship lawyer you will pay fees of 15,000 US$ to 35,000 US$ on top of the investment. Investment amount range from 200,000 US$ in Vanuatu to 450,000 US$ in St. Kitts & Nevis for a real estate investment including government fees.

5- Business opportunities in the country

If you are investing in alternative citizenship or residency for business reasons, you should have carried out your due diligence on the opportunities available in the country. The opportunities should offer good returns on investments made.

6- Visa-free countries

You should keep in mind the number of countries your resident Visa or second passport will permit you to travel freely. A residence permit Austria is preferred by many because of the no required investment, beyond this Austrian residence permit grants visa-free travel to 26 countries (Schengen countries). The “residence permit for persons of independent means” requires the applicant to show sufficient funds (40,000 euros) and to hold either a university degree which is equivilant to an Austrian diploma or to provide a German language diploma. The only disadvantage is the applied quota system. As only a few applications are accepted annually.

In conclusion, the best investment opportunities are offered through citizenship and residency programs. You should always consider the world economic and recent security incidences before making the investment.

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