Golden visas & second passports – making borders a thing of the past

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a passport that allows them to travel around the world with minimum hassle and without having to apply to a visa wherever they go. If you don’t have that privilege, did you know that there are options for you?

Citizenship and residency by investment is available for many countries and I can assist you in obtaining global mobility, and ultimately a second passport, for a more secure and beneficial future.

If obtaining a second passport, that gives visa-free entry to 186 countries to you and your family, that allows you to live and work where you want, is of interest read on…

Why do you want a second passport?

Not all passports are equal. For example, Japan tops the list of most powerful passports, allowing visa-free access to 193 countries. In contrast, a country such as Saudi Arabia only allows visa-free travel to 77 and Pakistan to just 32 countries and Syria to 29.  Incidentally, a UAE passport gives visa free travel to 173 countries and a British passport to 187.

Restriction on travel is one of the reasons why the demand for obtaining a second passport through dual citizenship is increasing. In a globally connected world, it can be hard to be restricted in your travel, residency and business options.

Which countries offer this?

We work with a number of countries with both citizenship and residency programmes. The requirements and benefits vary significantly.

Options include:

For citizenship – Antigua, St. Lucia, Dominica, Malta, Montenegro and Turkey

For residency  –  Malta, UK, Portugal, Greece, USA, Spain and Canada

Note that for counties that offer residency programmes, provided certain criteria is met, after a number of years you can apply for citizenship and a new passport – for life.

What is the difference between residency and citizenship?

There can be some confusion about these terms so it is important to understand the differences.

Permanent residency:

  • A legal status which gives you the right to live, work, and study in a country;
  • Some countries extend tax laws to non-citizens, which can be beneficial;
  • Requires you to spend a certain amount of time in the country to retain residency status;
  • Residency can be revoked at any time;
  • Can lead to gaining citizenship status.

Citizenship:

  • You get all of the rights and privileges of that country;
  • There are no minimum stay requirements;
  • Citizenship is permanent and can be passed on to other generations;
  • Getting a second passport is possible once you have citizenship.

The problem with the conventional ways of gaining citizenship or residency is the timescale of the entire process. Citizenship and residency by investment programmes fast-track the process.

 How does it work?

Citizenship or residency by investment programmes let you invest in a country’s economy. In return, you gain residency or citizenship status.

The investor/applicant contributes to the country’s economy in a number of ways:

  1. Real Estate
  2. Donation
  3. Business
  4. Funds
  5. Bonds

For Residency by Investment, in exchange for the relevant contribution, the investor (and often their family) obtains a residency permit to live and work in a particular country.

For Citizenship by Investment, in exchange for contribution, the investor (and often their family) becomes a citizen with full rights.

These types of schemes are not new and the first investment programme offering a second passport was launched in 1984 by St Kitts & Nevis. Since then, more and more countries have followed suit.

What is the most popular way to obtain residency and a new passport?

The most popular route is to obtain residency and then ultimately citizenship in the EU and this means you can:

  • Live in any of the 27 EU countries
  • Retire in any of the 27 EU countries
  • Work in any of the 27 EU countries
  • Study in any of the 27 EU countries
  • Open a Business in any of the 27 EU countries
  • Visa-Free travel to up 188 countries

For many people, the EU offers safety, security and a good place to reside in the long-term. And not just any EU country, popular options include Malta and Portugal.  Add the reasons listed above and you can see why this is attractive to many people and well worth the cost.

In the short term, you can obtain the right to reside in an EU country which means you can live and work in any of the 26 Schegen Area countries.

 Is it costly or difficult?

The costs vary but there is an option to buy a property in the EU, which gives a return on investment, and in time a new passport. You don’t just pay for citizenship and ultimately residency, but you have an investment, a property, to show for it too.

Countries offering citizenship require a donation or investment. The amounts vary significantly but the better options, perhaps surprisingly, are not the most costly. If you are after residency that ultimately leads to an EU passport, you could do this by (significant) donation or far better, in my view, by the purchase of a property and if you act fast this will start at €280,000 plus fees.

You can’t just buy any property, rules apply, but to make it all much easier, we will source suitable properties that will comply so you get a far easier solution. The option to buy a qualifying property at this low starting price will end soon as the scheme is being revised but there is still time.

Not only do you get a property, you get the right to reside, up to five years’ rental income upfront to cover the fees, and we make the whole process easier as we have expert knowledge of these programmes and the steps to take.

The cost is within the reach of many UAE and GCC residents.

Other points

  • Spouses and dependent children can usually be included
  • Some schemes allow parents over age 65 to be included
  • Citizenship can give great educational opportunities for your children
  • Working with experts reduces the time taken and risks
  • Potentially beneficial tax structures
  • Business benefits
  • An easier life for you and your family
  • Property purchase is cash only. No mortgage
  • A secure and legitimate system
  • Experts guidance throughout the process

There are many steps to take and they must be taken in the right way. With something like his professional advice really matters. The cost means it isn’t available to everyone but the attractive starting point will mean that there are many UAE and GCC residents who can take this opportunity to obtain a second passport to make their lives easier, and those of their families too.

How long does it take?

For the citizenship programmes, these can take just a few months. For full residency with passports, that can take a few months plus another five years until you can obtain citizenship in an EU country. To get the best value property you need to take action no later than September 2021, so get in touch now for an initial chat and then I will put you in touch with one of our team of expert citizenship consultants.

 

To find out more, with a no-obligation chat, email me at keren@holbornassets.com and we can talk through the options and benefits and narrow down the best country for you and your family to start the process of obtaining great second passports. Advice is also available on all aspects of personal financial planning.

There is also an online presentation for anyone interested in Portuguese visas/property on Tuesday 7th September at 1pm UAE time, so let me know you’d like the joining link for that.

I write articles such as this one as part of the holistic personal financial planning service that I provide to expats, and the general consumer, financial and legal information that I provide in The National newspaper, and on the Facebook group British Expats Dubai.

Please take a look at the other useful articles on this website.

Want visa-free access to 186 countries? Get in touch today!

 

About FinancialUAE

A qualified and experienced Independent Financial Adviser based in Dubai, UAE. Professional and ethical. Freelance writer on personal financial issues & the On Your Side column in The National. Founder of Facebook group British Expats Dubai. Senior Partner at Holborn Assets LLC, Dubai, UAE.
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