To continue driving investment into their respective economies, some countries are simplifying the conditions of their immigration programs, opting for special family terms, or cost and paperwork load reduction. It would be fair to mention, though, that some nations are also toughening their due diligence checks and raising the program costs slightly.
So what are the most notable changes introduced by countries with investment programs? Which of them have introduced profitable discounts up to 50%? Today, we will tell you all about latest investment program updates and topical offers.
Latest changes in Greece Golden Visa Program
In 2017, the very appearance of the Greek residence permit was changed. Today, instead of a passport sticker, the investor receives an electronic card containing all the necessary data about the carrier, including digital photos of the face and digital fingerprints. Those who obtained their permits in the form of a sticker, that is, before the electronic card “revolution,” need not to worry, as they are to receive their individual cards during the process of status renewal.
The government has been considering the possibility to expand the Golden Visa Program by introducing the option of investment in government bonds and shares. Highly likely that the next logical step for Greece is launching of the citizenship by investment program, which would open new exciting possibilities before non-EU nationals of means who have EU citizenship in mind.
In the meantime, Cyprus and Malta remain the principal players in the EU arena offering their citizenship through investment.
Golden Visa Portugal: Changes in Portuguese residence program
One of the government-approved investment options is obtaining the permit by means of business investment and creation of at least 10 jobs. One essential detail is that in case a foreign investor chooses a local business featured in the Plan of Recovery or Revitalization list, the investment amount drops to €200,000. With this, the Ministry of Internal Administration hopes to facilitate capitalisation and investment in small and medium-sized enterprises, the “drivers of the Portuguese economy.”
It’s also possible to invest in real estate (at least €350,000), or government bonds (at least €1 million).
Speaking about recent adjustments, now it takes the Portuguese Immigration and Border Service (Serviço de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras) about 90 days to review an application and provide a response under the reduced application processing timeframe. Those who apply for status renewal will receive the answer within 60 days. This is the maximum processing speed allowed by the applicable law.
Malta Residence and Visa Programme: What’s new?
The Maltese authorities effectively sped up and simplified the process of obtaining their residency through investment by passing the relevant legislation from the Identity Malta Agency’s hands to the Malta Residence and Visa Agency (MRVA), which is now responsible for receiving the documents and reviewing the candidacies and applications.
Some changes have also taken place with respect to dependents, certain documents, and contribution amount:
- Administration fee. For residence permit processing, the Maltese authorities have imposed a €30,000 fee, which is paid in the following order: €5,000 while applying, and €25,000 after the review is over, with additional €5,000 per person for parents and grandparents. Previously, one had to pay €5,500 prior and €24,500 after the application review.
- It is now possible to include newborn children in the application, i.e., if the applicant has a child after application submission, it is possible to include them into the application post factum for a fee of €5,000.
- The restrictions for residence were lifted in 2017. Before that, the foreign investor with a residence permit could only stay in the country for a limited amount of time, that is, for 6 uninterrupted months, or for 10 months within the 4 years preceding the permit renewal. Now, the permit holders are allowed to freely stay in the country for the whole year.
- Prior to the change, the status was revoked for the investor’s children over the age of 27. Now, the investor’s children retain the status, on the condition that their financial dependence is proved.
- The processing of documents for children with disabilities has also been simplified. Previously, it was necessary to collect and submit the papers that prove the medical condition, and also provide the proof that the child is residing with the applicant – which is not the case as at today.
What changes has Dominica made to its citizenship by investment program?
In the rating calculated by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine, the Dominican investment program ranked first among its Caribbean peers (note, though, that the rating was published before the cost changes introduced by Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Antigua and Barbuda). In June 2017 the Dominican government announced the changes they’d introduced that had to do with necessary documents list, and in August, reduced the cost for investors. Let’s see which documents the applicants are no longer expected to submit:
- Bank references;
- Vaccination/Immunization records;
- Personal references;
- Audited financial statements.
The Dominican authorities were quick to remind that bank references and financial reports are still required for bank-related procedures.
Changes in investment amount
Since September 2017 foreign nationals are charged for their second Dominican passport according to the price-list. The alterations are evident best for real estate purchasers, or larger families. See for reference the below table that illustrates the changes and prospects for saving your money.
Saint Kitts and Nevis will help you save 40% on your second passport
The cost reduction has to do with serious damage inflicted by Irma and Maria hurricanes. To try and fund hurricane relief works, Kittitian authorities made the decision to attract foreign investment and set a hurricane relief fund. Since October 2017, Antigua and Barbuda is offering its passport at a price reduced by at least 40%. A family up to 4 members has the opportunity of saving 50%, since the cost has been clipped from $300,000 to $150,000. The offer is valid only until end of March 2018!
Find below a table with cost calculation for a Saint Kitts and Nevis passport
Antigua and Barbuda reduces its passport cost by half
Antiguan authorities have been forced to take decisive measure to quickly increase the influx of foreign investment. In October 2017, they reviewed the cost of the program, ultimately reducing it from $200,000 to $100,000. Apart from the non-refundable donation to the National Development Fund, there are some additional fees included, such as:
- $25,000 for application processing for a family of 4, plus $15,000 for each additional dependent;
- $7,500 for the investor and spouse, $2,000 per child aged from 12 to 17, $4,000 for children under 25 years of age and dependents aged 65 and over for due diligence checks;
- $300 for passport fee per each person included in the application.
Antigua and Barbuda is attracting high net worth businessmen, VIPs, and yachting enthusiasts. Their tourism sector is very well developed, which is illustrated by world ratings and significant investment by world celebrities – namely, Robert De Niro and his billionaire business partner James Packer have built an entire tourist complex on the island of Barbuda.
It is evident Caribbean countries with economic citizenship programs are the ones offering best deals. By applying today, you might save up to 50%, so why wait and miss this opportunity?
Interested in more detailed information about citizenship by investment programs? Contact us!
- We offer free consultations, understanding how important it is for the client to make the only correct decision.
- We work only in the field of investment immigration, integrating gained experience into the investor’s goal.
- We work only with official programs of the European Union and Caribbean countries.
- Before signing the contract, we inform our clients about all additional fees and expenses.
- We conduct a screening to assess the investor’s chances of obtaining the desired citizenship.
- We oversee the process at each stage and work exclusively towards the result.
- We are in touch 24/7.