Residence permit in Europe or citizenship in the Caribbean?

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Kristina Kurkuliak 24.06.2020

When choosing where to immigrate, many wealthy foreigners have a choice: a residence permit in Europe or a second Caribbean passport. Each type of government programs has its advantages and disadvantages. Which is more preferable? According to Migronis experts, it all depends on the goals of the applicant. Let’s explore.

Benefits of a residence permit in Europe

A European residence permit makes an investor a full member of the local community.

A European residence permit is the first step towards obtaining EU citizenship. This status will allow you to properly study the country of residence and Europe as a whole, so that in the future, you get a second passport without many doubts or obstacles. It makes sense to choose the option with a residence permit if you need:

  • Travel freely in the Schengen area for business or leisure purposes, without a limit on the length of stay;
  • settle in a prosperous, comfortable, safe country with a stable political and economic situation;
  • purchase residential or commercial real estate and receive income in hard currency;
  • send children to an elite European school and a prestigious university;
  • provide high-quality medical care to your family;
  • become a client of a reliable European bank with lower interest rates than in Russia.

The holder of a European residence permit, as a rule, receives equal rights with the local population. Some programs allow you to legally find a job, take part in political life, and receive social benefits.

This is interesting: only extremely serious reasons can deprive a person of residence permit status. Although the authorities in Europe have a strong view on compliance with laws, minor offenses (like fines for improper parking) are not so strict.

Among all existing programs for obtaining a residence permit, the simplest conditions are for Portugal and Greece. Consider their main advantages and disadvantages.

Portugal

Pros:

  • The abundance of investment options: contributions to scientific and technical research, art and culture, business, stocks and real estate acquisition.
  • Transparent and clear program conditions.
  • Availability – the starting investment amount is only € 350,000.
  • It is possible to sell a real estate investment profitably in 5 years – according to the consulting company PWC, Portugal is in the top 10 most attractive markets in Europe.
  • You can obtain EU citizenship after 6 or 7 years, permanent residence – after 5 years.
  • There is no need to permanently reside in the country.
  • High standard of living, healthcare and insurance.

Cons: 

  • The residence permit card must be renewed. The first time a year after receipt, then – every 2 years.
  • Staying in the country is still required – at least a week in a year.
  • Portugal is somewhat removed from the largest financial centers in Europe: Austria, Germany and France.

Greece

Pros:

  • The Greek Golden Visa is the most affordable in Europe. The starting investment is €250,000.
  • Low real estate prices.
  • In addition to the applicant, the spouse and children up to 23 years old can participate in the program.
  • There is no need to permanently reside in the country.
  • A quick application review period is about 3 months.

Cons: 

  • The extension of the residence permit in Greece hinges on property ownership.
  • The starting investment amount will double if you include grandchildren and parents in the program.
  • Citizenship can be obtained only 12 years after obtaining a residence permit.

Benefits of the Caribbean Passport

Caribbean passport or European residence

A Caribbean passport does not only grant free access to the EU. With the help of an investment program, you can also get a solid profit from the hotel business.

In the Caribbean, you can get a second citizenship in three types of programs: subsidies, buying real estate and investing in business. In one of the countries it is also possible to buy government bonds. These conditions are offered by:

  • Grenada;
  • Vanuatu;
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis;
  • Saint Lucia;
  • Dominica;
  • Antigua and Barbuda.

The most popular citizenship programs are related to real estate. That’s due to the inclusion of Caribbean passport holders in the list of citizenships that open visa-free access to the Schengen area. In addition, a Caribbean passport allows you to get a long-term visa for the United States and Canada.

Buying property on the islands is a dream come true. After all, you can become the owner of a luxury villa on the picturesque coast of paradise on Earth.

A big feature of the Caribbean islands is the active development of development projects. Over the past 6–7 years, the world’s largest developers and hotel chains have come to the islands. Investors are offered very favorable conditions: you can not only live in a chic flat or a bungalow for several weeks a year, but also receive income from the management company – up to 8%.

Unlike European residence permits, Caribbean passports are relatively inexpensive. About 5 years ago, starting investments were in the range of $400,000. Now, countries have significantly lowered their entry threshold. In addition, each program has special advantages.

CountryThe cost of real estate investment for 1 person, $Features
Grenada278,218It allows you to get an E-2 visa in the USA (it is not available to citizens of the Russian Federation and China), and also provides visa-free travel in China.
Saint Kitts and Nevis240,047The most famous Caribbean program, connected to Pavel Durov (received the citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis in 2013, thereby setting the trend).
Saint Lucia359,600There is an option of investing in government bonds. Until the end of 2020, the cost of a bond for one person decreased from $500,000 to $250,000.
Dominica262,550The most lucrative program for one applicant
Antigua and Barbuda257,850A lucrative program for a family of four. Costs will be only $270,400.

Summary

A residence permit for Europe will be the best option for those who want to travel freely and live in Schengen. An important plus is the relative proximity of European states to Russia – for example, a flight from Moscow to Portugal will take about 5.5 hours. Europe offers investors comfortable conditions for doing business and optimizing taxes. And the family of a wealthy foreigner is provided with high-quality education and medical care.

A Caribbean passport also opens a visa-free Schengen. In addition, you get the opportunity to purchase a home by the sea in one of the most beautiful corners of the Earth. And when investing in the hotel business – a solid profit.

Note that program conditions and fees vary from time to time. To be sure of your choice, you can use a special calculator on our website. Just indicate the number of people in the application, their age and get an individual calculation based on your options.

Krisitna

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