Golden visa acquisition or residency and citizenship-by-investment (CBI) have become popular today. Whether a business owner, frequent flyer, or investor looking to diversify and secure future real estate prospects, acquiring a second citizenship and residency has a host of benefits for individuals and their families.
“This is the definition of freedom and why I started Passport Legacy, ” said Jeffrey Henseler, Founder of Passport Legacy and Managing Partner of Passport Legacy, UAE HQ.
So, what is a Golden Visa? A Golden Visa is a residency by investment program. It is directed to foreign nationals who want to acquire residency in a specific country by investing or purchasing a property. Applying for a Golden Visa further grants residence to your immediate family members, including children and spouse.
A Golden Visa for an EU country is particularly desirable as it allows the person holding the visa, and their family, the freedom of movement throughout the entire Schengen Zone. And if the Golden Visa eventually leads to EU citizenship, then the resulting passport will offer visa-free travel to over a hundred countries in the world, depending on the issuing country.
Portugal, which started its program in 2012, remains the most popular due to its wide range of investment opportunities, more flexible residence and citizenship conditions, and the opportunity for unrestricted movement in the Schengen area. Portugal offers stability, as the third most peaceful nation in the world, according to the Global Peace Index. Greece had until recently held the number one spot for its Golden Visa program, which was started in 2013, and, now third in the rankings, remains very desirable to many Middle East investors as it is easily accessible and not too far away.
If we look a little closer to our home at Passport Legacy, the UAE Government has also launched several initiatives to attract top talent to boost the economy. One of these initiatives is the UAE Golden Visa. This new visa scheme was implemented in 2019, and its purpose is to offer long-term residence visas for individuals. It also enables foreigners to work, live and study in the UAE without a sponsor. Whilst relatively new, the Golden Visa program is an exciting proposition for those looking for residency for 5 to 10 years. Specifically, it is highly appealing to foreigners that want to live in the UAE and do not want to worry about renewals so often.
Main benefits of a Second Citizenship or Golden Visa
Below are the main benefits of a Second Citizenship or Golden Visa that I encourage investors to look out for when looking for programs.
1- Visa-free travel. A second passport obtained through a CBI or a European residency by investment program can allow you to travel visa-free and visa-on-arrival to more than 135 countries.
2- Education opportunities. Acquiring European citizenship enables you and your immediate family members to study, live and work anywhere within the European Union.
3- You may need a plan B. With the uncertainty we are unfortunately seeing in the world, more so now than ever, all countries that offer CBI programs allow you to hold dual citizenship. This ensures the safety and security of your family by providing an opportunity to migrate to another country whilst allowing you to keep your citizenship from your home country.
4- You are paving the way for future generations. Many citizenships have the benefit of citizenship by descent. Meaning your investment today can grant ample benefits to your future generations.
5- Availing tax benefits. For all of us that reside here in the UAE, we know the advantages of our tax benefits. Depending on personal setups and citizenships, you pay minimal taxes on capital gains, wealth and inheritance, gifts, and net worth.
Lastly, looking at the investments, qualifications, personal commitments, and short and long-term economic detail in a foreign country can be overwhelming, and this is where I suggest you look for the support of a CBI consultancy such as Passport Legacy. Companies like ourselves offer everything under one roof and ensure it is professional and personal in its approach.