Following the 9/11 Twin Towers terror attack, more and more obstacles have been placed upon immigration visas. Last year, the International Monetary Fund published a paper on the resulting surge of ‘citizenship-by-investment’, which enables high-net-worth individuals to acquire residency in a host country by simply investing there. The phenomenon has also gained popularity thanks to tax shelters and other incentives.
Most investors are simply seeking an economic and sometimes political safe haven; and for the host countries this is becoming an extremely feasible source of income. Canada’s Immigrant Investor Program, for example, seeks experienced entrepreneurs and business people and divides their investment between participating provinces with an aim to create jobs and develop their economies. The initial investment is then returned after a 5-year period without interest. Australia and the US require the investor take an active part in the investment (ownership/management of a company).
Today, the cheapest place to acquire citizenship is in the Commonwealth of Dominica – a small Caribbean island not to be confused with the Dominican Republic near Haiti, where the price for citizenship is $100,000. At the top of the list lies France, with its 5 million Euro price tag. In St. Kitts & Nevis (east of Puerto Rico), where such a program has existed since 1984, investor visas account for 25% of GDP!
Canada requires that individuals prove a net worth of 1.6 million Canadian dollars and invest C$80,000; Australia requires a AUD$ 5 million investment;
New Zealand enables the applicant to invest NZ$1.5 million over a 4-year period; the price in the UK is £2 million; and the US requires that a new enterprise be established that employs at least 10 qualifying employees, or else that the investor expands an existing enterprise that generates a 40% increase in net worth or number of employees. The minimum qualifying investment here is $1 million or $500,000 in a high-unemployment or rural area.
CIS Application’s team of specialists are highly experienced in immigration services, and can help you immigrate, work and study abroad. All visa applications are serviced by members of the respective national immigration lawyers and agents associations.