Lawyer Monthly - April 2022

EXPERT INSIGHT 48 WWW.LAWYER-MONTHLY.COM | APR 2022 How ‘Citizenship By Investment’ Works Residency and citizenship by investment (RCBI) programs are designed to aid high-net-worth individuals in immigrating to a country by investing in government-approved industries. But what does the immigration process itself look like, and where might applicants encounter difficulties? Jean-François Harvey, founder and managing partner of Harvey Law Group (HLG), offers an in-depth look at the various RCBI programs on offer. ow do RCBI programs vary between different countries? Today, there are over 80 countries around the world that offer some form of RCBI program. To understand how programs vary, it is first important to make a distinction between “migration/ residency” and “citizenship”. A common misconception about RCBI is that it is only utilised to facilitate migration. However, well-informed individuals understand that it is a powerful wealth management and lifestyle planning tool. For instance, some HNWIs opt to secure Turkish Citizenship as a way to gain faster access to E2 immigration opportunities to ultimately migrate to the USA rather than to move to Turkey. On the other hand, investors may aim to migrate to countries without wanting to obtain citizenship, like the programs offered in Europe through the Golden Visa programs. What attracts HNWI and business executives to RCBI programs is the myriad of benefits that a second passport or residency brings, such as global mobility, access to better healthcare or education, employment opportunities, relief from climate or political instability, or tax benefits. Specifically, those seeking additional or alternative citizenship without wishing to relocate to a new country may choose one of the Caribbean citizenship programs such as Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia since they do not require local residency before granting citizenship. Caribbean passports are also popular among HNWIs and business executives who wish to secure a powerful second passport that can enhance their global mobility. Additionally, business executives looking to establish themselves or their business in a tax-efficient jurisdiction or seek expedited processing times are drawn to the Monaco Residency Permit and the Panama Qualified Investor Visa. On the other hand, HNWIs with families may seek to acquire EU permanent residency to give their children access to a good quality of life, medical care and world-class education such as through the Portugal Golden Visa or the France Talent Passport Investor. For HNWIs or business executives wanting to relocate to a different country, what does the immigration process generally look like? The immigration process varies depending on the investment program chosen. The type of program an applicant chooses may vary in accordance with their immigration goals, expectations, and availability of funds. Processing time is also a key factor to consider. The approval of some programs may take only four weeks; others could take years. Stage 1: Identify Your Immigration Goals First, an applicant needs to clearly define their immigration goals and the principal reasons for immigration. Some possible reasons include starting a business, providing better education for their children, accessing better healthcare services, or related reasons. Others wish to take advantage of global mobility that comes with having a strong second passport that provides visa-free travel to over 100+ countries or to avoid foreign policy The approval of some programs may take only four weeks; others could take years. H

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