What is Residency and Citizenship by investment?
Residency and Citizenship by investment is a program which allows successful businessmen, HNIs and Start Ups to obtain residency or citizenship of a foreign country by make a suitable investment. This program is fast becoming very popular with HNIs all over the world who desire residency in a country other than their country of origin for various reasons.
Reasons for investing abroad:
There are many reasons why HNIs and businessmen, especially those from Asian countries, would want to investment abroad.
Residency and Citizenship by Investment is a very powerful tool that allows these individuals to achieve several personal objectives.
Following are the major reasons why the Residency & Citizenship by Investment is gaining traction, especially in India:
- Children’s education:
Several surveys show that Asian parents give top priority to their children’s education and are particularly keen that they study abroad. However the cost of education is very high in many foreign countries. Alternatively, if the parents obtain residency and citizenship in these countries by investing the required amount, their children can avail the following benefits:
- Reduced fees for the university education
- Easy on campus recruitment and no discrimination regarding the child being a foreign student.
- Possible to work during and after study period in the adopted country and no need to look for sponsors for work visa or immigrant visa.
- Children can start their own business without any problem including a Start Up.
- Quality of life:
HNIs in India and other Asian countries now have sizeable assets and disposable incomes. Hence foreign travel and pleasure trips abroad have become a frequent occurrence. After having travelled abroad, they aspire to achieve the quality of life lived by people in developed countries. For this they are ready to invest and live abroad, although they continue to maintain their business operations and family ties in their home countries. In India, the new liberalized foreign exchange policy allows many HNIs to purchase their own real estate in countries they wish to live in or visit frequently.
- Expansion of business:
Even though India is an economic powerhouse and Western countries are keen to develop trading ties with India, many Indian businessmen face hindrance in travelling abroad for business and/or in establishing a new business in foreign countries.
Residency or Citizenship by Investment can enable these businessmen to travel hassle-free in and out of India to their preferred destinations for business expansion, collaborations, forming alliances or bringing in new technology to India and vice-versa.
- NRI (Non Resident Indian) status:
Investing in foreign countries facilitates businessmen in obtaining NRI status. They can avail of many tax exempted benefits associated with NRI status. This is also beneficial to the Indian economy as NRIs reinvest in Indian businesses, remit foreign currency and bring in new business ideas and opportunities.
- Visa free travel around the world:
Exporters, businessmen or investors from India who travel abroad frequently for work can obtain citizenship of certain countries (especially Caribbean countries) that do not require physical stay but provide a foreign passport and visa free travel to more than 130+ countries.
- Reunion with family living abroad:
Due to the strict visa regimes of many countries, families are split apart. The Residency & Citizenship by Investment program of many countries allows relatives abroad to make an investment on behalf of their relatives back home (EB-5 USA visa) and enable them to immigrate to a foreign country.
- Retiring abroad:
Individuals can take advantage of this program to retire in a country of their choice by making an investment and thus enjoy the best of both worlds.
- Tax planning
Investing abroad can assist Indian HNIs in tax planning by virtue of NRI status, investing through legitimate international trusts and the DATT agreement signed by India with many countries around the world.
- Wealth management & Portfolio diversification:
Investing in developed countries through this program is a very viable option for wealth management and portfolio diversification for savvy investors and HNIs who wish to explore the world stock markets.
- Political reasons:
In today’s world, unrest and uncertainty are perils of daily living. Having a second passport provides a sense of security to ensure the safety and well-being of your loved ones.
PrashantAjmera is an Indian lawyer (Gujarat Bar Association), Canadian citizen and a NRI since 1988, with more than 25 years of experience in residency and citizenship by investment. His expertise in EB-5 investor visa of US, Canada investor program and such other investor programs have gained him recognition as one of the leading lawyers in India in the field of investment based immigration. He also has several years of experience in corporate migration law and international trade.