Demand for residency and a second passport through real estate is growing dramatically from those seeking the ease of visa-free travel and increased mobility, as well as the security of a second citizenship – and buying property is often the first way to fulfil residency requirements overseas.
In 2017, the Second Citizenship Survey from CS Global Partners, a London-headquartered legal advisory to promote citizenship by investment (CBI) programmes, found that 89 per cent of participants would like to own a second passport, while 34 per cent said they had already looked at investing in second citizenship.
However, when it comes to committing financially in places far away from one’s home country, people are understandably often concerned about investment security. While more than 50 countries grant investment-based residence permits, it can be tricky to make the best decision.
The right choice
The key is to get reliable support, as experienced companies with a proven track record will take the angst out of any deal.
“Just like anywhere in the world, the developer’s execution track record is vital and an investment in a project by an untested and unproven developer has inherent risks,” says Mohammed Asaria, Managing Director and Member of the Board, Range Developments, which specialises in high-end real estate projects for citizenship-by-investment (CIB) programmes.
Where to invest
The Caribbean islands is the top choice for investors for the CBI programmes. For example, the Commonwealth of Dominica’s CBI real estate option offers several five-star hotel investments, including the just opened Cabrits Resort & Spa Kempinski Dominica.
Just like anywhere in the world, the developer’s execution track record is vital and an investment in a project by an untested and unproven developer has inherent risks.
“The purchase of a share in a hotel can offer an investor not only a regular return, but this may also be sold after five years to another individual seeking second citizenship — while the original investor maintains his citizenship for perpetuity — therefore giving the purchaser an exit strategy on their initial investment,” explains Asaria.
Since mid 2019, Grenada has rapidly risen in the league tables of citizenship-by-investment programmes given its competitive price point, broad definition of dependents, recently introduced processing efficiencies, wide visa-free travel, including the UK, Schengen and China. “Grenadian citizens may apply to live and reside in the US through the US E2 visa programme. This is based on making a further investment of more than $150,000 (Dh550,800) in the US,” he says.
Other appealing location that is enabling dual citizenship, hassle-free travel to other countries and lenient residency requirements, is Cyprus.
Ireland, which has one of the fastest growing economies in Europe, a great geographical location and low tax rate, is also drawing investors.