Frequently Asked Questions

St. Kitts & Nevis

St. Kitts & Nevis

Established in 1984, it has proven one of the most popular CIP's in the world.

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When applying to be a citizen of St Kitts and Nevis by way of investment, the main applicant must contact an authorised person.

An authorised person means a person license by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission to conduct corporate or trust services in St Kitts and Nevis, who has paid the authorised person’s fee and is authorized to act on behalf of the main applicant in relation to a citizenship by investment application.

No. The CIU does not endorse any authorised person.

The unit engages only with authorised persons. You can contact an authorised person with regards to questions pertaining to your application.

All pertinent information will be provided by your chosen authorized person.

The main applicant:

  • Must be at least eighteen years of age.
  • Must have made an investment in the prescribed amount.
  • Must meet other application requirements.

Yes. All permitted dependents can be included in your application for economic citizenship.

The laws of St Kitts and Nevis define “spouse” as the partner of the opposite sex by marriage.

Travel to St Kitts and Nevis is not generally required. However, as part of the processing of the applications, individual applicants may be requested to attend an interview.

No. Residing in St Kitts and Nevis is not required when applying for citizenship using the Citizenship by Investment Option.

The application process may take as little as 90 days but may be delayed for cause. Applicants will be kept appraised of the status of their applications through their authorised person.

No. The application form for citizenship by investment can only be obtained through and submitted to the Citizen by Investment Unit by an authorised person.

The minimum age requirement for the main applicant is 18 years of age. Permitted dependents as defined by the St Christopher and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Regulations may be under 18 year and also 18 to 25 years of age. Parents or grandparents over the age of 65 living and fully supported by the main applicant.

Permitted dependent means:

  • A spouse of the main applicant.
  • A child under eighteen (18) years old of the main applicant or his or her spouse.
  • The child of the main applicant or his or her spouse between eighteen and twenty-five years who is in full time attendance at a recognized institution of higher learning after his/her eighteen birthday and fully supported by the main applicant.
  • Parents or grandparents of the main applicant or his spouse above the age of sixty-five years living with and fully supported by the main applicant.
  • A child of the main applicant or spouse of the main applicant who is above the age of eighteen years and physically or mentally challenged.

There is no numerical limit on the number of permitted dependents.

All monies will be refunded with the exception of due diligence fees and processing fees.

All applicants and permitted dependents are required to pay due diligence and processing fees.

The minimum real estate investment required is US$400,000.00 for each main applicant.

Yes. Two or more applicants may apply for citizenship together by purchasing one piece of real estate, provided each main applicant contributes the minimum investment of US$400,000.00.

A police certificate refers to a statement from a national law enforcement authority on the status of a person’s criminal record. It is also referred to as “certificate of no criminal record or “police clearance record”.

Each main applicant and all permitted dependents 16 years and older are required to produce a police certificate.

No. Applications that are not in English are not prescribed or accepted by the Citizenship by investment Unit.


Commonwealth of Dominica

Dominica

A highly reputable CIP in operation since 1993 that is one of the lower cost options.

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There are three main investment options for Dominica Economic Citizenship — the Single Applicant, the Family Application 1 (applicant and spouse) and Family Application 2 (applicant, spouse and two children -18). The approximate cost for a Single Option is US$ 120,000 and the Family option is US$ 235,000. This should cover the investment fees, our agents fees and due diligence fees. Additional investment fees and processing fees are added for more than two children/dependents. As the due diligence fee varies and depends on many factors, so we can only provide an estimate.

The process is complex but you can review the Application process and Application requirements anytime on our site.

No you are not required to reside in Dominica.

Investors must be over 21 and anyone regardless of sex, current residence or nationality can apply.

Government fees and terms of payment are not negotiable.

A family is the main applicant and a spouse or a applicant spouse and two dependent children under the age of 18 (eighteen). You can apply for additional children at an extra cost.

Unfortunately, same sex marriage is not recognized in Dominica.

Yes, you can. However, dual citizenship is permitted in Dominica so there is no need to consider renunciation.

In Dominica, the interview is in English and therefore you are expected to communicate in English. Interpreters may be provided if English is not good enough. We will prepare you for this interview, providing you with necessary information and for the interview to ensure you are fully prepared.

Due Diligence is a process of checking the information you provided in your Citizenship application form, including the Interpol check. Normally the costs vary from USD 3,000 to USD 8,000 per family, but can exceed this amount. The cost depends upon: the number of people in the family, age of applicants, the country of present citizenship and current residence, and how often you changed your residence. We have no influence over such costs and you have to pay the cost directly to the agency.

In Dominica the validity period of a child’s passport is five years; the passport for an adult is ten years. It is possible to issue passport to a child from the date of birth. A child’s passport could be signed by the child itself (depending on the age), or by one of the parents or by a legal guardian of the child. Child’s passport is a passport issued to a citizen under the age of 16.

Dominica passports for adults and children contain the following information: name, middle name, surname, date of birth, place of birth, occupation, height, distinguishing marks (if applicable).

No, the interview cannot be waived, however at the total expense of the client, the interview can be held in London or New York.

The interview usually lasts for an hour. You will be asked questions about yourself including all the details on your application form; the basic knowledge of the country’s history will be tested as well. General questions include reasons for requiring second citizenship, knowledge of Dominica, business and other experiences. We will prepare you for the interview.

The citizenship can only be revoked if you provided false and misleading information about yourself and your family under the application for citizenship.

You may only change your name after one year of receiving Citizenship. Name changes are made through the Deed Poll procedure. After which you can apply for the passport under your new name. Your previous name is not noted in your new passport.

Yes, you can do it. Dominica recognizes the equal rights of all children. In such cases you have to produce additional documents with your citizenship application. One such document is an application letter from the biological parent explaining that he/she has no objections against the participation of the child in the citizenship program. This letter should be written in English, or translated into English and certified (notarized).

No. You are bestowed 100% legitimate citizenship, backed by Constitution and necessary legislation of the country. According to this legislation, you are also exempt from the term of obligatory residence in the country (which is 5 years) in exchange for non-refundable investment into the economy of the country.


Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda

One of the newest CIP's in the world with an array of investment options.

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The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda at its meeting held on 11th December, 2014 agreed that successful Citizenship by Investment applicants shall not be allowed to change their name via Deed Poll or any other means for the issuance of the Antigua and Barbuda passport.

Persons travelling to Antigua and Barbuda who would normally require a Visa to enter, may obtain a Visa waive on Arrival provided that they hold one of the following valid travel documents at a cost of US$ 100 valid for 30 days:

  • USA Visa or ‘Green Card’
  • UK Entry certificate or residence permit
  • Canadian Visa or Permanent Residence card
  • Schengen Visa or residence permit
Restricted Countries List

The Cabinet of Antigua and Barbuda, at its meeting held on Thursday, 11th December 2014, decided that the Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Programme will not accept applications from nationals of the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • North Korea
  • Somalia
  • Yemen

As an exception, nationals of the above-mentioned countries who are lawful permanent residents of Canada, the United States of America or the United Kingdom, will be allowed to make application providing that their status as lawful residents is established.


Portugal

Portugal

A multi-option programme that offers great access to the EU and the rest of the world.

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The Golden Visa allows applicants to obtain residency status in Portugal by purchasing real estate (minimum €500,000) or making a deposit in a Portuguese bank (minimum €1,000,000 for five years).

There are no interviews for Golden Visa applicants.

All family members must go to Portugal for minimum 3 business days, for finger printing, to sign papers, and to have photographs taken.

All Government fees, the bank investment, and the real estate purchase price must originate from the applicant's Portuguese bank account. Our lawyer will help the applicant set up such a bank account during the exploratory visit.

The property (or properties) must be purchased for a combined price of minimum €500,000, and can be either residential, commercial, or plots. The property price depends on location (I.e. water frontage versus a property inland), size, etc.

The applicant may not obtain a mortgage on the required €500,000 amount. However, if the property is more than the minimum amount, he may mortgage the excess. For example, if a property is purchased for €600,000, the applicant may obtain a mortgage on the €100,000 (which is above the minimum required investment amount). The applicant would be responsible for obtaining the mortgage himself.

Property Tax ("IMI") of 0.3-0.5% for urban buildings (depending on location), and 0.8% for rural buildings, is paid annually.

Children must be under age 18 (i.e. maximum 17 years and 364 days) to be considered dependent in the application. In special circumstances, children over age 18 would be considered dependents (e.g. if the child has a mental or physical illness which makes him/her dependent on the parents). Students who are above age 18, but unmarried and financially dependent on their parents, may be able to qualify as dependents if they can provide proof of full-time studies, financial reliance on the applicant, etc.

Yes, Golden Visa holders may attend school in Portugal, at the same cost as Portuguese citizens. Public schools, which are taught in the Portuguese language, are free to both residents and citizens (grades 1 – 12). Private schools, often taught in English, are not free to either residents or citizens.

Applicants must obtain their own health insurance coverage in Portugal. For a family of 5, the average price for health insurance is approximately €500-700 annually, depending on the applicants' health, age, and coverage required. We will arrange health insurance during the visit (no medical exam is required to obtain the health insurance).

Golden Visa holders are permitted to earn income in Portugal (either through employment or doing business in that country).

Each family member must spend an average of 7 days per year in Portugal, as follows:

  • Year 1: 7 days;
  • Years 2-3: 14 total days (e.g. ten days in year 2 and four days in year 3);
  • Years 4-5: 14 total days.

Residency must be renewed every 2 years, from within Portugal (e.g. during the client's residency visit). The investment (real estate or bank deposit) must remain in place to maintain residency status. Additional Government and legal fees are required at each renewal.

After 6 years of residency, applicants may apply for citizenship. Additional Government and legal fees are required for the citizenship application.

Each applicant must have basic Portuguese in (1) reading and writing, (2) listening, and (3) speaking. Tests will be multiple choice, true/false, oral, etc. The applicant must be able to understand/communicate in common situations, such as: greeting people, ordering food at a restaurant, making a hotel reservation, expressing health problems and reading medication labels, reading street signs, and asking for directions, completing standard forms with personal information (e.g. forms to enrol in classes, open a bank account, etc.) and making appointments http://ww3.fl.ul.pt/caple/Exames/CIPLE.aspx

With a Portugal passport, applicants may travel freely throughout the European Union: http://europa.eu/about-eu/countries/index_en.


Mata

Mata

A fantastic CIP that gives the holder an EU passport.

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Applicants are required to make a contribution directly to the Maltese Government's National Development and Social Fund.

The contribution is set at Euro 650,000 for the main applicant, Euro 25,000 for a spouse and each minor child under 18 years of age, and Euro 50,000 for each dependent parent over 55 years of age and each dependent child between 18 - 26 years of age.

In addition, the applicant is required to (a) invest Euro 350,000 into Malta real estate, or (b) lease a Malta property for at least Euro 16,000 per year, for a minimum of five years. The real estate may be liquidated after the five year holding period.

Further, the applicant is required to purchase Euro 150,000 in Government approved securities to be held for at least five years. The securities may also be liquidated after the five year holding period.

NOTE: No contribution or investments need to be paid to the Maltese government before the final approval is issued within four months from IIP application. This ensures your investments will only become due if and when your application is approved.

Taxation in Malta is based on domicile and residence – not citizenship. Obtaining Maltese citizenship does not automatically cause the applicant to acquire a new domicile. Becoming a citizen of Malta does not have to have any tax consequences!

Tax residents of Malta who are not domiciled in Malta are taxable on a remittance basis. This means they are not taxable on foreign source income (income not received in Malta), nor on any capital gains arising outside Malta.

Tax is due only on income and capital gains arising in Malta. A non-resident citizen of Malta is only taxable in Malta on income generated in Malta.

Other Tax Considerations:

  • No inheritance or death taxes;
  • No estate duty;
  • No net worth or wealth taxes;
  • No municipal taxes, rates or real estate taxes.

Applicants realize that the Maltese/European citizenship provides several benefits, including:

  • Visa free travel to over 160 countries, including the USA;
  • Retirement in a safe country with a warm climate;
  • A better education for the applicant’s children;
  • A better quality of life for the family;
  • Personal security;
  • Tax advantages;
  • Freedom associated with having multiple passports.

No. When you acquire citizenship under the Maltese citizenship program, you and your family enjoy full citizenship for life, which can be passed on to future generations by descent.

Applicants do not need to move to Malta or live in the country for a full year to satisfy the one year residency requirement. Instead, an applicant can meet the requirement by proving a genuine link with Malta as evidenced by, for example, a minimum of two visits within the year, or showing water and electricity bills, or having a club membership, engaging in any business activity in Malta, or similar. Our attorneys will assist you to be in full compliance with Maltese regulations.

The IIP application process takes approximately four months to process. If the applicant has already been a resident prior to filing an application he/she can obtain the Maltese passport as early as six months.

Upon submitting the Residence Application, the main applicant and his dependents (optional) are provided with an E-Residence document which is equivalent to a Schengen Visa, grating borderless travel to all Schengen countries

The approximate timeline is as follows:

  • Week 1 - 3: Document Preparation. The attorney prepares the application file and collects all supporting documents. Applicant receives the Residency Card. The completed application is submitted.
  • Week 4 - 20: Application Processing. The Maltese government reviews the application and conducts background checks.
  • Week 21 - 36: Compliance Period. The applicant submits proof of health insurance, rents or purchases property, submits the contribution and fulfills the securities investment requirement.

Naturalization. Upon application approval the Maltese government issues the Certificate of Naturalization to the applicant and any dependents, subject to the Oath of Allegiance and one year residency. Passport are issued.

The individual investor program (IIP) offers applicants a fast track to the European citizenship and the European passport in return for a one-time investment. For the main applicant the minimum one-time cost under the individual investor program is approximately 880,000 Euro.

The global residence program (GRP), on the other hand, offers applicants to become a permanent resident of Malta, free travel to all European countries within the Schengen area, and the option to apply for a work permit. However, this permanent residence permit needs to be renewed annually to avoid expiration. The GRP does not lead to EU citizenship, and it does not result in receiving a European passport. The annual expense under the global residence program is approximately 15,000 Euro, excluding legal fees.

These cost estimates are exclusive of professional fees and will vary based upon the number of family members to be included by the main applicant. Please contact us for a detailed fee estimate.

Yes. We are associated with licensed real estate agencies in Malta and can help you find an ideal investment property that fulfils the program's real estate investment requirement.

The IIP program requires property to be held for five years. After this period, property in Malta can be sold completely exempt from tax if it has been held for three years as the resident’s sole and ordinary residence. If the property is sold before having been used as the resident’s sole residence for three years, a final property tax of 12% is chargeable on the selling price.

No. Unlike other programs such as the EB-5 Investor Visa in the United States, Malta has no requirements to invest in a business or create new jobs.

Yes. Because Malta is a member of the European Union its citizens are automatically European citizens, which means you are allowed to live, work or study anywhere in Europe.

However, please note that the total number of citizenships (total number of passports) the Maltese government has made available under this program is limited! If you are ready to file an application please contact us for additional information.

The Individual Investor Program of Malta provides the applicant with European citizenship in return for a non-refundable donation to the Maltese government in the amount of EUR 650,000 plus a EUR 150,000 investment in approved securities and an investment in real estate. The IIP application process can take between six months and two years to complete.

The Malta citizenship allows you to travel without restrictions across the "Schengen Area" of the European Union. The Schengen Area is a group of 26 European countries that have abolished passport and immigration controls at their common borders. It functions as a single country for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. Source: Wikipedia.

Yes. The Malta passport will allow you to travel to the U.S. under the visa waiver program which allows citizens of participating countries to travel to the United States without a visa for stays of 90 days or less. Source: U.S. Government.

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