A look into investment visas around the world.
Are you ready to start a journey abroad? There are many reasons someone may want to leave their home country. Advantages like lower taxes, lower cost of living, and wonderful and accepting cultures are just the tip of the iceberg in the world of expatriation. Many financially-minded individuals are finding that by investing in countries around the world, they are not only diversifying their portfolios and tapping into sectors not offered in their home economies, they are also gaining residency.
By moving abroad, you will no longer be subject to the tax laws of your home country and can enjoy life without the hassle of being taxed on money that you may not even be making in your home country. When expatriating, you may be required to pay an exit tax, like in the U.S., but that will be pocket change compared to what you’d be saving over the years.
You have the opportunity to achieve both personal and financial liberation overseas by tapping into new and developing sectors, and developed areas of investment, allowing and encouraging you to diversify your portfolio.
Residency abroad is especially attractive to those who want to be able to stay active during their retirement. With residency in Central America or Europe, the travel experiences can open up a world of adventure of leisure in the tropics.
There are so many countries with investment visas around the world. Listed below you can find just a handful of the most popular investor visa programs found around the world.
United States: EB-5 Investor Visa
The EB-5 program was created in 1990 by the U.S. Congress in order to stimulate the economy by creating jobs and capital investments for foreign investors. In 1992, Congress then created the Immigrant Investor Program, or the Regional Center Program, that set aside EB-5 visas for those looking to invest in commercial enterprises.
Through the EB-5 program, those looking to obtain permanent residency in the U.S. can do so by means of investment. In order to qualify for the program, foreign investors must meet the requirements set by United States Citizenship and Immigration (USCIS).
With this program, applicants, their spouse, and any children under 21 will obtain a permanent residency green card after all the requirements are met. The EB-5 visa requirements state that applicants need to make either a $500,000 or $1,000,000 capital investment in a U.S. commercial enterprise. The investment can be made in cash, inventory, secured indebtedness, property, equipment, or cash equivalents.
Portugal: Golden Visa
The Golden Visa program in Portugal is a popular route to citizenship in Europe. This visa offers investors flexibility and benefits. The program, launched in 2012, grants residency to those who invest €500,000 in Portuguese real estate. The residency is also extended to family members including dependent children. The visa needs to be renewed every two years and only requires holders to stay in the country two weeks in the country every two years.
After 5 years, Golden Visa holders can apply for permanent residency and citizenship after six years. One of the biggest appeals to the visa is that the applicant never even has to have lived in the country to gain citizenship.
It’s also the best country for tax-free residency. If you want to become a resident of Monaco, you’ll be required to deposit at least €500,000 in a Monaco bank.
Applicants must also prove they have sufficient funds in the bank to support a life in the country. They must also provide a clean criminal record. The immigration office then holds a personal interview with the investor.
Switzerland is very popular among wealthy investors. The country ranks high in many areas such as quality of life and physical beauty with mountains and more. With the fifth highest GDP per capita, which calculates to $30,000 more per citizen than in the U.S., Switzerland ranks high among expatriates hoping to make more money abroad.
If that’s not enough to draw you in, knowing the country boasts a high-class education system, top-notch public transportation, and a large existing expat community might do the job. This safe, clean country remains a top destination for expatriates from all over the world.
The one-million-dollar investment requirement for Swiss residency by investment is much higher than some other programs, making it one of the most exclusive and sought-after programs for wealthy individuals.
If a potential resident doesn’t want to make a direct investment, there is another route that involves applying for a residence permit but it won’t make the process any less expensive. Whichever way one chooses, the process can cost at least one million dollars, if not more.
Where We Come In
Together with respected law firms in various regions of the world, Alpen Partners is advising its clients on expatriation issues. In a world of increasing tax pressure and professional mobility, expatriation has become one of the most efficient tools for asset protection and estate planning. Moving abroad can come along with an abundance of benefits that can affect your taxes, your investment portfolio, cost of living, and your lifestyle. As the cost of traveling becomes cheaper, the benefits of expatriation for financial reasons are more easily obtained.
Taking the leap and leaving your home country can be a big decision with tons of personal and legal steps. The hassle of navigating the legal process of expatriation can be reduced with the guidance of Alpen Partners. Each step requires assistance, including getting the passport, making sure everything is completed correctly regarding taxes, acquiring work permits, making investments, and more. No matter what expatriation route is chosen, it can be a powerful tactic to allow clients to gain better control of their financial and personal lives.