Positive Changes to Malta Residency Programme

August 10th, 2017   •   Bonds, Family, Investor Visa, Residency, Schengen Travel   •   Comments Off on Positive Changes to Malta Residency Programme   

Malta Last month we saw some very positive changes to the Malta Indefinite Residency Programme. The changes have made the programme even more attractive than it was previously, resulting in an incredibly feasible and flexible way to achieve EU Permanent Residency for the whole family.

One of the huge attraction’s of the programme is that the age limit for dependant children has now been abolished. Children over the age of 18 can be included no matter what their age, providing they are fully dependant on the main applicant. Another positive change is that if  dependant children loose their dependency status later down the line, (perhaps due to graduation or marriage) they can still retain their Permanent Residency status. Adoptive children can also be included as well as the main applicant and spouses dependant parents and grandparents. The Malta Indefinite residency programme is an ideal option for investors looking to include up to four generations of family.

Investment starts from just €370,000, making this a very affordable programme. The total investment for this programme needs to be made up from the following areas:

  • Investment of €250,000 into government bonds, refundable after 5 years
  • Additional contribution of €30,000 to Maltese government
  • Further €40,000 in legal and processing fees
  • Purchase or rent a property. (Minimum €270,000 purchase in Gozo, or €320,000 in Malta.  Or rental of €10,000 p.a in Gozo or €12,000 p.a in Malta.)

For more details on the Malta Indefinite Residency programme, please contact our team.

St Kitts Citizenship Scheme Introduces New Age Limits

January 6th, 2017   •   Family, Real Estate, Residency   •   Comments Off on St Kitts Citizenship Scheme Introduces New Age Limits   

Citizenship by Investment Caribbean As from 1st January 2017 St. Kitts and Nevis have introduced a number of key amendments which will hugely improve the country’s Citizenship by Investment programme.

One of the most beneficial amendments is that older dependent children up to the age of 30 years old can now be included under the one family application. This is one of the highest age limits for children that we have seen across the various residency and citizenship programmes that we offer and can fill a gap in the market.

The age limit for dependent parents has also been lowered from 65 to 55 years old, offering more flexibility for family applications. And lastly dependent children born after citizenship has been granted and under the age of 16 will also be eligible for citizenship.

The St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment programme requires a real estate investment of €400,000 + costs and will grant investors and their family members citizenship within 3- 4 months. A St Kitts Passport will enable visa free travel throughout several key areas, including the Schengen zone, UK and Canada.

One of our most popular real estate investments projects  in St Kitts has been this 5* Hotel Resort. Here investors can expect to find high quality luxury hotel apartments with sensational views across the crystal clear Caribbean sea. For more details, please contact one of our consultants.

Top Ten Reasons For Golden Visa

July 27th, 2015   •   Education, Family, Lifestyle, Taxation   •   no comments   

Having helped many clients across a multitude of countries for golden visa investments and applications in several European countries we thought we would share what consistently came through as the top reasons for such an investment.

Some of these may be obvious, others less so. Invariably once investors understand the benefits of a golden visa and citizenship by investment, they often change their priorities for the venture as certain reasons become more important than others.

In no particular order our clients main reasons are as follows:

1. Investment Return

An obvious and important reason but not usually the driving force behind investors’ decisions. Most golden visa programmes offer real estate investment as the route to gaining a golden visa from that country. Long, medium and often short term investment horizons lead to significant capital gains for real estate. Prime locations such as central Lisbon and Barcelona are often favourites for this. La Vida has a wide selection of real estate and knowledge spanning several countries to help our clients understand the potential returns. At the time of writing (July 2015), the Euro is at a low against the US dollar with most analysts predicting a medium to long term increase which will boost returns.

2. Insurance Against Unknowns

A golden visa provides residency if needed. So at any time the investor and his or her family can simply take a flight and not have to return. Providing the investment is maintained in countries such as Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Greece then the residency visa can be renewed or can usually be turned to permanent residency and eventual citizenship.

A brief look at our top 20 countries for golden visa enquiries and it is clear in many cases why insurance for the future is one of the key reasons for many clients. This list alone includes Pakistan, South Africa, China, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Bangladesh, Russia, Hong Kong and Nigeria. Outside of this Top 20, we have dealt with clients from Libya, Somalia, Kenya and Iran, all with their own internal issues and future uncertainties of varying degree.

3. Safe Haven Investment

Europe remains a safe haven for investment with clear ownership laws, a stable low inflation currency, established laws, democratically elected governments and clear taxation rules.

4. Home and Living

Most investors for the golden visa choose not to live in the country full-time. However the option is there either living permanently, part of the family living (perhaps for education) or living part of the year.

5. Legacy for Family

Once the investment is made and the visas or residency cards are granted then the ties and contacts with that country begin to increase. Children can be included, they eventually move on perhaps for an education in Europe, eventual jobs, eventual citizenship and the next generations have firm roots which they have either put down or can choose to put down in Europe. Worth noting at this point that a citizen of any country in Europe is free to live, work, study in any European country.

6. Education for Children

Once permanent residency is established then by living full time in the country, children can be educated under either the state or private education system. Looking to the future, as European citizens, children can gain access to universities in the UK at European and not international rates (a substantial saving). In other countries such as Spain and Portugal university education and tuition fees are often cheaper. In Cyprus two British universities, Lancashire and University of West England have established campuses there.

7. Ease of Travel

A golden visa will lead to a visa, residency card or eventually citizenship and a second passport. For countries such as Portugal, Spain, Hungary and Greece it means the freedom to travel throughout the Schengen visa zone. No more visa applications! For programmes such as Malta and Cyprus, citizenship can be gained in a relatively short period of time (3 months currently with Cyprus but this will change in the coming months). With citizenship comes a second passport. A European passport that allows the holder to live, work and travel anywhere in Europe including countries outside the Schengen Zone, such as Switzerland, UK and Ireland.

8. Leisure

Many of the countries offering golden visas such as Portugal, Spain, Cyprus and Greece are based around the Mediterranean, a playground for those from northern Europe seeking summer residences. But they also offer the sophistication of cities such as Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon, ideal for shopping and cultural activities. Many of the cities are close by flight standards. Lisbon, Madrid and Barcelona are all with an hour or two of London, Berlin, Paris, Rome and most European cities.

9. Second Passport

The second passport option arises from most golden visa programmes in Europe. This is more complex and less defined except for immediate schemes such as Cyprus (at time of writing). Please contact us to go through citizenship rules, do not believe everything you read online. We use the best, established lawyers in each country. Having said that, with the right commitment and approach you will gain European citizenship, with second passports for all your family, given time (or money in the case of Cyprus).

10. Taxation

In some circumstances clients look to split assets, avoid overseas inheritance tax, income tax and employ other tax avoidance techniques when considering investor visas. Some countries such as Portugal impose no further taxation on overseas income for the first 10 years of residency. Taxation is a complex area and needs expert advice. And whereas our consultants at La Vida can provide the basics we can also provide contact for further specialist advice.

For further detailed advice please complete your details here and one of our consultants will contact you.

Greece Improves Investor Residency Programme

November 29th, 2014   •   Citizenship, Family, Real Estate, Residency, Schengen Travel   •   no comments   

Greece Golden Visa The government in Greece is introducing changes to its golden visa programme. The new rules allow three generations of family members to benefit from the visa. An investment of just €250,000 in real estate will qualify the applicant, parents (of both investor and spouse) and children for a five year renewable residency visa. There is no minimum stay requirement for applicants. Greece is a member of the EU Schengen visa zone so a holder of the Greek residency permit is allowed freedom to travel throughout the European Union. The investor will be able to sell his/her property to another foreign citizen, and transfer the residency permit together with the property.

One aspect of the programme changes is that the path to citizenship has improved but remains difficult. Changes to citizenship rules mean investors will now be able to apply for citizenship after 7 years of residency. But that requires living in Greece for more than six months each year and passing a Greek language test. Countries such as Bulgaria and Portugal require higher investment levels but more assured routes to citizenship and ultimate freedom of Europe.

Property prices in Greece have dropped as much as 50% since the credit crisis and are now showing signs of stability. Many local developers we work through are confident as the market for more desirable properties such as villas with good rental prospects in prime vacation areas are in demand. La Vida offers a portfolio of property in Greece including Athens, the surrounding coastal area and the islands. Some of these properties offer guaranteed rental for investors. Contact us for full details.