Wealthy would-be expats can go it alone for residency and citizenship

Published:  10 Jul at 6 PM
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As the world becomes more politically and economically unstable, more and more wealthy would-be expatriates are getting caught by smart salesmen.

The trend of internationalising is the latest way for wealthy nationals to ensure their capital, investments and even businesses are safely stored against economic disaster whilst they continue their lives in another country. For high net worth individuals, becoming a global citizen is the way to go, but taking wealth out of the country of origin requires dealing with key issues.

The first, and for many the most important, issue for would-be expats is reviewing the exchange control regulations and tax implications of the move, with the first considerations being the best way to transfer assets as well as justifying the financial need for a move. Fear for the future is a common reason, but giving in to it can result in poor decisions and the wrong guidance.
One common mistake involves being taken in by smooth-talking real estate agents in your chosen relocation destination, and their equivalent independent financial advisors are another pack to watch out for.

Nowadays, Cyprus, Malta and Grenada are favourites for their citizenship and residency golden visas, with the UK, America and Australia also popular. Unfortunately, along with safe havens for investment and stunningly lovely environments come complex tax regulations as well as money transfer and wealth implications which require unbiased advice from experienced professionals.
Malta and Cyprus both offer top-drawer programmes guaranteeing security and residency, with Malta granting EU citizenship with all its business and personal benefits within 13 months of arrival as well as visa-free access to no less than 182 world countries including America and the UK.

Cyprus’s route to EU citizenship is faster still, taking six months on average and ensuring its programme is best for families. Once granted, Cypriot citizenship is whole-of-life, and inheritable for generations. Many would-be expatriates don’t even realise the USA’s EB-5 Investor Visa exists and is a robust, fast route to permanent residency. It includes immediate family members and gives residency rights in all USA states, including state tax-free Florida and Texas. Also included is guaranteed access to public schools, and American private schools give access to a number of the world’s most respected universities. For a slightly more exotic destination, Portugal’s golden visa investment gives family residence and the chance to apply for citizenship. There’s also a so-called retirement visa offering tax benefits and breaks on qualifying foreign income streams. With all these programmes now out there and inviting would-be expatriates in, there’s no need for the financially comfortable to even listen to real estate sharks and greedy IFAs.
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