There are many countries that offer residency by investment programs. Many offer multiple options to choose from, making it very appealing to wealthy foreigners.
Generally speaking, if you are a high net worth individual you will be welcome in most places. Since lots of countries like foreign capital, you will have an open front door to the country if you are bringing money to invest.
We have been writing a lot about different citizenship by investment programs. We compared different countries, wrote about each country separately and explained the process of getting a second passport. But if you are not interested in a second passport (for example you already have a good one) but only care about residing in a different country and using its benefits such as favorable tax options you might want to consider residency by investment programs.
As we already said many countries offer this type of residency program – 71 of them! The number of these countries will probably expand in the future.
What is residency and how is it different from citizenship?
Residency lets you live in a country that is not your own. You are allowed to live in a country where you are not a citizen (yet), so it means that you still have your original passport. You are not allowed to vote or run for office but you have all the rights as the natives to that country.
Being a resident of a certain country for long enough eventually leads to becoming a citizen of that country. At that point, you will obtain the passport of that country.
To become a resident of a certain country usually takes lots of time and effort. You would need to have a certain education, experience in certain fields, be an expert in something which that country needs. Then you would need to wait for quite a while to be accepted and finally move to that country.
Residency by investment is very different. This type of program has been around since 1986. when Quebec in Canada started their Immigrant Investor Program.
The main requirement in residency by investment is having the capital to invest in a foreign country. It basically removes all the other requirements such as needed education, language, working experience, etc.
What are the requirements for residency by investment programs (sometimes called ”elite residency”)
Every country has its own requirements when it comes to this program, however, certain requirements are universal. This would include having a clean criminal record, proving that your funds come from legal sources, investing funds in government approved options such as government bonds, national economic fund or real estate investments.
In most cases investing into the country will put you in the fast track for getting residency, and you will not have to wait as long as other people usually do (which is usually months, sometimes years!). However, this definitely varies from country to country.
So, who are the right candidates for this type of program?
First of all, people who want to live in a different country. They might not be happy with their own country, they might not be satisfied with the health care system, the government, they might want better schooling options for their children, they want better mobility or even safety… Maybe they just have a dream country they want to live in which is not their original one.
A huge portion of our customers are people who are not necessarily happy with their home country, but they seek better and more favorable options for their businesses. The most common example is lower tax rates in a different country. Residency by investment is a perfect option for them.