Dear Friends, Colleagues, and Clients,
One’s wealth serves as a safety net for professionals and their families. However, the current geopolitical and economic landscape might mean that wealth alone without a larger plan may not be enough.
When it comes to travel freedom, the passport that wealthy individuals hold can hamper their ability to respond to threats or new opportunities to access the global travel, business opportunities, and lifestyle options that they find most appealing. For this reason, the financial planning model for high-and ultra-high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs) is evolving to include citizenship planning, with many law firms, family offices, and wealth advisers expanding their investment offerings to satisfy their clients’ increasing needs.
Safety, security, and stability in Europe
Given the incomparable level of protection and comfort that the region offers, Europe has become the first choice for many individuals looking to acquire alternative residence or citizenship. According to the experts in this field, European passports are also among the strongest in the world in terms of the travel freedom they afford their holders.
While the USA passport has traditionally held visa-free access to EU countries, passport holders have still been restricted from working and living in the countries and could only stay there for a maximum period of three months at a time. Beginning in July 2021, further barriers will be in place for US citizens traveling to Europe. The European Travel Information and Authorization System will be conducting an additional security check on all non-EU travelers headed to Europe’s Schengen Area, which requires a separate application, cost, and border control approval both upon leaving the USA and at arrival in Europe’s Schengen Area.
Individuals with a second EU passport or residence card can eliminate the restrictions to their travel freedom, whether now or in the future, move seamlessly through airports, and access the immeasurable business potential of the European market and the region’s world-renowned educational and healthcare facilities.
Citizenship in a European country
The small yet highly advanced islands of Malta and Cyprus offer two of the most highly regarded citizenship-by-investment options in the EU. Malta’s high standard of living, along with its central location in the Mediterranean, makes it an attractive second home for wealthy families. It has experienced above-average economic growth in recent years, as investors and travelers alike tap into the island nation’s enormous potential.
Considered the investment migration industry’s gold standard, the Malta Individual Investor Program (MIIP) offers a gateway to the world’s 8th strongest passport, according to the Henley Passport Index, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 182 destinations. The minimum contribution for the MIIP is approximately EUR 1 million, and the Maltese passport can be obtained within roughly 12 months.
Cyprus, a fellow Mediterranean marvel, features an accessible business environment, state-of-the-art communication infrastructure, and a skilled labor force. A minimum investment of EUR 2 million is required for the Cyprus Investment Program, and successful applicants gain visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 173 destinations worldwide within approximately six months.
Inclusive and peaceful residence in Portugal
The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program is an excellent option for HNWIs seeking residence that leads to citizenship in the EU, particularly for entrepreneurs with the capacity to create jobs. With a minimum investment of EUR 250,000, this highly popular program grants five-year residence permits to successful applicants and residence in one of the world’s most multicultural nations.
We want to thank Henley & Partners, a global industry leader in residence and citizenship planning for the data provided for this Client Alert. Each year, hundreds of wealthy individuals and their advisers rely on their expertise and experience in this area. Their highly qualified professionals work together in over 30 offices worldwide.
Our law firm will be hosting a series of lectures with Henley & Partners explaining the benefits and process for acquiring a second passport. If interested, please reply to Kathryn@jmvlaw.com and you will receive an invitation to an upcoming lecture. If you would prefer to contact a qualified representative directly at Henley & Partners for a private consultation of the various programs available and how you can benefit from alternative citizenship or residence, contact Private Client Advisor Ezzedeen Soleiman at Ezzedeen.firstname.lastname@example.org or +1 (514) 288-1997.
Jeffrey M. Verdon, Esq.
For more information about any of the information discussed in this Client Alert, or any other income or estate tax planning or asset protection planning assistance, please contact the: Jeffrey M. Verdon Law Group, LLP at email@example.com or 949-333-8152.