2017 Updates to Investment Immigration Programs

In 2017, significant changes happened to the investment migration industry, making it cheaper and affordable to buy a second citizenship or a golden visa. More countries have announced interest to start new citizenship programs for investment.

Malta

Malta Prime Minister announced IIP 2 and it will be ‘exclusive’ once the current IIP quota of 1500 applicants ends. There is no information on whether the prices will be increased with the next IIP. Malta’s due diligence checks currently rated as the  best in the world. Currently Malta’s citizenship program costs $900k.

Cyprus

After the Guardian expose, Cyprus announced that it will regulate the promotion of its citizenship program. Currently Cyprus requires 2 million euros to buy Cyprus citizenship by satisfying residence requirements as well.

Dominica

After being hit by Hurricane, Dominica reduced only processing fees but made no changes to EDF contribution requirements.

  • USD 100,000 EDF investment and USD 200,000 real estate investment remains the same (no changes).
  • Processing fees were reduced by 50% for the those opting for the Real Estate option
  • The age for Dependent children was increased to include those up to 30 years old
  • Processing fee reduced from $3000 to $1000
  • Naturalisation certificate fee reduced from $750 to $250
  • Processing fee of $500 for a child born after approval of citizenship.
  •  A child aged thirty will be accepted under the Citizenship by Investment Programme,

Antigua and Barbuda

  • Antigua Government investment donation was reduced by 50% from $200,000 to $100,000 for a family of four (+fees) after being hit by Hurricane.
  • The Real estate investment $400,000 remains the same but the processing fees for real estate reduced to $50,000 for family of four.

St Kitts and Nevis

  • The Hurricane Relief fund was introduced for $150,000 for a family of four (+fees) compared to the normal SIDF $250,000 donation. HRF is a limited time off expires March 31, 2018.
  • St Kitts signs free waiver with Russia.
  • St Kitts and Nevis regarded as the oldest and platinum standard of the citizenship by investment programs.
  • No changes announced with the real estate investment requirements which stands at $400,000

Grenada

  • Grenada set to reduce price to $150,000 from $200k in 2018, announced by Kaisha Ince, Head of CBI Grenada in 11th Global Citizenship & Residency Conference in Hong Kong.
  • Grenada lately signed visa free waiver with Russia and UAE. Grenada already has visa waiver with China.
  • The age for Dependent children was increased to include those up to 30 years old.

Saint Lucia

  • St Lucia reduced the donation investment to USD 100,000 as of Jan, 2017
  • Removed the requirement for an applicant to provide a sworn affidavit to declare financial resources of at least US$3,000,000.00

Montenegro

Montenegro has announced that it will design its own citizenship by investment program inhouse, according to Imidaily, which is known as “Special investor program”. It is not entirely clear when the SIP will officially open in Montenegro.

Moldova

Moldova has announced legal basis for its citizenship by investment program starting from USD 100,000. It is not entirely clear when the program will open officially.

Portugal

Porugal’s golden visa scheme came under criticism after Guardian, for not thoroughly screening the candidates with proper due diligence. Currently Portugal’s golden visa investment requirement reduced to 350,000 euros.

Vanuatu

Vanuatu created a stir in the bitcoin industry, when all the online splashed that bitcoin will be accepted for its citizenship by investment program. The Government later clarified that bitcoin will not be accepted. Vanuatu currently requires $200,000 to buy citizenship in Vanuatu under the Vanuatu DSP program.  Vanuatu already has visa waiver agreement with Russia.

Greece

The Golden visa greece program (250,000 euro) has been immensely popular reaching over 1.5 billion euro investment in real estate, driven by Chinese, Turks and Russians according to Imidaily.

Hungary

Hungarian Government announced that the popular 300,000 euro “Hungarian residency bond” scheme will be closed from 1 April, 2017. According to Budapest Business Journal, Hungary issued permanent residency to 20,000 foreigners through the residency bond program. The bond program started in 2013 and ended in March 31, 2017.

Spain

The Spanish Golden visa program is currently the most expensive in Europe requiring a property investment of atleast 500,000 euros.  According to El Pais,  2,236 foreign investors invested in Spanish golden visa scheme bringing €2.16 billion investment in 3 years into Spain. 59.4% of the investors are Chinese, then Russians. 70% of the total investment injected into real estate market in Spain. The most popular locations to buy a property are Barcelona, Malaga, Alicante, Madrid.

 

United Kingdom

The UK Tier 1 investor visas (2 million pound) program see a 250% growth, despite Brexit vote, 264 tier1 visas issued in 2017, according to Imidaily.com with chinese are the major investors in the UK. The falling value of pound makes investment in the UK all the way cheaper.

United States

The United States EB-5 program ($500,000), despite all the controversies is bracing for another extension. The Congress has extended the current EB-5 law to December 8, 2017 with no changes. On December 7th, Congress voted to extend federal funding and many government programs, including the EB-5 Regional Center Program, until December 22nd

Australia

Australia significant investor visa scheme requiring A$ 5 million, received over 8.8 billion investment in 2017, according to Corpocrat.

New Zealand

New Zealand requires N$ 2 million for Tier2 investor visas and N$ 10 million for Tier1 investor visas. New Zealand issued 1479 tier1 and tier2 visas from up until 2017, according to the immigration statistics.

Canada

Canada announced intake of 1900 investor applications for Quebec IIP between May 29, 2017 to
February 23, 2018.  Canada also announced some major immigration changes in 2017.

  • Canada passed Bill C-6 and reduced physical residence from 5 years to 3 years for citizenship.
  • Days spent in Canada before becoming a permanent resident, within 5 years of applying for citizenship, count as half days (up to 365 days) towards physical presence requirements
  • Age range for language and knowledge requirements reduced to 18-54 years old
  • Time required for applicants to file income taxes before applying for citizenship is reduced to 3 out of 5 years
  • Minors can qualify on their own without the need to have a Canadian parent
  • On October 24, 2017, the age limit for dependants changed from “under 19” to “under 22.”

 



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