Fancy living in Europe? Try citizenship by investment
While most of us have most likely made holiday plans, not too many might have had time to sit down and set goals for the coming year. Have we asked ourselves what we want in terms of career and life choices – and for our family – in 2018? And for those seeking milestones, approaching middle age or even their prime in the succeeding years, how and where do we want to up the ante, spend precious time, or retire?
Filipinos seeking opportunities to relocate and live abroad normally either apply as overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) or apply for permanent residency. A report based on a survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority suggests that there were an estimated 2.2 million OFWs from April to September 2016 alone. Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Hong Kong remain as three of the top destinations for migrant Filipino workers.
The Philippines, for its part, has been declared as a top source country for immigrants to Canada, with majority of Filipinos residing in Toronto and Vancouver.
For entrepreneurs willing and able to invest abroad however, there are quite a few other countries to consider and easier – and less time-consuming – ways to gain residency and citizenship. Citizenship by investment is now a more viable option.
Harvey Law Group, a multinational immigration and law firm with offices in various Asian countries including the Philippines, offers the citizenship by investment program to enterprising Filipinos.
The gateway to Europe
One of the firm’s most successful programs is its citizenship by investment program for Cyprus, which requires investing in real estate property worth at least 2 million euros, exclusive of government fees.
Cyprus citizenship by investment can be obtained in as little as 6 to 12 months. Property is obtained through Harvey Law Group’s affiliate real estate developers in the region.
Becoming a Cypriot citizen entails several life-altering benefits. You don’t only get to live in your property of choice; you also gain the right to seek employment and get an education within the European Union.
“Cyprus is the gateway to Europe. Once you acquire a Cyprus passport, you automatically become an EU citizen. It means you also get to enjoy these amazing benefits of being an EU citizen like healthcare. It’s also a tax haven, with the lowest tax in the European Union at 12.5%. Compared to the UK at 17% and Spain at 35%. That’s the lowest,” Anne Reyes, Harvey Law Group Marketing Director, said in an interview with Rappler.
It will be much easier to establish your own business as a foreigner. You are entitled to free movement of goods, services, and capital; visa-free travel to 158 countries including the EU and Canada; the right to vote in European Parliament elections; and diplomatic or consular protection in any EU country.
“It’s one of the safest countries as well, and the location is very good because it’s near Asia and Middle East, so you are at a prime location,” she added.
The program covers the whole family, including children up to 28 years old, as well as the investor’s parents.
If you wish to remain Filipino, it shouldn’t be a problem. Dual citizenship is allowed. If you still intend explore life in other parts of the globe, you may do so, given that you visit Cyprus at least once every 7 years.
Harvey Law Group Managing Partner Jean-Francois Harvey shared: “Many of our clients are very happy with it because the Euro is still low, real estate is still very affordable so they can get a lot of real estate for 2 million euros. They can rent it out if they want income from it, while acquiring full European citizenship.”
Harvey also notes that it has become easier to acquire citizenship by investment, compared to the situation years ago.
“What happened in the last 10 years is that many countries started to offer direct citizenship programs. If you invest in the economy, they offer you citizenship for your investment. This became very popular in the smaller countries. After the financial crisis, Cyprus saw this as a very good way to restart the economy," he said.
"Now Cyprus is booming and the economy is back on track,” he added.
Harvey Law Group also offers citizenship by investment programs to countries in the Caribbean region such as Grenada, St Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia and the Commonwealth of Dominica; as well as the EB-5 immigration program for the United States and Canada’s Start-up visa program.
The EB-5 immigration program can allow investors to become permanent residents after investing in a minimum of $500,000 to $1 million, along with creating jobs for 10 qualified Americans.
The start-up visa program is open to both tech and non-tech start-ups at any stage, and a lucrative opportunity for Filipino entrepreneurs seeking to set up base in Canada. – Rappler.com