Rights and obligations of investors with second citizenship or residency

New opportunities open up for investors after obtaining second passports or residence permits. They can relocate to another country, get treated abroad, provide children with opportunities for quality education, and travel visa-free. But where are rights, there are obligations, too.

Learn where an investor should pay taxes, how to save money on treatment and education and which countries allow investors to work and do business.

How to save money on healthcare?

Medical services in the EU and the UK are provided to citizens on preferential terms. A citizen receives a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC). With it, one can get medical assistance under the same conditions that apply to citizens of the host state: free of charge or cheaper than for foreigners.

The card is valid for emergencies and chronic diseases.

EHIC does not cover flights, scheduled medical treatment, or services of private clinics. However, it is possible to undergo planned treatment on preferential terms in the country of citizenship or another EU state.

Maltese citizens and investors who have obtained citizenship by naturalisation in other EU countries may get EHIC cards. Any residence permit program implies purchasing health insurance with full coverage.

Foreigners pay for treatment in the USA. Investors with E‑2 visas can buy health insurance to offset the cost of future treatment.

How to save money on education?

The European Union, Switzerland, Iceland, Norway, and Liechtenstein set preferential terms for their citizens. They study at schools and universities free of charge or at a reduced cost.

In many EU countries, residents’ children can study for free. For example, in Malta, children of foreigners with residence permits study free of charge at public schools if the parents have got work permits. Children are given textbooks and stationery; there is a free transfer to the school.

In the UK, residents’ children under 18 can get an education free of charge. There is a reduced cost of studying at universities for British citizens, too. If a foreigner pays £29,500 to £39,010 per year for an undergraduate program at Oxford, a British citizen will pay £9,250 per year for the same course.

Children holding second passports from St Lucia, Dominica, St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, or Antigua and Barbuda can study in the UK on preferential terms because these countries are part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Citizens of these states are eligible for specific Commonwealth scholarships for UK universities

Countries to register a company or get employed in 

If you get citizenship, you can work and open companies in the selected country. A passport of an EU country, for example, Malta, Portugal, or Greece, allows a citizen to work in other EU states, too.

Investors can work and do business with a residence permit in some countries, but not everywhere. This point should be considered when choosing a program if the goal is employment or doing business abroad.

Investors can work and do business in their country of residence if it’s Portugal, Spain, or the UK. Participants of the Malta Permanent Residence Programme are allowed to do business in the country but need a permit to get employed.

A residence permit doesn’t provide the right to work and do business in Greece. Cyprus permanent residence allows the investor only to be a shareholder of a Cypriot company and hold an unpaid director position. The main condition for obtaining a residence permit for financially independent persons in Austria or Switzerland is to receive all income from abroad and not to work or do business in the country of residence.

Vladlena Baranova

Material prepared by Vladlena Baranova, Lawyer, AML Compliance officer, certified CAMS specialist

July 17, 2024

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