Sometimes, it is not so easy to open an account with a European bank for citizens of the CIS countries. And exactly this goal was set by our client. In order to solve his problem, we helped him to get Dominican citizenship and made an analysis of European banks loyalty to opening accounts for Caribbean citizens. Read in our briefcase about the results we achieved.
Gleb, 47, a businessman. He owns a successful company, holding stable positions in the market.
Goals and Objectives
In order to save his earnings and optimize taxes, Gleb wants to open an account in a reliable European bank. This would give him freedom from Russian economic crises, and the possibility to keep his savings in hard currency. The easiest way to open the account is to use European or Caribbean citizenship.
By the time Gleb applied to our company, he had already acquired an impressive knowledge of investment programs that would allow him to obtain residence permit or citizenship in Europe.
Prior to that, he considered several programs.
- Residence permit of Lithuania. Gleb was attracted by the simple terms and registration scheme for obtaining residence permit there. However, he was deterred by the fact that the terms for extending the residence permit and amount of investment were constantly changing.
- Residence permit of Spain. This country doesn’t impose strict requirements on mandatory residence in its territory. Gleb was comfortable with investments in real estate in the amount of €500 thousand. The terms for obtaining the residence permit have remained stable for several years. But the taxation system is not the most attractive in Europe and doesn’t allow optimizing taxes.
- Citizenship of Cyprus or citizenship of Malta. The terms of the programs are clear. They provide an opportunity to immediately obtain European citizenship and reap all its benefits. It is not mandatory to live in both countries. However, the amount of investment in both cases is quite hefty for Gleb: at least €2.5 million and €1 million, respectively. He didn’t plan to spend such funds on getting his status in Europe.
When turning to our company, Gleb told us he had been searching for the best solution. We immediately pointed out that he made the search for obtaining status in Europe among European programs only. And we drew Gleb’s attention to more advantageous programs of Caribbean countries:
- citizenship of Dominica
- citizenship of Grenada
- citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda
- citizenship of Saint Kitts and Nevis
- citizenship of Saint Lucia
These programs are perfect for solving the problems faced by Gleb. In addition, they are attractive in their cost.
We informed the client about various programs of these countries and then settled on Dominican citizenship. One can get passport of this country for investment in just 3-5 months. The procedure of registration is simple and transparent, while worked out to the last detail for decades of the program existence (since 1991). It’s also easy to obtain a tax status and to uphold it there.
|Method||Amount of investment, thousand USD||Administrative expenses, thousand USD|
|Non-refundable contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund of Dominica||From 100 thousand||10.5 thousand|
|Purchase of a share in tourist property (it can be sold in order to return the investment in 3 years)||From 200 thousand||35,5 thousand|
Gleb was comfortable with the purchase of real estate, since he could return his investment in 3 years.
Caribbean Passport Benefits
To a large extent, the citizenship programs of Caribbean countries are not properly understood by clients. Many people ask how they can use their Caribbean passports.
When introducing terms of these programs, we inform our clients about the number of visa-free countries they can travel to having their Caribbean passport (there are more than 110 of them). Additionally, we explain other opportunities of using their new passports:
- for tax optimization;
- for incorporation of new companies or re-incorporation of existing ones;
- for opening new accounts in well-known European banks.
According to our experience, most often clients are interested in the possibility of opening accounts in European banks, as well as in bank requirements to customers. And this was exactly the area of focus for our cooperation with Gleb.
How Was the Process Carried Out?
Within 5 days, we collected a package of the required documents for Gleb, made copies, notarized, apostilled and submitted them for consideration to the government of Dominica.
Honestly, we didn’t even expect such a fast approval! Four weeks later, we were informed that Gleb’s candidacy was approved and his naturalization certificate as a citizen of Dominica was signed by the government of this country. And 2 weeks later, we delivered a new passport of Dominican citizen to Gleb! In our experience, this is one of the fastest examples of obtaining Caribbean citizenship.
Further Work on Opening a Bank Account
However, the main task set forth by the client was not solved yet, so our cooperation went on. We were required to open an account for Gleb in a European bank. Our lawyers analyzed the requirements of leading European banks towards opening accounts for holders of Caribbean passports. We called managers of Swiss banks, talked to bank staff in Latvia, Estonia and other countries.
Searching for a Loyal Bank
Our clients open their accounts in banks of Monaco, Austria and the United Kingdom. And in most cases we don’t notice any biased attitude towards citizens of certain countries. The main requirement in almost any bank is proving a non-criminal origin of funds. Our task was to find out which banks are the most loyal to opening accounts for Caribbean citizens.
As the result, it turned out that the banks of Malta are the most loyal to opening accounts for holders of Caribbean passports. Specifics of the procedure lie only in the need to verify client’s identity and the sources of his/her funds. This takes some time, since Maltese banks make an official request for information about the client to the bank of the country of origin, where the main funds are kept.
Banks in Latvia and Lithuania are no less loyal to opening accounts for citizens of Caribbean countries. For individual applicants, a mandatory verification of the identity and sources of funds is carried out. For legal entities, a confirmation of company’s activities compliance with the bank’s profile is required. Low cost of opening and operating accounts is among advantages of Latvian banks.
However, in Estonian banks they informed our lawyers that it is almost impossible to open accounts for citizens of Caribbean countries.
When speaking about the most reliable banks, which are Swiss banks, they put forward standard requirements for opening accounts by Caribbean citizens. You can open your account without any problems upon passing the usual check. However, all banks require that the account balance must be at least $1 million.
We provided Gleb with all the analytics that our staff had obtained. Upon learning the data on banks, the client chose the best solution for him.
- Now, he actively uses his new bank account opened under his Dominican passport.
- It was an easy job to get a tax residence in Dominica, and now Gleb has got the opportunity to save a lot on taxes.
- He has already planned business trips to Singapore and Hong Kong, and he is going to spend his vacation travelling across Europe – he doesn’t need any visas for this.
We are happy that we were able to help Gleb, and we hope that his business will prosper. We continue working with Caribbean citizenship programs. Recently, the terms of obtaining passports in these countries have become even more attractive.
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