Is it possible to obtain EU citizenship without participating in the state programs of Malta and Cyprus? Yes, if you need a passport not in the near future, but in 5-6 years. We offered our client the most rational option that solved his problems and minimised the costs for obtaining European citizenship.
Andrei, 31 years old. Businessman, owns a successful company engaged in IT business in the Russian Federation.
Andrei would like to promote his services to European markets. For this he needs to visit Europe frequently and open an account in a bank. He also does not want to think about the necessity of getting or extending visas, control the number of days in the Schengen zone and leave it after the expiry of 183 days a year.
Our client already had an unpleasant situation when it was necessary to extend the business trip, but the expired Schengen visa did not allow to do it, which led to cancelling the meeting and losing the contract with the customer.
Goals and objectives
Andrei is going to start a family in the near future and wants his children to go in a good English school in the future, and then enter a highly rated British university.
His main goal is to get an EU passport, minimising investments.Related tasks:
- get visa-free access to Schengen;
- open a bank account in EU;
- not to be tied to the 183 days of compulsory stay in the country that issued the residence permit;
- be able to open a branch of his company in Europe
The client was ready to spend 600 thousand euro to solve these problems, as he did not want to withdraw a large amount from his business.
Searching for solutions
When it comes to obtaining the official status of a resident of the EU, first of all our clients talk about citizenship. Indeed, the European Union passport at once solves all the problems that wealthy people may face when they are going to move to Europe, expand their business, travel and create the foundation for a happy future for their children.
At the moment there are only two investment programs that allow to obtain a European passport: “Citizenship of Cyprus” and “Citizenship of Malta» in the shortest possible time. However, we must bear in mind that the minimum amount of investment required to participate in them is 1 million euros. The problem is that many clients cannot freeze assets in such a volume, but still want to move towards the goal (EU passport).
So, what is the right way to behave? Our client immediately determined the budget (600 thousand euros) for obtaining an EU passport. And we have proposed the most suitable option – registration of a residence permit of Portugal.
Why Portugal residence permit, and not citizenship?
Unfortunately, there is no program in Portugal that would allow to immediately obtain citizenship for investment in the economy. However, there is a program forregistration of the “golden visa” – an investor’s residence permit. Its participants have the opportunity to receive an EU passport after 5 years. At the same time, it is not necessary to reside in the country 183 days a year, as is usually required, and the minimum level of investment starts from 500 thousand euros.
Since our client Andrei was in no hurry to get his second citizenship, he was quite happy with the period of 5 years. Moreover, the program “Portugal Residence Permit” of life solved all his main tasks at this stage.
We found a great apartments in Lisbon for 510 thousand euros for Andrei. Taking into account all administrative expenses, we were able to meet the budget of 600 thousand euros allocated by the client. Let us recall that under the terms of the program it is necessary to invest at least 500 thousand euro in real estate.
While we were engaged in the selection of real estate, collection and preparation of the necessary documents, the Portuguese government amended the law on citizenship in July 2018. Now, the period for obtaining a passport has decreased from 6 to 5 years, which made the program more attractive for our client and delighted him.
Visa-free traveling around Schengen
The client received a residence permit card of Portugal, which allows him to move around the Schengen area without any obstacles, to be in the EU without any time limit. At the same time, the program of Portugal requires to be on the territory of the country only 7 days a year, which does not obligate to permanent residence on its territory.
Account in a safe bank
In the process of registration, it was necessary to open an account in a bank through which all payments under the program would pass. That was an additional advantage for Andrei, since he just needed an account outside of the Russian Federation.
Business with profitable tax rates
At the moment, Andrei is considering to invest in the opening of the Portuguese branch of his company. The advantage of participation in the program of Portugal residence permit is that the resident has the opportunity to use the preferential tax system (a fixed rate of 20% for 10 years). Government agencies and the business environment in the country are quite loyal and always welcome new investors with respect and enthusiasm. This is important to consider when deciding to expand your business within the EU.
After 5 years – full EU citizenship
One of the most important advantages for Andrei is the possibility of applying for citizenship in 5 years. He will have to pass an entry-level exam in Portuguese, but this is not a problem, since languages have always been easy for him. Now Andrei will be able to ensure the well-being of his future family, and give children the opportunity to study in good schools (including in Portugal, as there are many British schools and universities here).
Thus, the program of “Portugal residence permit” was able to solve all the current tasks of our client and to provide EU citizenship in the near future.