Permanent Residency Programs are part of an immigration category under which investor contributes a specific amount of money to specific business, real-estate or the nation’s development in order to get a Permanent Residency (PR). PR is the legal immigration status that a country bestows on a foreign national that typically guarantees the unrestricted rights to live, study, work, conduct business, and travel in and out of that country for a certain period of time. PR is not the same status as citizenship, with the main differences between the two being that citizens can hold the country’s passport and can vote in the country’s elections – permanent residents cannot.
METHODS FOR OBTAINING PERMANENT RESIDENCE
There are several different options for foreign nationals seeking to obtain PR in another country. A foreign national could marry a citizen or PR of that country, and thereby qualify for residence as a foreign spouse. Alternatively, the national may receive an offer of permanent employment from one of the country’s businesses, which would qualify the foreign national for residence as a foreign employee. In addition, foreign nationals fleeing terrible conditions in their home country may apply for asylum in a separate country and qualify for PR. An interested foreign national can also take advantage of one of the many PR through investment programs that are offered by numerous countries around the world including the United States, Canada, Ireland, and Belgium just to name a few.
BENEFITS OF PERMANENT RESIDENCY BY INVESTMENT
There are multiple benefits of PR through investment programs. First, all of these programs let the foreign investor bring his or her spouse and children to the country as family dependents. Second, many countries offer significant tax breaks to foreign investors, such as exemption from income tax, property tax, gift tax, and inheritance tax.
REQUIREMENTS FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE THROUGH INVESTMENT
Every country has developed specific regulations and conditions for its own PR through investment program, but there are some of the requirements that are common to the majority of programs.
To qualify for these programs, the foreign national must invest the minimum amount or more into the country’s economy. This figure varies from as little as EUR €250,000 (for Greece’s program) to as much as EUR €1,000,000 (for Ireland or Bulgaria’s programs).
PROOF THAT THE INVESTMENT FUNDS ARE LAWFUL
Most programs also require that the foreign investor prove to the government’s immigration authorities that the funds used to make the required investment derived from a lawful source such as the national’s employment earnings, sale of real property, savings, mortgage, etc.
PROOF OF THE INVESTOR’S PAST BUSINESS EXPERIENCE
Many nations also require that the foreign national actively manage the investment and ensure the investment is contributing to the country’s economy. To qualify, the national must usually have a business background as a company executive or other demonstrable investment or entrepreneurial experience.
RESTRICTIONS OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE THROUGH INVESTMENT
There are a few disadvantages to PR through investment that should be considered before a foreign national begins the application process. Many countries require that their permanent residents physically reside in the country for a specific number of days out of the year in order to maintain the PR status. This constraint can be difficult for some investors who wish to travel frequently in order to oversee their investments in other nations.
Some countries require the foreign national to meet additional requirements (along with the physical residency condition) before the national can apply for citizenship. For example, the United States requires foreign national to prove that their investment created at least 10 new jobs for U.S. citizens before the national can apply for citizenship.