Applying for an alternative citizenship or a second passport
Wealthy individuals and their families often desire a second passport in another jurisdiction of their choice.
This enables free movement between jurisdictions and provides privacy.
We can help you choose from a range of jurisdictions, taking into account the legal and financial requirements of each. If you choose to become tax resident in a jurisdiction as well as its citizen, we can compare tax regimes and of course lifestyles including healthcare and schooling offered.
If you do decide to become tax resident somewhere else moving to another country requires a multi-disciplinary approach and we work alongside like-minded boutiques who provide immigration advice, investment advice, relocation services, education specialists etc. whilst we provide the tax support needed.
We can assist with obtaining citizenship and residency in a number of jurisdictions including the United Kingdom and Portugal.
The United Kingdom
The UK has a popular immigration programme know as the Tier 1 Investor Visa.
There are many reasons why the UK is a popular destination including its stable and democratic government. “Playing fair” is part of the nation’s cultural identity which manifests itself in its belief in the rule of law. The UK enjoys world class healthcare, education, culture and, last but not least, clean air. Furthermore, the UK’s tax system offers significant tax benefits for foreigners coming to live in the UK.
The applicant is entitled to bring his or her spouse or civil law partner together with their minor children to live in the UK. There are no requirements to speak English. However there is a requirement to invest over £2 million in UK Government Securities or in other qualifying investments in UK companies. After 5 years of “continuous residence”, where there is no absence of more than 180 days in 12 consecutive months, you are entitled to apply for “indefinite leave to remain” once you have passed an English test and a multiple choice “life in the UK” test.
The timescale to attain indefinite leave to remain can be considerably reduced by making a bigger investment. An investment of £5 million reduces the period of continuous residence to 3 years and an investment of £10 million reduces the period of continuous residence to 2 years.
After 12 months residence with indefinite leave to remain you can apply for a UK passport which gives you the freedom to live and work within the EU and freedom to travel to over 170 jurisdictions.
Please click here for more details on moving to the UK.
Portugal has a citizenship programme known as the “golden visa” for non-EU applicants. The Portugal golden visa gives the applicant the right to reside in Portugal for 5 years.
Portugal can offer citizenship within the EU for a reasonably low financial outlay. A Mediterranean climate and the Portuguese language may be an attraction to Portuguese speaking immigrants for example from Brazil and Angola. Portugal also has a tax system beneficial to foreign immigrants modelled on the UK’s tax system for foreign domiciliaries.
In order to qualify for the Portuguese golden visa the applicant must meet and maintain, for at least five years, one of three investment options:
- Investment of at least €1 million in Portugal (deposit in a bank account, or shares or quotas in a company or companies); or
- Acquisition of real estate in Portugal with a value of at least €500,000; or
- The creation of at least 10 jobs (temporary work contracts are eligible and the worker does not have to live in Portugal as long as social security is paid there).
Therefore Portugal is considerably cheaper than the UK Tier 1 Investor Visa.
After 5 years the applicant can apply for Portuguese citizenship and then obtain a Portuguese passport at the end of the 6th year of residence. Once the applicant has a Portuguese passport the holder is entitled to live anywhere within the EU.
Unlike the UK there is no requirement to become tax resident in Portugal. However, if you do intend to become tax resident in Portugal then the non-habitual resident tax regime can apply to mitigate tax on foreign sources of income. Importantly, this does require careful planning in advance of becoming tax resident in Portugal.
There is a requirement to stay at least 7 days in the first year and 14 days in the subsequent two year period. This can be of considerable advantage to the international entrepreneur who cannot afford to stay more than a few months in any one jurisdiction. Therefore Portugal is considerably more flexible than the UK’s Tier 1 Immigration Visa.
For further details contact us here.