While the world has become a global place and is connected like never before, differences in economic, political, and social systems mean that boundaries and borders are still a fact of life.
There are different rules when one needs to live, work, or study in a foreign country.
For high net worth persons in the Middle East, ease of movement and the ability to invest and do business in the EU and the United States is critical.
However, persons holding Middle Eastern passports may have their movements severely restricted, particularly in the wake of the fight against global terrorism. This phenomenon is what has led to the rise of residency by investment programs.
Residency by investment refers to the process through which a high net-worth person acquires temporary or permanent residency in a given country in exchange for making a substantial investment in the destination country’s economy.
One of the biggest benefits of residency by investment is that it allows one to legally reside in the destination country and enjoy much of the social and economic benefits that citizens benefit from.
There are several options for an applicant looking to acquire residency by investment. However, it is important to note that each country’s program has its unique requirements and thresholds.
Nonetheless, you have to provide monetary value of some kind in all instances to be eligible for residency in your chosen country. Some of the popular investment options include:
Real Estate Investment – Investors will purchase government-approved real estate worth a given minimum and may be required to hold it for a set period to continue enjoying residency benefits.
Donation – An investor may be required to make a non-refundable donation to the government, or a fund established by the destination country for economic purposes.
Government Bonds – An applicant may be required to invest in government-backed securities and hold that investment for a set period to maintain residency.
Investment in Local Business – An investor may be asked to invest a minimum amount of money in a local business that creates local jobs in an area or industry approved by the destination country’s government.
A Combination – Some residency by investment programs require a combination of two or three investment options before one is eligible for residency
Freedom of Movement – With a residency in the Schengen Zone countries such as Greece and Portugal, one can get visa-free travel and move freely within the schengen zone.
Investment – With European or American residency, the doors of opportunity for investing in a range of businesses and financial instruments are thrown wide open.
While there might be a lot of restrictions on what you can invest in as a Bahraini resident. Whereas a resident of the EU can open an offshore bank account and invest in all manner of businesses
Family Safety – Residency for an applicant and their family provides a lot of mobility as one gets the right to live, work, and study in the United States or the European Union.
For a person from the Middle East and North Africa in the era of terrorism and political instability, a European residency means that you have a plan B if anything were to go wrong in your country.
Lifetime Security – Residency in the United States and the EU provides a better future for an applicant’s children and future generations.
Residency means that an applicant and their family can work, study, live, and have the privileges, rights, and services of a country well advanced in economic and social measures. Moreover, the residency provides a potential path to citizenship for all the applicants and their children.
Healthcare, Education, and Social Services – Residency in the EU means that the investor gets to enjoy better health care and education opportunities in the Schengen Zone countries.
In some countries in the EU, residency for more than five years will grant one free access to social services.
Grow Your Business – Residency comes with greater mobility unhindered by political and geographic restrictions, which result in stronger and better business relationships. Residency by investment also provides access to advantageous tax regimens and business regulations that favor investors. All these will result in better growth for your investments and businesses.
Path to Citizenship – Once an investor has been in a given country for a certain period and fulfilled set eligibility criteria, they may become eligible for citizenship.
Malta Permanent Residency by Investment – This is one of the most convenient and cost-effective residency by investment programs in the EU.
With a residency in Malta, an applicant gets lifelong access to the Schengen Zone, which provides visa-free travel across Europe, and the right to work and live with very few restrictions in most countries in the European Union.
The Cyprus residency program provides two ways to get a residency by investment.
On the normal path, one can get a residence permit within a year, while the fast track program provides residency to investors in as little as three months after one meets the threshold and fulfills all the requirements.
Portugal Golden Visa Program – Non-European citizens, get to live and work in Portugal after investing in real estate.
It is one of the most affordable European Residency Programs, and one can get residency in as little as 3 to 6 months after making the application.
This residency is maintained as long as one spends a minimum of seven days in the first year and fourteen in the subsequent two years in the country.
Greece Golden Visa Program
The Greek residency visa grants an investor a renewable five-year residency.
To get the Golden Visa, an investor buys a residential real estate property and will be expected to maintain the property if they are to retain their residency status.
To get into the program, one needs to make an investment in the US that creates local jobs.
This provides residency for the investor and their family for two years, after which they may be eligible for a permanent residency upon meeting certain set criteria.
There are several residency programs in the EU and in the US that provide opportunities to citizens of the Middle East and North Africa to gain residency.
With residency, one gets all the advantages of their destination country, including visa-free travel, tax breaks for investors, opportunities for investment, and business growth, among many other benefits.