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The benefits of Commonwealth citizenship

EU residency and visa-free travel to over 100 countries, including the UK and the Schengen zone.

Migration

Traditionally, migration was for reasons like employment, higher education opportunities, being with family or political reasons. It was a far quicker and easier process than the current trends that are evolving.

Today it is more about the global citizen, as labour is mobile, remote working is a reality, and business is multinational – with many people wanting multiple residency options for tax, social, political, security or environmental and healthcare reasons.

To convert temporary residency to naturalised permanent residence or naturalised citizenship, the applicants must spend time in the country – typically five years.

Investment migration

This can be divided into permanent residency or immediate citizenship. The programmes are designed to attract foreign direct investment and business-people, in exchange for permanent residency or citizenship.

Migration solutions

No one country is the ideal solution. Thus, we present the ‘Combo’.

Want to visit the European Union (UN) Schengen zone visa-free, (90 days within a 180-day cycle per country), stay in the UK for up to 180 days per annum visa-free, be a resident of Cyprus in the EU for life, taking advantage of the tax benefits, and or own a business and live in the US within three months of application and be able to travel visa-free to over 100 countries? Then the ‘Combo’ is the solution.

Be a Commonwealth citizen

The Commonwealth consists of 54 independent countries and is one of the world’s oldest political associations of states. A commonwealth citizen is defined as a national or citizen of any of those 54 member states. One can acquire citizenship of the Commonwealth, with all its benefits, without having to uproot and leave home.

Commonwealth benefits 

There are many benefits of holding a commonwealth passport, which include visa-free travel, education, and business opportunities and ‘Plan B’ security. Citizenship in a Commonwealth country comes with some added advantages. Because of the connection with the UK, Commonwealth citizens do not require visas to enter the UK and can spend up to six months a year there. Commonwealth citizens are also entitled to extra assistance from British embassies if they face difficulty in a non-Commonwealth country while travelling. The UK government’s website states: “We may also help Commonwealth nationals in non-Commonwealth countries where they do not have any diplomatic or consular representation, but will normally ask their nearest embassy to provide any ongoing assistance required”.

In certain circumstances, such as a lost or stolen travel document, a UK emergency passport can also be issued to unrepresented Commonwealth citizens with the permission of their national governments.

Grenada visa-free travel

Grenadian commonwealth citizens enjoy visa-free travel to over 140 countries worldwide including the UK, the EU, China, Brazil, Hong Kong, Russia, and Singapore, which ranks the Grenadian passport 35th in terms of travel freedom.

Grenada citizenship by investment

Introduced in 2013, the CIB programme offers a low-cost entry for a second passport. Grenada is the only Caribbean programme with no nationality restrictions, age, health, or work experience. There are no specific country restrictions either – all applicants are welcome.

There is no requirement to visit for an interview for the Grenada citizenship programme and in fact, there is no need to travel to the country to complete the application.

Grenada’s CIB programme allows investors and their families to obtain second citizenship in exchange for an economic contribution to the country. Children and dependants up to age 30 can be included along with dependant parents, and grandparents over age 55 (if financially supported).

Dual citizenship offers an effective tool for international tax planning. It improves personal security and enables freedom of movement. And Grenada is below the hurricane belt. This tranquil haven is a lush paradise of landscape, adventure, culture, and plenty of spice.

In a world of uncertainty and disruption, the ability to protect yourself and your family and preserve wealth is incalculable. Individuals who obtain citizenship through Grenada’s citizenship by investment programme are entitled to the same rights as any other Grenadian citizen. These include the right to live and work in Grenada at all times, and all the rights associated with membership of the Caribbean community (CARICOM).

Grenada allows individuals to hold dual citizenship, and citizenship may be extended to family members, such as a spouse, dependant children (up to age 30), and dependant parents. Children and young adults may obtain preferred access, and in some cases grants, to top schools and universities. The renowned St Georges University welcomes over 6 000 international students each year. Studies include veterinary and medicine degrees with UK accreditation.

Exhilarating lifestyle

Grenada offers its citizens social and political security, reinforced by its membership in the United Nations and the Commonwealth of Nations. Grenada’s local community is culturally vibrant, vivacious, and extremely friendly. Grenada has a long history, and locals are proud of their national heritage, which they celebrate throughout the year.

Finally, Grenada is the perfect setting for both adventure and relaxation: its wildlife attractions, marine life, and national parks make it an exciting place to explore, while its super-yacht marina and pastel towns make it ideal for strolling and unwinding.

Tax and estate planning

Grenada has no foreign income, wealth, gift, inheritance, or capital gains tax. There is no restriction on the repatriation of profits and imported capital. Generous incentive packages exist including corporate tax incentives, full exemption from import duties, tax relief benefits, and export allowance. Grenada’s currency, the East Caribbean dollar (XCD), is pegged to the US dollar. Lastly, there is duty-free trading in the Caribbean.

A route to the US

The E2 treaty ‘Investor Visa’ signed between Grenada and the United States allows citizens of Grenada to operate a business in the US and reside there. Once Grenadian citizenship is acquired the E2 visa is obtained. More and more people wishing to migrate to the US follow the E2 route, instead of the EB5 Visa which is now $900 000 plus fees. The E2 Visa is renewed every five years. After the first cycle, application can be made for permanent residency. This can then evolve into US citizenship after five years. For many nationalities, the EB5 waiting list can be as much as 10 years.

Permanent residency in EU Cyprus

Why Cyprus?

Over 90% of the country speaks English and there are excellent education facilities including several UK universities with campuses on the island. Cyprus has the lowest crime rate in Europe and is the most-safe small country in the world. There is a high standard of educational institutions and excellent healthcare facilities available to residents and citizens equally.

Desirable destination

Cyprus is rated as the fifth-best relocation destination in the world by the respected Knight Frank organisation. Over 200 000 expats call Cyprus home and it welcomes some four million tourists every year, with 30% on average being serial tourists of the country.

Tax and business

Cyprus is strategically located at the crossroads of three continents, Europe, Asia, and Africa, and is excellently located physically and time zone wise for keeping in touch with friends, family, and business interests

Cypriot income including rentals is tax-free per taxpayer up to €19 500 pa. Many earn a foreign income while permanent residents of Cyprus, tax-free. The corporate tax rate is the lowest in Europe, being 12. 5% with dividends being tax-free. There are no inheritance, gift, or donations taxes in Cyprus.

Golden Visa Cyprus

The PR programme of Cyprus requires an investment in property, which can be rented out thus earning passive income for the investor. All property is freehold title and one in four properties is owned by foreign investors. Applicants can live permanently in Cyprus or can visit Cyprus once every two years, and maintain their permanent residency status without having to renew their residency ID card.

The Combo

Grenada and Cyprus, both former British colonies, give citizenship for life and future generations (immediate in Grenada, 90-120 days) and permanent residency for life in an EU country (immediate permanent residency 60 to 90 days). Cyprus is also a path to EU Citizenship by naturalisation).

The global visa-free travel, Commonwealth citizenship and EU residency status together with the tax benefits and political stability provide surety in an uncertain and disruptive world.

ADVISOR PROFILE

Costas Souris

Quality Group SA

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