May 17, 2019 – Developed countries are attracting wealthy Indians as candidates for their citizenship by investment and permanent residence programs.
Important benefits of a second citizenship or residency include:
- Ease of travel.
- Access to business opportunities.
- Life in a more secure and developed community.
- Education and career prospects for children.
Popular Programs among the Indian Elite
The number of Indians qualifying for the US EB-5 visa rose by a staggering 236 per cent in 2018. Demand has surged and India has become the third country after China and Vietnam to hit its annual cap and face visa retrogression.
After the US, popular investment immigration destinations include:
In the second quarter of 2018, Indians were ranked among the top-ten applicants by nationality for the UK Tier 1 Entrepreneur visa. More than three per cent of all Tier 1 Investor visa applicants – with a minimum investment of £2 million – were Indians.
Canada has discontinued its federal program but the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program offers candidates a fast-track route to permanent residence for minimum investment of $1.2 million.
Asian options include Thailand, Malaysia, and Singapore.
Singapore is the most popular among Indians, requiring a minimum investment of 2.5 million Singapore dollars.
Down under, the Australian Significant Investor Program is popular despite its hefty price tag of 5 million Australian dollars. The country is a popular study destination, which makes it a smart choice for individuals seeking a secure and stable future for their children.
Among businesspersons and entrepreneurs seeking easier access to developed business markets, golden visa programs offered by EU member-nations like Portugal, Greece, and Spain are popular among Indians.
These programs offer unrestricted access to the EU along with other developed markets like the US. This is why Malta and Cyprus, two EU nations that offer direct citizenship by investment programs, also offer permanent residence by investment programs.
Since India does not permit dual citizenship, those opting for a second passport stand to automatically lose their Indian citizenship. However, citizenship by investment programs remain popular.
India offers Overseas Citizen of India status to foreign passport-holders, ensuring investment immigrants don’t lose complete access to their roots.
Caribbean programs are preferred because the cost of second passports for a family of four is significantly lower than golden visa programs offered by EU nations. Grenada offers direct citizenship for a family of four to those investing $350,000 in real estate or donating $200,000 to the government.
This passport comes with visa-free access to 150 countries, including China and the EU. In contrast, the Indian passport provides visa-free access to just 61 countries.
Family and business prospects apart, tax savings is an important factor for wealthy Indians considering investment immigration options.
Physical relocation to a country offering access to a liberal tax regime is a big plus, especially considering India’s implementation of tax laws has become more stringent.
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