Residency VS. Citizenship by Investment: What’s the best option?

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Residency VS. Citizenship by Investment: What’s the best option?
Reading time: 9 minutes
Published: 14th January 2020, 2:04pm

Residency and citizenship are not the same thing. This is one of the most common causes of confusion amongst future expats. If you move to another country, you don’t give up citizenship in your home country. Instead, you’ll be granted a visa that enables you to spend time in a new country.

It’s true that applying to a second residency or citizenship in a new country opens several opportunities and advantages not only for you but for your family (if you’re bringing them along), like access to healthcare, education, and business opportunities, but what are the pros and cons of each program?

This article aims to help you better understand both investment programs, as relocating to a new country can be a crucial life decision.

From Greece to Spain to Portugal, countries around the globe offer investment programs that allow foreigners to invest locally in exchange for permanent citizenship or residency by investment; this is either in the form of real estate or other forms of commercial investments. 


What is Residency by Investment?

Residency by investment is the process of obtaining a permanent residency card in another country by investing in the economy of that country. Permanent resident status is normally granted at a faster rate compared to traditional applications. 

Why invest in a Residency by Investment?

Possessing a permanent residency card enables the holder to legally live, work, study and access health care in the host country without being a citizen.

Safety

Living in a safe place is priceless for you and for anyone looking to move out. Being assured that there is no political unrest in the host country will ensure that you are safe through Residency by Investment in a safer, and more stable part of the world.

Business

Being a holder of the Portuguese residence permit allows you to work and establish your business in the host country. 

Besides being a big attraction for tourists, Lisbon, in particular, is attracting many entrepreneurs to expand their businesses further into Portugal, as it is becoming the “Silicon Valley of Europe”. Learn more about it here.

Tax benefits

Permanent residence may prove to be beneficial for tax optimization purposes. Portugal has transparent and clear tax rules, and if you have applied through the Non-Habitual Residence scheme you have the opportunity to receive qualifying income tax-free in both Portugal and in the country of the source of your salary.

Keen on learning more about the NHR program?

Education

Permanent residence by investment can provide you and your family access to the best education institutions in the world by making them eligible for domestic rather than international tuition fees.



What is Citizenship by Investment?

Citizenship by Investment is the method of obtaining a second citizenship and passport by feeding the economy of the receiving country. Citizenship by Investment programs automatically grants status, without requiring participants to stop their daily lives.

Portugal Homes’ After Sales Department comes to assist in this matter, as it takes care of your application at any stage, enabling you to enjoy your stay in Portugal. Become an After Sales member here.

Global mobility with a second citizenship 

Most passports are quite restrictive in terms of their visa-free movement, forcing people to obtain visas whenever they need to travel abroad. Holding a second passport offers citizens from these countries increased global mobility; for instance, Pakistan’s passport allows entrance to only 40 countries, whereas the Portuguese passport gives you access to 131 countries, including the Schengen zone, which comprises 28 European states.

Invest in Portuguese real estate to be granted Portuguese citizenship. 


What are the pros and cons of Residency by Investment VS Citizenship by Investment

There are similar pros and cons when it comes to both residency or citizenship by investment:

Pros

  • You take advantage of social services and privileges from both countries;
  • You have the right to vote;
  • You have the right to own real estate;
  • Depending on the countries involved, you can keep your existing citizenship and become a dual citizen.

Cons

  • You might have to pay taxes to your country and the host country, depending on your situation; 
  • The laws of your home country might, sometimes, collide with those of your host country; for instance, Spain and Nigeria have different laws regarding LGBT rights. A dual citizen with passports from both countries might face a conflicting set of rules. See if your home country is part of the map of countries that criminalize LGBT rights;
  • The cost, time and effort to secure residency or citizenship by investment is often too long and ends up being hard and time-consuming if you do not resort to expert consultancy and legal support.

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So which one is the best option?

Since every global citizen has different requirements and faces different circumstances, it’s unreasonable to say that one option is “better” than the other. 

When considering which option best suits you, you must consider several aspects like your family, your personal interests, the legislation of the host country, salary, business opportunities and so on. For instance, if you’re interested in the political matter of your home country, then you would most likely want to vote in your adopted country, therefore citizenship by Investment would be the more appropriate choice for you.

As Residency by Investment refers to your visa status, it is issued for a limited period of time after which it stops being valid or expires if certain conditions are not met. On the other hand, if your home country has better living conditions than your host country then opting for a Residency by Investment might be a better choice.

If you travel for business often, then you might opt for citizenship by investment as it’s more advantageous and it enables you to carry a second passport of the country.

Whether it be Residency by Investment program or Citizenship by Investment program, the advantages of both programs are several. From choosing the right program, through the entire process of application and status approval, our teams at Portugal Homes work side by side with reputable local partners to provide you with the best possible information and assist you in every step to successfully complete your process of application, whether it be Residency by Investment or Citizenship by Investment.

Get in touch with us.

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About Portugal Homes

PortugalHomes.com specializes in investments through real estate and Golden Visa. We help buyers find the right property overseas, whether it be for Golden VisaNHR, Investment or simply a place in the sun. Our properties are selected with great thought in mind to give our clients the best opportunities. We offer the complete service from introducing them to the Legal RepresentativesCurrency ExchangeMortgage AdvisorsProperty ManagementRental and Furniture Packages along with making sure all our staff is trained to fully understand the buying process and taxes for every scenario. Portugal Homes provides the complete service to anyone looking to buy a new or resale property overseas for holiday use or as a short or long-term investment.

To find out more, please contact us:

  • Phone: +351 213 471 603
  • E-Mail: info@portugalhomes.com
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Comprar uma propriedade em Portugall

A Portugal Homes possui profissionais muito experientes e conhecedores, que trabalham com alguns dos promotores mais reconhecidos em Portugal . A nossa vasta experiência permite-nos guiá-lo pelas melhores opções de investimento.

Seja casa de férias ou uma propriedade para investimento, selecionamos as melhores propriedades para o seu perfil e tratamos de todo o processo do início ao fim. Mesmo após a venda! Os nossos serviços de pós-venda assumem a responsabilidade de mobilar a seu gosto, manter a propriedade na sua ausência, dar apoio ao arrendamento, no caso de querer arrendar e muito mais!

Para saber mais sobre Residentes Não Habituais em Portugal e sobre os nossos serviços pós-venda, preencha o formulário abaixo.

O meu consultor, Mathew McGurn, foi realmente excelente! Os seus conhecimentos, profissionalismo e atenção ao detalhe foram muito apreciados. Ele trabalhou duro não apenas para encontrar uma propriedade que atendesse a todos os meus requisitos, mas também negociou com sucesso com os agentes, garantindo que minha oferta conquistasse outros compradores que disputavam a mesma propriedade. Além disso, as suas capacidades de comunicação, tempo de resposta rápido e ajuda geral para a minha instalação em Portugal foram acima e além do normal.

Investidor dos EUA

Caro Sérgio, muito obrigado por arranjar o nosso 1º Esquerdo. Nós amamos a nossa casa nova, e a sua atenção aos detalhes é muito apreciada.

Tim Thronson - Investidor dos EUA

Um serviço completo, oportunidade única. Muito fácil para nós como estrangeiros. O Ryan Dunn superou as nossas expectativas. Estamos muito felizes com trabalho dele!

Jose Arias - Investidor dos EUA

Todas as pessoas com quem me encontrei e com quem falei têm sido extremamente experientes e profissionais. Lidar com nativos em inglês que entendem as coisas da minha perspectiva foi muito reconfortante. Por fim, saber que estava com o Matthew ao meu lado deu-me confiança para prosseguir com o processo de compra de um apartamento em Lisboa. Muito obrigado.

Investidor dos EUA

Até agora, tem sido ótimo. O Simon é muito experiente e amigável.

Loay El Abiad - Investidor da Arábia Saudita

É fantástico como o Ryan tinha um conhecimento completo sobre Lisboa e nos tratou da melhor maneira.

Akbar Ali - Investidor do Paquistão