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A Beginner’s Guide to Residency by Investment Program

There are many ways to attract investment to one’s country, and two of those ways include the Citizenship by Investment program and Residency by Investment program. It is the latter that is of interest today. Many people want to gain certain benefits from certain countries but those benefits often come only when one is at least a resident. The process of acquiring a residence is prolonged and often tiresome unless you are interested in making investments.

To become a permanent resident in a country, you will have to invest a particular sum and may have to undertake a few extra activities such as the creation of jobs in certain industries. Once you do so, you will be extended a fast-tracked process to obtain permanent residency. But, is that all there is? Of course not! If it were, then I wouldn’t have been writing this article.

In this article, I aim to help beginners understand what Residence by Investment programs are.

  1. About Permanent Residency
    Without acquiring citizenship of a country you may be entitled to enjoy certain kind of benefits through Permanent Residency. Those who are permanent residents (PR) or, simply put, hold PR cards are allowed to reside in the country without having to be citizens. By virtue of this card, they will be entitled to enjoy a set of benefits such as accessibility to health care, education, and work. However, PR card holders are not entitled to certain legal rights such as the right to vote. Generally, you are required to live in the country for a period of time to obtain such a status.
  1. Invest and Reside
    Investment has become quite a popular method of acquiring permanent residence since the late 1980s. Essentially, it entails the acquisition of a PR card in a country by making certain levels of investment. Due to the economic contribution made, you are entitled to an expedited process as opposed to a regular process. You should note, however, these investment levels vary from one country to another. For instance, under the Canadian Residence by Investment program, the applicant is required to contribute as much as CAD 1.2 million in furtherance of the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program that will process your application within 56 months; whereas Spanish Residence by Investment Program requires an investment of EUR 500,000, with the successful application being processed within 20 days.
  2. Benefits of Permanent Residence
    Except for the fact that you won’t be armed with legal rights that a citizen exercises, you are offered all the major benefits as a permanent resident. An array of reasons makes these programs eye-catching to many high net worth individuals. Let us take an example, security. You may want to reside in a country that is peaceful, friendly, and secure. Or, you are looking forward to taking advantage of visa-free mobility that is resourceful and time-friendly. Many investors want to explore business opportunities in regimes with less restrictive tax systems. Family well-being may also be a reason for you to apply for such a program.
  3. Benefits to the host country
    I don’t think we need to really explore the reasons why many countries explore these routes. They understand that investors want to tap the best potential out there but can’t because of statutory and administrative hurdles. Residency can be a step towards a better future, and these countries want to offer just that—but at a price. These programs allow the host countries to invest the contributions received in various economic, infrastructural, or cultural projects. For example, there are programs that mandate the applicants to make categorized investments in specific areas such as scientific and local industries. So long as your funds have a legal source, you have a clean background, and make the requisite investments, you are good to go!
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Anna Papadopoulos
Anna Papadopoulos is a senior money, wealth, and asset management reporter at CEOWORLD magazine, covering consumer issues, investing and financial communities + author of the CEOWORLD magazine newsletter, writing about money with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind. You can follow CEOWORLD magazine on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or connect on LinkedIn for musings on money, wealth, asset management, millionaires, and billionaires. Email her at