Looking to obtain residency in a foreign country through investment?
The decision can often be a difficult one, with so many options along with push and pull factors accompanying each country.
Whether you wish to permanently relocate from the USA to another country, or plan on having a back-up residency elsewhere, there are plenty of options for you.
Generally, the number of American expats fluctuates, year on year — but there has been a slight consistent growth recently.
In fact, a YouGov survey before the election outlined that a whopping 31% of Americans would consider leaving the country if their candidate failed to make the hot seat!
However, this is not the only reason people are choosing to leave — other reasons such as the willingness to explore, buy new property, and improve career and education opportunities have been listed as reasons why Americans chose to relocate.
With that in mind, we’ve created this blog post to help you with your tough decision!
What’s the best country to obtain residency as a U.S. citizen?
From Germany to Ireland and Antigua to Dominica, a host of attractive countries are currently offering residency by investment programmes.
The residency by investment program in Portugal is one of Europe’s most utilised in order to obtain residency to the country. This is mainly due to the fact that the investment value is as low as €300,000.
Similarly, the Spanish visa would allow you to obtain residency in a beautiful part of Europe, through a real estate investment of no less than €500,000.
Malta offers a residency by investment programme for high net worth individuals.
With this, individual investors must provide a minimum contribution of €600,000 to the national development fund set up by the government and prove 36 months of residency (or €750,000 and 12 months residency).
In addition to this, you’d need to invest a further €700,000 into residential real estate, or enter into a rental agreement at a minimum value of €16,000 p.a which must be maintained for five years.
Australia and New Zealand
Everyone is aware of the stunning beauty of Australia and New Zealand, and the many positives that relocating to such a place would bring!
Both countries offer great business and education opportunities, making them an ideal relocation spot.
Investors can apply for residency in New Zealand through the Investor or Investor Plus visa categories. This requires a minimum investment of NZ$1.5 million for four years, as well as at least NZ$1 million in settlement funds.
To apply for residency through investment in Australia, individuals must pass a points test, have three years worth of investment experience, invest AUD 1.5 million or more into an Australian state or territory bond for four years, and have net assets of AUD 2.25 million or over.
Those who are in search of an exotic location should look no further than the Caribbean.
Currently, there are five Caribbean countries offering citizenship through investment programmes, consisting of Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and St Lucia.
Of course, there are different pull factors depending on what you are looking for. If you are interested in education and career advancement opportunities, IDLF recommends applying for a European country.
However, that doesn’t mean that countries in The Caribbean should be overlooked, and they are undoubtedly an impressive option, depending on what you are searching for.
However, IDLF recommends the Irish Immigrant Investor Programme for those from the USA looking to obtain residency by investment.
What makes Ireland the best country for US citizens to obtain residency by investment?
There are a host of reasons why many people choose Ireland for residency by investment.
The IIP is a programme that is available to non-EEA nationals who agree to invest in Ireland.
The investment must be a minimum of €1 million, over the space of three years, and must be fully sourced by the investor, i.e. not come from a loan or similar facility.
Those who are successful in applying for the scheme in Ireland will hold residency in the country, allowing them to be a resident of a stable member of the EU.
Currently, applying for the IIP is currently the only way to obtain Irish residency by investment.
US citizens can also travel freely to Ireland — of course, to travel you must have a valid passport. But US citizens can enter visa-free for tourism or business purposes for up to 90 days.
There is no minimum passport validity requirement for US citizens entering Ireland.
The Irish tax system
A major pull-factor for Ireland is the Irish tax system. Currently, the corporate tax rate is 12.5%.
This makes it a massive pull-factor for many companies and workers looking to relocate.
Ireland has been strategically chosen by over 1000 MNC’s as their European base due to its low corporation tax rate.
This means that Ireland can offer business opportunities that are tough to rival in many other places in the world.
In fact — Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Airbnb all have their European headquarters in Ireland!
Quality of Life
As well as this — Ireland’s healthcare, and lifestyle quality all rank at the top of ratings for countries in the world.
In fact, Ireland even ranks above the UK and US on the UN’s standard of living! The people are also famous for their friendliness and hospitality.
The standard of education in Ireland is a major pull-factor. It has among the highest percentages of third-level graduates in the EU, and nearly half of all adults hold a third-level degree.
However, if you don’t think you want to live there, don’t worry! The residency requirement for Ireland is only 1 day per year!