Whether in search of a better quality of life, to preserve assets, increase income via investments, or all of the above, every year thousands of people leave their homeland to invest in a new life abroad. David Lesperance, Managing Partner at Lesperance & Associates, has helped countless high net worth individuals obtain second passports and dual citizenships via emigration/immigration avenues such as the “golden visa”. The golden visa, he says, is one of the most recognized “residence-leading-to-citizenship-by-investment” program-types offered by several desirable destinations around the world.
“I have helped hundreds of High Net Worth entrepreneurs and executives plan and organize their citizenships, residency, and domiciles in order to properly minimize their taxes, preserve their wealth, ensure business continuity and improve their family’s lifestyle – what I call Back-up Plans,” David Lesperance, international tax and immigration expert, said.
The golden visa is designed to attract foreign capital and high net worth individuals who will contribute to the local economy. This means immigrants may purchase property or invest in a development fund and, in return, have the right to residency leading to citizenship, e.g., citizenship by investment. A Canadian currently based in Europe, David Lesperance Lawyer has himself relocated his family twice, giving him firsthand experience of the process and benefits.
While the specifics of golden visa programs vary from one nation to another, criteria often include purchasing real estate or an investment fund, creating jobs and non-refundable contributions to particular industries, all of which ensure substantial economic contribution, David Lesperance Lawyer explained. Most programs also have an annual cap on the number of applicants permitted.
David Lesperance, also a top contributor on immigration and tax topics on Quora, suggests you ask the following questions in order to determine if you should pursue a golden visa:
For what purpose(s) are you seeking an alternative residence or citizenship? As part of you Backup Plan or do you want to immediately relocate? Do you want to expand the education or future living opportunities for your children? Tax planning? Escape from something?
Are you interested in actually residing in that country (or other countries that may be part of a regional agreement such as the EU)? If yes, what is your timeline? Language ability? Budget? Tax situation?
You should also consider which taxes are you most concerned about? Are you aware that many G20 countries can result in lower taxes either through tax planning (e.g. Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Portugal) or existing tax regimes designed to attract wealth foreigners (eg. Ireland, UK, Switzerland, Italy)?
Are you alone or do you have a family (and their needs) to consider? What are your personal and business lifestyle needs? Preferences?
In addition to his immigration and tax practice, David Lesperance Lawyer co-authored the book “Flight of the Golden Geese: How the 1% Matter to the 99%” with London School of Economics Professor Emeritus, Ian Angell. Find more information about David Lesperance Lawyer and his practice here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidslesperance/ or follow him on Quora for answers regarding immigration, second passports, citizenship by investment, and more: https://www.quora.com/profile/David-S-Lesperance