Considering Alternative Citizenship By Investment? Here’s why you shouldn’t wait…
Brussels does NOT like Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programs one bit. First they went after the Cypriot CBI. Next came Vanuatu.And now, they’re taking Malta to court over their CBI program, too. Here’s why this should spur you to take action if you’re in the market for a CBI passport…
In recent years, being wealthy has become somewhat of a crime – in the eyes of socialist politicians, especially. And so it comes as no surprise that the EU government in Brussels has taken umbrage with Citizenship By Investment (CBI) programs around the world.
In recent years, pressure on European countries offering CBIs, in particular, has been mounting.
While security and potential money laundering risks have been cited as the EU’s primary concerns, their criticisms of CBIs also smack of overreach and a need for control.
Aided by the leftist media, Brussels has been ramping up their efforts to tar-brush CBI programs and ultimately pressurize the governments offering these to kill them off.
(Even though these programs are 100% legal, and contribute massively to the economies of many of the small, predominantly Caribbean countries offering them).
The CBI program casualties thus far
Cyprus – which used to offer the world’s most expensive Citizenship By Investment program, was the first casualty in 2020. The program shut down amidst mounting EU pressure, a spate of bad publicity, and allegations of misconduct.
Moldova, a former Soviet republic, also tried launching a CBI program but effectively got bullied into shuttering it in mid-2019 – before the program had even gotten off the ground.
And then, in 2021, Vanuatu had their visa-free access to the Schengen Area suspended for 18 months due to allegations of inadequate due diligence.
Next up, Montenegro is shuttering their program on 31 December of 2022, presumably with a view to remove any potential obstacles to their own EU accession…
Is Malta’s CBI program next on the chopping block?
The European Commission instituted so-called “infringement procedures” against Malta over their program about two years ago already. And in late September of 2022, the body referred the case to the European Court of Justice.
Professional – and legal – opinions are divided on whether the EU’s litigation will go anywhere. Malta’s getting ready to put up a serious fight. And they might well win in court, seeing as legally speaking, it’s up to each EU country to determine whom they naturalize, and under what conditions.
But looking at the above trend, there is a serious possibility that CBI programs as we know them may disappear completely in the not-too-distant future.
In tandem, low-tax jurisdictions and the UK’s so-called “Non-Dom” status provision have also increasingly been in the EU’s crosshairs.
And whilst these programs are completely legal, many press outlets – clearly operating with a political agenda – have alluded to them as being ethically questionable, if not quite illegal.
These kinds of insinuations are disingenuous, to say the least.
There is nothing wrong with wanting more options in terms of places to live – and especially whilst both the EU and the US are in serious decline.
Nor is there anything sinister about wanting to only pay the minimum amount of taxes legally required of you. As we’re fond of saying at Sovereign Research, legally reducing your tax bill is the best risk-free return on investment you can make.
In fact, it’s exactly this logic that compelled both our founder, Simon Black, and some of our team members to move to Puerto Rico in order to take advantage of the island’s seriously attractive tax incentives.
So if you’re not a member of the “Lucky Bloodline Club” – people with European ancestry who can obtain EU passports that way – and you’re in the market for second residency or a CBI passport, then now is the time to take action.
Because the trend is not in your favor. In the past few years alone…
The Panama Friendly Nations Visa – which used to be one of THE easiest and most affordable residency programs we’ve seen – became a lot more expensive and restrictive…
Several of Portugal’s Golden Visa options increased in price – while their property options became far more restrictive and less compelling…
The Montenegro CBI’s donation component doubled from €100K to €200K, and the program is disappearing in December of 2022…
The Turkish CBI almost doubled from $250K to $400K – and may soon be gone altogether, also…
And the Greek Golden Visa program is doubling in price, from €250k to €500k, for properties located in Athens and Thessaloniki, starting in January of 2023…
So as we’re fond of saying… When it comes to your Plan B, you rather want to be years too early than a single day too late. If you have done so yet, you need to overcome inertia and diversify where you and your family can live, work, invest and retire.
The options that are available today will likely be the best ones you can expect to find in your lifetime, so don’t let them slip through your fingers.