The impact of enhanced due diligence on citizenship by investment and residency by investment in Europe

Brand View: Citizenship by Investment and Residency by Investment Programs increase direct foreign investment
Mimoun Assraoui: CEO RIF Trust (left) and Roderick Cutajar, Executive chairman of Malta residency visa agency (MRVA).
Wed 14 Mar 2018 04:30 PM

Over the last 10 years, government schemes to trade investment for residence or citizenship have rapidly been adopted by at least 10 countries in Europe that include Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Hungary, Bulgaria.

Citizenship by Investment and Residency by Investment Programs increase direct foreign investment.

“We have seen the positive economic impact on Real Estate for Spain, Portugal and even more for Cyprus where it was on the verge of bankruptcy in 2013,” says Assraoui

"But there has been a tightening of the rules in the EU regarding the Citizenship by Investment and Residency by Investment programs and “the enhanced regulation of these programs will have a positive impacts in the long run.” adds Assraoui.

Attaining a European Resident status requires the fulfillment of specific conditions. Some of the requirements may include a “clean bill of health, no criminal history, passing language and cultural tests.”

Golden Visa residence program is a special status that allows the resident-by-investment to become a permanent resident in EU. Individuals having this visa can live, study, and work in any of the EU member states.

RIF Trust recommends Malta Permanent Residency, which is the safest and quickest way to a Permanent Residency in Europe, with an investment of €250,000 in Maltese Government Bonds or a Portugal Golden Visa, with an investment amount starting from €350,000 and the possibility to apply for Citizenship after 6 years.

Regarding the Citizenship programs in Europe, the only 2 guaranteed in a limited time frame are Cyprus and Malta. Given the investment amount it is limited to a very few and exclusive clientele base.

Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program is in place since 2016 and requires an investment of €2,000,000 in Cyprus Real Estate or a total of €2,500,000 investments with various options available. 

The Cyprus Citizenship By Investment Program is now considered one of the most attractive programs globally and offering the fastest route to EU Citizenship (only 6 months) for the whole Family.

“The Cyprus program is clearly very appealing to HNWI to obtain EU Citizenship, but a client can be stuck with Real Estate in Cyprus that he can not sell after 3 years. We have the expertise to select smaller and liquid units, our philosophy is to be on clients side and negotiate in the best interests of our clients” says Assraoui

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Program is divided into 3 elements. An investment into Government bonds, investment in Real Estate and the last element is a donation to the government that represents half of the investments, a total of €1,200,000.

The Malta Citizenship by Investment Program is an exclusive program with limited number of applications. Most significant element of the program is the large donation amount representing half of the investment.

RIF Trust is one of the authorized government agencies that work directly with realtors to fast-track the process. They help their clients to attain their citizenship and residency through investment. The Dubai based firm facilitates application to Malta, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal in Europe and also authorized agent in the Caribbean countries.  


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