What changes in citizenship and residency by investment will we see in 2022?
As we move into the New Year, many citizenship and residency programmes have announced some major changes to the way they work. This includes amendments that have either already happened or are expected to happen later on in the year.
Some of these changes include some of the industries most popular immigration programmes, including Portugal, St. Kitts & Nevis, and Spain, as well as newer programmes, like Montenegro, and potentially new programmes altogether. It is worth pointing out that the year is still young, so it is expected that as the year continues, more changes are set to be announced.
Portugal increases their golden visa criteria
It has been known for a while now that Portugal was going to be making some major changes to its Golden Visa programme. These changes will mean that the country will no longer allow investments in metropolitan and coastal areas, including Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve coastline. Whilst the price of real estate investments has remained the same, at €500,000, the minimum amount for investment funds increased by more than 50%, going from €350,000 to €500,000.
The reason for these changes is to promote international investment into lower-density areas rather than the bigger cities and metropolitan areas that had been the primary choice for applicants of the programme. Although these changes have limited the flexibility in regards to where and how applicants can invest, it is still an attractive golden visa programme.
Successful applicants will still be able to enjoy visa-free access throughout the Schengen Area. Another benefit of the programme is that there are very minimal stay requirements, with residents only needing to visit the country for 7 days each year. With that being said, if you do wish to live in Portugal, residents can enjoy the country’s excellent health care and education systems for free.
St. Kitts & Nevis donation amount increases
For a limited time during the pandemic, St. Kitts & Nevis announced a temporary reduction in the cost of their citizenship by investment programme. However, as of the 1st of January, 2022, the cost of the programme will increase back to its normal price. It should be noted that this offer only applied for families of 4 choosing the donation route.
The price of this has now gone back up again from $145,000 to $195,000. That withstanding, the costs for the other routes to citizenship have remained the same are not expected to increase any time soon.
Spain introduces new start-up law
For those wishing to gain Spanish residency the quickest and most efficient way, then their Golden Visa is the obvious choice. The programme has become more popular, which is in part due to Spain’s new Start-up Laws. These laws incentivise investors to come into the country and develop new business opportunities.
Start-up companies will now be able to enjoy a reduction in corporate tax rates, which will be reduced to 15% instead of 25%. Individuals in Spain working from home will also be able to enjoy reduced income taxes for salaries up to €600,000. These new laws will promote foreign investors to move to Spain and enjoy these new financial incentives and encourage more people to gain Spanish residency.
One of the popular routes to gain Spanish residency is through investing €500,000 into government-approved real estate for a minimum holding period, after which there are exit options available providing the possibility to realise capital gains on the investment. Spanish residency will give individuals and their families to live and work in the country and subsequently receive the benefits that come with it. Some of these benefits include access to the country’s healthcare and education system for free, as well as visa-free access throughout the Schengen Area.
Russia expected to introduce a new Golden Visa programme
While these are the major changes that have been announced so far, it is anticipated that new changes to citizenship and residency will follow, with even the possibility of new programmes being introduced altogether. One of the programmes expected to be introduced this year, is Russia’s Golden Visa programme.
At the end of 2021, the Russian government adopted a new bill that could set the stage for a new residency programme. Whilst the exact investment amounts are yet to be officially determined, it is believed that it will involve either a 10 million ruble investment into a business or a 30 million ruble investment into real estate. That withstanding, the full terms and conditions, as well as potential benefits, is yet to be fully determined. As such, those within the Investment Migration Industry will need to keep a careful eye out for any new developments or news regarding the programme.
Montenegro’s CBI programme has been extended
Although one of the newest citizenship by investment programmes, it was starting to look like it would also be one of the shortest-lived. The programme was set to end on the 31st of December 2021, but at the last minute on the eve of the programme’s deadline, it was announced that the programme will be extended for an additional year. Whether the programme will be extended further is yet to be decided, however, this last-minute announcement gave this programme a new (albeit still short) lease of life.
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