Citizenship

Citizenship pg CCLEX

What is citizenship?

Citizenship is particular to every state where different rights and responsibilities are attached to an individual belonging to that particular country. Every individual is unique in his or her characteristics, but citizenship allows the person to share his or her uniqueness with a wider community which has common roots generally identified by territory, by language, by culture, tradition and also by a set of values. Citizenship grants the individual the right to claim to be part of that community and therefore to participate in the rights and obligations adopted by that community. The citizen also accepts to observe the state’s laws and regulations whilst being loyal to its interests and this belonging to the country of citizenship is recognized by the rest of the world. 

It is up to each country to lay down the conditions for the acquisition and loss of its citizenship. Citizenship can usually be granted by birth, through descent, by marriage, adoption, naturalisation as well as by investment.

What is citizenship by investment?

Citizenship by investment refers to legislation promulgated by various countries whereby citizenship is granted to foreign nationals and their family members who invest in that particular country. Investment routes vary from making a direct investment or contribution to a country, investing in property as well as investment in financial instruments. This route to citizenship is generally faster than traditional routes of acquiring citizenship, reflecting the importance of the investment done. Citizenship through investment has its roots in Roman times however a programme was first developed by Saint Kitts & Nevis who launched a citizenship by investment programme in 1984. Along the years other countries followed and now it is also possible to acquire citizenship through investment in Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Vanuatu, Turkey, and Montenegro.

Why do people invest to acquire a second citizenship?

Acquiring a second citizenship grants the main applicant and the family members numerous benefits which range from the possibility to reside in a more secure and stable country to being able to visit more countries without a visa.

International Mobility

Acquiring citizenship of another country offers individuals increased mobility when compared to the visa-free travel rights of the country of origin. As an example, a Saint Kitts passport allows visa free entry into 156 countries whilst a Maltese passport allows visa-free entry into 184 countries. This benefit will save the applicant from the time consuming and bureaucratic process to apply for a visa. 

Residence Rights

Acquiring citizenship of another country offers individuals and their family members the right to reside, work and study in that country. Such rights are usually extended to other countries if the country of citizenship is a member of a regional union such as the European Union or the CARICOM.Family: Applicants are able to include their family members in a citizenship by investment programme. Most programmes allow the main applicant to include the spouse, children as well as parents and grandparents of the main applicant and of the spouse. Accordingly, the main applicant may also extend the benefits of a second passport to the rest of the family. 

Generational Benefits

In most countries once a person obtains citizenship, any new borns are granted citizenship automatically irrespective of the place of birth. This right varies from one country to another. Some countries require a further direct investment in order to grant citizenship to future generations of the applicant. 

Safety

Given the political instability and unrest in various countries, a second citizenship secures the option to live in a peaceful and stable country of the applicant’s choice which guarantees safety for the applicant’s family. A second passport is often described as an insurance policy in times of instability. 

Education

Acquiring a second citizenship allows children of the main applicant the right to reside permanently in the country of citizenship and avail themselves of world class educations systems found in the EU. In addition, a second passport may qualify the children for domestic fees rather than international fees. 

Healthcare

Most countries offer high quality and free healthcare to its nationals. Obtaining a second passport in a country which offers free healthcare would entitle the applicant and the family members, the same rights as nationals of that country. 

Business

Second citizenship allows investors to base themselves permanently in countries with growing economies. Obtaining citizenship in a country which is a member of the largest economic zone (EU) gives the right to do business freely with more countries. Applicants benefit from the right of establishing business in the country of citizenship as well as to travel to a number of countries without a visa. 

Real Estate

Most citizenship by investment programmes require applicants to invest in real estate. Countries offering citizenship by investment give the applicant the opportunity to invest in a stable and booming real estate market. Certain countries restrict the ability to purchase real estate only for its nationals. Obtaining citizenship of a particular country gives the applicant the right to invest there.  

Which countries offer citizenship by investment programs?

Citizenship by investment programmes in Caribbean countries that often have treaties with Schengen and are also part of the Commonwealth include Saint Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Lucia, Grenada, and Dominica.  In the European region, Cyprus offered the Cyprus Investment Programme but this is currently closed.  Malta introduced amendments to its citizenship laws.  Montenegro is a candidate for EU membership though is not expected to join before 2025.  In the region, Turkey also attracts investors with a citizenship by investment programme.

What are the requirements for obtaining a second citizenship? 

Each country promulgates its own legislation which would list various eligibility criteria and requirements which the applicants would need to comply with in order to apply for and obtain citizenship through investment. There are however certain requirements which are common to mostly all programmes: 

  • Provide evidence of source of funds
  • Provide a clean police record
  • Invest in a government approved investment route which may vary from one country to another. Investment routes usually consist of a donation, investment in real estate and financial instruments such as government bonds.
  • Establish a genuine connection with the country of citizenship

What can CCLEX do for you? 

CCLEX specialises in citizenship by investment programmes for international families seeking international access and mobility, education, business, and investment opportunities in countries not otherwise accessible to them, whilst bringing increased wealth, talent, entrepreneurship and repute to the host countries. Our firm has adopted a rounded approach which allows clients to benefit from our fully-integrated firm-wide services. Once we identify our clients' personal and commercial objectives, we ensure that any domestic or international wealth structuring, family wealth issues or disputes, family office matters, as well as real estate and commercial transactions or philanthropic intentions are aligned with such objectives. Together with our Property, Corporate and Tax teams, we offer an all-inclusive service to our clients, paying close attention to their intricate personal, business and legal requirements. We take pride in our level of professionalism and attention to detail, both essential elements in order to provide the best solutions to our private clients' needs.  

Individuals from different parts of the world, including the Middle East, Russia, and the CIS, China, India, Bangladesh, Philippines, France and the US, have been represented by the firm. The firm provides VIP treatment to clients applying under these programmes, offering end-to-end process management and concierge services, hand holding the client and family members throughout the application process and project managing any personal relocation process. 

What makes CCLEX different? 

As an international firm, we are a multi-programme provider with Governmental licences authorising us to represent applicants for citizenship by investment programmes with the governments of various countries. What distinguishes us, is our ethos which drives us to maintain the personal, boutique approach of a small firm, while delivering the expertise expected from a much larger firm. Years of experience in the business have reaffirmed our belief in the importance of face-to-face relationships and building a relationship of trust between the individual or family and their immigration advisor.  

Accordingly, we guide families, investors, and entrepreneurs in understanding the various citizenship options and our advice is always objective and solely based on our clients' best interests.  Our experience and specialisation enable us to also take on mandates to advise investors or their advisors on eligibility for the various programmes and to receive very confidential information within the context of our strict professional secrecy and lawyer-client privilege. 
The firm's partners and managers have been instrumental in their contribution to the Global Investment Migration industry consistently submitting position papers and research papers and proposals to government entities to reform and improve investment migration programmes and related laws.   
 



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Key Contacts

Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

Of Counsel, Malta

+356 22056422

Ms Liliya Scott

Of Counsel, United Kingdom

+44 20 7583 9433

Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Senior Lawyer

+356 22056446

Ms Areti Charidemou

Of Counsel, Cyprus

+357 2505 4760

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