Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Luring the rich: investor residence and citizenship packages

CBC ran a story yesterday on Canada allowing rich people to buy permanent residency status, which provoked some discussion on twitter about whether such a thing was something associated with secrecy jurisdiction (aka tax haven) behavior. I don't know what kind of behavior this is, but I think it is widespread and growing. It's all part of the complicated dance politicians around the world are doing: all trying to lure rich people and multinationals from everywhere else, in a relentless quest to keep impossible electoral promises about jobs and growth.

I've done some research on and off on these residence and citizenship purchase programs. My student Alexander Robinson got interested in the topic and put together a table last year; below are some of the basic numbers, more detail available on file. All the programs listed here are for residency unless citizenship is indicated. One important recent development that is missing in the table involves Puerto Rico, which I suggested a long time ago was poised to be the last, best tax haven for US citizens (while the U.S. will remain the world's last, best tax haven for everyone else in the world, but that is a different story). Janet Novack ran a story on PR yesterday, Puerto Rico Expands Tax Haven Deal For Americans To Its Own Emigrants. It seems policymakers understand PR's unique position in the world vis à vis US citizens, but so far it is having a limited luring effect.

Country Type of Program Cost
Antigua &Barbuda National Development Fund (non-refundable) USD 675,000.00
Real-Estate USD 1,080,000.00
Business Investment (Sole Investor) USD 4,000,000.00
Business Investment (Two or more Investors) USD 13,500,000.00
Australia Significant Investor Program  AUD 5,000,000

Bulgaria Investor (Full Investment)  BGN 1,000,000
Investor (Financed Investment  BGN 180,000
Investor (Fast Track Option)  BGN 2,000,000
Canada Investment  CAD 800,000.00
Investment - Quebec Investment  CAD 800,000.00
Self-Employed Worker Program (Quebec)
Quebec Entrepreneur Program
Canadian Entrepreneur Program - (CDN Venture Fund)  CAD 200,000.00
Canadian Self-Employed Program (Start Up - CDN Angel Investor)  CAD 750,000.00
China Investor (1)  $2,000,000.00
Investor (2)  $1,000,000.00
Investor (3)  $500,000.00
Investor (4)  $500,000.00
Cyprus Direct Citizenship by Investment Program EUR 200,000.00
Dominica Package A:  Single Applicant (Non-Refundable) USD 100,000.00
Package B:  Family Application (Spouse, Non-Refundable) USD 175,000.00
Package C:  Family Application 2 (Spouse, 2 children, Non-Refundable USD 200,000.00
Package D:  Family Application Three  USD 250,000.00
Greece Residency - Strategic Investments EUR 250,000.00
Residency - Property Purchase EUR 250,000.00
Grenada Approved Real Estate Project  USD 500,000.00

Non-Refundable Donation  USD 200,000.00
Hong Kong Capital Investment Program - Applications After 14 Oct 2010  HKD 10,000,000.00
Capital Investment Program - Applications Before 14 Oct 2010  HKD 6,500,000.00
5 Regimes
Investor - Government Bonds  EUR 2,000,000.00

Investor - Job Producing Irish Companies  EUR 1,000,000.00
Investor - Irish Publicly traded companies
Investor - Government Bonds  EUR 2,000,000.00
Investor - Venture Capital  EUR 1,000,000.00
Investor - Blend (50% Property & 50% Securities)  EUR 1,000,000.00
Investor - Endowment Funds  EUR 500,000.00
Start-Up Entrepreneur Program  EUR 75,000.00
4 Regimes
Investor - Equity Capital Investment  LVL 25,000.00
Investor - Real Estate - (Regia area)  LVL 100,000.00
Investor - Real Estate - (Other)  LVL 50,000.00
Investor - Credit Institution  LVL 200,000.00
Malta Investor  EUR 650,000.00
New Zealand Investor Plus   NZD 10,000,000.00
Investor  NZD 1,500,000.00
Panama Macro Company Investment  USD 160,000.00
(Residency and Second Passport) Mixed Fixed Deposit/Real-Estate  USD 300,000.00
Economic Investment in Real Estate  USD 300,000.00
Forest Investor  USD 80,000.00
Fixed Term Deposit Real Estate  USD 300,000.00
Portugal Property Investment   USD 500,000.00
Financial Investment  1,000,000.00 €
Creation of 10 Permanent Jobs
Saint-Kitts and Nevis  Citizenship by Investment Real Estate Option
SIDF Contribution  USD 250,000.00
Singapore Global Investors Program - Option A  SGD 2,500,000.00
Global Investors Program - Option B  SGD 2,500,000.00
Spain Investment in Spanish Companies  EUR 1,000,000.00
Deposit with Spanish Financial Entities   EUR 1,000,000.00
Real-Estate Investment  EUR 500,000.00
Business Project  Undefined 
Entrepreneur  Undefined 
Highly Qualified Professionals  Undefined Investment 
Other Category  Employees transferred to Spain within the same group of companies 
Switzerland Swiss Lump Sum Taxation  CHF 150,000.00
United States Investor Visa (1) - EB 5  USD 1,000,000.00
Investor Visa (2) - EB 5  USD 500,000.00
United Kingdom Investor (type A)  £1,000,000.00
Investor (type B) net asset value of £2,000,000 plus loan £1,000,000 from a British Institution 
Exceptional Talent
Entrepreneur  £ 50,000 of venture capital money 


  1. I noticed that neither France or Germany are on the list. However, I think France does have some type of residency for cash program. I believe Victoria Ferauge of Franco American Flophouse did a write up on it a while back. I have heard the US EB 5 program is called the "Yacht People" instead of boat people program.

  2. thanks, I'll see if I can find that and update accordingly


    Carte résident - contribution économique exceptionnelle

    Le critère de délivrance de la carte de séjour pour les investisseurs étrangers en France est explicitement lié à la contribution économique qu'ils apportent au pays. Ce nouveau dispositif vise à faciliter et à encourager le séjour des ressortissants étrangers qui s’engagent à effectuer sur le territoire français un investissement d’au moins 10 millions d’euros et à créer ou sauvegarder au moins 50 emplois en France. Ils reçoivent en contrepartie une carte de séjour d’une durée de 10 ans.
    (The criteria for delivery of a residency permit for foreign investors in France is explicitly linked to the economic contribution that they bring to the country. This new program is meant to facilitate and encourage the residency of foreign citizens who agree to invest 10 million Euros and to create or save at least 50 jobs in France. They receive in exchange a 10 year residency permit.)

  4. Commonwealth Magazine in Massachusetts just did a big expose on the EB-5 program. Especially interesting to me was the absolute unquestioning support from all sides of the political spectrum.

    Note: most members of Congress really didn't want to discuss the details of EB-5 or why they support it other than saying they wholeheartedly support it.