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Obtain a second citizenship without leaving home during pandemic

If you are considering dual citizenship, now is the time. The crisis has a positive impact on the bureaucracy: many countries have started accepting applications for second citizenship online, reduced the list of required documents and accelerated their processing, and some even reduced the cost of investment programs.

The second citizenship creates additional opportunities for citizens of many countries, including visa-free travel around the world, social security and many others.

During the pandemic, countries of the Caribbean, Australia, and Oceania, and even Europe, are ready to meet the needs of applicants and speed up the document application process. We have compiled a rating of the most relevant programs for granting second citizenship to date.

 

MALTA

 

Mediterranean island country, the Schengen area

 

Maltese citizenship provides a wide range of opportunities for applicants. It allows:

  1. Residing in any EU country without a visa for an unlimited period.
  2. Visiting 183 world countries without a visa, including the USA, Canada, Great Britain, Singapore, etc.
  3. Using a beneficial tax system.
  4. Opening and registering legal entities in the EU territory.
  5. Providing a high standard of living and first-class medical care for citizen and their families.
  6. Working in leading European companies.
  7. Opening accounts and keeping funds in the most reliable banks in the world.
  8. Providing children with high-quality European level education.
  9. Returning investments within 5 years.

 

How pandemic affected the application process? 

 

During a pandemic, an investor can prepare documents for simultaneous application to two stages of the program: residence permit and due diligence. After the borders are opened, the investor will need to visit Malta for biometrics.

 

ANTIGUA AND BARBUDA

 

Country belonging to Lesser Antilles group, the Caribbean Sea area.

Having a passport of this state allows:

  1. Reducing tax payments, avoiding paying income taxes received outside the country.
  2. Traveling freely around the world. Currently, the visa-free regime applies to 150 countries, including the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, etc.
  3. Getting state protection and political security, since it is a member of the Commonwealth of Nations.
  4. Keeping savings in leading European banks.
  5. Registering real estate and movables, as well as various types of assets in almost all countries of the world in the name of a passport holder.
  6. Applying for a US visa for up to 10 years.
  7. Growing the investments: the region is actively developing and its attractiveness for tourists is increasing.

Procedure for obtaining citizenship of Antigua and Barbuda

The citizenship application process includes preliminary due diligence: the process takes 1-3 days, given the application documents are properly prepared

Further preparation of the main documents for application to citizenship is carried out through an investment agency: a cooperation agreement is concluded between the applicant and the agency. The agency requests necessary documents from customer translates then apostilles and notarizes them.

 

How pandemic affected the application process?

 

A special regime has been introduced starting from April 2 until the end of quarantine:

  1. Verification of the applicant begins immediately after submission, without confirmation of payment for due Diligence and processing of the submitted set of documents.
  2. All payments are made after the end of the quarantine period.
  3. Scanned copies of documents can be submitted instead of originals.
  4. Submission is made online through a special web portal.
  5. Investor and public agencies communicate through electronic communication channels.
  6. An additional option to purchase real estate at a reduced price of 200, 000 USD has been introduced.
  7. Conditions for applicants from closed regime countries, including Sudan, Afghanistan, North Korea, Somali, and Yemen have been eased. Now applicants need to meet two requirements: Not living in above-listed countries for the last 10 years and not having any economic relations with them.
  8. The amount of the state’s mandatory fee has been changed.
  9. The list of references required for reviewing applications has also been reduced.

 

If the investment payment was made by the sponsor of the investor, a letter on the relationship between the sponsor and the applicant should be submitted. In addition, scanned copies of the sponsors ‘ documents must be provided.

Please note! The rest of the documentation still needs to be provided, but this can be done during the next stage. This reduces the time required to prepare the initial package and optimizes the time needed to process applications in the crisis period.

 

SAINT KITTS AND NEVIS

 

Country belonging to Lesser Antilles group, Caribbean Sea area.

 

Having a passport of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis allows you to:

  1. Travel freely around the world, visiting 154 countries without a visa. The visa-free regime applies to the United Kingdom, the countries of the Schengen area, Singapore, Hong Kong, and others.
  2. Obtain a reliable political and social protection.
  3. Avoid paying taxes on dividends, inheritance, gift items, and global income.
  4. Successfully conduct business on the territory of other countries, diversifying the risks.
  5. Get financial freedom and the ability to register companies and open bank accounts.
  6. Take advantage of the created favorable investment climate, which allows you to return and multiply your invested funds.
  7. Get a long-term visa to Canada and the United States.

 

How pandemic affected the application process?

As of March 26, 2020, the citizenship program of the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis has been changed. In particular:

  • All documents are accepted in electronic form through the open public portal. A receipt for payment of the administrative fee is also submitted in electronic form.
  • The list of the required documentation has been reduced. During the quarantine period, there is no need to provide several Bank forms, education certificates and diplomas, police clearance certificate and medical certificates.
  • The period for processing applications was reduced to 2 months. Compared to the previous period from 3 to 6 months.
  • Original copies must be submitted after the online application is approved. If the investor cannot provide the original documents in time due to the quarantine, the deadline for submission is extended.
  • Escrow agreements and real estate sales agreements can be provided without prior notarization.
  • Consideration of the application begins immediately after payment of Due Diligence; the rates remain the same.

 

GRENADA

 

Country belonging to Lesser Antilles group, Caribbean Sea area.

 

Having a passport of this state allows to:

  1. Be exempt from paying taxes on gifts and inheritance, capital gains, personal income tax of foreigners. The real estate tax rate is up to 0.5%.
  2. Travel freely and quickly around the world: visa-free travel applies to 142 countries, including the Russian Federation, China, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and others.
  3. Apply for an E-2 business visa and establish a legal entity through a simplified mechanism in the USA.
  4. Receive benefits for relocation to member states of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
  5. Transfer assets to international banks.
  6. Receive benefits for children’s education at Universities in the United Kingdom.

 

How pandemic affected the application process?

 

  • All stages of application became online. Scanned copies of documents can be sent via an open public portal.
  • All public agencies in Grenada currently work remotely, meaning that the investor must not make any meetings and interactions with representatives of the program Directorate, agents, or other persons. For the rest, the mechanism is the same, fees are not changed.

 

DOMINICA

 

Country belonging to Lesser Antilles group, Caribbean Sea area.

 

Having a passport of this state allows to:

  1. Avoid paying taxes on dividends, inheritance and wealth, and global income. There are also no taxes for non-residents.
  2. Travel freely around the world: visa-free travel is available in 139 countries. In particular, citizens of Dominica can stay in the EU without a visa for 90 days, and in the UK – for 180 days a year.
  3. Get a long-term visa to Canada and the United States.
  4. Purchase investment worth real estate, as the region’s authority and popularity are growing today.
  5. Provide citizenship for close relatives, spouse, children (under the age of 30, while adult children must be dependent on their parents) and parents (parents must not be under 55 years old).

 

How pandemic affected the application process?

 

From April 1, 2020, until the end of the quarantine, all documents are accepted only in electronic form. Applications are submitted and sent via a special reliable and secured web portal.

  1. Consideration of applications begins immediately after sending scanned copies.
  2. Any interaction with the program directorate and agents is also carried out remotely.

 

SAINT LUCIA

 

Country belonging to Lesser Antilles group, Caribbean Sea area.

 

Citizenship of this country allows:

  1. Tax optimization.
  2. visa-free or visa upon arrival travel to 145 world countries.
  3. To get a long-term visa to Canada and the United States.
  4. To provide citizenship, and therefore all its benefits, to parents over 65 years of age and children under 26 years of age.

 

How pandemic affected the application process? 

 

Minor changes were introduced to the program during the pandemic. In particular, only scanned copies of documents are accepted through online public platforms until the end of the quarantine period. All other requirements remained unchanged.

 

VANUATU

 

Pacific state in Melanesia, Australian economic zone

The citizenship of this island state allows:

  1. Visa-free travel to more than 130 countries around the world. Including EU countries and the UK.
  2. Provision of citizenship for dependents: children under 25 years and parents over 55 years.
  3. To obtain citizenship in 2 months.
  4. Reduce taxes, as there are benefits and allowances for businessmen.

 

How pandemic affected the application process? 

 

Biometric data submission and oath-taking procedure have been changed: from April 1, 2020, they are held online via Skype. Previously, an investor could submit biometric data and swear an oath in any country. The Commissioner of Vanuatu was invited to conduct the process.

Thus, at the moment, there are wide opportunities for investors. You can apply for second citizenship of Malta, the Caribbean or Oceania states from home. It is worth noting the reduction of the burden on officials and the state agencies, the simplification of the general application process, which increases the chances of obtaining a passport.