Permanent Residency Programs are part of an immigration category under which investor contributes a specific amount of money to specific business, real-estate or the nation’s development in order to get a Permanent Residency (PR). PR is the legal immigration status that a country bestows on a foreign national that typically guarantees the unrestricted rights to live, study, work, conduct business, and travel in and out of that country for a certain period of time. PR is not the same status as citizenship, with the main differences between the two being that citizens can hold the country’s passport and can vote in the country’s elections – permanent residents cannot.
There are several different options for foreign nationals seeking to obtain PR in another country. A foreign national could marry a citizen or PR of that country, and thereby qualify for residence as a foreign spouse. Alternatively, the national may receive an offer of permanent employment from one of the country’s businesses, which would qualify the foreign national for residence as a foreign employee. In addition, foreign nationals fleeing terrible conditions in their home country may apply for asylum in a separate country and qualify for PR. An interested foreign national can also take advantage of one of the many PR through investment programs that are offered by numerous countries around the world including the United States, Canada, Ireland, and Belgium just to name a few.
There are multiple benefits of PR through investment programs. First, all of these programs let the foreign investor bring his or her spouse and children to the country as family dependents. Second, many countries offer significant tax breaks to foreign investors, such as exemption from income tax, property tax, gift tax, and inheritance tax.
Every country has developed specific regulations and conditions for its own PR through investment program, but there are some of the requirements that are common to the majority of programs.
To qualify for these programs, the foreign national must invest the minimum amount or more into the country’s economy. This figure varies from as little as EUR €250,000 (for Greece’s program) to as much as EUR €1,000,000 (for Ireland or Bulgaria’s programs)
Most programs also require that the foreign investor prove to the government’s immigration authorities that the funds used to make the required investment derived from a lawful source such as the national’s employment earnings, sale of real property, savings, mortgage, etc.