When Citizenship isn't superior to Permanent Residency
by Oliver Said, on Aug 22, 2019 9:30:00 AM
Ever since St Kitts and Nevis issued their citizenship by investment program, the Caribbean countries have become synonymous with second passports.
In this day and age with ever-increasing conflicts prevalent around the world, many people seek the protection and the freedom that a second citizenship or dual citizenship might provide.
However, most people are under the impression that a low-cost citizenship, and a result, a travel passport, is superior to a permanent residency of a more established country even though they roughly cost the same.
This assumption is far from accurate; much like a Rolls Royce limousine is not better than a Ferrari sports car. It ultimately depends on what the intended use is going to be.
When Dominica Passport and St Kitts & Nevis Passport are a good choice
There is no doubt that in the realm of travel documents, the Caribbean programs, provide great value in the form of second passports.
If the ultimate intention is to travel to more countries, than is otherwise possible using your present passport, several programs can fulfill this need.
These include the most popular programs such as;
- Dominica Citizenship by Investment
- Antigua Citizenship by Investment, and
- St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment
But to be precise; these Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs only grant the right to visit but not to stay indefinitely in any country.
What we mean here is that while in theory, one is free to permanently live in an exotic Caribbean country, very few people are likely to do so.
Let us assume that one needs to do more than just enter into any one of the 26 European countries that make up the Schengen area. Under a Schengen visa, one cannot stay for a period longer than the maximum of 90 days in any six months.
That restriction applies to the whole Schengen area, not just one country. So you cannot merely wander between the border-less European states such as Germany, France, Italy and Malta without leaving since based on the Schengen agreement they are one area.
And herein, lies the significant difference between established permanent residency programs and entry-level citizenship by investment programs.
When is Permanent Residency superior to Caribbean Passports?
Let us assume that one opts to go for a permanent residency program such as that of UK or Malta. Once a person gains permanent residency, s/he earns the right to live in that country - 365 days a year. This superior status enables that person to seek all the benefits that living permanently in that country would provide.
For example, one might opt to seek employment or open up a business, or send children to private education, and so on.
If the chosen country, such as Malta, also happens to form part of the Schengen agreement, it automatically grants the rights to travel to;
|FREEDOM TO TRAVEL|
|Czech Republic||Latvia||San Marino|
As a result, a Permanent Residence program can potentially grant unique benefits that are not applicable from particular citizenship by investment programs. It also allows for freedom of travel in many European countries, thus replicating the benefits of a second passport.
Furthermore, after five years of continuous presence in Malta, one gains the right to Long-Term Residence in the following 25 countries.
|Republic of Cyprus||Latvia||Slovenia|
Long-Term Resident Rights
Long-Term Residents enjoy the same treatment and rights as nationals in specific areas:
- Access to employment and self-employed activity;
- Education and vocational training;
- Social protection and assistance (at least core benefits); and
- Access to goods and services
So if you are looking for a second citizenship or permanent residency, first ask yourself, why you need one in the first place. You might be surprised to arrive at a different answer than what you initially thought.