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Portugal

8 reasons why Portugal is a popular second home destination

Today we point out 8 reasons why Portugal has become so popular in the last few years, not only in relation to tourism but also as a great place to live and gain a new passport.

A country of surprising history, and hidden secrets within it, Portugal was not famous in recent decades. So one wonders why Portugal became popular so fast in recent years.

Read 11 Reasons to Move to Portugal in 2022 from India.

However, this small country situated on the western coast of the Iberian Peninsula, Portugal is becoming the most visited country in Europe. It is a tourist attraction for an infinite number of reasons.

Talk about beaches, traditional cuisine, soccer, lively people, idyllic climate, affordable travel costs, and exceptional landscape it’s not only becoming a tourist spot. Rather a lot of people are thinking to move and settle into Portugal permanently.

From the landscapes you saw to the sights you view, the food you ate, to the waves you rode, Portugal is one of the finest places in Europe to both visit and settle in.

Also Read Safest Countries in the World 2022, Portugal Ranks 3rd and Canada is 6th !!

Let’s have a look at a variety of other reasons for Portugal becoming extraordinarily popular from an underrated country in the European belt.

Spectacular landscapes

From the rocky and towery mountains in the north to the spectacular beaches in the south, Portugal is enriched with the places that usually don’t turn up on the maps but are there as a hidden secret for all the tourists to have a visit and explore the delightful beauty of nature.

Old fashioned charm with contemporary sophistication, Portugal is both classic and distinctly modern. It’s a paradox that attracts visitors from all across the globe.

Portugal has amazing sceneries

The country’s iconic cities are where modern life buzzes with the ancient landscapes referring to the past. Like in the city of Porto, which you can admire in the picture.

From amazing scenes from the top of the mountains to the largest underwater world, Portugal is unique in every sense.

Portugal has a variety to offer to its visitors, from the oldest bookstore in the world to Europe’s largest bridge.

From hidden cities’ secrets to the shores of the noisy water striking the surface will leave you in awe.

Idyllic climate

One of the major reason people choose Portugal over any other European country is its uniform weather throughout the year. Especially on the Algarve coast, southern Portugal.

Most of the EU countries experience extreme hot to extreme cold conditions. While on the other hand, cool sea breezes in summers and pleasant comparatively warm wet winters make Portugal a desirable place for all the expats and tourists to visit and settle in Portugal.

Traditional Cuisine

One of the prominent factors of Portugal’s popularity is its simple and delicious cuisines.

Be it seafood, meat, or vegetables, the food is relatively simply cooked following the basic ingredients rather than complicated sauces used in its neighboring countries like France, Italy, or Spain.

Moreover, Portugal is highly affordable when it comes to food.

One unique feature of Portuguese cuisines is a seasoned food. They cook what is in according to the season.

Portuguese cuisine is one of the best in the world

One of the specialties of Portuguese food is potatoes cooked in a variety of ways. Pastéis de Nata is the signature Portuguese dessert, an egg tart pastry dusted with cinnamon.

Other famous Portugal cuisines include Bifana, Bacalhau, Squid, and Sardines.

As for drinks, Portugal is known to be one of the world’s biggest consumers of wine per capita.

Portugal’s most famous export is wine which is known to be the national drink also.

Moreover, the world’s oldest wine-producing region and a candidate for UNESCO World Heritage Site is the Douro Valley is another popular feature for Portugal.

Language

One of the reasons for Portugal’s popularity is its native Portuguese language which is known to be the official language of nine other countries.

Having 220 million native speakers of this language, it’s the sixth most spoken as a first language.

It’s a curious fact about Portugal, which attracts many Brazilian expats to the Old Continent.

Read Portugal’s Golden Visa is going nowhere. Government rejects ending golden visas.

Soccer

Every time we think about Portugal, the very first thing that comes to mind is Cristiano Ronaldo.

Football might be the popular sport played in Portugal but Cristiano Ronaldo has become a brand associated with football representing Portugal all across the globe.

Even interested in soccer or not the whole world recognizes him.

Apart from him, Portugal is known to produce great players of all times on the Soccer field. Eusébio, Luis Figo, Paulo Sousa, and Paulo Future are some of the greatest names in the history of Portugal soccer.

Standard of living

With such a growing and confident economy, Portugal is known to be the hub for all the business tycoons and investors from all across the globe.

Innovations, talented people, leading companies are building it a new country and a startup hub in the whole of Europe.

The combination of good infrastructure and a high-quality economy with massive technology as compared to other parts of Europe makes Portugal quite attractive for starting a business and investing here.

The strong capability of exports, well-educated workforce, and low-cost base is an eye-opener for all the business starters to invest in Portugal.

Cost of living

Living in Portugal is highly affordable as compared to other parts of Europe.

From food to the residence, fueling to healthcare, Portugal offers you the cheapest rates comparatively.

Moreover, Airfares are relatively low and stopovers are free for domestic as well as international flights.

Music

Fado is known to be the soul of Portuguese music.

This specific genre was recognized and originated in Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, and is often played in Pubs, cafes, or restaurants, and other public areas presenting a soothing effect to the environment.

The Fado music contains the message of hope and the new beginning after going through the tough phase of life.

Bottom line

To wrap up, Portugal was nowhere in the past decades. But this small country with a low population was highly underrated.

In the recent past, it evolved as an ideal business hub for investors from all across the globe. The Portuguese economy is shifting to be confident and ever-growing.

Besides, Portugal is highly popular for its high quality of life and affordable access to almost every facility and even luxuries.

Nonetheless, the spectacular and mesmerizing landscapes and beauty add a lot to increasing the popularity of Portugal.

If you’re interested in living in Portugal, make sure to contact us and one of our IMC Certified Consultants will set up a free consultation meeting with you.

Read Portugal is officially a millionaire hotspot !!

The reasons why Portugal became so famous can explain a bit why so many people are moving here. However, there are many more small details that you have to experience to understand.

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Portugal

11 Reasons to Move to Portugal in 2022 from India.

2022 is a perfect time to consider a move to Portugal from India.

And why not, because Portugal is rapidly becoming one of Europe’s most popular relocation destinations.

This small Atlantic country has so much to offer, from scenic destinations like the Algarve, Silver Coast and Madeira, to generous tax breaks for remote workers and online business owners.  Not only that, but the cost of living in Portugal is one of Western Europe’s lowest.

For those who move to Portugal from India for the long-term, there’s the option to apply for Portuguese citizenship after just five years – one of the fastest timelines in the European Union.  

Having Portuguese Citizenship can bring you some awesome benefits, including more freedom of travel, better scope for tax planning, increased quality of life, and access to a safe haven.

Armed with an EU passport, you’ll benefit from freedom of movement across the entire Eurozone. That includes not just freedom of travel, but the full rights to live, work, study and retire across all countries in the EU. 

As you can see, living in Portugal as an Indian is a great idea.

Without any further ado, let’s dive in and look at 11 reasons to move to Portugal from India in 2022.  

Contents

  • 11 Reasons to Move to Portugal from USA in 2022
    • 1. Political stability 
    • 2. Affordable state healthcare 
    • 3. Safer food
    • 4. Easy residency visa pathways  
    • 5. Generous tax breaks  
    • 6. Cash out cryptocurrency tax-free
    • 7. Five years to full EU citizenship 
    • 8. Access the entire Schengen zone 
    • 9. Diverse choice of destinations 
    • 10. Tolerant and progressive  

1. Political stability 

Are you fed up with constant conflicts in India ? Both religious and political ?

If you move to Portugal from India, you can leave all of those stresses behind.   

In fact, Portugal ranks sixth among the safest countries in the world, according to the 2022 Global Peace Index.

Portuguese politics isn’t perfect. But as a foreigner in Portugal, you won’t have to deal with constant anxiety about the country’s political direction. 

What’s more, Portugal is politically stable and lacks the toxic religious battles. 

And if you’ve had enough, then a move to Portugal from India will make for a refreshing change of pace. 

2. Affordable state healthcare 

Europe has long been known for its state healthcare, and Portugal’s no exception.

When you move to Portugal from India and become a resident, you’ll be eligible to access good quality healthcare anywhere in the country – free or low cost (depending on the treatment).

All you need to do is get an SNS number to join the Portuguese healthcare system.

If you still prefer to go private (to get faster treatment), then health insurance in Portugal is very affordable.  

Also, health issues don’t get as politicized as they do in India.

Planning a move to Portugal? Book an expert consultation

3. Safer food

Thanks to EU regulations, Portugal has significantly stricter sanitary and animal welfare standards than in India.  

For example,chemical washes such as chlorine, growth hormones in animal feed, genetically modified foods that aren’t labeled and pesticides are banned in the EU. That means no chlorinated chicken or high fructose corn syrup.  

In some regions, such as Madeira, locally grown produce (such as bananas and avocados) is plentiful and low-cost. Produce that doesn’t grow in Portugal is often brought in from nearby Spain, reducing environmental costs in terms of transportation. 

4. Easy residency visa pathways  

For those who want to stay in Portugal for the long term, the two best options are the D7 visa or the Golden Visa. Let’s take a quick look at what each one involves. 

The D7 Passive Income Visa  

The first is the D7 visa, a popular choice for those retiring in Portugal. It’s often known as the ‘passive income’ or ‘retiree’ visa. But in fact, this flexible immigration pathway goes beyond just passive income or pensions.

The D7 is also a great fit for remote workers and online business owners. Portugal allows those working remotely with an overseas employer to be eligible for D7, as well as online business owners who draw their income in dividends. 

The most important factor in getting the D7 is showing proof of income. Depending on the embassy, you’ll also be asked to show proof of having enough savings in the bank to support yourself and any dependents for a period of one year.

Income levels are based on the equivalent of the Portuguese minimum wage, which at €705 per month is one of the lowest in the EU.  

The Portuguese government wants to know that D7 applicants can support themselves in Portugal without needing to ask for state funds. If you can do that, and don’t have a criminal record, then the D7 visa is easy to get. 

The initial D7 residency is valid for two years. After that, you’ll need to renew your status again for a further three years, which means showing evidence of sufficient income and savings.

Once you hit the five-year residency mark, you’ll become eligible to apply for permanent residency or citizenship.  

It’s important to note that getting residency with the D7 visa means that Portugal should be your main home.

You’ll need to become a Portugal tax resident and declare your worldwide income to Portugal every year, although you won’t necessarily have to pay tax on it. 

We’ll take a closer look at the tax implications in the next section, after looking at two other important Portugal residency visas.

The Portugal Golden Visa  

The second immigration pathway is via Portugal’s residency by investment program, known as the Portugal Golden Visa.

This gives you residency for five years, which will take you all the way to becoming eligible for permanent residency or citizenship.  

In return, the government of Portugal wants you to make a significant investment in the country.

Real estate is the most common route, but you can also go for Portugal Golden Visa investment funds.

Funds are becoming an increasingly popular way to get the Golden Visa, due to faster processing time and better overall tax efficiency when compared to real estate.

Portuguese Golden Visa funds are closely regulated by the government and they are subject to frequent audits. Funds mostly invest in variety of real estate renovation projects, along with Portuguese start-ups and later-stage tech companies.

There are also opportunities for you to get the Golden Visa through investment in Portuguese scientific research, art and heritage projects, or simply deposit €1.5 million into a Portuguese bank. However, these routes are less commonly used.

Portugal has one of Western Europe’s lowest costs of living. Hence, Golden Visa real estate investment thresholds can be quite affordable.

They range from €280,000 for rehabilitation projects in low density areas of the country to €500,000 for any sort of real estate in eligible areas of the country.

Please note – Lisbon, Porto, and some of the Algarve region are no longer eligible for Golden Visa investment in 2022.

Perhaps you want to move to Portugal from India with the Golden Visa, but can’t manage it until later this year or beyond.

In that case, the Golden Visa investment funds route is one of the quickest ways to secure a foothold in Portugal – and start your timeline to citizenship – without having to relocate.

But if real estate investment is the route for you, then you might want to consider getting the Golden Visa in Madeira as an interesting alternative to Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve.

The Portugal HQA Visa

Another investment-based route to residency is the Portugal HQA Visa (‘Highly Qualified Activity’).

This program was introduced in 2019 and is designed for entrepreneurial investors who wish to undertake a research project in Portugal.

The HQA visa program combines two key components:

  1. Setting up a business in Portugal
  2. Making an investment in high-value research and development activities at one of Portugal’s universities.

The HQA visa offers a number of key benefits over the Golden Visa:

  • Faster processing timeline. Applications are normally approved in around 30 days. This means you’ll get your residence permit in hand faster and start the clock ticking to citizenship more quickly.
  • Lower overall cost. The HQA visa requires an investment of just €175,000. That’s significantly cheaper than the lowest threshold for the Golden Visa.
  • No-risk refund policy. If your HQA Visa application fails, your entire investment will be refunded in full. That means there’s no risk whatsoever!
  • Build a flourishing start-up and establish an EU business presence. Depending on the success of your business idea, you could generate intellectual property which could be patented and become a valuable asset. Your business could make great returns for you in the future.

To discuss the Portugal Golden Visa in more detail, please contact our team.

5. Generous tax breaks  

Let’s now look at what’s on offer in terms of tax benefits when moving to Portugal.

Portugal isn’t a tax haven or even a low tax country. It uses a progressive income tax scheme with a top threshold of 48%. 

But one of the main attractions for foreigners who move to Portugal from USA is the non habitual residency (NHR) tax scheme. This name is misleading, because it’s full-time tax residents of Portugal who typically use the NHR scheme.

So, what exactly is Portugal’s NHR scheme and what does it offer? 

The NHR grants preferential tax treatment for a period of 10 years to individuals (foreigners or citizens) who haven’t been taxed as a Portuguese tax residents during the preceding five years.  

You can apply for NHR status from the moment you register as a tax resident of Portugal.

Benefits include tax exemptions from non-Portuguese sourced income in most categories, including foreign dividends, salary, real estate income and capital gains on property. 

NHR status also gives you a flat rate of 20% tax on most Portuguese-sourced income, if it comes from one of the eligible professions. 

NHR is extremely beneficial for those moving to Portugal from USA with EU citizenship as their end goal.

The NHR timeline extends far beyond the citizenship timeline, allowing you to work towards Portuguese citizenship while still benefiting from preferential tax treatment. 

6. Cash out cryptocurrency tax-free

Another big benefit of moving to Portugal is Portugal’s tax treatment of income from cryptocurrency investments.  

At present (although this is set to change eventually), Portugal doesn’t tax gains on cryptocurrency.

This applies to investments only. Day-trading would likely be classified as work and taxed accordingly. 

If you’ve made large gains on crypto in the last few years and are thinking of cashing out, a moving to Portugal from India to become a tax resident could be an interesting solution for you. 

7. Five years to full EU citizenship 

Here at My Global Citizenship, our number one goal is helping people to get second passports and residency permits. We’re firm believers in the many benefits of having a Global citizenship, which go beyond those of mere permanent residency. 

So how does Portugal measure up when it comes to getting citizenship? The answer: extremely well.  

In fact, Portugal has one of the fastest citizenship by naturalization pathways in the whole EU.

Five years is as quick as you’re going to get without having family ties to an EU country. 

What’s more, Portugal allows dual citizenship, so you can opt for another country too. Language skills are a requirement for citizenship, but Portugal’s required level is one of the lowest in the EU. 

A massive benefit of having a Portuguese passport is full freedom of movement across the EU countries, with the right to live freely, travel, access study at EU-level tuition rates, and retire anywhere you want in Europe.

Fancy spending your golden years in Greece or Italy instead of Portugal? That’s easy to do as an EU citizen. 

What’s more, if you get into trouble while traveling abroad, as a Portuguese  you’d be entitled to consular assistance from the embassy of any EU country (if Portugal isn’t represented).

But when exactly are those five years counted from? Well, the clock starts when you receive your residency permit.

That’s why it makes sense to get to that point as quickly as possible, avoiding any unnecessary hold-ups or complications.

8. Access the entire Schengen zone 

Remember that 90 days in 180 limit on travel across Europe?

Well, as a resident of Portugal, you’ll be able to reset it by going back to Portugal (instead of leaving the Schengen area altogether). 

But once you’re a Portuguese citizen, the limit gets removed completely. You can travel across Europe for as many days as you like. 

You can also move freely to any other EU country if you decide that Portugal is no longer the right fit.

9. Diverse choice of destinations 

Portugal has some stunning places to live in. Whether you’re a fan of year-round sunshine, or prefer a cooler climate, Portugal has it all.  

Madeira is a great place to opt out of winter permanently with the fabulous Madeira beaches, while Porto offers a similar climate to San Francisco.  

The Algarve region is loaded with golden sand beaches and boasts a lively international community, while cosmopolitan Lisbon has everything that a world capital should offer.  

Central Portugal has countless historical towns, such as the old university city of Coimbra, and affordable real estate investments that still have plenty of mileage for the Golden Visa in 2022 and beyond. 

10. Tolerant and progressive  

Despite its conservative Catholic heritage and recent dictatorship, Portugal has evolved into a progressive and accepting country.  

If an LGBTQ foreigner, you’re highly unlikely to experience any form of homophobic violence. People are more likely to just accept you with a relaxed indifference – considering that it’s none of their business anyway. 

That’s a good recipe for a peaceful life.

Are you considering leaving India for a new life in Europe?

Portugal’s high quality of life, low cost of living, affordable healthcare, excellent weather and high levels of safety all combine to make it a compelling destination for Indians looking for a better lifestyle.

Will 2022 be the year you finally make the move to Portugal?


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Blog

Safest Countries in the World 2022, Portugal Ranks 3rd and Canada is 6th !!

The Global Peace Index ranks the safest countries in the world. This report is published annually by the Institute for Economics and Peace, “an independent, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to shifting the world’s focus to peace as a positive, achievable and tangible measure of human well being and progress.” The report researches countries to determine which are the safest while also ranking the most dangerous.

A total of 163 countries are featured in the report. There are 23 different indicators used to determine how safe or how dangerous a country is. These factors are broken into these categories: Ongoing International Conflict, Societal Safety and Security, and Militarization. The factors used to compile this report include: the number of internal and external violent conflicts, level of distrust, political instability, potential for terrorist acts, number of homicides, and military expenditures as a percentage of GDP. Based on these factors, a score is calculated for each of the 163 nations featured in the report. The lower the score, the higher the nation is ranked in terms of safety.

A majority of the top 25 safest countries are European countries. Europe is the only continent to have not seen a decline in safety since 2009. The second-most-common region in the top 25 s Asia. Both regions have a homicide rate of about 3 per 100,000 inhabitants. Most notably are the Nordic countries of Europe. Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Iceland, and Finland are all in the top 25 safest countries, so this region is considered the safest in the world. The homicide rate in this region is 0.8 incidences per 100,000 inhabitants. These five Nordic countries are all in the top 10 happiest countries in the world as well.

Ten Safest Countries in the World

The top 10 safest countries in the world are as follows:

  1. Iceland
  2. New Zealand
  3. Portugal
  4. Austria
  5. Denmark
  6. Canada
  7. Singapore
  8. Czech Republic
  9. Japan
  10. Switzerland

1. Iceland

According to the Global Peace Index, Iceland is the safest country globally for the 13th year in a row. Iceland is a Nordic nation with a relatively small population of 340,000. Iceland has a very low level of crime attributed to its high standard of living, small population, strong social attitudes against crime, a high level of trust in their well-trained, highly educated police force, and a lack of tension between social and economic classes. Iceland does not have a military, and the police do not carry firearms with them (only extendable batons and pepper spray). Iceland also has laws in place to guarantee equality, such as legal same-sex marriage and same-sex adoptions, religious freedom, and equal pay for men and women.

2. New Zealand

New Zealand is the second-safest country in the world. Like Iceland, New Zealand has a very low crime rate, especially violent crime. Theft, however, is a common occurrence, especially for tourists. New Zealand has no deadly animals, unlike its neighbor down-under, Australia, known for having some dangerous wildlife. New Zealand’s score slightly decreased from the year before due to the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch on March 15, 2019, which killed 51 people. New Zealanders are generally open-minded and have laws in place to prevent abuse of anyone’s freedom of speech or expression. Like Iceland, police in New Zealand do not carry personal firearms.

3. Portugal

Portugal comes in third in the most peaceful countries rankings. In 2014, Portugal was ranked 18th globally and has since made huge strides to be ranked third. Unlike Iceland and New Zealand, Portugal has armed police; however, it seems that an increased police presence has resulted in a decreased crime rate in the country. In the past six years, Portugal has made an economic resurgence, decreasing its unemployment rate from over 17% to under 7%. Due in large part to its level of safety, Portugal is ranked as the best country for retirement in 2020 according to the Annual Global Retirement Index.

Get the Portugal Golden visa today.

Also read 11 Reasons to Move to Portugal in 2022 from India

4. Austria

Austria is the fourth-safest country in the world. Austria’s 2020 score increased slightly by 0.011 points from 2020 but kept its fourth-place ranking. Austria, however, saw a deterioration in the likelihood of violent demonstrations indicator after the election of Sebastian Kurz’s People Party in October of 2017. Due to the country’s political instability, social unrest has increased. Austria, otherwise, is a very safe country to visit. Serious crimes are uncommon, although people should be aware of pickpockets and purse-snatchers. Additionally, Austria has been spared any major acts of terrorism.

5. Denmark

Ranked fifth on the Global Peace Index, Denmark is one of the safest and happiest countries in the world. Denmark is one of the few countries where people report feeling safe at any time of day or night, even children. Denmark has a high level of equality and a strong sense of common responsibility for social welfare — two things that contribute to both Denmark’s safety and happiness. Corruption is rare in business or politics, as honesty and trust are top priorities in Denmark. Denmark is also a welfare state, meaning that everyone receives services and perks that help them live comfortable lives. Everyone in Denmark has access to healthcare with no additional fees to them, tuition-free education, and the elderly are provided at-home care helpers.

6. Canada

Canada is the sixth-safest country in the world according to the Global Peace Index, maintaining its position from 2019. Canada received particularly good scores for internal conflicts, levels of crime, and political stability. In addition to good job opportunities, great access to healthcare, and effective government, Canada has some of the most notoriously friendly people in the world. Canada has a crime rate that is about one-third that of its neighbor, the United States (1.6 incidents per 100,000 vs. 4.5 per 100,000 respectively). In a 2018 Gallup survey, 84% of Canadians surveyed said that they felt safe in their country.

Start your Journey to Canada PR through the Canada Startup Visa.

7. Singapore

Singapore ranks seventh on the GPI. In the same Gallup report from 2018, Singapore residents felt the highest sense of personal security and have positive experiences with law enforcement than any other country. Singapore has one of the lowest crime rates in the world, which is due to severe penalties that are issued for even small crimes. The government and police strictly control guns and other firearms, so violent and confrontational crimes are rare in Singapore. The city-state is also the second-safest city in the world according to the Safe Cities Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU). Singapore ranked first for infrastructure security and personal security, second for digital security, and eighth for health security.

8. Czech Republic

Finishing the top ten safest countries in the world is the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic climbed two spots from its 2019 ranking from ten to eight. Crime rates have steadily decreased over the years, especially violent crimes. This is despite having relatively easy access to weapons in the country. The Czech Republic also has a low impact of terrorism. The country’s fall in rankings is due to its relatively high involvement in foreign conflicts, the high ratio of the number of prisoners per capita, and security forces and police assessment.

9. Japan

The ninth-safest country in the world is Japan. Japan has been in the top ten countries in the Global Peace Index for 13 years, consistently receiving high marks for low crime rates, internal conflict, and political terror. A couple of areas of concern include Japan’s troubled relations with its neighbors and the increasing size and power of the country’s self-defense forces. Japan is known for having limited immigration and limited access to firearms. Japan does not see carrying a firearm to be an individual’s right. According to the Safe Cities Index from the Economist Intelligence Unit, Tokyo is considered the safest city in the world, ranking first in cybersecurity, second for health security, and fourth for infrastructure security and personal security.

10. Switzerland

Finishing the top ten safest countries is Switzerland, which has a score of 1.366. Switzerland ranks in the top five in the Safety and Security domain, losing one rank from 2019. Along with several other highly peaceful countries, Switzerland ranked amongst the ten highest weapons exporters per capita every year for the last five years. Fortunately, Switzerland ranks fourth globally for food security and is among the ten most peaceful countries for ongoing domestic and international conflict.

There are some commonalities among the safest countries in the world, such as their levels of wealth, social welfare, and education. Additionally, these countries have effective criminal justice systems and governments that maintain very healthy relationships with their citizens. The United States currently ranks 128th in the Global Peace Ranking. The United States’ ranking has fallen every year since 2016 and can be attributed to a decrease in life satisfaction and an increasing wealth gap. When comparing 2020’s report to the previous report released in 2019, a total of 81 countries were more peaceful than they were in the previous year. However, 80 “deteriorations” were reported, indicating that 80 countries were less peaceful in 2020 than in 2019. The average country score deteriorated by 0.34%. Europe remained the most peaceful region in the world, a position it has held for every year of the Global Peace Index.

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Canada

Canada experiencing high job demand and shortage in labour market. Now is the perfect time to move to Canada !!

CANADA

High job vacancies coupled with low unemployment make for a tight labour market in Canada.

Job vacancies in Canada climbed to 957,500 in the first quarter, the highest quarterly number on record according to Statistics Canada.

Read 7 reasons why Canada is meant for you

The number of job vacancies has spiked by more than 72% representing about 401,900 positions compared to the first quarter of 2020. Job vacancies in Q1 2022 surpassed the previous record high numbers recorded in Q4 2021 by nearly 3%, representing 24,900 more vacant positions.

The health care and social assistance sector reached another all-time high at 136,800 vacancies. Labour shortages in this sector were high before the pandemic, but COVID-19 pushed up demand even further. Compared with the first quarter of 2020, vacancies rose nearly 91% (65,100 positions) in the first quarter of 2022.

The construction sector is also seeing record high numbers of vacancies. In Q1, Canadian construction employers were seeking to fill 81,500 vacant positions. Quarter-over-quarter, the construction sector saw an increase of over 7% (5,400 positions) from Q4, 2021.

Job vacancies are continuing on an upward trend in the manufacturing and retail trade sectors. Vacancies in manufacturing peaked at 87,400 last quarter, and retail trade employers were seeking 114,600 jobs.

There was little change in professional, scientific and technical services. Employers in this sector were looking to fill 68,800 positions, little changed from the record high reached last quarter.

Accommodation and food services had about 133,800 vacant positions in Q1. Despite the large number, it had actually decreased about 12% from the previous quarter.

On a national level, the unemployment to job vacancy ratio was 1.3 in the first quarter, down from 2.2 in the same quarter of 2020. Before the pandemic. This means the pool of unemployed workers has shrunk as job vacancies continue to grow.

The unemployment to job vacancy ratio also varied across Canadian provinces. While there was less than one unemployed person for every job vacancy in Quebec and British Columbia, there were almost four unemployed people for every vacancy in Newfoundland and Labrador. A lower ratio indicates a tighter labour market and possible labour shortages.

Canadian employers are facing significant hiring challenges. In the first quarter, there were nearly 34 newly hired employees for every 100 job vacancies. By comparison, in Q1 of last year, there were about 48 new hires for every 100 vacancies, and 82 in the first quarter of 2016 when comparable data first became available.

When looking at sectors with high demand, accommodation and food services employers hired about 23 new employees for every 100 vacancies. Health care and social assistance also hired about 23. Professional, scientific and technical services employers hired about 50.

According to the Canadian Survey on Business Conditions from January 4 to February 7, recruiting skilled employees was expected to be an obstacle for nearly two-fifths of businesses, and retaining employees was expected to be an obstacle for about 30%.

With the Canada startup visa, yourself, spouse and children can move to Canada and take advantage of the high labour demand.

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Portugal

Portugal is officially a millionaire hotspot !!

Porto, Portugal cityscape on the Douro River and Dom Luis I Bridge.

Portugal is among the top ten countries in the world that attracts the most millionaires.

This year, around 88,000 millionaires are expected to move to a new country, with Portugal expected to receive 1,300 new millionaires, putting the country in sixth position in the countries that attract the most millionaires.

Also read 11 Reasons to Move to Portugal in 2022 from India

The ranking is led by the United Arab Emirates, with 4,000 millionaires expected to arrive there by the end of 2022, according to the “Henley Global Citizens Report”, carried out by Henley & Partners.

“The forecast for 2022 reflects an extremely volatile environment around the world. By the end of the year, 88,000 millionaires are expected to have moved to new countries, 22,000 fewer than in 2019, when 110,000 moved.”

The United Arab Emirates — which has become an interesting hotspot among wealthier investors — ranks first on the podium when it comes to millionaire arrivals. The expected arrival of 4,000 millionaires this year represents a 208% boom compared to the flow recorded in 2019 (1,300).

“This influx of millionaires is due, in part, to the country’s adaptable and responsive immigration policies, especially designed to attract private wealth and international talent,” explains the London-based consultant.

The podium is completed with Australia and Singapore, with an expected gain of 3,500 and 2,800 millionaires, respectively, then Israel (2,500), Switzerland (2,200), United States of America (1,500), Portugal (1,300), Greece (1,200), Canada (1,000) and New Zealand (800).

“The richest individuals are extremely mobile, and their movements can provide an early warning signal for future trends in countries. Countries that attract wealthy individuals and families tend to be robust, with low crime rates, competitive tax rates and attractive business opportunities,” explains Andrew Amoils, head of research at New World Wealth.

Despite not appearing in the top ten of the list, Henley & Partners also points out that a large number of millionaires are also expected to move to Malta, Mauritius and Monaco.

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USA

Why Indians are choosing the USA EB-5 Program as their pathway to USA Citizenship.

In recent years, the EB-5 visa has seen a rise in popularity amongst Indian nationals who wish to emigrate to America. Indian Nationals received 17% of all EB-5 visas issued in fiscal year 2020 and that number is likely to increase in the coming years especially after the pandemic and the USA EB-5 Reauthorization of March 2022. So what is the explanation for India’s recent EB-5 boom? 

1. Increasing restrictions on other visa categories

One of the unique aspects of the EB-5 program is its lack of restrictions. Immigrant investors need not worry about employment or education requirements; the EB-5 program only requires that participants invest in an American new commercial enterprise with legally sourced funds, and that their investment create full-time American jobs. When compared to the restrictions on other employment based visas it’s clear that the EB-5 program is significantly less restrictive.

2. The EB-5 program offers a faster path to Immigration

Other visa categories have a much longer timeline before an applicant can obtain a visa, such as the EB-2 Program which can take upwards of 10 years. Compare that to the EB-5 program, which currently has no backlog of Indian applicants, meaning that Indian investors can apply to receive an EB-5 visa as soon as their I-526 petition is approved.

Read Questions and Answers: USA EB-5 Visa frequently Asked Questions !!

Also Read Why you should get the USA EB-5 Visa in 2022: Benefits to Foreign Investors

3. It’s a family-sized package of green cards

Although the EB-5 program requires a minimum investment of $800,000 (provided that the investment is in a Targeted Employment Area), it includes green cards for the principal investor, their spouse and all their unmarried children under the age of twenty one. Whether an investor has one child or four or more they could all potentially qualify for a green card under the principal applicant’s petition, which makes the EB-5 visa the most efficient option to obtain green cards for your family. 

Read 10 USA Citizenship benefits to you and your family.

4. The EB-5 visa also offers more freedom once the investor is in the U.S.

The EB-5 investor is not required to live near their investment. They can purchase a home and live anywhere in the U.S. After living in the U.S., EB-5 investors and their family even qualify for in-state tuition fees.

5. Regional Centers Minimize Risk

The vast majority of immigrant investors utilize regional centers to minimize risk. Rather than creating a new commercial enterprise on their own, EB-5 investors invest in regional centers. This has several benefits, regional centers projects’ are typically located in TEAs to ensure investors only need to invest the minimum $800,000 to receive their EB-5 visa, they also have easier job creation requirements. These benefits reduce the risk involved in investing in the EB-5 Program, and trusted regional centers often boast a near perfect record of their investors receiving visas.

Think the EB-5 Program fits your goals ?. Get Started Today!

Categories
USA

Questions and Answers: USA EB-5 Visa frequently Asked Questions !!

Can an EB-5 Investment be a loan?

The capital for an EB-5 investment can be obtained through a loan from a financial institute with the investor’s assets as collateral. The collateral, however, cannot be the very EB-5 assets the EB-5 applicant invest in. An investor will also need to prove to USCIS the legal source of funds used to purchase or obtain the assets used as the collaterals for the loan.

Can I apply for EB-5 while on H1b?

An H1-b visa holder can apply for an EB-5 visa while working in the United States and remain in valid status. If the I-526 petition is approved and a visa number is available when the H-1b visa holder is legally working in the U.S., an I-485 petition can be filed to adjust the applicant’s status to become a conditional permanent resident.

Read Why Indians are choosing the USA EB-5 Program as their pathway to USA Citizenship.

Can I borrow money for EB-5?

Borrowed money can be used as part of the EB-5 investment as long as it is secured by collateral from the applicant. Gifted money could also be authenticated for the purpose of EB-5 when the donor can provide clear documentation on the source of the gifted funds.

Can I work with EB-5 visa?

An EB-5 investor is eligible to work for any U.S. employees after becoming a conditional permanent resident or obtaining work authorizations. Investors do not need to work for the regional center through which they make the investment. If investors or dependents want to work for the very EB-5 business they invest in, they should be aware that their positions may not be used to fulfill the job creation criteria.

Also Read Why you should get the USA EB-5 Visa in 2022: Benefits to Foreign Investors

Can illegal immigrants apply for EB-5?

If applicants live in the United States as undocumented immigrants, they are generally not eligible for the benefits of the EB-5 program. This is because even if their I-526s are approved, they are not able to legally adjust their status in the U.S. since they don’t have legal status in the first place. If leaving the country and proceeding with consular processing, they will first be faced with immigration bars that might prevent them from entering the country for an extended period.

Do EB-5 investors get their money back?

EB-5 investors may get the full or part of their invested money back when their immigration and investment cycles are completed. Many regional centers would include the terms and conditions of this exit procedures in the investment agreement or other documents. USCIS also requires that EB-5 investors maintain their investment “at risk” during the two years of conditional permanent residency.

Does EB-5 really work?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program was created in 1990 by Congress to incentivize foreign investment and stimulate the American job market. The program not only benefits the U.S. with inflows of foreign capitals to underdeveloped regions or areas with high unemployment rates, but also offers foreign investors access to world-class jobs, education and healthcare opportunities. For instance, 7,889 foreign investors and their family members received immigrant visas through EB-5 in FY 2019, according to the U.S. Department of State.

Also read 10 USA Citizenship benefits to you and your family.

How do I get EB-5 visa in USA?

Participating in the EB-5 program is a demanding process that requires planning and careful execution for both investors and their legal/financial representatives. The first step is to locate an EB-5 project, either through a regional center or via a direct investment opportunity. Once a project is selected, the investment is made and the required documents are prepared, an investor can file an I-526 petition to USCIS. If approval is issued and when the investor’s priority date becomes current, he or she can apply for an EB-5 visa at the U.S. consulate or file an adjustment of status petition if located in the U.S.

How does EB-5 investment work?

The amount of required investments for each EB-5 applicant varies depending on the location of the business an investor selects. If investing in a Targeted Employment Area, the investment threshold is $800,000. Project developers can use EB-5 investments as a powerful source of funds for their development projects. Existing businesses can also attract foreign investors with direct investment opportunities to scale up and create more jobs with the EB-5 capital.

How do I get my EB-5 money?

Regional centers usually have detailed terms and conditions on the return of investors’ EB-5 capital in the investment agreement or other documents. Investors need to review these documents with their EB-5 attorneys carefully to understand the exit strategies before any investment is made. Investors also need to understand that USCIS requires the EB-5 capital to be kept “at risk” during the conditional permanent residency, which means that investors can not get their EB-5 money back during this period if they want to keep their immigration benefits.

Can I get a loan for an EB-5 visa?

Generally speaking, prospective investors can take bank loans to participate in the EB-5 program. However, the loan must be secured by assets, and the collateral cannot be the very EB-5 business one invests in. Investors also need to submit to USCIS the thorough documentation on the terms and conditions of the loan.

How long does it take for EB-5 to work?

EB-5 processing times are case-specific. USCIS’ website publishes the estimated processing times of various EB-5 forms at different service centers. For an investor from a country without visa backlogs, once the I-526 is approved, he or she can either file a DS-260 and obtain an EB-5 visa to enter the U.S., or proceed with an I-485 application to adjust status while in the U.S. Upon approval, the investor can live and work without restrictions and start to enjoy the benefits of EB-5.

How long does the EB-5 process take?

The EB-5 process, which includes the processing of Forms I-526, I-485 and I-829, varies based on the workload of different USCIS service centers across the U.S. and other case-specific factors. USCIS updates its website on the estimated case processing times for each form, which can be used by investors as a general guideline. Investors coming from backlogged countries may experience longer waits.

How many EB-5 visas are issued each year?

About 10,000 visas are reserved every fiscal year for the EB-5 visa category. These visas are issued to EB-5 investors, their spouses and dependent children under 21. Each country can take up to 7.1% of the annual visa quota. Unused visas are allocated to investors from countries with high demands.

How much does an EB-5 visa cost?

In addition to the amount of investment and filing fees required by USCIS for the EB-5 program, investors may also need to pay for the legal, administrative and due diligence services associated with an EB-5 application. The required EB-5 investment is $900,000 for a project located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA) and from $1,000,000 to $1,050,000 for a project in a non-TEA. Investors must also pay the filing fees for the EB-5 forms – I-526, I-485 or DS-260, and I-829. Many investors retain an immigration attorney to help them handle the processing and filing of their applications, and some might hire taxation experts for pre-immigration tax planning and due diligence teams to conduct research on project candidates, which might incur extra costs.

How much should I invest in EB-5?

The investment criteria of the EB-5 investment vary depending on the location of the project a foreign investor selects. If a project is located in a Targeted Employment Area (TEA), the minimum investment is $800,000. For projects in non-TEAs from $1,000,000 to $1,050,000. In March 2022, there were several significant changes to TEA designations. EB-5 investors should check the TEA-eligibility of a project before initiating any EB-5 applications.

Is EB-5 Worth it?

Since its inception in 1990, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program has helped thousands of foreign investors and their families realize their American dreams. With world-class education, healthcare and social welfare, the U.S. has a lot to offer to foreign individuals who can help develop the country. Unlike other visa routes that have strict requirements on the applicants’ age, education or business background, the EB-5 program is accessible for almost every foreign investor, as long as the required investment can be proven to come from legal sources.

Is EB-5 Expired?

Established by the U.S. Congress in 1990 in an effort to stimulate foreign investment, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is a permanent visa program that has run successfully for over 30 years. The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Pilot Program, created in 1993, allowed investors to participate in the program through a regional center. Although it is not a permanent program, it has been consistently reauthorized. During the past years, there have also been strong incentives in the EB-5 legislation to make the pilot program permanent.

Is EB-5 Safe?

It is crucial for potential investors to understand that participating in the EB-5 program, by its nature, is to engage in an investment activity where gains and losses can occur. There is no guarantee for the safety of one’s capital in an EB-5 project. It is also required by USCIS that EB-5 investors need to maintain their investments “at risk” during the two-year conditional permanent residency. However, with thorough planning and due diligence, an investor can minimize their investment risks and increase the possibility of getting their investment capital back.

What happens to the money invested in EB-5?

The EB-5 capital from a foreign investor is used by a U.S. business to complete the selected project and create American jobs. It is also a common practice for regional centers to first deposit an investor’s money in an escrow account until the investor’s I-526 petition is approved by USCIS, in order to reduce the risks an EB-5 investor bears. For a direct EB-5 project, the EB-5 funds could be used to invest in inventory, equipment or other tangible properties.

What is golden visa USA?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is the American equivalence of the so-called “Golden Visa” program, which is used in many EU countries to attract foreign investment in exchange for the benefit of residency or citizenship rights. With an investment, a foreign investor, the spouse and their children under 21 years old can get U.S. green cards and potentially become U.S. citizens if other requirements are met.

What is the fastest way to get U.S. citizenship?

Although the United States provides several paths for foreign nationals to obtain citizenship, including family-based and employment-based immigration, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program is an efficient way towards U.S. permanent residency and potentially citizenship, while making a significant contribution to under-served communities and creating American jobs. The processing time of EB-5 varies on a case-by-case basis.

Who is eligible for EB-5?

To be eligible for the EB-5 program, investors need to be able to make the required investment in a U.S. business and create jobs. Potential investors must also be able to prove the legal source of funds for their investment to qualify. Unlike investment immigration programs from some other countries that have strict criteria on the applicants’ net worth, the EB-5 program does not impose such requirements on applicants. Investors also don’t need to show that they are accredited investors, as demanded by SEC for other types of securities offerings.

What is a “targeted employment area”?

A targeted employment area (TEA) is a rural area or a location with a high rate of unemployment. EB-5 investors who make their investment in a TEA can enjoy the reduced investment threshold. However, not all rural areas or regions of high unemployment qualify as a targeted employment area in the EB-5 field. The designation of a TEA is adjudicated as part of an investor’s I-526 petition. An investor must, in his or her petition, demonstrate that the location of the project meets the requirements of TEA.

What is included in calculating the investment amount?

In addition to the required investment amount in an EB-5 project, investors are also responsible to pay the filing fees of Form I-526, Form I-485 or DS-160, and Form I-829. Many investors also choose to retain services from legal, taxation and other professional teams during this process. For investors investing through a regional center, administration fees may also occur.

Must the entire amount of investment be made at the time of applying for the EB-5 Visa?

It is highly advisable that investors make the entire amount of investment required by the EB-5 program and keep full documentation on the source of funds at the time of filing an I-526 application. Insufficient investment or incomplete documentation may cause RFEs or denials from USCIS, which could be detrimental to an investor’s case.

Are there restrictions on the types of businesses in which the investment must be made?

Any lawful for-profit businesses, no matter which industry it is in or how it is structured, can be an EB-5 project. Some of the popular types of businesses include real estate, restaurants, medical facilities and infrastructure. The EB-5 business can be structured as a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a holding company, a joint venture, a corporation, an LLC or other types of entities. Nonprofit organizations don’t qualify for EB-5.

What are the job creation and investment requirements, and do I need to create them myself for the EB-5 Visa Program? How do jobs qualify for projects that are already under construction?

The EB-5 program requires investors to create 10 full-time positions for permanent residents and citizens of the U.S. For regional center projects, both direct and indirect jobs can be used to fulfill the requirements on job creation, and investors working with a regional center are usually less involved in the job creation process, as the regional center would take the majority of such responsibilities. For investors in a direct EB-5 investment who are actively engaged in the daily operation of the EB-5 business, the fulfillment of the job creation criteria can be a challenge. Investors who participate in a project already under construction must pay special attention in demonstrating to USCIS the connection of their investment with the jobs created. This can sometimes be questionable as different projects allocate the jobs created to investors in different orders. Investors should consult with a qualified immigration attorney before any investment is made.

Can I invest in a troubled or failing business where the investment results in saving the business?

It is possible to invest in a troubled or failing business for the purpose of EB-5, saving the business, keeping the existing jobs and creating new jobs. Investors who are interested in this route of investment needs to first identify an investment target that meets USCIS’ definition of “troubled businesses.” Investors also need to be able to provide adequate documents and financial information of the business to USCIS. Also, due to its “troubled” nature, investors in such investments may be exposed to higher financial risks that might endanger their investment benefits.

May two or more investors qualify for immigration based on a pooled investment in a single business?

It is possible for two or more investors to participate in the EB-5 program and enjoy immigration benefits based on a pooled investment. This requires careful planning and proper structuring of the job-creating enterprise. Each participant in the money pool needs to meet the investment threshold, and the allocation of jobs created by the enterprise needs to be strategically planned to ensure that each participant can meet the job-creating requirements. It is highly advisable that investors interested in this investment route discuss with immigration, corporate and securities attorneys before any investment is made.

Are the investors free to travel after obtaining conditional permanent resident status?

Conditional permanent residents, like all other permanent residents, are free to travel in and out of the United States. However, to keep one’s status, an EB-5 investor needs to pay attention to the physical presence requirements imposed on all green card holders. If an investor needs to be out of the U.S. for an extended period of time, it is of great importance that he or she applies for the necessary travel documents in advance to avoid any issues when trying to enter the country again as a permanent resident.

Is the immigration status granted to the investor valid indefinitely?

Once investors’ I-526 applications are approved, they obtain the status of “conditional” permanent resident, which is valid for two years. If all other requirements are met, they can then file I-829 applications at the end of their conditional permanent residency to remove the conditions. Upon approval, investors are granted 10-year green cards that can be renewed indefinitely as long as other requirements imposed on permanent residents are met.

What documents must be filed with the petition?

Although every case is unique and various supporting documents can be submitted to validify the case, generally speaking, an I-526 petition package must include the proof that the required amount of investment has been made by the investor in an EB-5 eligible project and the project has received or will receive the investment. USCIS is also looking for documents with a detailed description of how the investment funds were obtained by the investor through legal means. Investors also need to include a business plan in the application packages, explaining how the required jobs will be created by the money they invested.

What documentation must be presented to prove that the investor’s funds came from a lawful source?

Documents that can be used to prove the legal source of funds for an EB-5 application include tax return documents, pay stubs, bank statements, trading/bonds/stocks and other securities statements. If the principal petitioner obtains the investment funds as a gift from parents or other relatives, a legal declaration and documents to demonstrate the legal source of funds from the donors are also needed.

What is the procedure for an investor to qualify as an immigrant based on the investment?

To obtain U.S. permanent residency through the EB-5 program, an investor needs to first locate a qualified EB-5 project and retain legal, tax and other necessary professionals. After due diligence is completed, the investor can start working on transferring the required amount of funds to the selected EB-5 project, while his or her immigration attorneys prepare and files an I-526 petition on the investor’s behalf. Upon I-526 approval, the investor becomes a conditional permanent resident of the U.S., either by filing an I-485 application to USCIS or a DS-260 to the U.S. consulate abroad. If the job-creating requirements are fulfilled, the investor can file an I-829 petition to USCIS at the end of his or her two-year conditional permanent residency. If approved, the investor becomes a permanent resident.

How many eb-5 visas are available every year?

Every fiscal year, about 10,000 visas are reserved for the EB-5 visa category, which are granted to EB-5 investors, their spouses and dependent children. Each country is allocated approximately 700 visas every year, while unused visas are distributed to investors from countries with high demands.

Is there an eb-5 visa waiting list?

About 10,000 visas are reserved every fiscal year for the EB-5 visa category and each country can take up to 7.1% of the annual visa quota. Because of this country limit, investors from countries where EB-5 visas are oversubscribed may encounter extended waiting time before visa numbers are available for them. Currently, only investors from mainland China and Vietnam are experiencing such visa backlogs.

Should I hire an immigration attorney to help me with EB-5?

Investors need to understand that EB-5 is a complex process that requires professional knowledge and expertise in U.S. immigration, securities, investment, taxation, among others. Any unadvised decisions may damage one’s immigration benefits. An immigration attorney not only helps the investor navigate the complexity of EB-5, but can also provide significant advice on other aspects of U.S. immigration, including travel, study and employment, to avoid accidental violation of U.S. immigration regulations that might endanger one’s EB-5 application.

Am I required to speak English to obtain a green card through the EB-5 program?

Unlike some investment immigration programs offered by other countries that impose strict criteria on the applicants’ language skills, business background and education, the EB-5 program does not require investors to speak English. However, investors need to make sure that they understand all the documents related to their EB-5 investment. This can be done by hiring a qualified translator. When attending the EB-5 visa interview at the U.S. consulate, investors may bring an interpreter to answer the questions from the consulate officers.

Am I required to be in good health to obtain a green card through the EB-5 program?

Certain health-related grounds could impact one’s admissibility in entering the United States. All non immigrants and immigrants, including EB-5 visa holders, are subject to these inadmissibility grounds. Prospective investors can find detailed descriptions of medical conditions that impact admissibility on USCIS’ website. EB-5 investors are also required to provide medical exam reports when applying for EB-5 visas at U.S. consulates abroad.

Are my family members eligible to qualify for an EB-5 visa?

Certain family members are eligible to enjoy the immigration benefits of EB-5 as the principal applicant’s dependent. Qualified family members include the investor’s spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old. Parents, grand parents and siblings of the investor cannot be included in the EB-5 application.

Can my adopted children qualify for an EB-5 visa?

The eligibility of adopted children as an EB-5 beneficiary depends on the age of the children when the application is filed, the age of the children when the adoption takes legal effect, the country of origin of the adopted children, among other factors. Investors with adopted children need to consult with a qualified attorney before starting the EB-5 process.

Can I apply for an EB-5 visa if I have been rejected or terminated in the past by USCIS for an L1, E2, B or other visas?

The EB-5 eligibility of a prospective investor with a history of other types of visa denials depends on the reasons and grounds for the visa rejection. Generally speaking, a criminal history, past violation of U.S. immigration, fraudulent statements and grounds of inadmissibility could negatively impact the application success of all types of U.S. visas. It is advisable that investors fully disclose their previous visa denials to their immigration attorneys to determine the eligibility for EB-5.

What are the cost benefits of attending a U.S. university and is my child eligible for lower tuition rates under the EB-5 visa program?

To many foreign investors, attending a U.S. university means access to a world-class education, a strong employment market and a bright future for their children. Generally speaking, once an EB-5 investor and their families obtain conditional green cards, they are considered permanent residents of the U.S. and can enjoy benefits correspondingly. Rules for resident and nonresident tuition and fees vary depending on the states where investors reside and the types of universities of the investors’ choice.

What is a regional center?

An EB-5 regional center is an USCIS-designated organization, sponsoring capital investment from foreign investors to projects that fall under the USCIS-approved locations and industries. Participating in the EB-5 program through a regional center lightens the burden of job creation, in that both direct and indirect jobs can be counted to meet the job-creating requirement of EB-5. Regional centers can also help investors attend to the day-to-day operation of the new commercial enterprise and still ensure that investors have sufficient involvement in the EB-5 business to qualify for the program.

How can I find information on approved regional centers?

Investors can refer to USCIS’ website, where a list of designated regional centers in each state in the United States is published and updated regularly. The majority of regional centers would provide information on their completed projects, current offerings and track record on their own website.

How are EB-5 investments affiliated with regional centers structured?

There are different ways that EB-5 investments can be positioned in the capital stack of a project affiliated with a regional center. And there are no rules on the ratio of EB-5 capital versus other types of financing. In the most desirable situation for investors, EB-5 loans are placed at the top of the capital stack with an appropriate portion comparing with funds from other financing.

Are EB-5 regional center financing options cheaper for companies than other sources of capital?

Since the top priority for the majority of EB-5 investors is to obtain immigration benefits and preserve the invested capital, there is usually no high expectations on the return of investment for EB-5 loans. In many cases, using EB-5 funding as a source to sponsor a project is cheaper than traditional financing and other alternatives, where high interest rates are imposed and high returns are expected.

What risks do investors face in EB-5 regional center investments?

Participating in the EB-5 program is engaging in an investment activity, where gains and losses can occur. There is no guarantee for the safety of one’s capital in an EB-5 project. It is also required by USCIS that EB-5 investors need to maintain their investments “at risk” during the two-year conditional permanent residency. However, with meticulous planning and thorough due diligence, an investor can minimize their investment risks and increase the possibility of getting their investment capital back.

What risk do companies have in accepting EB-5 investments?

Companies accepting EB-5 investments must follow rules and requirements of EB-5 to protect the immigration benefits of their foreign investors. For instance, the money taken from investors must be used to create enough jobs; the type of positions created must fulfill USCIS’ requirements; the jobs need to be maintained during the conditional permanent residency of EB-5 investors. Business owners should consult with qualified immigration and securities attorneys before accepting any EB-5 financing.

What kind of background information is USCIS concerned with?

USCIS may look into investors’ criminal records and health-related grounds for inadmissibility. Investors will also be checked against the national security databases and databases related to money laundering or financial crimes.

When do I choose an EB-5 project and sign documents?

There are many factors to consider when it comes to selecting an EB-5 projects, and thorough due diligence on the track history, reputation and credibility of the regional center and other project sponsors is essential before any investment is made. When investors feel confident that they have put their money and the future of their families in good hands, investors should review all the documents with the help of their immigration attorneys to make sure there is no confusion or omission on the details of some significant aspects, including the EB-5 timeline and exiting strategies.

When do I prepare the I-526 petition / conditional green card application?

The preparation of the I-526 petition is usually done with the help of an immigration attorney and the sponsors of an EB-5 project. Investors need to submit documents on their personal information, as well as proof of the legal source of funds used for the investment. It is recommended that the preparation starts as early as possible to allow enough time for collecting necessary documents. Once an I-526 petition is approved and if the investor’s priority date is current, he or she can either file an I-485 application to USCIS and adjust the status, or file an DS-260 petition to apply for a visa at U.S. consulates overseas.

When do I receive my conditional green card after applying for EB-5?

Upon the approval of an I-526 petition, and if a visa number is available, the investor can either file an I-485 application to USCIS and adjust his or her status, or file and DS-260 petition to apply for a visa at U.S. consulates overseas. Investors will then become conditional permanent residents and receive their two-year green cards. Investors coming from backlogged countries may experience longer waits after the approval of I-526s.

When do I receive my permanent green card after applying for EB-5?

Ninety days before the second anniversary of one’s conditional permanent residency, an investor can start filing an I-829 application to USCIS to remove the condition on his or her green card. The submitted documents must prove that the job creation requirements have been fulfilled. Upon approval, the investor will be granted a permanent green card that is valid for 10 years and can be renewed indefinitely if other requirements are met.

Can my permanent green card be taken away? How do I keep my permanent green card after I receive it?

Just like permanent residents of the United State who receive their status through other means, EB-5 investors, after becoming a green card holder, are subject to the physical presence requirements. If an investors needs to be out of the U.S. for an extended period of time, it is of great importance that he or she applies for the necessary travel documents in advance to avoid any issues when trying to enter the country again as a permanent resident.

How much time must I spend in the U.S. each year to keep my permanent residency?

The physical presence requirements on green card holders depend on many factors. Generally, a permanent resident should not be absent from the United States for more than six months per year. Otherwise, his or her status might be deemed abandoned. It is also advisable for an investor to keep genuine ties with the United States, including having a valid driver’s license, keeping a U.S. mailing address, etc. If an investor with a green card needs to be out of the U.S. for an extended period of time, it is of great importance that he or she applies for the necessary travel documents (re-entry permit) in advance to avoid any issues when trying to enter the country again as a permanent resident.

What is the difference between permanent residency and citizenship?

An EB-5 investor becomes a permanent resident of the United States when the I-829 petition is approved by USCIS. Then he or she is eligible to travel, live, study and work freely in the U.S. Although permanent residents can enjoy many benefits as U.S. citizens, they do not hold U.S. passports. Their rights are also limited when it comes to voting, running for public offices, and applying for federal employment. EB-5 investors become eligible to apply for naturalization after obtaining and successfully keeping their green cards for five years.

Am I entitled to keep my citizenship from my country of origin?

The U.S. doesn’t require its citizens to renounce other citizenship when applying for citizenship. An EB-5 investor is eligible to apply for naturalization after obtaining and maintaining permanent residency for five years, without having to abandon the citizenship of his or her country of origin. However, some countries don’t allow dual citizenship for their citizens. Investors need to check the relevant regulations of their countries of origin before applying for citizenship of the U.S.

What is meant by the requirement that the investors’ assets must be “lawfully gained”?

The investors’ funds used for their EB-5 applications could come from a large variety of sources, including employment earnings and bonuses, sales of business assets, inheritance, gifts, stocks, home equity loans, loans from financial institutions secured by investors’ assets. Funds from the above-mentioned sources could all be deemed “lawfully gained” as long as investors can provide adequate and convincing documentation. The demonstration of the legal source of funds is a challenging task and needs strategic planning. Investors should consult with their immigration attorneys to work out a suitable strategy.

Can money gifted by a parent or other relative be used for an EB-5 investment?

Gifted money from parents or other relatives could be authenticated for the purpose of EB-5. Investors must provide a legal statement to declare the donor relationship. The donor will also need to provide clear documentation on the source of the gifted funds. 

Would my global income and assets be taxable in both my country of origin and in the United States?

The United States requires its residents to report taxes on their global earnings. EB-5 investors usually become liable to U.S. taxes after receiving their conditional green cards, and thus will be taxed for incomes earned domestically and abroad. There are tax treaties between the U.S. and other countries that, if used appropriately, could help investors avoid dual taxation or reduce tax liabilities. It is important for EB-5 investors to consult with tax professionals and conduct effective pre-immigration tax planning.

Categories
USA

Why the USA EB5 Program is worth it. 10 USA Citizenship benefits to you and your family.

We work to promote the importance of acquiring a new citizenship and today we highlight the value of the USA Citizenship to all investors considering the USA EB5 Visa by Investment program alongside their families. 

Read Why Indians are choosing the USA EB-5 Program as their pathway to USA Citizenship.

Also Read Why you should get the USA EB-5 Visa in 2022: Benefits to Foreign Investors

  1. Right to Vote: U.S. citizens have the civic duty and privilege to participate in democratic elections and vote for their candidate of choice in local, state and federal elections.
  2. Sponsor Family Members: As a U.S. citizen you can sponsor family members, including parents, children, spouses and siblings, living abroad for their green card.
  3. Citizenship for Children: In most cases, children under the age of 18 born outside the country can derive U.S. citizenship from their U.S. Citizen parents. 
  4. Federal and state employment: U.S. citizens can seek federal and state employment across a wide range of government departments. Many Federal jobs and benefits are only granted to U.S. citizens.
  5. Financial Aid: If you are a U.S. citizen and a college student in need of financial support, there are financial grants and college scholarships available for you.
  6. Apply for U.S. passport: U.S. passports are granted only to U.S. citizens ensuring assistance by U.S. Embassies or Consulates when traveling abroad. This passport also comes with Visa access to over 180 countries.
  7. Become an elected official: U.S citizens can choose to run and hold positions in public office.
  8. Keep Citizenship of Another Country: A naturalized citizen can maintain dual citizenship.
  9. Participate in a Federal jury: U.S. citizens are chosen at random to participate in a federal jury to help determine the guilt or innocence of an accused.
  10. Seek government benefits: Only U.S. citizens may qualify for certain government benefits.

Read Questions and Answers: USA EB-5 Visa frequently Asked Questions

Categories
USA

Why you should get the USA EB-5 Visa in 2022: Benefits to Foreign Investors

For foreign nationals with the necessary capital, the EB-5 program can be an excellent way to obtain permanent resident status in the United States. Unlike other immigrant visa options, the EB-5 visa requires no U.S. employer to act as a sponsor, nor does it require any specialized knowledge, skills, or experience. Further, the EB-5 program is not limited to foreign nationals from specific treaty nations.

Upon making a qualifying investment and receiving approval from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), an EB-5 investor, his or her spouse, and any unmarried children under age 21 will be granted conditional permanent residence. Two years later, if the investment has proven to meet the program’s requirements, the investor and his or her family will have the conditions removed from their residency status. Five years after first receiving conditional permanent resident status, they can become naturalized citizens.

Read Why Indians are choosing the USA EB-5 Program as their pathway to USA Citizenship.

Also read 10 USA Citizenship benefits to you and your family.

EB-5 Visa Benefits for the Foreign Investor

The direct benefits of the EB-5 visa for foreign investors include the following:

  • One of the fastest methods to gain permanent residency in the United States for the investor, his/her spouse, and unmarried children under 21 years of age
  • Freedom to live and work anywhere in the United States, without restriction, including in states such as Florida and Texas with no state income tax
  • Education benefits such as access to public elementary, middle, and high schools and lower-cost in-state tuition at public colleges and universities
  • No visa sponsor requirements
  • No H-1B work visa needed for employment
  • Investment must be “at risk” but can be secured by collateral in a real estate project to minimize downside risk; We focus on projects with structural downside protection
  • In the event of a political change/significant event in the investor’s home country, he/she and family can immediately gain entry to the United States without delay
  • Potential for U.S. citizenship after minimum five years of established permanent residency in the United States

Also read Questions and Answers: USA EB-5 Visa frequently Asked Questions !!

If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of an EB-5 visa or the EB-5 program generally, please contact us.

Categories
Portugal

Portugal Golden Visa getting cancelled. What this will mean for Indian Investors.

Recently, news have been making rounds about the Golden Visa programs getting cancelled and EU countries stopping their Immigration by Investment programs. While this is true for Latvia, it is false for Portugal and other countries like Greece.

The only suspension in the Portugal Golden Visa is in regards the ability to apply to the program by purchasing residential property located in urban areas such as Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve. Also most investment options have become more expensive.

Read Portugal is officially a millionaire hotspot !!

Portugal Golden Visa new rules don’t affect other investment options. You can still apply for a Golden Visa via all other investment routes such as the Portugal investment fund for example.

The Portugal Golden Visa changes in 2022 regard real estate and capital transfer investment options. Since January 2022, applicants are be blocked from buying residential property in Lisbon, Porto and the Algarve as well as in coastal areas like Setubal and the Silver Coast. Capital transfer amount requirement have increased from €1 million to €1,5 million. Requirements for Investment Fund, investment in Research and investment into an existing Portugal-registered business have increased from €350,000 to €500,000.

Read Portugal’s Golden Visa is going nowhere. Government rejects ending golden visas.

Also read Frequently Asked Questions on the Portugal Golden Visa

Real estate changes

  • Investors aren’t able to invest in residential property in popular urban areas such as Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, as well as coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast.
  • Applicants can only buy residential real estate in designated interior areas of Portugal worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project. If the residential property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
  • Investors can purchase commercial real estate anywhere in the country worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a commercial rehabilitation project. If the commercial property is located in a designated ‘low-density’ area, then a 20% discount applies.
  • Investors can buy residential and commercial real estate anywhere in Portugal’s autonomous islands of Madeira and Azores, worth at least €500,000 or €350,000 if investing in a rehabilitation project.

Capital transfers changes

  • Capital transfer amount requirement has increased from €1 million to €1,5 million.
  • Investment Fund minimum subscription requirement has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
  • Investment in scientific research has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
  • Investment into an existing Portugal-registered business has increased from €350,000 to €500,000
  • Arts donation of €250,000 stays the same.

It’s important to note the difference between interior areas and low-density areas. Check out the map below explaining the differences.

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What Should Investors Expect From Portugal Golden Visa Changes 2022

While stakeholders have vocalized opposition against the changes, they’re not necessarily seen as ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Rather, the Portugal Golden Visa changes are designed to drive investment in Portugal’s interior areas, relieving pressure from metropolitan locations and encouraging foreign investment into other areas of the country.

Since 1 January 2022, investors can no longer buy residential properties in popular urban areas of the country like Lisbon, Porto, and the Algarve, as well as in coastal towns like Setubal and the Silver Coast.

Some experts predict that alternative investment routes to Portuguese residency will become more popular, namely the investment fund option.

What Has Not Changed?

The following Golden Visa investment options have not changed:

  • To kickstart a company in Portugal and employ at least ten new local employees
  • €250,000 contribution in arts

In a nutshell, if you submitted your golden visa application in late 2021, you would have been grandfathered into the current legislation. This includes future renewals of your status.

Property sector to be affected by Portugal Golden Visa new rules

There was hope that the Portugal Golden Visa suspended changes would not go ahead as professionals from the property sector have expressed concerns that the changes could harm the property market. However, the Golden Visa new rules are going to help boost low-density areas and balance out the property market.

Fantastic Portugal Golden Visa low-density areas with high growth potential such as the Douro Valley, Aljezur, and Peneda Gerês provide excellent property locations for investors and their families. For only €280K, individuals can invest in low-density areas renovation projects and become eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa Program.

Will the Portugal Golden Visa changes impact existing investment in Porto and Lisbon?

If you are in the process of purchasing a property in a thriving urban area you will not be impacted by the Portugal Golden Visa updates. However, if you are interested in purchasing a property in Lisbon, Porto, or parts of the Algarve, you can only only buy commercial property, not residential.

Other Golden Visa investment routes will not be impacted by the visa updates and remain available. If you are not particularly interested in investing in real estate, the Portugal investment fund golden visa is a very attractive investment route. For a minimum investment of €500,000, you can become a Portuguese resident with the fund investment Portugal.

Portugal digitalizes Golden Visa applications

All documents are to be submitted digitally, including the issuance of the Portuguese Individual Tax Number. The change will help reduce bureaucracy and create a faster application process.

Portugal Golden Visa timeline graph

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Portugal Golden Visa brief history

Launched in 2012, the Portugal Golden Visa program is one of the most popular residency by investment schemes in Europe. The scheme allows investors and their families to obtain residency permits in exchange for a qualifying investment. Since its launch, the Portugal Golden Visa has been a true success with 9,389 investors and 16050 family members benefiting from the program.

Portugal Golden Visa statistics show that as of 2018, Portugal is positioned 3rd in the world in terms of top residency-by-investment programs — second only to Spain and Quebec. The reasons for the program’s success are multiple. Portugal ranks first as the best country in Europe for expats due to its great quality of life, excellent weather, and freedom.

In addition, the program offers several attractive investment routes suiting various investment goals — such as purchasing real estate, investing in venture capital, research, or an existing business.

Read The Portugal Golden Visa: All you need to know in 2022.

How can we help you?

As professionals dedicated to assisting you in acquiring the Portugal Golden Visa, My Global Citizenship will continue to closely monitor Portugal Golden Visa changes as they unfold and keep you updated on the matter.

In the meantime, you can always stay updated about Portugal’s immigration latest updates by visiting the Portugal Immigration Agency’s website (SEF).

With a 100% success rate when it comes to Golden Visa applications, we can ensure that you find the right investment for your requirements. Contact us today.