It is an established fact that wealthy countries welcome only wealthy citizens. Basically you have to invest a huge amount of money in a local economy for getting a favour to put down roots there. For example, “roots” in Antigua and Barbuda will cost you (according to their citizen-by-investment programme in 2013) $400,000 invested in real estate or $200,000 donated on charity. Similar programmes work in Netherlands, Spain, St. Kitts and Nevis, Malta, Cyprus, Grenada, Dominic and many other countries. The cost varies from nation to nation ($2 million in Malta or $100,000 in Dominica), but the issue is what kind of opportunities you get for your money.
Some Asian countries increasingly attract “citizens” by their rising standards of life, quality and safety of running business. Growing economies of Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore offer mind-blowing business opportunities and decent level of life. This triangle is a perfect tax haven and winning trade hub with market running into billions of buyers at hand. However, in order to get their benefits you must betray your own native citizenship. Permanent residency is still a fantastic option to consider!
When it comes to Hong Kong, buying citizenship seems impossible. Firstly because Hong Kong citizenship means Chinese citizenship, but as China doesn’t recognize dual citizenship, you will need to renounce your own one. And secondly because this procedure is complicated and isn’t worth all money you will need to spend on it. Getting permanent residence (PR) seems more real, but it is possible only after living 7 consecutive years in Hong Kong. Citizenship-by-investment will cost you HK$ 10 million ($1.2 million). But unfortunately this programme doesn’t allow acquiring citizenship through investment in real estate.
In Malaysia and Singapore dual citizenship is treated as criminal, that’s why PR residence is the only option here for people who respect their own native citizenship. Malaysia offers amazing nature, diverse culture, low cost of life, decent infrastructure and health care within its programme “Malaysia My Second Home” (MM2H). The programme is a sort of a PR with 10-year multiple-entry visa, opportunity of part-time employment and even starting your own business, bringing your family to Malaysia (upon certain terms) and freedom from Malaysian taxes for your foreign-source income. To get qualified for the program you need to prove your liquid assets of at least RM500,000 (about $142,000). However, this program ties your hands if you pursue professional realization.
Compared to Hong Kong and Malaysia, Singapore offers the most winning conditions of life, business and obtaining Permanent residence. If you pursue professional fulfillment and far-reaching business plans, Singapore is the right place to put down roots. Not only offers it high-end infrastructure and health care, high standard of life, and warm cultural surroundings, but also Singapore strikes by its outstanding business opportunities:
- absence of capital gains, dividend, estate, death or inheritance taxes
- the lowest personal income tax in the South-Pacific area ranging from 0% to 20%
- warm attitude to foreign talents
- best labour force in the world
- the least corruption in the region
- comfortable scheme of incorporation and many other benefits.
World Bank rated Singapore as number-one country in the world for easiness in setting up and doing business.
The terms of getting PR in Singapore are utterly feasible, affordable and far-seeing. According to One Visa immigration expert Cheng King Heng whose company has brought hundreds of foreign talents “home” to Singapore, there are 2 ways of obtaining Singapore Permanent Residency:
- through working on Employment Pass (EP) for at least 6 months. If you are a foreign professional, technical or skilled worker with fixed monthly salary ranging from S$3,300 to S$8,000 and higher you can apply for EP and then strategize your application for PR after 6 months;
- through investing at least S$2.5 million in Singapore economy within Global Investor Program Scheme. Investing within this scheme allows foreigners to apply for PR immediately.
On Mr. Heng’s opinion, both methods are hardly accomplishable without involving professional visa agents because of red-tape common for visa matters. Crowds of foreigners storm the Singapore border, and the competition increases day by day. Investment or Employment Pass visa battles can be won only by elaborate approach and expert advice.
The opportunities Singapore offer are unparalleled and make this country’s pass one of the most asked-for in the world. At least you know the money you have invested will bring you more than just citizenship. They will bring you new tremendous business perspectives and gains.