Citizenship by investment (“jus pecuniae”) and residence by investment programs (“golden visas”) have seen big growths in recent years. Jus pecuniae means acquiring citizenship against financial contribution. But citizenship for many immigrants, comes at a significant financial cost. Investment based citizenship/residency programs may or may not require the applicant to reside in the country prior to naturalization. There are mainly two routes, that lead to citizenship under investment option, one through naturalizing with residency and other without residency leading to direct citizenship with a passport. The number of countries offering such schemes based on economic investment have increased, fueling global demand for passports and visas.
- USD 1,000,000 (business venture capital)
- Residency by investment (given PR status)
- Qualifying investments (business venture)
- Offshore tax haven with bank secrecy laws famous for company incorporation’s.
- Seychelles Citizenship after 11 years of living.
- Spouse and minor children can apply for PR.
Getting a Passport in Seychelles
Seychelles is a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean. Due to its beautiful beaches and casinos, as well as its opportunities for ocean sailing, snorkeling, fishing, and diving, Seychelles is an exceptionally popular location for vacations and honeymoons. Investors seeking to relocate to an island would be hard pressed to find a more beautiful place.
Seychelles is one of the few nations that does not require a visa for entry. Instead, all arriving foreign nationals must possess a valid passport or other travel authorization document. Upon arrival, the foreign national will be given a Seychelles visitor’s permit as long as the foreign national has sufficient funds for the planned duration of the stay and a valid return ticket. The permit is initially valid for one month and can be extended in three-month increments to a limit of one year.
Permanent Residence for Investors
There are two permanent resident options available for investors. Type 1 requires the investor to invest $1,000,000USD or more in a business physically located in Seychelles and to have resided in Seychelles for at least one year. Type 2 also requires an investment of at least $1,000,000USD but also at least 5 years of business association as a result of the investment (there is no residency requirement for the Type 2 option).
Citizenship for Investors
After obtaining permanent residence (and therefore investing the required $1,000,000USD) the investor is eligible for Seychelles citizenship after residing in the country for an aggregate period of 11 years. Additionally, the investor must not have been absent from Seychelles for a period exceeding one year unless the investor previously obtained permission from the Seychelles government for the absence. Moreover, the investor must have a clean criminal record and pass the nation’s citizenship exam.
Benefits of Seychelles Citizenship
Obtaining Seychelles citizenship entitles the investor to work, live, and travel in the country without restriction, as well as the added benefits of receiving social security payments, free healthcare, a state-funded pension, and the ability to vote in Seychelles elections.
The government of the Seychelles welcomes foreigners and offers the residency permits for them if they in the economic development of the country.
If foreign citizens purchase real estates like villas, penthouses, apartments or maisons in the Seychelles islands, they qualify naturally for the residence permit. The applicant can obtain the Seychelles residency permit up to six person with spouse and children.
It is good to know that the real estate prices in the Seychelles are high and start from USD400,000. The estimated cost of villas is (minimum) 600,000 and the price of maisons start around USD1 million.
The already granted residency permit is valid for five years, after the time limit must be renewed by paying the application fee of approximately USD12,500.
The Seychelles Islands are still a financial offshore paradise, but buying shares and banking is not so anonymous as before. However, there is no inheritance tax, no capital gains tax and no individual income tax. Also, if you have a business that is classified as non-resident and does not source its income from the islands, no taxes are payable. Onshore income that the resident creates from business within the islands, there is a progressive tax rate of 0-33 percent.
It is good to know that holder of a Seychelles residency permit must reside in the islands for at least five days during each year of the term of the permit. If the holder of the Seychelles residency permit lives more than one month per year there, must keep at least Sr20,000 deposit with a local bank. The resident lives in the Seychelles, also have to prove that he/she has brought for personal use not less that Sr100,000.
The Seychelles does not have citizenship for investment program anymore. It existed some years ago, but only for a short period of time and then was cancelled. If the resident lives in the country for 5 years, he/she can apply for the citizenship and the Seychelles passport.