Money doesn’t just take you on luxury getaways to Turkey and Spain; it can get you official residency, too.
If you’re a traveler, you probably know your Philippine passport can’t take you to many places without a visa. While you can easily take a trip to Hong Kong, Indonesia, Thailand, and Vietnam (in normal circumstances), you’ll need to go through tedious and expensive visa applications to enter the majority of places in the world.
In ranking the world’s most powerful passports by Henly & Partners, the Philippine passport has been ranked on the bottom half of the list for years. So it’s no surprise that we’re ranked in 76th place with only 66 visa-free destinations this year. In comparison, our Asian neighbors like Japan and Singapore rank in first and second place with 193 and 192 visa-free destinations, respectively.
Henly & Partners is an international residence and planning firm that guides wealthy individuals and their families to attain additional citizenship. This has become an interesting pursuit for many well-to-do parties who do not want to go through the hassles of Visa requirements when traveling, and have added privileges such as owning property.
Expectedly, the firm collaborates with governments worldwide to offer high-net-worth people the opportunity to enhance their travel and freedom for a more global future.
With a substantial amount of investments, here are six countries that offer you citizenship that grants you their powerful travel rights. Consider these countries if you want a more unrestricted movement to live and experience the world without giving up your Filipino nationality.
Italy (minimum capital of €250,000)
Gain access to live, work, and study in the culture-rich nation when investing in Italian government bonds or innovative start-ups. But suppose you’d instead like to just shell out funds. In that case, you can donate a minimum of one million euros to the Italian government, which the country will use for its immigration management, research and development, and education programs.
Once granted, your visa will be valid for two years, and you can renew it for a further three-year period, but you must maintain your initial investment.
Montenegro (minimum capital of €350,000)
A minimum investment of €250,000 in northern or central Montenegro can apply for citizenship-by-investment in the mountainous country. In addition, government fees of €100,000 are needed to process your application; the payment is considered a donation used to advance underdeveloped areas.
An approved application will grant you the right to also live in Europe’s Schengen countries like Belgium, Germany, France, and Italy. In addition, you’ll have access to 124 visa-free and visa-on-arrival destinations.
Turkey (minimum capital of US$250,000)
With citizenship, you also have free movement to Hong Kong and Singapore, which we already have, but also Japan. In addition, you can use the $250,000 to acquire real estate in the middle eastern country or opt to invest $500,000 toward a fixed capital contribution, a Turkish bank deposit, or a government bond.
The travel benefits of a citizenship-by-investment include access to 111 countries visa-free or with visa-on-arrival.
Canada (minimum capital of CA$1.2 million)
After living in Canada for three years, you can apply for the North American residence-by investment system. But if you’d prefer to invest, you may put $1.2 million under an immigrant investor program for five years. It’s a government-guaranteed expenditure that Canada will repay to you at the end of the investment period.
You must also provide proof of a legally obtained net worth of a minimum of $2 million, demonstrate qualified business experience, and pass Canada’s medical and security evaluation
Spain (minimum capital of €500,000)
You can apply for citizenship to the European country after two years of residence in its former colonies like Latin America and the Philippines. However, this process requires you to pass the A2 Spanish language test and a cultural exam. If you want to gain residency sans Spanish language proficiency, you can be a resident by investing.
You can either buy real estate worth at least €500,000 (one or more properties), acquire Spanish company shares with a minimum of one million euros, or invest in a government bond worth at least two million euros.
Malta (minimum capital of €500,000)
Its residence-by-investment program benefits include the right to reside in Malta indefinitely. There’s no need to live in the country for a specified period, and the government will only require your investment for five years.
To qualify for a permanent Maltese residence, you should have no less than €500,000 in your possession capital, €150,000 of which must be financial assets. In addition, you are to purchase a property worth €350,000, donate €2,000 to a non-government organization, and pay the €40,000 administration fee.
For more information on application and requirements, visit Henly & Partners’ website.