Brexit drives UK citizens to consider other options

After years of uncertainty, Brexit has finally happened and the UK has finally left the EU. Not much will change for now, until the end of the transitory period on 31 December 2020 but a growing number of UK high net worth individuals and business people have started considering their options.

Since the Brexit referendum in 2016, some 350,000 British citizens have applied for EU citizenship in another member state. Ireland has been the most popular choice for many, but Germany and France have also seen a big increase in the naturalisation of citizens of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. But naturalisation is not the only way that British citizens have been getting their hands on an EU member state passport.

A number of jurisdictions in the EU have their own citizenship by investment or second passport programmes that offer citizenship in return for investment in the country. Here are some of the options available to those looking to retain EU benefits even after the UK departs.

Malta

Citizens of Malta pay just 15% tax locally and those with a business can pay as little as zero under certain conditions. A sunny Mediterranean island and a fully-fledged EU member state, Malta offers citizenship for investment in property and government bonds, a donation to the government, and a few other requirements.

Austria

Those looking for an Austrian passport or just a residence permit can do so by proving they are a person of independent means, investing, or having liquid assets of at least EUR 40,000. One of the world’s strongest passports offers the holder visa-free or visa on arrival access to 186 countries.

Portugal

If you fancy relocating to Portugal, you can do so by buying a house for EUR 500,000, transferring EUR 1 million into a Portuguese bank, or creating 10 jobs. Holders of a Portuguese passport can travel freely to 185 countries.

Greece

The Greek government will offer residency to anyone who purchases a property worth at least EUR 250,000. You don’t even have to live in the country full time and holding the visa also allows you to establish a business there.

Monaco

To get residence in Monaco where you are not obliged to pay income tax, capital gains tax, or wealth tax, you must deposit at least EUR 500,000 into a local bank. This money must remain in the account for the duration of the residency period.

Fast Offshore is able to provide high-level advice and guidance for those looking to purchase a second passport or apply for residence permits in EU jurisdictions. We can also assist with fiscal considerations, corporate services, company structuring and other matters related to business and personal matters.