Wealthy Chinese seeking a second passport through citizenship by investment are driving Cyprus into the top-echelon of nations. While America’s EB5 program is stumbling, Canada, Belize, and Australia are positioned to pick-up the slack, and the Mediterranean island nation is poised to join them.
A March 6, 2017 article on EB5Projects.com pointed out that America’s President Donald Trump intends to limit wealthy Chinese access to American citizenship. The EB5 is the ticket for many super-rich in China that many American legislators want to leave alone. Trump is taking a different stance, and this has opened the door for Chinese immigration to Cyprus.
The Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis, positioned between Puerto Rico and Venezuela, and formerly fashionable, is losing its luster with the Chinese as St. Kitts/Nevis is one of the few nations that continue to acknowledge Taiwan over China.
Roughly 1,000 Chinese investors have moved to Cyprus each year since 2013. Chinese buying a home worth 300,000 euros or more gain a “Permanent Residency Permit” if they provide proof of a clean criminal background. Eight percent of Chinese immigrants to Cyprus settle in Paphos, and many reside in Nicosia and Limassol.
A low personal tax rate, easy and quick travel to Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as the mild year-round climate and an affordable cost-of-living, are the gears in Cyprus’ growth engine.
Passports from Canada allow citizens to travel visa-free to over 170 nations. Canada has been the destination of choice for Chinese since the Sino-British Joint Declaration of 1985. With the handoff of Hong Kong to China, many fled.
Canada was one of the earliest nations where Hong Kongers could emigrate, as it had lower entry barriers than most governments, including America. As Vancouver is considered to be one of the more Asian-friendly places, it remains a favorite destination for immigrants from China.
Around the same time as Chinese began emigrating to Canada, Chinese nationals also began moving to Belize — and for many of the same reasons. The Central American nation has a long history of Chinese immigration stretching back to the mid-19th century, when British Honduras shifted in response to economic changes in hardwood production.
Belize’s citizenship-by-investment program, begun in 1986, has been a popular option among Chinese immigrants since the last years of the 20th century. Migrants from Hong Kong who held only British National status obtained Belizean citizenship as a “Plan B” in case conditions in the homeland continued to sour.
Started in November 2012, Australia’s program focuses on high-net-worth persons and requires an investment of $4.7 million. Chinese applicants are permitted to invest in government bonds, private businesses, and projects building infrastructure.
Three months after applying, an investor visa is issued. Wait four years and applications for permanent residency may be filed. Australian benefits include free health care and visa-free travel to over 160 nations. There is a downside. As of May 2017, Australia has a 45% personal income tax rate.
Written By Jerry Nelson
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