At the opening of every conference we host, I ask a few general questions to get an idea of the primary focuses of interest among the group.
Used to be when I asked how many in the room were interested in residency overseas, one or two attendees would raise their hands… and everyone else would respond with confused stares.
Residency overseas? Why would I want that, they’d wonder…
What is that… some would ask.
Now when I ask conference groups how many are interested in the idea of establishing residency in another country, nearly every hand in the room goes up.
The number of people wanting to know about opportunities for back-up residencies, as I call them, and second citizenships has grown significantly over the past half-dozen years and continues to increase.
Fundamentally, I believe it has to do with a growing appreciation for the importance of options.
The first and most straightforward reason to establish legal residency in another country is because you want to live in that country full-time.
However, increasingly, many who aren’t planning on actually moving overseas want to be prepared should things back home (in the States, for example) turn in a direction that makes them uncomfortable. They want to know about the best places to establish residency that don’t require you to be physically present in the country… as well as options for picking up another passport.
The winners in the residency discussion right now (that is, the best places today to shop for a back-up residency) are the Dominican Republic, Colombia, Nicaragua, and Panama. These countries offer pensionado programs that come with minimal requirements for time in the country, as well as low retirement income thresholds.
Portugal is a strong runner-up and your most user-friendly option for residency in Europe (and the EU).
If you aren’t yet collecting Social Security and don’t have other pension income, residency through investment could be your best option. If that idea interests you, Nicaragua, Ecuador, Panama, and Colombia are countries to consider.
You could obtain residency in Ecuador with an investment of as little as US$25,000. The downside to Ecuador is that you can’t be out of the country for more than 90 days either of the first 2 years after you’ve obtained residency… meaning this isn’t an ideal option for a back-up plan but is appealing if you’d like to live in Ecuador.
The Dominican Republic is the hands-down winner right now for a second passport if you don’t have or don’t want to invest the money (at least US$100,000 plus fees) for an economic citizenship.
You can qualify for residency in the DR by showing a guaranteed minimum income of as little as US$1,500 per month. Once you have obtained residency, you could have your DR passport as quickly as one year later.
Other countries require at least five years of residency before you can apply for naturalization… and some—Andorra and Switzerland, for example—require 20 and 12 years, respectively, of residency before you can qualify for citizenship.
The best option for European citizenship right now is Portugal. Residency is relatively easy to obtain in this country, and you are eligible for naturalization after just six years. Additionally, Portugal offers a residency program that comes with important tax breaks.
When considering and comparing various residency options, remember to factor in the total costs (beyond minimum monthly income requirements). You’ll have attorney and government fees up front plus the costs of any required renewals. And, if you’re applying with a spouse or other dependents, you may have additional income requirements and fees.
When choosing among second citizenship options, pay attention to the travel value of each one, especially if your intent is to give up your current citizenship. In this context, the Dominican Republic is not a superstar option. A DR passport is cheap, quick, and easy to obtain but allows for visa-free travel to fewer than 60 countries, not including any European countries at the moment (though our in-country sources tell us that the DR government is negotiating for visa-free travel status with all EU member countries).
New options appear regularly (the DR’s superstar programs, for example, are relatively recent)… and top programs are sometimes adjusted, making them less appealing or less easily qualified for.
That’s why I’ve worked for the past eight months with my global team to create the most comprehensive guide to the world’s best residency and citizenship programs right now.
The product of this extended effort is more impressive and useful than even I hoped.
What Really Makes This Book Stand Out?
How is this different from other residency and citizenship books on the market?
First, it’s a whole lot more than a book. In fact, it’s a collection of 14 resources.
Second, it’s based on extensive firsthand experience. I’ve established residency in Ireland, Panama, and the Dominican Republic… and I carry a second passport and will be finalizing the paperwork for my third passport this summer.
Every single option and opportunity detailed in the hundreds of pages of this new program is based on real-world personal experience… either my own or that of one of my trusted advisors or colleagues.
This is not an academic work based on online research.
Here’s the first thing you need to know about applying for residency and citizenship in another country:
The information you find online for how to do it (including from the relevant government websites) is at best the beginning of the story. Often, it’s outdated, incomplete, or downright incorrect.
The only way to know how to establish residency or to acquire a second passport anywhere is to go through the process.
If you’re considering establishing residency in another country or applying for a second citizenship (as I believe we all should be), I urge you to invest in my new program. It will be money well spent… and could save you thousands of dollars. For sure, it will save you a whole lot of wasted time.
My marketing team is making my new program available for 60% off for a limited time.