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Our Official List Of The World’s Easiest Residency Programs

09 Sep
View of tropical beach in Nicaragua

Our Official List Of The World’s Easiest Residency Programs

5 Best Places To Establish Backup Residency Right Now

This is primarily a lifestyle event; the focus is on where and how to live or retire overseas.

However, the number of people at this year’s event asking questions about opportunities for backup residencies and second citizenships is significant… many more than at any other Retire Overseas Conference in our history.

Fundamentally, many of the 200-plus people in the room are looking for options. Some aren’t planning on actually moving overseas but want to be prepared should things back home 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.

Never before have attendees at one of our retirement events been so interested in the idea of a second citizenship.

The winners in the residency discussion (that is, the best places right now to shop for a “backup residency,” as we call it) are Colombia and Panama. These two countries offer pensionado programs that come with minimal requirements for time in the country, as well as low retirement income thresholds. Nicaragua and Portugal are strong runners-up.

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$31,000. 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 backup plan but is appealing if you’d like to live in Ecuador.

Other countries featured at this week’s Retire Overseas Conference require at least five years of residency before you can apply for naturalization. That said, five years isn’t bad. Some countries—Andorra and Switzerland, for example—require 20 and 12 years, respectively, of residency before you can qualify for citizenship.

Highlighting Citizenship In Portugal

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 five years. Additionally, Portugal offers a residency program that comes with important tax breaks.

When considering various residency options, remember to factor in the total costs (beyond minimum monthly income requirements). You’ll have attorney and government fees up front, and, if 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.

This week’s Retire Overseas Conference features a panel discussion on the topics of residency and citizenship. In addition, our preferred and recommended attorneys from Panama, Portugal, and Colombia are giving detailed presentations on specific residency and citizenship options in those countries.

You can gain access to the recording of all these presentations through the new Live and Invest Overseas Home Conference Kit, which is available at a pre-release discount for a limited time here.

Lief Simon