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Including Older Dependents (Children) in Your Immigration Application

20 June 2017

Including Older Dependents (Children) in Your Immigration Application
Whether you’re considering applying to a Citizenship or Residency by Investment Program, one of the more frequent questions QICMS receives is about including older dependents (i.e. children) in an immigration application.

From a global perspective, a growing number of dependents are remaining at home with their parents to complete university studies or begin their careers. This demographic normally fall in the age bracket of 19 to 24 years of age—but what about dependents who are aged 24 years or older?

For older dependents, options for choosing the right immigration program are narrowed down to a handful of European and Caribbean citizenship or residency schemes, with many setting a cap for including dependents up to the age of 25. This blog will provide information about which programs allow dependent children who are 24 years of age or more to be included in an immigration application and cover key factors to consider, such as types of programs offered and investment amounts required.

Citizenship or Residency by Investment: Factors to Consider

There are a number of factors that need to be considered aside from the age of your dependent child, and this is based upon your immigration needs. If you have a child who is 24 years or older, the next question to ask yourself is, “What type of program am I looking for?” Are you and your family looking to relocate abroad, or do you want to obtain a second citizenship and passport that provides greater travel freedom? While both Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programs offer the ability to relocate, this may not be what everyone is hoping to achieve. If improving your freedom of movement without moving abroad is the greater goal, we recommend focusing on Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs as they offer fast-track processing, affordable investment amounts, and do not require physical residency in the chosen country.*

If obtaining European residency or citizenship is more important to you and your family, then we suggest considering Cyprus, Malta, or Portugal as your immigration solution. However, some European citizenship programs such as Malta contain physical residency requirements (12 months residing in-country), whereas Cyprus does not require physical residency at all. The biggest factor to consider is that investment amounts for obtaining European citizenship are substantially higher. This latter point leads to the next question you must ask yourself: “How much am I willing/able to invest?”

Minimum investment amounts vary from program to program, particularly between European and Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs. For St. Lucia’s Citizenship by Investment Program, the minimum investment amount is USD $100,000 in the National Economic Fund (NEF) for a single applicant. Additional investment requirements can vary depending on who is included in an application (a spouse or dependent child, for instance) and Citizenship by Investment Programs often offer more than one investment option. Because of this we recommend contacting an immigration lawyer or registered agent to discuss what investment options best suits your circumstances.

If you want to obtain European citizenship in Cyprus, be prepared to invest a minimum of EUR 2 million. For Malta’s Citizenship by Investment Program, the minimum amount is EUR 1.15 million. As stated before, investment amounts for European citizenship are substantially higher, but not without reason. Obtaining a second citizenship and passport in Cyprus, for instance, grants you visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 159 countries worldwide, whereas Malta’s citizenship and passport allows access to 168 countries. As a citizen of the European Union (EU), you and your family can travel with ease between all 28 EU member states, including the Schengen region. Citizens of Cyprus and Malta are also provided top-quality health care benefits in each respective country as well as any country within the EU.

European Residency by Investment Programs—also known as Golden Visa Programs—for Cyprus, Malta, and Portugal are not as expensive as citizenship options, but they do not provide direct citizenship or passports. However, as members of the EU, Cyprus, Malta, and Portugal allow residents to travel freely throughout the EU and Schengen region. Physical residency requirements vary: Cyprus requires applicants to reside 6 months in country, whereas Portugal only requires 7 days of residency within the first year. On the other hand, Malta’s Residence and Visa Program (MRVP) does not require physical residency at all.

These types of programs are ideal for those wanting EU access without having to permanently relocate. With the exception of Malta, both Cyprus and Portugal allow residents to apply for citizenship after 6-7 years if residency requirements are met.

 *Antigua and Barbuda’s Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) is the only Caribbean option that requires 5 days of physical residency in a 5-year period.

Below is a table for European and Caribbean Citizenship and Residency by Investment Programs that allow dependents (children) aged 24 or older to be included in an application:
 
Europe
Country Age of Dependent Program Type Minimum Investment[1]
Cyprus Up to the Age of 28 Citizenship by Investment EUR 2 Million
Cyprus Up to the Age of 25 Residency by Investment EUR 330,000
Malta Up to the Age of 26 Citizenship by Investment EUR 1.15 Million
Malta Up to the Age of 26 Residency by Investment EUR 600,000
Portugal Up to the Age of 25 Residency by Investment EUR 250,000
Caribbean
Country Age of Dependent Program Type Minimum Investment
Antigua and Barbuda Up to the Age of 25 Citizenship by Investment USD $200,000
Dominica[2] Up to the Age of 25 Citizenship by Investment USD $100,000
Grenada Under the Age of 25 Citizenship by Investment USD $200,000
Saint-Kitts and Nevis Under the Age of 30 Citizenship by Investment USD $250,000
Saint Lucia Under the Age of 25 Citizenship by Investment USD $100,000

[1] The minimum investment amounts provided do not include additional investment costs for spouses and dependents (regardless of age), nor do they include government processing fees, which are determined by the number and age of dependents included.

[2] The Commonwealth of Dominica defines an older dependent as:

1.  A child of the main applicant or his or her spouse between eighteen (18) and twenty five (25) who is in full time attendance at a recognized institution of higher learning after his or her eighteenth birthday and fully supported by the main applicant; AND,

2. An unmarried daughter of the main applicant who is under twenty five (25) years of age and is living with and fully supported by the main applicant.

Final Thoughts

As a rule of thumb, it is always important to ask yourself the key questions covered above, whether or not you are including dependents in your application. At QICMS we always encourage anyone considering Citizenship or Residency by Investment Programs to do proper research based upon you and your family’s needs or expectations.

For prospective clients that want to include dependents aged 24 or older in their immigration application, program options are narrowed down to select countries in Europe and the Caribbean, with each program offering a number of advantages (as well as disadvantages) between citizenship and residency options. If you have any questions about including older dependents in an immigration application, contact our office today to discuss your options.

If your children do not meet the above criteria for older dependent children, they may still be able to join you if each child applies in his or her own right.

For more information on Citizenship by Investment Programs, please click here.

For more information on Residency by Investment Programs, please click here.

If you would like to view our European Golden Visa Residency comparison table, please click here.

Fill out our Free Assessment to see if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered.
 

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