22 September 2022

Calling all Canadians: Residency and Citizenship-by-Investment Programs offer an Exit Strategy

It started with the Freedom Convoy – with the government’s response and conflict in the street. Fed by growing and increasingly extreme political and cultural divides as much as specific Pandemic-related reasons for the Freedom Convoy protest, Trudeau’s shocking response to it has shaken Canadians’ sense of security to the core.

Threats to freeze bank accounts and confiscate passports for simply donating to a peaceful protest (with an unarguably legitimate cause – irrespective of viewpoint). Before this turning point, no Canadian would ever have imagined that they could really face such gross stripping of freedoms they took for granted as human rights. Now, many Canadians across all sectors of society, and on both sides of the political divide, are saying, well, what’s next? What other freedoms can they take? And how much more will they regulate to the point of justification? Many think there’s a good reason to not wait around for the answer.

Importance of a Plan B – or Exit Strategy – for Canadians

Add the impact of tax and interest rate hikes. There’s no doubt that Canada is a financially stressed country imid-202222. While inflation is hurting the working and middle classes most, Canada’s solutions – those already in effect and those proposed – will target the wealthiest.

Now add proposed changes in tax laws that could see Canadians taxed on the basis of citizenship – as per the US.

Canadians need to protect their assets and freedoms – and the more you have to lose, the more urgent your need to design a Plan B Strategy. You’ll need one so you can start putting it in place as soon as possible. A backup plan that takes into account the possibility that you may need to leave Canada, and that you may want to, or need to, give up your Canadian Citizenship at some point in the future. A Plan B that will protect your legacy wealth as well as your children’s financial outcomes and freedoms.

There are numerous options for alternate residency open to Canadians – in most regions of the world. Every country and every residency program offers different benefits, diverse social-political and economic environments, different tax rates and regulations, and vastly different lifestyles and living costs. Important factors to consider include how long that residency will take to possibly lead to citizenship (should you need it), what’s involved in maintaining it, and what taxation treaties those countries have with Canada.

But why wait? You could have a new passport and the option for alternate tax residency in as little as 4-6 months. You can apply remotely and you may not need to go there to get citizenship and obtain passports for you and your family. Furthermore, you won’t need to live there or spend any time there to maintain your citizenship and residency rights.

Citizenship-by-Investment – the quickest way to set up your escape from Canada

Factors to consider when choosing a citizenship-by-investment program include:

  • Investment Options: CBI investment options commonly include a choice between a once-off non-refundable donation to the government of the country you are buying your passport from, to a real estate investment in a government-approved project or similar development.

Typically, investment options do not include a private residential real estate investment option for the purchase of a property that you can move into. There are a couple of exceptions to this however. This includes a residential property purchase option for CBI applicants offered by the government of St Kitts & Nevis – which also offers immediate tax residency on obtaining citizenship. It’s quite possible that more countries will diversify their CBI investment options in this way in the future – as a further incentive for people to choose their citizenship-by-investment program.

  • Overall Costs: All countries offering citizenship and passports in exchange for the above investments do so for single applicants, for married couples, for their children and some even for extended family members. Costs for the most popular CBI programs are competitive – with some jurisdictions offering lower costs for single applicants, and other lower total costs for families. The overall costs include investment, processing, due diligence and government fees – through to the issuing of passports.
  • Incentives and Benefits. The range of benefits offered by citizenship-by-investment programs is huge. Benefits commonly range from the visa-free travel that a particular passport offers (and in some cases additional regional mobility benefits thanks to regional and diplomatic ties) to favorable tax regulations and rates, and tax treaties (or lack thereof), and lifestyle benefits.

Whether for a Plan B exit strategy or for an immediate move, whether you opt for the cost-effective option, prioritize tax benefits or lifestyle, whether you opt for a residency program that allows you the option of changing your mind, or a citizenship-by-investment option that allows you to wait and see…

If your future, financial freedom and assets are under threat in Canada in 2022 – 2022 is the year to start taking action on alternative residency, tax residency and 2nd citizenship.

Don’t be a sitting duck, and don’t wait for Trudeau to go duck hunting before you fly.

If you do nothing else today, think about where your money will be safe offshore and the importance of tax treaties when choosing how and where to set up offshore accounts and companies.

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