In this era of globalization, everyone should be given the opportunity to thrive, no matter where they are from. Dual residence, visa programmes and international investments are becoming a compelling need and sometimes an interesting investment opportunity. All you need is the willingness to contribute an amount of money to the chosen location; it’s never been easier to do for those wealthy enough to afford it.
If you are looking for a change of scenery, a new life, just a new investment prospective, a safe haven for their family or simply a chance to financially support existing and new businesses, a second citizenship can be the right way for you. In any event, it can possibly offer a number of benefits.
If you are an investor thinking about citizenship-by-investment programmes and wondering which jurisdiction could really offer the freedom to flourish, one to consider is the Isle of Man (IoM).
At the heart of the Island’s proposition to those considering investing is a promise that the Isle of Man is a land of possibility where investors will find the right environment to express their full potential, whatever they feel that may be. The opportunities for investing are numerous given that the Island contains a host of diverse, successful developed sectors such as aviation, biomed & biotech, e-business, e-gaming, maritime, space, to name but a few.
In order to illustrate the extensive range of advantages that the IoM can offer, Abacus Business Development Manager, Stephen Colderwood, was pleased to answer some insightful questions on Tier 1 Investor Visa.
Interviewer: First of all, what are the benefits and why should I choose the Isle of Man?
Stephen: If successful, applicants can potentially benefit from no inheritance tax, no capital gains tax, no wealth tax nor stamp duty, as well as no purchasing restrictions on property and the lowest crime rate in the British Isles. The IoM is also part of the Common Travel Area.
Interviewer: What is the Common Travel Area (CTA)?
Stephen: It consists of the UK, Republic of Ireland, the Isle of Man and The Channel Islands. The internal borders of the CTA are subject to minimal or non-existent border controls so immigration checks are carried out on passengers arriving only from outside the CTA.
Interviewer: I see. The British lifestyle, a safe clean environment and a beneficial tax system could be compelling reasons to choose the IoM. However I am feeling comfortable in my country of origin. Do I have to leave it and come and live in the Isle of Man all year long?
Stephen: The purpose of the Isle of Man Tier 1 Investor Visa programme is to encourage residency on the Island for economic activity. For the visa you will need to be resident in the Isle of Man for at least 6 months in any tax year. However, a matter that needs careful consideration is your tax residence; it is easy to be tax resident in the Isle of Man, but the key is not to be tax resident elsewhere at the same time. This is something that needs to be considered on a case by case basis and professional tax advice should always be obtained.
Interviewer: Ok, I will do. Supposing that I would be tax resident and I would like to make a substantial financial investment within the Isle of Man, are there any eligibility requirements in order to benefit from the Tier 1 Investor Visa programme?
Stephen: The main criteria is that applicants must have access to £2 million which is available to invest in the IoM. A visa is valid for 3 years and 4 months.
Interviewer: Once that period ends, can I extend the visa for another period?
Stephen: It is possible to extend the visa for another 2 years provided that £2 million has been invested in IoM trading companies during the first 3 months and the funds have remained invested throughout the full period.
Interviewer: And what if I wanted to remain for an indefinite period?
Stephen: There is an Indefinite Leave to Remain (ILR) Programme. This requires IoM residence for 5 years, a sufficient knowledge of English and life in UK and IoM and that there has been no more than 180 days absence from the Island in each 12 month period.
Interviewer: 5 years is quite a long time. Can the process be accelerated?
Stephen: Sure, a Tier 1 Investor can apply for ILR after 3 years if £5 million is invested instead of £2 million, or after 2 years if £10 million is invested.
Interviewer: I am convinced. The Isle of Man is a very real option as a place to invest and thrive. How do I start? Who can assist me?
Stephen: Just drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at +44 1624 689656. As well as assisting with the application procedure, Abacus provides the required asset protection/investment vehicle for investor visa applicants from the outset and for as long as it is required.
Written by Marta Bellamoli, Marketing Co-ordinator