Your Child’s Education & Dual Citizenship – The 4 Main Options

There are many reasons to choose investing in a new passport, or second citizenship, but one you might not have considered – but should, if you’ve got children – is the opportunity to secure a better education.

The right education helps your children build their skills, master new languages and make the right connections – so they can forge a more successful future.

But the standard of education varies massively from country-to-country, and becoming an international student isn’t always possible. And even when it is, it’s often prohibitively expensive and relies on children living alone, usually far from home, without their support system, rules or customs.

Plus students often face visa issues as soon as they graduate, so they can’t take advantage of the opportunities open to their peers.

That’s where second citizenship comes in. Let’s now take a look at the four second citizenship programmes you’ll want to consider if leveling the playing field and securing a brighter future for your children is your priority.

 #1 – The US EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program

The US has two residency-by-investment programmes, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program and the E-2 Treaty Investors Programme. For education, your best bet is the EB-5 – a US Green Card.

What do you get?

The EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program grants you an immigration visa, which means you can live, work and study in the US permanently.

That means your children can attend US schools, colleges and universities – and you can be there to support them.

A US Green Card also means you’re eligible for government-sponsored financial aid for education, if needed. It can also represent a significant cost saving, because Green Card holders are eligible for ‘resident tuition’ – with fees often three-to-four times lower than international fees.

It also means your children can stay and work in the US after their education, instead of hitting prospective visa blocks.

Why choose a US education?

Seven of the top 10 world universities are in the US. Some 20.4 million students attending American colleges or universities in late 2017. High enrolment figures translate into high attainment rates, with some four million degrees awarded.

Correlating to that, young adults with a master’s degree earn a median USD 60,000 – not a bad start in life. US-educated students go on to become respected leaders in every field, from law to pharmaceuticals to business.

How much does it cost?

From USD 500,000 into a new commercial enterprise in a target employment area, or USD 1,000,000 elsewhere.

This investment includes your spouse and any dependent children under 21.

How long does it take?

Applications usually take between 20 and 26 months, so admittedly this isn’t a quick fix.

What’s the process?

First you get a two-year conditional residency permit for you and your family. After these two years, you apply to have the conditions removed – which happens when you prove you’ve met and maintained your initial investment and created at least 10 full-time jobs. Then you and your family are permanent US residents. You can then apply for second citizenship through naturalisation after five years which, if granted, means you’re a fully-fledged US citizen.

#2 – The InvestUK Education Bond

InvestUK Education Bond is specifically designed for those seeking a UK education.

What do you get?

The InvestUK Education Bond helps international students finance their UK education while also gaining permanent UK residency. While normal international students only gain a Tier 4 Student Visa, this programme grants you a Tier 1 Investor Visa which means you can apply for permanent residence in the UK after five years.

The end result is that your children can not only study in the UK, but can stay indefinitely after they graduate as they begin building their lives.

Why choose a UK education?

The UK has one of the best global education systems, and offers a world of opportunity post-education too. In 2016-17, more than 2.3 million students were in higher education institutions in the UK – over 300,000 from non-EU countries.

Nearly 85% of students were happy with their course, and had plenty of opportunities to grow. Which then translates into 90% of graduates finding work or enrolling in further study within six months of graduating.

Students from the UK dominate diverse fields across the world: an education here really does open doors.

How much does it cost?

The InvestUK Education Bond ‘costs’ GBP 2M plus GBP 50,000 fees, but you get a 4% base interest return as an ‘income’ which pays tuition fees, plus your GBP 2M back after you liquidate your investments.

How long does it take?

From starting the process to receiving your Tier 1 Investor Visa, you’re looking at around a month. Your first 4% returns come soon after.

What’s the process?

There are two options in how you split your investment:

1)   Allocate GBP 1M into UK government bonds and GBP 1M into higher-yielding secured bonds.

2)   Allocate all GBP 2M into higher-yielding secured bonds, to generate maximum returns of GBP 80,000 annually.

Other than that, the process is straightforward and an advisor can guide you easily through the steps.

#3 – The Irish Immigration Investment Programme

The Irish Immigrant Investor Programme gives the double whammy of better education and better business opportunities.

The recent addition of the “IDLF” – the Irish Diaspora Loan Fund – has also made the country popular with high-net worth investors and has helped to enhance the reputation of Ireland as a modern, powerful and globalised economy.

The IDLF serves as a more affordable method of investment in the country through an asset-secured manner. The fact that the IDLF is an approved loan origination fund also means that the moneys received via the IDLF are fed into the investment and development or the Irish hospitality industry through secured loans.

What do you get?

You get ‘Stamp 4’ Irish residency, so you can work, study or start a business in Ireland. You needn’t live here permanently, so long as you visit Ireland once annually.

So, your children could study here and you could pop over once a year and you can all maintain your permanent residency status.

You will be a Permanent Resident of the Common Travel Area, which is an open borders area comprising the United Kingdom, Ireland, Northern Ireland, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

To apply for an Irish passport, you will be required to show “reckonable residency” for a period of five years.

Why choose an Irish education?

The Irish economy is the fastest growing in the Eurozone, and Ireland has been named as the best country in the world for attracting high-value foreign direct investment for six years in a row.

Following Brexit, Ireland will be the only English-speaking country in the Eurozone, and it has the youngest population.

The Irish Government is fully committed to being part of Europe and invests nearly EUR 800M into research in Ireland’s higher education institutions, so Ireland dominates in many fields. Ireland has the youngest population in Europe with one third under 25 year

Students can choose over 5,000 internationally-recognised qualifications and have the pick of career opportunities once they graduate – thanks to Ireland’s status as Europe’s most entrepreneurial country.

Which means it’s little surprise that 35,000 students from 160 countries study in Ireland.

How much does it cost?

There are four IIP options currently, which range from a EUR 500,000 philanthropic contribution to EUR 2M investment into an Irish listed company.

How long does it take?

A very speedy average of three-to-four months for approval.

What’s the process?

There are four stages – apply, approve, invest and reside. To be eligible for the IIP you must prove you’ve got the funds to invest, and that they’re legitimate. You’ll need a minimum net worth of EUR 2M, and private medical insurance. Then you just need an affidavit of good character. If you’re interested in the Irish IIP, an advisor can guide you through it – the process is straightforward.

#4 – The Cyprus Citizenship-by-Investment Programme

The Cypriot citizenship-by-investment programme warrants special attention, because it’s the only of these four that immediately gives you citizenship rather than residency.

What do you get?

As a Cypriot citizen, you avoid the bureaucracy of getting a student visa. In particular, you can take however many modules you want – whereas international students can only get a visa for 12 credits per semester.

You can also benefit from cheaper education and there are no restrictions on working while you study. This is ideal for students looking for work experience or to pick up a casual job while they study.

Then there’s arguably the biggest benefit of Cypriot citizenship – your new Cypriot passport, and the ability to study, live, travel and work anywhere across the EU. Gaining citizenship here is like gaining citizenship to 28 countries – so your children have an abundance of choice around their education. And an abundance of business opportunities after their education too.

Why choose a Cypriot education?

Education is one of the country’s standout features. In fact, Cyprus invests more than 7% of GDP on education – second in the EU only to Denmark and Sweden.

The higher education system is especially popular, with several internationally competitive universities. Around 10,000 international students study in Cyprus. Students can choose a vast number of internationally-recognised qualifications – and Cyprus is especially known for the strength of its MA programmes.

How much does it cost?

The program is based around a EUR 2M investment into real estate or listed funds, but the majority of this can be sold after a 36-month holding period (after which, a new citizen is required to continue to own a residence on the island with a book value of EUR 500,000).

How long does it take?

Normally only six months, making this an incredibly fast programme – and path to citizenship.

What’s the process?

First you have to own a Cypriot residence worth at least EUR 500,000. Then you choose to invest an additional EUR 1.5M into real estate (which you can sell after three years) or EUR 2M into business or into Cypriot financial assets.

Your overall investment can include up to EUR 500,000 of special government bonds, which you can release after three years. This means the real estate option is most cost-effective, at EUR 2M.

For international investors with family concerns, nothing is more important than securing the best possible future for your children.

These four programmes empower you to do just that, unlocking doors that might otherwise have remained closed.