EB5 Investors Magazine (English Edition) Volume 5, Issue 1 | Page 108

right to live and work anywhere in the European Union, and an EU passport will allow you to open a bank account anywhere in the world. The United States continues to be the most popular country for citizenship – accepting nearly 10,000 applicants per year through its EB-5 visa. An EB-5 visa provides the same green card as other qualifying processes, allowing the investor and his or her immediate family to live, study, work and retire anywhere in the United States. The EB-5 program helps foreigners obtain a coveted piece of American life while stimulating the U.S. economy through job creation.  Malta and Cyprus are the only two countries in Europe that offers a true citizenship by investment program, known as the Individual Investor Program. Between 2015 and 2016, 450 people applied to Malta and about half were approved, according to Malta government statistics. Under the program, investors must make a non-refundable contribution of at least $705,000 to the National Development and Social Fund, invest at least $162,000 in government approved financial instruments and purchase a home for at least $380,000 or lease a property for five years. The Malta passport allows for visa-free travel to more than 160 countries - including European Schengen states. The EB-5 is followed by Portugal’s Golden Visa program, which had more than 4,200 applicants between 2012 and 2016, according to a government report. Canada is also an attractive destination when it comes to investment immigration. More than 4,700 immigrants have received visas under the Quebec Immigrant Investor Program from 2001 to 2016, according to Canadian government statistics. Under the Canadian program, a foreign national needs to invest $600,000, which is returned after 5 years. Cyprus has about 500 applicants per year in a program where investors need to make at least a $2.16 million investment before being able to gain Cyprus citizenship and live, work and study in all EU countries, according to government reports. Other popular countries in Europe is United Kingdom, which has more than 2,000 applicants a year of people who wants to invest $2.5 million, and Ireland, where 380 applications have been approved since 2012, resulting in an investment of about $154 million, according to government statistics. 107 EB5 INVESTORS M AGAZINE