Savva & Associates Cyprus

Benefits of EU Permanent Residency vs the Caribbean

By Charles Savva 

In today’s fast-moving world of rapid developments and economic challenges, business executives and high net worth individuals must depend on a reliable and reputable passport, providing themselves and their families ease of mind when travelling and doing business.

Having a second passport can be highly beneficial as it provides secure options for travel and conducting business away from your home country.  In short, a second citizenship has become an increasingly popular way to facilitate both travel and business, and helps you put in place a robust ‘Plan B’ to safeguard your family’s private wealth.

The most popular citizenship programs in the world today are found in the Caribbean, which offer an important insurance policy, providing security for your assets and your future.

Having been one of the leading service providers of the highly successful citizenship by investment program in Cyprus, that operated from 2013 to 2020, Savva & Associates has been a prominent facilitator in the global second citizenship by investment space, helping clients from all over the world secure EU citizenship, as well as Permanent Residency.

EU PRP vs Caribbean passport

Our experience in this sector has allowed us to forge close business ties with the world’s leading second-citizenship providers, many of which focus on second citizenship solutions in the Caribbean, as their primary products.  

The EU Permanent Residence Permit (PRP) programs, namely in Cyprus, Greece and Malta, have been somewhat overlooked by the Caribbean second citizenship sector, despite offering similar advantages, and in some cases clearer advantages over a Caribbean passport- this is the focus of the current article, which is explored in further detail below.

The reasons to pursue second citizenship in the Caribbean, can be summarized as follows:

  1. Visa-free travel to selected countries;
  2. Lifestyle in a tropical paradise;
  3. Business opportunities;
  4. Wealth preservation.

Let’s compare the benefits offered by the Caribbean citizenship programs and the EU PRP via investment programs, head-to-head.

  1. Visa-free travel to selected countries

While a Caribbean passport will allow for visa-free access to selected countries, the same can be said of an EU PRP, especially when issued from a Schengen-area country such as Greece and Malta, allowing unhindered travel within any of these countries.

  1. Lifestyle in a tropical paradise

Being the holder of a Caribbean passport will, of course, allow you to live in that particular Caribbean country. However, in all of my years of experience in the second citizenship space, I have yet to come across a client who actually relocated to the Caribbean. In contrast, a good number of EU PRP holders actually do relocate to the specific country they hold the PRP (in most cases Cyprus, Greece or Malta).

The EU is the world’s largest economy, and home to about 450 million people.  It’s clear to assume that the benefits offered by an EU PRP in this specific area far exceed that of Caribbean citizenship.

  1. Business opportunities

Holding an EU PRP continuously for 5 to 7 years, depending on the EU country, can lead to EU citizenship, and therefore full access to the world’s largest economy and trading bloc.  Again, the advantages offered by an EU PRP in regards to the facilitation of business should be considered another advantage of the EU PRP programs over Caribbean citizenship.

  1. Wealth preservation

Being an international tax specialist, and having worked with private clients for over 20 years, I can strongly assert that the EU offers unparalleled wealth preservation solutions, especially in the field of taxation. This is nowhere more prevalent than in Cyprus and Malta. 

In summary, while Caribbean citizenship continues to offer clients important safeguards and levels of protection, the same can be achieved via EU PRP programs, that offer unique advantages which in some cases are not available via Caribbean citizenship.

As an important side note regarding Russian nationals, who are no longer permitted to apply under any of the Caribbean citizenship programs, it should be noted that Cyprus remains the only EU country with a PRP program still open to Russian nationals and their families.

As a final comment, recent developments have seen the cost of applying under Caribbean citizenship programs skyrocket, with some countries doubling the necessary donation i.e. St Kitts, which has the most popular Caribbean citizenship program, doubled the donation requirement to USD 250,000 in July 2023.

Charles Savva is founder and Managing Director of C. Savva & Associates Ltd. 

For further information regarding EU Permanent Residence Permit and citizenship solutions, please contact [email protected].

Click here to read about how a non-EU individual and his/her family can obtain Cyprus permanent residency, under the Cyprus government’s fast track investment program.