Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s)

Question: – Where is your offices?

Answer: Our office location is inside Spaces Century City, Bridgeways Precinct, 1 Bridgeway, Century City, Cape Town, 7441

Question: – What country’s do you specialize in – for Residency in that country?

Answer: We specialize in obtaining Residency in Austria, Cyprus, Hungary, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Switzerland, UAE, UK and USA for our clients.

Question: – What is a „Citizenship by Investment” Program?

Answer: Citizenship by investment programs allow foreign investors and their families to obtain a fully legal citizenship and passport through a financial contribution or a real estate purchase in the country of citizenship.

Question: – What is the difference between permanent residence and citizenship?

Answer: Permanent residence permits: Grant the right to settle permanently in the issuing jurisdiction, and that jurisdiction alone. In the case of Schengen countries, it also grants the right to travel freely within the Schengen border union. PRs do not grant voting rights or the right to consular assistance.

Residence by investment is the legal acquisition of residence permits (either temporary or permanent) through either an investment in or a donation to a jurisdiction that has a residence by investment program, sometimes referred to as a “golden visa” program.

Citizenships: In addition to granting the right of permanent settlement in the issuing country, citizenships also bestow a wide range of benefits, such as the right to vote (although not always) and the right to consular services. Unlike residence permits (permanent or temporary) citizenships are also – in many cases, but not all – hereditary. Citizenship in an EU country further grants the right of permanent settlement in all EU member states.

Citizenship by investment is the legal acquisition of citizenship (including passports) through either an investment in or a donation to a jurisdiction that has a citizenship by investment program.
These two types of programs are collectively referred to as investment migration programs.

Question: – Are residence and citizenship by investment programs legal?

Answer: Yes. Not only are they legal, they are also actively promoted by the governments of countries that have such programs.

Question: – What are the most attractive Citizenship by investment programs?

Answer: The most attractive programs for investors remain those of Vanuatu, Montenegro, Cyprus, Greece, Malta, Monaco, Portugal, Spain, the UAE, the UK, the USA, as well as the island paradises of the Caribbean like Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Saint Kitts and Nevis and Saint Lucia.

We at Discus Holdings have long carried out successful relations with immigration projects in these countries, we know their advantages and their downsides well, and so we can offer you an ideal option based on both your personal preferences and business needs.

Question: – How many resideny and citizenship by investment programs exist?

As of January 2020, there are 12 formal CIPs (programs with pre-defined prices and precise requirements). These are:

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Cyprus
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Jordan
  • Malta
  • Moldova
  • Montenegro
  • Saint Kitts & Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Turkey
  • Vanuatu

Furthermore, there are dozens of residence by investment programs, the most popular of which are:

  • Australia
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada (Quebec)
  • France
  • Greece
  • Guernsey
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Latvia
  • Malaysia
  • Monaco
  • New Zealand
  • Panama
  • Portugal
  • South Korea
  • Singapore
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • Thailand
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

Question: – What are the benefits of an Alternative Citizenship?

Answer: Having a second citizenship can help individuals avoid unfair persecution from certain states or escape from a conflict-torn region. It can also provide an alternative to political asylum, security from an unstable environment, or a better education and lifestyle for children.

In an unsettled, ever-changing world, acquiring an alternative citizenship is a wise decision and an investment for the future. Your citizenship of choice is for life, your spouse and children can be included, and there is often no need to give up your present nationality while you enjoy the benefits of a legal second passport.

Many international businessmen from major countries and important persons who are active worldwide consider an alternative passport as the best life insurance money can buy.

Freedom to travel worldwide for pleasure or business: Having the ability to travel globally without a visa is a priceless benefit for your family. Caribbean passport provides for a visa free travel to around 130 countries, including UK and EU.

Fast, Flexible & Affordable: A second passport can be obtained in as little as 3 months, for a minimum investment of US$100,000 without having to visit the country during the process. Dual citizenship is permitted.

Security for you and your family: A passport from a small, peaceful and neutral country can be a lifesaver when traveling in times of civil war or social unrest. No matter what happens in the world, you will always have a place to go.

Insurance Policy: In this quickly changing world, having a plan „B” holding an alternative passport and lifetime citizenship for your family and future generations is the best insurance policy.

Education: A second citizenship may provide additional access to the best schools or universities where strict geographical quotas apply.

Estate Planning: As more countries are moving towards the worldwide taxation model, it is wise to look at alternative citizenship options for the purpose of estate and tax planning. Becoming a citizen and resident of St. Kitts & Nevis, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada or Saint Lucia does not subject you to paying taxes on your worldwide income as these territories have no foreign income tax.

Diversification of passport portfolios: Dual citizens can receive the benefits, privileges and protection
offered by multiple countries.

Question: – Are there any restrictions on who can apply?

Answer: Residency and Citizenship by investment schemes often do not have any restrictions, open to all nationalities to apply. Some of the Citizenship-by-Investment schemes on the other hand do place some restrictions to nationals of Iran, North Korea, Sudan, Yemen, Somalia and also others, as well it is depending on where you live and/or the source of funds.

Question: – Do I have to physically live in the country to obtain permanent residence rights or citizenship?

Answer: Citizenship by investment programs generally do not require physical residence, but many residence by investment programs require a limited number of days of physical presence per year which vary by country.

Question: – What are the major differences among the various immigration by investment programs?

Answer: The Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program provides the applicant with several investment options starting at EUR 2,0 million for immediate European citizenship and passport. The entire citizenship application can be as fast as 3 – 6 months.

Answer: The Malta Individual Investor Program provides the applicant with European citizenship in return for a non-refundable donation to the Maltese government in the amount of EUR 650,000 plus a EUR 150,000 investment in approved securities and an investment in real estate. The IIP application process can take between six months and two years to complete. For applicants who are only seeking Malta residency and Schengen travel benefits, options start at an annual recurring expense of EUR 24,000.

Montenegro Citizenship by Investment Program launched just on 3rd October 2019 and limited to only 2,000 applications, offers one of the simplest and fastest routes to acquiring an alternative citizenship for investors and their family, in exchange for minimum real estate investment from €250,000 as well as €100,000 government contribution. In exchange, and subject to a stringent vetting and due diligence process, including thorough background checks, applicants and their families are granted citizenship. EU citizenship is in the near future. Both Montenegro and the EU aims to have full EU membership in 2025.

The Greece Golden Visa allows non-EU applicants to file for Greek residency by way of a EUR 250,000 investment in local real estate. The applicant may file for Greek citizenship after seven years of permanent residency.

The Monaco Residency / Citizenship Program allows applicants to file for Monaco residency by proving access to sufficient accommodations and financial self-sufficiency. The applicant may file for Monaco citizenship after ten years of permanent residency.

The Portugal Golden Residence Permit Program requires an investment of EUR 350,000 in real estate, or the transfer of 1 Million Euro, or the creation of 10 new jobs in Portugal. After five years of Portuguese residency, citizenship can be applied for.

The Spain Golden Visa requires a EUR 500,000 minimum investment in real estate, or a 1 Million Euro asset transfer, or a 2 Million Euro securities investment, or the creation of a new government-approved business project in return for Spanish residency. After 10 years of residency the applicant may file for citizenship.

Outside of the EU, citizenship by investment programs include those offered by Canada, the United States of America, Vanuatu and the Caribbean nations of Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Dominica and St. Lucia.

The Citizenship by investment Program of Vanuatu is the fastest and most cost-efficient citizenship by investment  program worldwide with its minimum selling price (including the donation to the DSP) of USD 130,000.

The Caribbean nations of Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Dominica, and St. Lucia offer citizenship programs requiring a cash contribution of at least USD 100,000.

Canada offers several residency by investment options, leading to citizenship if desired, starting at CAD 200,000.

The United States EB-5 Program leads to permanent residency status and citizenship in the United States for a minimum investment of USD 900,000 in a commercial enterprise in the U.S. that generates at least 10 jobs for Americans. After five years as a permanent resident the investor may apply for U.S. citizenship.

Question: – Which kinds of documents are required to file an application?

Answer: – Although programs differ widely in this respect most programs require documents like:

  • Filled application forms
  • Passport copies
  • Professional references (from bankers, lawyers and so on)
  • Financial statements, including proof of source of funds and wealth, bank statements and so on.
  • Proof of address
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Police certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Birth certificates
  • Medical certificates
  • Affidavits of source of funds, dependent status etc.
  • Notarized copies of university diplomas (if applicable)

Question: – What are the requirements for residence and citizenship by investment programs?

Answer: Each country has a different set of requirements that applicants must fulfill for its residency or citizenship by investment program. For example, some programs require medical examinations and proof of good health, while others do not.

However, some requirements are common to all such programs:

  • The applicant must be over 18 years of age
  • Have a clean criminal record.
  • Show the legal source of the investment funds.
  • Invest in one of the government-approved options, such as real estate, government bonds or a national economic fund.
  • All requirements must be met in order for residency or citizenship applications to be approved by the host government.

Question: – How long does the application process take?

Answer: This depends on each program. Usually it will range from about 3 weeks to 6 months, but in some cases – such as when there is an application backlog as we can experience now due to COVID-19 – it can take considerably longer.

Question: – Why are EU country citizenship programs so much more expensive than others?

Answer: Because obtaining a citizenship in an EU country also grants the right to settle permanently in all other EU countries. In other words, you get 28 countries for the price of one.

Other citizenship programs do not offer this benefit and are therefore less valuable.

Question: – How much does Citizenship by Investment cost?

Answer: The application costs of a citizenship by investment program depends on the program you choose and the number of family members that are applying with you. The cost will also depend on whether you choose to obtain citizenship through the Government Fund option or the Real Estate Investment option.

Currently the most cost-effective citizenship for single applicants starts at USD 100,000 and USD 150,000 for a family of four members (financial contribution towards a Government Fund).

Question: – Does Citizenship extend to my spouse and children?

Answer: Yes, citizenship is extended to your spouse, dependent children, and in most countries to dependent parents. Fees for family members vary from country to country. You will be able to include your children as dependents up to the age of 30 and parents over the age of 55, nevertheless, this might vary slightly as every country has different age requirements in accordance with their legislation.

Question: – Do I need to visit countries offering Citizenship by Investment?

Answer: Generally Caribbean and Vanuatu programs do not require you to visit the country before, during, or after the application process. European programs require you to visit the country to undertake Biometrics and also to collect your Citizenship Certificate and Passport in person at the Immigration Department.

Question: – What can Discus Holdings Ltd. offer for you? What is our unique feature?

Answer: With more than 20 years of experience in the business migration industry, Discus Holdings’ Immigration Advisers will walk you through the process every step of the way, giving you peace of mind that your application will be successful.

Discus Holdings is registered as official government appointed licence holder in the following countries: Malta, Cyprus and Montenegro (in collaboration with Apex Montenegro doo).

The company’s founders are experts on an international level. The team of Discus Holdings group consists of professionals experienced in advising on residency and second-citizenship, financial and tax planning. Over years of work we have gained customers’ trust and built a shining reputation, making Discus Holdings a synonym for quality and effective service.

Our main goal is drawing up applications for temporary or permanent residency or citizenship of a given country that is as convenient for you as possible, by choosing one of the existing programs for investing in real estate or the country’s economy, and which will maximally meet your demands. But most importantly, our efforts are undertaken so that you will be satisfied with the result.

We provide an individual approach, custom-tailored to the customer and ongoing, and close interaction during every stage of planning and later receiving residency or citizenship.

One of the undoubted advantage of our company is that we offer customers only the services that they really need. By turning to us, you can be sure of no additional commissions or fees, of services and support up to and beyond obtaining residency/citizenship, help in getting settled and help in tax and financial matters.