FAQ

FAQS

Who is eligible to apply for citizenship?

Anyone over the age of 18 who is not currently an EU citizen may apply for citizenship. The main applicant must be able to make the required investment/contribution and must also be able to provide a clean criminal record certificate.

Can I include my spouse, children and parents in residency and citizenship programmes?

Yes, all programmes allow the spouse and dependent children to be included and, in most cases, dependent parents, too (age requirements for parents may apply).

Am I required to live in the particular country I choose to invest in as a prerequisite to obtain residency/citizenship status?

No, there is no need to relocate if you do not wish to leave India. Most programmes will require you to only meet the minimum stay requirement, which is usually 1 to 7 days per year on average, if at all any.

Is my residency/citizenship status guaranteed once I make the investment?

Cyprus is the only programme which guarantees fast-track citizenship – an EU passport within 6 months. The investment is held in escrow until the citizenship is approved by the government authorities. If, for any reason, the application is denied, the investment is returned to the client.

Portugal requires the applicant to make the real estate investment prior to submitting the residency visa application. Don’t worry – lawyers will make sure you meet all the requirements to lodge a successful application prior to completing the property transaction. The application process is relatively straightforward, and we have not had any rejected applications to date.

Do I become a non-Resident Indian, and can I retain my Indian passport?

You will have to surrender your Indian Passport and take an OCI if you obtain a second citizenship – i.e. an EU passport. Residency status does not require you to give up your Indian passport.

What are the disadvantages of losing my Indian passport and my rights there of?

It only means that you cannot vote in India. All other rights remain the same with an OCI permit.

What are the main advantages of a residency programme in Europe? If we opt for this as an entire family, what are the implications?

Residency of an EU country will give the main applicant and any included family members the right to live and work in that particular if needed. Residents are also granted access to state healthcare (basic insurance may be required until attainment of citizenship status) and the education system. All residency holders are also entitled to visa-free travel to any EU Schengen country – they may make multiple visits (up to 90 days per visit) twice per year.

What would be the tax liability of the EU programmes? Am I able to pay tax only in Europe and not in India?

Most of the major EU countries have a tax treaty with India. You would only be exempt from paying tax in India if you reside in India for less than 183 days per year. If you remain an Indian resident, you must pay tax on all income in India, regardless of where it is generated. You may take advantage of a country’s tax laws if you reside in the country for more than 183 days per year and register as a tax resident.

Do Cyprus and Portugal have a double tax treaty with India?

Yes.

How will this affect our business, property and investments in India? Do we have to take RBI's permission?

No RBI permission is needed for OCI holders. RBI clearance is only required if you are bringing funds into India. You will be allowed to transfer a maximum of USD 1 million per financial year out of India.

Can we float or register our company(ies) in the EU and file tax returns only there?

Yes that is allowed as long as you are not a tax resident in India (i.e. you spend less than 183 days in India per year).

If we buy property(ies) outside of India ,do we have register them in India or only in Europe?

If you are an OCI holder and not a tax resident in India, then you do not need to register your assets in India. Otherwise, you will need to register any properties in India.

Will the tax authorities in India doubt us and think we are taking advantage of tax havens and penalize us?

No, this is a very common, legal practice across India.

Can we transfer money regularly form our Indian earnings to the EU or elsewhere once we get residency status?

Yes, as long as you are within the permissible limit and the tax has been paid on your earnings in India. A maximum of 1 million USD per year per person (OCI holder) may be transferred.

Can my family/children live in the country and have access to hospitals/schools even if I, the main applicant, remain in India (i.e. while I continue to run my business back in India?)

Yes.

If I own an LLP company in India and I change my citizenship status, how does it affect my company?

There is no change since you would already be paying a higher tax rate in India.

What would the taxes be for me? Would I file my taxes here or in Europe? How would that affect the year-end filing for the company? And, in what currency would I have to earn money?

This depends on where you are registered as a tax resident (i.e. where you spend more than 6 months of the year). We can arrange for you to speak to a tax specialist in India to go through your individual circumstances.

What about marriage? Where would I have to register?

Wherever you prefer – there is no difference in registering your marriage in India versus Europe.

Where would I need to file my will?

You may file it in India or Europe, but we would advise to have it registered.

If I stand to inherit assets in India, would the inheritance tax apply to us if we change our citizenship?

There is no inheritance tax in India.

What would happen to any tenanted properties I own in India if I give up my Indian passport?

You will not experience any change at all. Your rights will remain the same. You can continue to rent any properties and collect the rent.

What are the laws for marriage, divorce and custody of kids in Europe?

t is mostly the same as it is in India, although it would be best to speak directly with a lawyer for specific situations. We can recommend experienced, specialized legal professionals in every jurisdiction that we work within.

Can my partner and/or children keep their Indian citizenship status and only I apply for a second passport?

Yes, this is entirely up to you. It is not compulsory to include family members. They can be included in the programme if you want.

Is education for children subsidized in only one country or in the entire EU?

Residency status will enable children to attend state schools in the particular country of residence. Once citizenship is granted (i.e. an EU passport), then children gain access to all EU educational institutions!