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All You Need To Know About The Switzerland Citizenship Program
Table Of Contents
Switzerland Citizenship Program Overview
The country has long since built a foreigner friendly country and this would explain why people seem to always be in such a frenzy to go there and even take part in the Switzerland citizenship program.
It has very high living standards, world class infrastructure, it offers political neutrality and freedom and it is a safe haven for affluent retirees and wealthy investors.
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Benefits Of Living In Switzerland
- Travel visa free in Europe
- Privacy and Freedom
- Ideal for Retirees and Wealthy families
- Investment or purchase of Real estate property
- Choice of Location
Swiss Immigrant Investor Programme
A foreigner from Non-EU country, can get Swiss residence permit in 2 ways:
- Company Formation (For Corporate)
- Lump Sum Taxation (For Retirees)
The Lump Sum Taxation is ideal for wealthy individuals or retirees, while the company formation is ideal for investors and corporate when trying to become a part of the Switzerland citizenship program.
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Any foreign national, can form a company in Switzerland (in a canton), with the scope of creating jobs to local Swiss citizens, thus contributing to the economic development of the country.
The owner of the company is eligible for residence permit.
The most popular forms of company are GmBH / SARL (like LLC) and AG (for corporations). The Canton of Zug, because of low corporate taxes are much favourable canton to form company.
Lump Sum Taxation
This is a fixed fee Swiss residence program that gives the investor the opportunity to get residence permit in Switzerland, upon paying a annual lump sum taxation fee – a minimum of CHF 150’000 (approx USD 170’000) or more, depending on the Swiss canton except Zurich.
This annual tax fee may go up to CHF 1 million or more depending on the canton and it is irrespective of family of worldwide income or assets.
The residence permit is offered to retirees, wealthy individuals or a business employee who played an integral role in setting up a Swiss company.
By paying this fee, there is no need to declare worldwide income and assets. You can see why this program is so popular.
It usually takes about 3-4 months to get a residence permit.
Requirements Of The Swiss Investor Programme
The main eligibility criteria for getting residence permit are:
- No employment or occupation in Switzerland.
- First time residence in Switzerland and foreigner should not have resided in Switzerland for the last 10 years.
- No Swiss Citizenship.
- No age limit for EU nationals.
Requirement Of Rented Or Purchased Residence In Switzerland
Persons who apply for this program should be above 18 years of age and those who seek residence permit under retirement must be above 55 years s of age and prove adequate financial means.
Persons applying for this program need to produce long list of identification documents, besides having clean criminal record and good moral character.
Foreign citizens who have a residence permit, are allowed to buy real estate property such as apartment or a home, without the need for prior approvals in Switzerland.
By paying this lump sum taxation fee to the canton, there is no need to declare worldwide income and assets to Swiss authorities. This is the main advantage of Switzerland, compared to other high tax countries.
As a rule of thumb, the Lump-sum taxation is calculated based on 5 times the annual rental income or the annual living expenses, whichever is higher. For example lets say that you have rented the apartment for CHF 10’000 a month and your total living expenses comes to CHF 200’000 annually.
The monthly rental of CHF 10’000, becomes CHF 120’000 yearly and then multiplied by 5 becomes CHF 600’000. Since CHF 600’000 is higher than that of yearly living expenses, at 30% of CHF 600’000 comes the payable tax CHF 180’000 annually.
A foreigner can apply for citizenship after 12-15 yrs of residency, but there is no guarantee that the government will issue citizenship as it is increasingly very difficult to get Switzerland citizenship.
We’ve prepared a great article if you’re looking for information on buying a second passport.
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Minimum Investment When Applying For The Switzerland Citizenship Program
Investors should have a minimum of USD 250,000 or more (CHF 200,000) at their disposal, before applying for Swiss residence program (corporate or lump sum).
If you’re interested in a second passport make sure you read our in depth guide on citizenship by investment.