January 5, 2018


Further liberalization of remittance of investment from India to foreign countries for Immigration purposes; including USA EB-5 investor visa:

Over a period of time, the Foreign Exchange Reserve in India has increased India’s foreign exchange (Forex) reserve to $377.751 billion US, the gold reserve to $20.691 billion, SDRs (Special Drawing Rights with the IMF) to $ 1.512 billion and IMF reserves to $2.291 billion totaling US$ 402.246 billion as of September 22, 2017, as per Forex.

As per one survey, the government of India is aims to have a foreign reserve of $ 750 Billion dollars.

In view of the continued rise of the foreign reserve , RBI ( Central Bank of India) has further liberalized the remittance of foreign currency from India to abroad.

Following are the latest proposals included under the Liberalized Remittance Scheme (LRS). 
Individual Indian citizens can avail of foreign exchange facilities for the following purposes, granted that they remain within the LRS limit of USD $250,000 on a financial year basis.

  1. Private visits to any country (except Nepal and Bhutan)
  2. Gift or donation
  3. Going abroad for employment
  4. Emigration
  5. Maintenance of close relatives abroad
  6. Travel for business, or attending a conference or specialized training
  7. Meeting medical expenses, or check-ups abroad, or for accompanying as attendant to a patient going abroad for medical treatment/ check-up
  8. Studies abroad
  9. Any other current account transaction is not covered under the definition of the current account in FEMA 1999.

This limit is US$ 250,000 per year per person, therefore a family of 4 can remit a million dollars in each financial year which is from April 1 to March 31 of the following year.
It is important to note that the Government of India has allowed the remittance of the fund for Immigration purposes, which opens the gate in India for all types of Residency and Citizenship programs around the world.

This will also allow the Indian citizen to make an investment in foreign business, real estate or unlisted securities and at the same time obtain residency and citizenship by investment.

January 5, 2018

Reducing a child’s foreign education fees by 80% is the number one reason to apply for residency and citizenship by investment. 

What is Residency and Citizenship by Investment?

Residency and Citizenship by Investment program is an immigration program introduced by many countries that allows successful businessmen, HNIs, and Start-Ups to obtain residency and/or citizenship (passport) of that country. This is a widely used tool by HNIs in all developed and developing countries to achieve a variety of goals.

Why invest abroad?

For Indian and Asian businessmen living in an emerging market, making investments abroad can be for a variety of reasons. If the goal is to make an investment in a foreign stock market to obtain higher returns on investment, it can be easily done by opening an online account with one of the premium banks and making an investment.

However, if the goal is not just financial returns but also achieving non-financial gains, one needs to look very closely at the country of choice and their investment rules.

Discussed below are some of the major reasons that prompt HNIs to make investments in foreign lands.

Under the Residency & Citizenship by Investment Programs, it is possible to obtain residency and/or citizenship of other countries through legitimate investment.

Following are the major reasons for investing abroad with residency and citizenship benefits:

  1. Children’s education:

Several surveys show that Asian parents give top priority to their children’s education and are particularly keen that they study abroad. This is probably due to the fact that the approach and attitude towards education in Western countries is very different compared to that in Asian countries. The number of Indian students studying abroad has increased many-fold in past 5 years. In the year 2010, more than 400,000 Indian students were studying in different countries around the world. HNIs and Upper Middle Class (UMC) of India can plan their children’s study in foreign countries by making investments in risk-free but unconventional products in many countries of the world. There are excellent opportunities available for investing in countries like the USA, Canada, the UK, and the Caribbean islands which guarantee subsidized education for children of these investors.

Moreover, these investments are likely to give residency status to the family, giving the child a jump start in his/her career after finishing studies. During summer months, the child would be working in a proper job of his/her liking rather than working in unrelated minimum wage jobs. At campus recruitment, the child will not be discriminated on basis of being a foreign student.

If your child is highly skilled or a budding entrepreneur, the residency status will give him/her a jump start in starting his own start-up/business.

One of my young clients who had a brilliant business idea received VC funding in India and the USA. He then asked his parents to make an investment for him to receive USA residency so that he can start his business in the USA without any problems.

One of my Pakistani clients sent his son for higher studies in Canada. Within one year of study, my client realized that it was more economical and practical to obtain residency of Canada for the whole family by investing in Canadian government bonds.

  1. Quality of life:

HNIs and UMC in India now have sizable assets and disposable income. Hence foreign travel and pleasure trips abroad have become frequent occurrences. After having traveled abroad, they aspire to achieve the quality of life lived by people in developed countries. To this end, they can invest and live abroad and still continue to maintain their business operations and family ties in India. The new liberalized foreign exchange policy allows many HNIs and UMC to purchase their own real estate in countries they wish to live in or visit frequently.

3. Expansion of business:

Even though India is an economic powerhouse and Western countries are keen to develop trading ties with India, many Indian businessmen face hindrance in traveling abroad for business or pleasure.

These businessmen can now expand their business in the USA, Canada, Australia, U.K., and many other countries around the world through investment and ensure easy visa-free travel to several countries around the world. These businessmen can easily travel in and out of India to their preferred destinations for business expansion, collaborations, forming alliances or for pleasure. Many HNIs and UMC will be taking advantage of the new foreign remittance policy to make investments in businesses abroad, thus diversifying their business. They may bring new technology to India or make an investment in African and South American countries and export Indian technology to these countries. This is a win-win situation for Indian businessmen who wish to establish a global presence.

  1.  NRI status and its benefits:

 Investing in foreign countries can also facilitate obtaining NRI status and avail of tax-exempted benefits associated with NRI status. As we already know, many Indian celebrities, politicians, and sports personalities have obtained residencies of different jurisdictions around the world in the past for tax planning purposes. Today, this investment opportunity is easily accessible to Indian HNIs and the UMC who can obtain NRI status and receive its benefits.  This is also beneficial to the Indian economy as this generates more NRIs who in turn reinvest back in India, remit foreign currency to India, and may also bring new business ideas and opportunities.

  1. Visa-free travel around the world:

Exporters, businessmen, or investors from India and Asia can obtain residency of certain countries which do not require physical stay but provide residence permits/passports. With these documents, they can travel visa-free to more than 130 countries.

 6. Reunion with family living abroad:

Due to the strict visa regime of many countries, many family members are left alone in India. By making an investment abroad (a relative abroad can also make an investment for a relative in India), relatives can reunite in the country of their choice.

  1. Retiring abroad:

Many HNIs and their families can take advantage of retiring abroad by making investments outside of India, thus having the best of both worlds.

  1. Tax planning:

Investing abroad can give you the best solution for tax planning by taking advantage of NRI status, making investments through legitimate international trusts, and DATT signed by India with many countries around the world.

  1. Wealth Management & Portfolio diversification:

Stock market data of 2011-17 shows that whatever is happening to the US and UK economy, at the end of the year, both stock markets did much better than Indian and Chinese stock markets. Therefore, investing abroad in developed countries could be the best option for wealth management and portfolio diversification for savvy investors and HNIs who wish to explore the world’s stock markets.

  1. Political reasons:

In today’s world, unrest is occurring in all parts of the world. Having a second passport a great option to keep your family safe.