A quick guide to 3 Jus Soli jurisdictions in South America
What qualifies as a top jurisdiction? It should
- Be “taken seriously” geopolitically. It is difficult to predict what the world will look in 20 years but this is just simple risk management if only for the impression that the passport will give.
- Have a reasonable chance of offering better prospects to the child in 20 years
- have top class medical care available. It is your (future) family we are discussing here.
- offer a good deal for the parents, whether this be in the form of economic prospects, residency, citizenship, etc.
Here are the top 3 picks:
PROS: Heavyweight, developing economy (it is the “B” in “BRIC”) with a lot of prospects over the next 20 years, such as a developing middle class and hard commodity exports. Parents immediately qualify for residence and citizenship after one year of legal residence. Minimum formalities – no proof of income, no police record – basically nothing except a proof of residence and the birth certificate.
CONS: Costs can start to add up if not properly planned out and managed. Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo (where the best medical facilities are) are more expensive than London or New York according to research and experience.
CONCLUSION: With proper cost planning (bring your own baby stuff in the suitcase!) and on the ground management this one is a winner.
PROS: Not without its flaws but this is the most open economy in South America with incentives for foreign entrepreneurs to set up there. Prospects look good over the next 20 years.
CONS: There are no specific advantages for parents to qualify for residence on the basis of their child – they will go through the normal residence application system. That being said, the normal application is designed to be efficient, unlike many other jurisdictions.
CONCLUSION: This is a somewhat “niche” choice more for the long run. We can speculate that in the future Chile may go the route of other “smaller and smarter” countries (although Chile is not quite so small), like Singapore or Georgia.
This is a “dark horse” we are doing due diligence on. The kicker is that the constitution calls for immediate citizenship for the child’s parents. This is a constitutional issue, and requires active management through constitutional courts, as opposed to administrative courts (for visa issues and so on). Note that it seems possible to go either route in Argentina, with the administrative route being more common. We do have several concrete precedents and the prospects look very favorable.
CONS: Bear in mind that even with the immediate citizenship for parents this country is not as geopolitically strong, and the political situation seems to be a madhouse, with currency collapses and free viagra distribution a part of daily life. It’s difficult to say that an Argentine passport will offer greater opportunity (at least in Argentina) in 20 years.
If you’re interested in getting more information on any of these countries, particularly Brazil, please get in touch.