Getting a second passport is an asset that most people can only dream of. It brings freedom, stability, and immeasurable opportunities for those who have them.
While some people are lucky enough to be born with the right to multiple passports, others obtain passports later, sometimes through marriage or naturalization.
However, one of the best ways to get a second passport is through citizenship by investment. This guide details how to get a second passport legally and make the most of second citizenship.
The fastest (but certainly not the cheapest) way to acquire a second passport is through investing money in the country in exchange for a passport. It's called economic citizenship or Citizenship By Investment and is a legitimate way to buy a second passport and citizenship.
Reasons to get a second passport
Before World War I, you didn’t need a passport for international travel.People simply went wherever they wanted. In many cases, they didn’t need any kind of permission from a government agency.
Obviously, that’s not how it works today.Today, governments use passports to document and control their citizens. In my view, the world would be better off without them.Of course, passports are not going away. You will continue to need one to travel. This is why you’re better having more than one.A second passport keeps the government from locking you in. Without it, the government in your home country can effectively place you under house arrest by taking back your passport.
Among other things, having a second passport allows you to invest, bank, travel, live, and do business in places you wouldn’t otherwise be able to.
Obtaining a second passport is a fundamental step toward freeing yourself from absolute dependence on any one country. Once you have that freedom, it’s much harder for any government to control your destiny.
No matter where you live, you can benefit from the political diversification that comes with a second passport.
Why Should You Consider Second Citizenship?
It is now possible to acquire second citizenship from many countries.
However, the question remains; why do people consider second citizenship?
Whilst some of the reasons are more self-explanatory, a few of the points that we will mention in this article will explain ones you might have missed.
To be in possession of dual citizenship and secondary residency is more than just a document.
While the benefits gathered differ from one product to another, the below list summarizes the results of investing in citizenship & residency. The truth is that the country where you are born determines the way your life will unfold and later on that of your children.
So if you could choose where to have your citizenship, would you change it?
Freedom of Movement
The fundamental reason a person opts for secondary citizenship is 'Freedom'.
Education for all your children;
Equal rights independent of gender or race;
Ability to travel; and
Freedom of speech and self-expression.
If you may live in a more developed country where you never questioned your freedom of expression, consider yourself lucky.
Whilst this may seem reasonable, we can guarantee that this is not the case for a large number of countries and their inhabitants.
Let us explain…
It is a fact that no one can choose as to where they want to be born.
You might not know it but where you are born determines a substantial part of your life. The country you take birth in, the parents you are born to, whether you have access to education and wealth or not. The list continues to whether you live in an oppressive regime and wish for equal rights or live too close to polluted environments.
Most of the people in the developed world take these freedom rights for granted.
Nevertheless, the reality is that even the neighbourhood surroundings as a child will be a determining factor if you will succeed in life. For the ones who beat the odds and come from environments that are not easy or at the very least are more difficult from others, they now have options.
You can ensure that your family enjoy those freedoms that the western world (European Union/United States/Canada/Australia) take for granted. As an established individual, you can acquire citizenship through investment and secure your family's future.
Ease of Travel
They say travel broadens the mind.
However, does this saying still stand if your passport does grant you to travel as you wish?
Taking a look at your passport, you can easily tell if you have the opportunity to visit countries of your choice freely.
The vast majority who do not have this luxury will have to apply for a visa each time they travel.
Applying for a visa:
You are stuck in your country and will be prohibited from travelling either for business or for leisure. Should you be granted a Visa, you should note that this is not permanent and you will need to re-apply.
This constant renewal of a visa turns out to be a long and tedious process.
On the other hand, this might be very different from your situation. If you come from one of the countries which have an excellent credit rating, the odds are that you would have a very powerful passport. Different countries have different strengths in their travel documents.
The top countries which rank in the high places, typically have entry rights to 180+ countries. These include many of the most developed European countries, Malta being one of them, for the most part, which also forms part of the Schengen area.
The Schengen area is unique. You have different EU countries which have one trading block. There no border checks so a national ID is enough.
Plan B with Second Citizenship
‘Home sweet home’...
People tend to have a certain longing for their own country.
However, the reality is that if you are in a country which is:
Politically unstable; or
Economically unstable; or
At war with a neighbouring country.
Would you start to think - what if something else happens? Would you begin to worry about your family and their future?
Even if you have a wealthy family… The fact of the matter remains that if something happens in your country, then you become a travelling nomad.
Imagine you have a US visa or a Schengen visa, so after 90 days you have to leave the Schengen area and cannot travel to another country in the Schengen area. If something happens - you are subject, no matter your wealth to refugee status in another country.
Having the right to reside in a country other than your own is incredible insurance. This is where Plan B comes in if you opt for a full-blown EU citizenship which gives you the right to settle down in 32 countries.
Or whether you decide you want to limit your cost and want to go for a permanent residency in a country which offers good prospects or has economic and financial stability. The fact of the matter remains that it is an excellent insurance policy.
If something happens, you are safe in the knowledge that you can pick up and leave overnight with your family and continue your life in a different country.
Different countries operate under different economies.
Of those regimes, you have countries which are more stable, resulting in a predictable economy. Naturally, there are countries with an ever-fluctuating economy.
Business people always worry about the future of their companies. They want to have their master holding company in a jurisdiction which gives them protection. A jurisdiction with defined and clear rights along with adequate laws and transparency of the judicial process in case something goes wrong. Such transparency with definite laws is more common in developed countries.
If you decide that you want to have a holding company either for your business or for your assets, it does help if you are a resident or citizen of that country. Citizenship ensures that in the eyes of the law, you are recognized.
No country is immune to the nature of the economy; this is a fact of life.
There are a few countries in the world which have survived incredibly long periods without a recession. Still, the fact of the matter is that sooner or later, there tends to be a downturn. Though the severity of the downturn can differ from country to country.
For example, the only two EU countries that got hit the least during the 2008 financial crisis were Germany and Malta and were also the first ones to overcome the recession.
The economic stability doesn’t always guarantee that the country will not experience a slowdown or recession because, realistically, every country passes through it.
If you had to plot it on a chart - more moderate growth with the more moderate corrections, rather than fast growth and high-speed crashes.
Taking a country in the Mediterranean as an example, Malta offers a favourable jurisdiction for businesses when relocating to Malta.
It would be best if you pursued the countries which offer the most opportunities and the least barriers to entry.
Countries where you do not need to stress about:
Stable economy; and
Opportunity for business growth.
Take, for example, the EU or USA, the world’s largest economic zones. Effectively you gain the opportunity to reach a vast audience with the least possible barriers coupled with a high income per person.
The aim is to look to expand to people who have money and with the least hassles.
Acquiring residence or citizenship in another country must provide you with the best possibilities that your own country does not.
Choosing a country like Malta, which has enjoyed several successive years of highest economic growth in the EU, offers you endless possibilities with many booming industries such as iGaming and Blockchain.
So make sure to research a country's portfolio of industries before you make your decision. Take into account the countries economic predictability and evaluate if your business fits in the puzzle.
There are countries around the world where you need to live in gated compounds and where there are armed personnel at the gates.
Where if you stop at red lights you can end up with a gun against your head.
If you go down the wrong alley, you will be in trouble- this ends up as a very stressful living situation.
You might be living well, but you will always be concerned that you will be attacked or your children kidnapped or extorted. You’re in constant danger and uneasy.
One of the things people look out for when they have wealth is the possibility to relocate their family to a safe environment where they do not need to worry about what will happen to them when they get out of the house.
This is possible with second citizenship or permanent residency, which will grant you freedom of movement to safer countries.
The sixth reason to consider second citizenship is for your children and their education.
Every culture around the world tends to put a tremendous amount of emphasis on developing their children. This is consistent throughout cultures where they take great pride in promoting their children going forward.
It remains the fact that certain countries have far higher education quality than others. Parents often feel that they must have the best education to be able to compete with countries that are at the forefront.
Certain countries naturally give preference to their citizens, so, in this respect, people consider second citizenship. When a family with wealth has the opportunity to alternative citizenship for a better future for their children, it is worth considering.
Improving A Child’s Education means;
Same opportunities as leading countries;
Better career opportunities;
Higher quality of education;
Valuable social connections from a young age; and
Securing family wealth.
Some countries allow birthright to convert automatically to citizenship, such as the USA.
However, in the vast majority of the cases, being born in a particular country doesn’t denote you the right to inherit citizenship.
You will need to prove that there are far more genuine links, such as:
Parents connection to the country;
Family lineage; and/or
The motive for acquiring second citizenship.
By taking citizenship, you are guaranteeing that your future children and grandchildren will inherit citizenship by right.
This is a legacy plan that goes beyond setting up trusts and foundations or who controls the business. This is a guarantee that comes what may in your country of birth, you and your children can live and do business elsewhere.
Linking with Plan B, you need to provide the right, freedom that your children and grandchildren can live in peace.
Most people tend to confuse citizenship, ordinary residency and tax residency as one. They are not.
You can become a tax resident in the country without being a permanent resident and vice-versa.
You can be a tax resident in a country without being a citizen, and you can also become a citizen without being a tax resident.
While each of these statuses has some relation to one another, it is important to note the differences when considering;
Permanent residency; or
Critically they should not be seen as some automated tax avoidance system because they are not.
Be wary of any consultant or article that claims otherwise as this is a recipe for trouble. However, the fact of the matter remains that if you decide to lose your tax residency from one country by moving into another country, then a different set of rules apply.
There are exceptions. If you are an American citizen, it makes little difference whether you reside in the country or not, because you are always going to be taxed by virtue of being a US citizen.
However, ignoring the US, which is an exception, tax residency is usually denoted by the number of days spent within a country. Some people decide to physically change their residency by ensuring that they are not spending enough days in any particular country.
There are solutions to those people who are known as tax nomads; i.e. not spending enough time to qualify under any of the tax resident rules.
Again people are mistaken in their belief that just because they are not spending 183 days in one place that they are now free from paying tax. This is not correct, and the reality is that it will give rise to the country that you have spent most of your time and most links to potentially claiming tax residency.
There are solutions which mitigate this, but if you decide to pick up residency or citizenship, then you pick it up in a country that has an advantageous tax regime.
Relocation Services in Europe
From time to time, whether it is for family purposes or economic opportunities or retirement, people will move.
People wanting to change their country for many reasons like:
Lack of career opportunities;
Lack of freedom of movement;
No security for the family;
Poor business stability; and
You have taken the conscious decision to let go of your country of birth and relocate another country.
Retirement is one of the main motivations to relocate.
To secure your retirement plans, you need two things:
For your retirement, you need to secure yourself in a country that is tax-efficient and protects your assets. Relocating to a new country is quite the feat, but with the help from the right advisors, it could be a whole lot easier.
It would be best if you considered a country that:
Offers citizenship through investment;
Offers visa-free travel;
Good quality of living;
Good connectivity; and
Desirable living locations.
And finally, we have status.
How would you like to become a member of a very exclusive club?
The price tag?
Around 1 million euros (US$1.15 million).
For people who have a yacht, a jet, a home in London, a condo in New York and a villa in the south of France; Spending a million euros on citizenship is also a status symbol to add to that list. The ones which denote the most rights are the most expensive. Whether or not you may, or may not need, all of the benefits immediately is irrelevant.
However, you can show your friends that you have this ultimate calling card which you can be used for future endeavours.
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