Second Citizenship by Investment: Exploring the Legitimate and Lucrative Industry
Have you ever heard of buying passports from other countries and dismissed it as an underground practice? Contrary to popular belief, this is a legitimate and lucrative industry targeting high net worth individuals and their families. Second citizenship by investment is the name given to this practice, where individuals can secure a second citizenship by making a substantial investment.
You may be surprised to learn that countries such as the UK and the USA offer such programmes, in addition to more well-known countries like Malta. Although these programmes may not be as publicized, they offer the possibility of becoming a citizen of that respective country’s citizenship by investment programme in exchange for investment.
There are several reasons why someone may choose to go through a citizenship by investment programme if they can afford it. One reason is for added security, especially if they are from a hostile territory or if the current political situation in their country is volatile. Another reason is to seek fiscal and taxation benefits, such as the attractive tax system offered by the Malta Individual Investor Programme. Additionally, some may seek a second citizenship to enjoy a better quality of life, with greater educational options for their children and a more advanced healthcare system.
The requirements for citizenship by investment programmes can vary greatly depending on which programme a person opts for. For example, some programmes may require the applicant to physically reside in the country for a set period, while others may be more flexible. Due diligence processes are usually extensive, with the applicant and any family members required to be deemed “fit and proper”. The investment amount can vary greatly as well, ranging from $250,000 to as high as $12,000,000, with options for investment including real estate, business, and government bonds. The timeframe for citizenship by investment applications also varies, with the premise that the higher the investment, the shorter the timeframe.
Most citizenship by investment programmes allow for family members to be included, including children, and some even allow for parents and grandparents to be included, potentially enabling the whole family to be relocated.