For the wealthy, buying a second passport can be the ultimate luxury – both in terms of convenience and an impressive status symbol.
Forget needing to be born in another country or having to dig out your maternal grandmother’s birth certificate; high net worth individuals can purchase citizenship via Citizenship by Investment Programmes (CIPs), offered in a number of countries.
For a lot of wealthy people having a second or third passport is important for the ability to travel. For some it’s also a status symbol, like buying a fancy car to show your friends.
Second citizenship is becoming more than just getting a passport. There are certain advantages towards using second citizenship to create residence in countries where tax burdens would be lower than where you are at the current time.
Some 89 per cent of Britons would like to own a second passport and more than 34 per cent said they had looked into investing in a scheme that would let them obtain one, according to a 2017 survey published by CS Global Partners.
Meanwhile, 80 per cent of the 500 respondents said they’d be willing to invest or donate 5 per cent of their annual salary to gain a second citizenship.
In Nomad Capitalist’s annual assessment, the firm lists 10 of the best destinations to obtain a second passport in 2019 through CIPs, guaranteeing second citizenship within four to 12 months for those prepared to part with enough hard cash.
Obtaining Cyprus citizenship only takes 56 days and requires an investment of €2m in real estate, government bonds, a bank deposit in a Cyprus bank or investment in a new company. Candidates must also own a €500,000 home in Cyprus forever.
Maltese citizenship requires a government donation of €650,000; an investment of €150,000 in Maltese government bonds for five years; and the purchase of a home on the main island costing at least €350,000 or the five-year lease of a property for at least €16,000.
Becoming a Moldovan citizen under a new programme requires a donation of €100,000 and a government fee or an investment of €250,000 in approved real estate. Turkey launched a similar scheme in 2017 – investing the Turkish lira equivalent of £195,000 into real estate and keeping it for three years can bag you a Turkish passport in a matter of months.
Outside Europe, the list recommends St Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, St Lucia and Vanuatu.