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June 04, 2020

5 ways citizenship-by-investment saves you money

5 ways second citizenship-by-investment saves you money
rihab saad


Rihab Saad

General Manager

Next Generation Equity

Second citizenship is an expensive luxury, you probably think. Certainly worth consideration, but only when you’re feeling flush. The thing is though, citizenship-by-investment doesn't just cost money. It saves you money. Sometimes in triple figures.

Here’s how.

1 - Second citizenship can save money on taxes

When it comes to tax, it sometimes feels like you can’t move a muscle without haemorrhaging money. However the harder you work, you generally end up giving a huge chunk away. Sometimes even a larger chunk than you take home, depending where you’re from. And that figure dwindles even further when you start thinking about providing for heirs, with inheritance and gift taxes hitting your already-taxed wealth.

In some places, prohibitive taxes apply even if you don’t live in the country. Take the US, for instance. Even if you’re a US citizen who lives abroad, you still pay taxes on your worldwide income.

Avoid prohibitive taxes with Caribbean second citizenship

If your current country has high taxes, a second citizenship could pay for itself purely in tax savings.

From the tax perspective, the Caribbean citizenship programmes are especially worthwhile. For example, Dominican non-resident citizens are exempt from personal income tax unless sourced or derived in Dominica, plus exempt from wealth tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax. Likewise, Saint Kitts and Nevis citizens pay no personal income tax, no inheritance tax, no wealth tax and no capital gains. 

The Caribbean programmes are also generally the most affordable, with an ROI that is even greater. Even the moderately wealthy are looking at saving money on taxes with Caribbean second citizenship.

2 - Second citizenship can save money on visas

Citizens from countries with powerful passports can travel visa-free or on visa-on-arrival terms to many locations worldwide. Malta, for instance, has one of the most powerful passports in the world as of 2020, and holders can travel to 183 countries without any visa. 

In contrast, citizens from many other countries can travel to 50 or less countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms – and that’s if they can get a visa at all.

That has a significant cost implication, not only in terms of visa costs but also the costs associated with delaying your travel plans. For instance, US citizens need a visa to visit Russia, setting them back nearly RUB 15,000 and up to 6 weeks. Citizens of Grenada, on the other hand, can visit Russia visa-free.

Visa fees can quickly add up if you travel often, plus the delays associated with each and the additional cost of last-minute flight and hotel booking once you know your visa has been confirmed. The fact is, having a weaker passport makes travelling more of a hassle – and more costly – both for business and pleasure.

Avoid lost-business and visa costs with a European passport

The best citizenship-by-investment programmes on the global mobility front are generally European. For instance, Montenegro passport holders can travel to 124 countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms, Maltese citizens can travel to 183 visa-free etc. 

If you do travel often, second citizenship in these countries could well save you money (and time) by increasing the countries you can visit without paying for a visa in advance. Then there’s the money you save thanks to not missing important business and networking opportunities that often can’t wait weeks while you get a visa.

3 - Second citizenship can save money on education

If you’ve got children, it’s natural you’d want to help them build a future of opportunity and prosperity. Education plays a major role and not only from the perspective of knowledge and qualifications.

As most people recognise, a high-quality education also furnishes you with an impressive network; with vital language skills; with understanding of cultural nuance; with an international perspective that drives creative thinking; with the confidence to seize – and create – opportunities.

However, that standard of education isn’t available in every country in the world – which leads many students and their families to consider international options.

Unfortunately, an international education is often prohibitively expensive, if it’s possible to secure a competitive international place at all. Plus, students often face visa issues immediately after graduating, which somewhat defeats the point as they can’t take advantage of the same opportunities as their peers.

Reduce the costs of higher education with European citizenship

In the UK, one third of Oxford’s university with 24,299 students are international students, from over 150 countries. Likewise, one third of the Cambridge university with 18,000 students are international citizens too.

Those numbers prove how desirable an education here is – but it’s also a costly route unless you hold European citizenship. For Oxford, for example, UK and EU students pay GBP 9250 in annual tuition fees, for which they can secure a full loan. In contrast, international students pay up to GBP 23,885 annually plus an annual college fee of GBP 7570 – and aren’t eligible for any fee support. Over a four-year degree, that’s over GBP 125,000 without financial support versus GBP 37,000 on a full loan for European citizens.

Which makes European citizenship-by-investment a very sound, cost-saving investment. Consider, you could secure Montenegrin citizenship for your family from EUR 350,000 - to save nearly EUR 90,000 per child on their education, plus all the other benefits of citizenship.

4 - Second citizenship can save money on trade

Countries with global travel agreements almost always also have global trade agreements, to make international trade more affordable and easier for business people.

The most significant of those by most people’s reckoning is the European Union. The EU is the largest economy in the world, worth more than a quarter of global GDP. Businesses operating within the single market enjoy preferential trade terms and tariffs, plus fewer delays and less red tape.

The EU’s size also means it has the clout to negotiate better trade terms worldwide for EU member nations, including opening new markets, increasing protection for trading businesses, increasing investment opportunities, speeding up trade by making customs clearance easier and creating certainty by setting clear rules to govern trading.

Unlock preferable trade conditions with an EU citizenship

If you’re involved in trade, becoming part of the EU is an obvious choice because it allows you to easily establish an SE - a European Company - which is a public liability company regulated by the EU. Doing so can reduce your trade costs, increase the speed of doing business and give you access to a vast new market – all of which save you money and increase your profits long-term.

Which second citizenship programmes you choose to unlock EU trade depends on your timeframes. By far the fastest route into the EU is Cyprus, which takes only 6 to 8 months to full citizenship – and all the trade savings that involves.

5 - Second citizenship can save money on living costs

Living costs are generally a drop in the ocean compared to tax, education, trade and travel. But it’s still worth mentioning, if anything as an insurance policy for the future.

Because if you ever do need a more affordable lifestyle, second citizenship can be your path to get there – without giving up the finer things in life. Like maybe one day you want to retire in style but don’t want to pull money out of assets to do so.

Relocating to a country with a low-cost, high-quality lifestyle could be the perfect way to achieve that without stripping your assets.

Second citizenship is an investment that saves – and makes – money

Citizenship-by-investment does represent a cost, of course. But hopefully this article helps prove that it’s predominantly an investment. A lifetime investment that can save you a considerable amount of money across several key areas and also an investment that generates substantial returns, not only financially but also in terms of the opportunity and freedom it grants you.

Next Generation Equity is a government-approved provider of second citizenship and residency programmes tailored to the individual needs of discerning clients across the globe. To learn more about our programmes, please sign up for a free consultation via the form below.

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