Second citizenship isn’t just for investors with seven-figure bank accounts and booming investment portfolios. You don’t need a private jet either.
Many residency and second citizenship programmes are absolutely attainable, at a lower initial outlay than you’d think. Especially looking at programmes with real estate investment criteria, which can offer around 5 percent ROI per year.
As well as life-changing benefits forever.
Don’t have spare millions kicking about? Don’t worry. Here’s who second citizenship is for.
1. It’s for people who don’t want to be left behind
Travel wherever you want without worrying about visa restrictions
If you come from a country that faces harsh international travel restrictions, you probably feel trapped. Claustrophobic.
Plus, it’s fundamentally unfair.
Such passport restrictions have nothing to do with you as an individual and everything to do with the international standing your country has. You wind up paying the price for something that’s totally out of your control.
Why should your friends plan trips at a moment’s notice, while you need months of warning to secure visas? If you can secure visas at all. Why should taking a family holiday turn into Mission Impossible? Why should your children be left behind, when all their friends travel through Europe for the summer?
It shouldn’t. Second citizenship levels the playing field.
The Saint Lucia Citizenship-by-Investment programme, for example, delivers your passport and permanent citizenship in just four months. This gives you visa-free travel to 145 countries worldwide. It’s a strong passport too, and will unlock most foreign visas.
All that’s required is a real estate investment of USD 300,000 or a USD 100,000 donation to the National Economic Fund.
Second citizenship in Dominica requires even less investment. Single applicants need to make a minimum investment of USD 200,000 in Dominican real estate, or make a Government Fund donation of USD 100,000.
2. It’s for people who hate paying unfair taxes
Avoid paying unjustified taxes that make no sense
There’s a huge gap between the highest and lowest tax countries. Saint Lucia and Dominica, for example, impose no personal income tax. Sweden, by contrast, charges 62%, and in India most businesses have to pay a 35% corporation tax.
That means with personal, corporate and other taxes combined, you’re often giving away more than half your earnings. You could do exactly the same job, work just as hard, but earn double the amount if you were born somewhere with a lighter tax burden.
Looking at it another way, it means you could leave double the amount you leave for your family, when the time comes. Japan, for example, charges 55% inheritance tax. That’s 55% on money that’s already been taxed, let’s remember. Compared to tens of countries that have zero wealth taxes, like Malta or Portugal.
That’s ridiculous, and why so many people turn to second citizenship.
Take Cyprus. Cypriot citizens only pay 12.5% corporation tax and enjoy various exemptions on wealth taxes like estate duty.
This citizenship-by-investment programme requires you to make an investment of EUR 2.5M in real estate and donate EUR 150,000 in which the donation will be equally distributed between the Research and Innovation Foundation and the Cyprus Land Development Corporation.
Although the real estate investment initially seems steep – EUR 2.5M – it offers ROI during the five years you hold the asset for. Up to 5% per annum, in some cases.
3. It’s for people who need a plan B
Safeguard you and your family’s future with a powerful insurance policy
You might assume second citizenship is primarily for people looking to relocate, but that’s not the case. Many investors simply want to know they could relocate should they need to.
Political situations you never thought would come about, can. Wars you never thought would start, do. Money you thought would always be safe, isn’t. In a much shorter timeframe than anyone likes to imagine.
If the worst-case does happen and living in your home country becomes untenable or undesirable, second citizenship is a powerful insurance policy.
It means you can simply grab your family, pack your belongings and get on a plane. Today, if you need to.
Residency-by-investment in Portugal is another highly attractive option. It brings great potential ROI through real estate investment, a highly attractive tax regime and access to all the 26 Schengen states.
The programme also allows you to obtain your permanent Portuguese residency after 5 years with the option of applying for full citizenship later on. There are a number of options, including real estate investments as low as EUR 350,000.
Therefore, you can forget all about possible worst-case scenarios, knowing you’ve got a plan B if you need it.
4. It’s for people who want their children to grow up in Europe
Give your children and children’s children the gift of opportunity
Europe is one of the most desirable places in the world to bring up family. It’s diverse, liberal and culturally vibrant. The education system is absolutely top tier, attracting many of the best and brightest thinkers worldwide.
What’s more, the business environment is exceptional. There are few places more exciting for budding entrepreneurs.
Why should those benefits be off limits? Your family deserves the same opportunities as anyone from the UK, Germany or France.
Many people have to settle for sending children abroad to study, if they can afford international fees.
Second citizenship can be truly life-changing because it means you become truly European. Not a tourist or foreign student.
Your children’s children will be European too, granted citizenship-by-descent just like any other European child. Your children’s children’s children too. Your investment today is a fork in the road.
Plus, it’s much more attainable than you might think.
Take Malta, for example. You can gain your Maltese permanent residency by fulfilling these three criteria:
Purchase property with a minimum value of EUR 320,000 in Central and Northern Malta, or EUR 270,000 in Gozo and South Malta. Alternatively, you can rent property with an annual rental of at least EUR 12,000 (EUR 10,000 in Gozo or the South).
Invest at least EUR 250,000 in securities listed on the Official List of the Malta Stock Exchange, with an option to pay in instalments.
Make a non-refundable Government National Development and Social Fund contribution of EUR 30,000.
As these points prove, it’s a myth that second citizenship is just for the wealthiest elite. Second citizenship is much more widely attainable than you might have thought, and appealing ROI potential means these programmes make a smart investment in their own right.