A financial advisory company says the number of high net worth individuals seeking dual citizenship is on the rise with inquiries they have received increasing by 45% over the last year. The reasons behind this is are the opportunity for visa-free global travel, political stability, access to better education and healthcare, tax efficiency, and wider business growth opportunities.
I’m actually quite surprised at how easy it is to obtain a second passport. In my case, as my family emigrated from the Mediterranean region in the 1950s, I can apply for a European Union passport by virtue of my grandfathers’ parentage. All I have to do is fill in some forms and pay some money.
And, as recent parliamentary history suggests, it’s possible some of us already enjoy the benefits of a second citizenship without even knowing it.
The deVere Group’s CEO, Nigel Green, says “Wealthy individuals around the world are now increasingly considering investing in a second citizenship or overseas residency”.
He says this goes beyond being a status symbol and there are other, further-reaching advantages which we’ve outlined above.
Typically, the path to citizenship starts with residency as it is typically less costly, an easier process to complete and is a recognised gateway to full citizenship.
In some cases, the wheels towards residency and citizenship are greased by investing in a country. For example, purchasing about €250,000 of real estate in Greece will get you residency. In Portugal, you only need to be there for two weeks a year to get the full residency benefits to live, work, open a business and study there with complete access to travel across Europe’s Schengen area. After six years, you can make the jump to obtaining full citizenship.
Many Australians, given our rich tradition of accepting immigrants, have dual citizenship or residency. I’m curious – do many Lifehacker readers have dual citizenship or residency? Is it worth obtaining and maintaining? What benefits does it confer?