Buying a second passport is a trend that caught on in the 1990s when several countries began offering citizenship-by-investment programs. It is important to pay attention to the specifics of different programs as each country has different requirements. Some countries only offer such programs for residency and do not offer citizenship. In this case, it is important to question the value of the passport.
One of the main reasons affluent families give for buying a second passport is that they see them as insurance policies. They want to have something to fall back on in the event of a major disaster in their home country. For example, in the United States, the number of affluent families seeking second passports increased by 300% between 2019 and 2021 when the coronavirus pandemic hit.
But which countries offer these “golden passports”? Let’s take a look at some of the best:
Portuguese citizenship by investment
Portugal is in the process of forging a solid reputation. Some have even started calling it the next California. There is a lot of talent and wealth moving there. The minimum investment required is around €500,000 and you must stay there at least seven days a year. Once the permit expires, you can also apply for citizenship, which will take about three more years.
Maltese citizenship by investment
Malta’s Global Residency Program is a much more lucrative option for those who want to enjoy all the benefits of EU citizenship without having to spend more than half a million Euros. Under this program, you will need to buy a property costing between €275,000 and €220,000 depending on its location or rent a property between €9,600 and €8,750 for a period of 12 months. The entire application can easily be fulfilled at less than half the price.
Cypriot citizenship by investment
Many consider Cyprus to be the most customizable option. The minimum investment amount required here is €2,000,000 and you will need to hold the investments you make for at least five years. First, you will receive permanent residency for six months, after which you will receive citizenship. There are no time in country requirements under this program, so you won’t even have to go to maintain your status. This is the main reason why Cyprus is such a popular option.
Grenada Citizenship by Investment
Grenada is an independent and stable country linked to the British monarchy. It is a popular destination for cruise ships and tourism is one of the main contributors to its economy. You will need a real estate investment of at least $350,000 or you could donate $250,000 to the NTF (National Transformation Fund). With real estate investing, you get citizenship for your family, no matter how small. With the NTF donation, you will only get citizenship for four members of your family.
Citizenship of Montenegro by investment
Montenegro does not allow dual citizenship, but there is a special exception for citizenship by investment. You will need to make an investment of €100,000 in government and an investment of €450,000 to €250,000 in real estate depending on location. Remember that you won’t be able to sell this investment for at least five years. This program was originally supposed to end on December 31, 2021, but the country has decided to extend it until December 31, 2022. So hurry.
Vanuatu citizenship by investment
Most people may not even have heard of this country. It is an archipelago of islands near Australia. The program in this country instantly offers citizenship to a family in a location that has no income, inheritance, or wealth taxes. However, there is only a donation option here. You will need to donate $130,000 for an individual, $150,000 for a couple, $165,000 for a couple and one child, or $180,000 for a couple with two children. For each additional family member, you will need to donate an additional $25,000. It takes about a month for approval after everything has been submitted, giving this program the unique record of being the fastest path to citizenship through investment.
If you have the money, there are several options for obtaining a second passport. Given the uncertainty in the global economy today, a second passport might seem useful at some point. At the height of the pandemic, many US nationals were barred from entering the EU. This problem could have easily been solved if they had a European passport. Who knows what will happen tomorrow – the future is uncertain. It seems that securing a second passport is a logical step for anyone who can afford it.
(Devdiscourse journalists were not involved in the production of this article. The facts and opinions appearing in the article do not reflect the views of Devdiscourse and Devdiscourse claims no responsibility for them.)