Second passports: Why business owners should invest in citizenship

By Saturday, December 16, 2017 0 No tags Permalink

The investment immigration market has grown rapidly over the last few years. The increasing number of countries offering these programmes and instability in other regions means a second passport can offer the freedom of movement and quality of life that high net individuals seek.


Citizenship by investment is the process where a significant monetary contribution into a country’s economy grants you a passport and citizenship in that country. Citizenship by investment differs from residency programmes as they are permanent and you will have full citizenship rights in your new country.


The advantages of investing in these programmes are not just limited to your personal life. The burgeoning interest in investment-based citizenship programmes also has its routes in business. From new opportunities in growing international real estate markets to more affordable taxation, business owners are increasingly looking into owning a second passport. Is it time you do too?


Investment immigration can open up new business opportunities


Many countries are not only welcoming business people but actively seeking them to invest in their economies. According to Associated Press, more than 24 countries now offer citizenship to people willing to invest in a business, real estate or government bonds.


Many of the nations that offer these programmes have small but growing economies and real estate opportunities that offer not just a place to live, but genuine value for money. For example, Grenada offers citizenship by investment through government-approved real estate projects. These projects are largely tourism-related, with a range of eco-hotels and villas being developed on the island.
The growing popularity of Grenada’s citizenship programme can be attributed to the nation’s booming tourism sector. Real estate developments that are being built to facilitate a growth in tourist arrivals are fantastic opportunities for investors looking for high returns.


Obtaining second citizenship can have tax benefits for international businesses


For business owners looking to expand operations abroad, second citizenships can simplify their tax situation, and for residents of countries with particularly high rates of income tax, a second passport may be a sensible option.


World Finance suggest German and French individuals may be attracted to citizenship by investment as local politicians are seeking “to force the payment of income tax on international income irrespective of the tax residence.”


According to the Financial Times, tax is one of the primary factors in the rise in popularity of citizenship programmes. Many investors are looking for jurisdictions that are more tax-friendly, where they can set up tax residency. For this reason, it’s no wonder that Caribbean islands, some of whom were amongst the first to introduce these programmes, are particularly popular. St Kitts and Nevis, for example, has no personal income tax.


You can enjoy greater international mobility


It’s not just the country offering citizenship that is attractive to investors, but the greater travel opportunities that come with having second citizenship. Having a second passport can be a way of ensuring you have visa-free travel to important trading markets such as the EU and the Schengen Area. For example, Dominican citizens are entitled to visa-free travel to more than 115 countries and territories, including Europe’s Schengen area, the United Kingdom, Singapore, and Hong Kong.


Ordinarily, obtaining a working visa can be a long and drawn out process. This can be a particular burden in the fast-paced world of international business. If you have an important meeting that involves travelling abroad, having visa-free access to a country negates the need to apply for a work visa. This could turn out to be difference between making the meeting and sealing an important deal, or missing out and losing the sale.

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