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Why do you need a Second Citizenship?

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Geopolitical change usually accompanies global disasters such as war and pestilence, and the Coronavirus pandemic is proving to be no exception.  Governments across the world are implementing new policies that have been bubbling away under the surface for some time and now circumstances have provided the environment and motivation needed to bring them to fore.  An example is the UAE government’s decision to ban workers from 13 countries, including Pakistan, Turkey, and Syria until further notice.  As the economic impact of the pandemic progresses into 2021, governments may be forced to make further tough decisions.  However, high-net-worth (HNW) people can protect themselves from policies such as tax rises or sanctions by obtaining a second citizenship/passport or permanent residency in another country.

Rather than have to live and work in a country for several years to obtain citizenship by naturalisation, HNW people can seek to qualify for citizenship or residency of another nation by investing in qualifying government projects, bonds, or selected real estate.  This type of economic citizenship or residency is usually free from the traditional citizenship requirements nations demand, such as the requirement to speak the official language of the country and reside in the country for a certain number of days in the year (sometimes known as continuous residence).

The advantages of a second citizenship/passport or residency by investment

Aside from protecting you against the vicissitudes of government policies, a second citizenship/passport or residency can provide:

  • Visa-free entry into countries not included on your current passport.  For example, a successful application to the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme gives visa-free access to 184 countries and EU citizenship, making it highly desirable.
  • The ability to purchase property with relative ease in another State.
  • Access to healthcare, education, and work opportunities in your second country for you and your family.
  • Tax benefits - many countries offering Citizenship/Residency by Investment have low-tax regimes.  And for citizens of America, who are often required to pay US taxes on their worldwide income, obtaining a second nationality and renouncing their American citizenship means double-taxation no longer applies.

In short, having another citizenship/residency gives you and your family options.  And in these uncertain times, the more options you have, the greater your ability to take advantage of opportunities and ensure your wealth is protected.

The types of programmes available

TWS Legal Consultants can advise and represent you on making a Citizenship/Residency by Investment application.  An example of a popular programme we can advise you on is Montenegro, which has a hybrid system requiring an investment and donation.  Following a donation of €100,000, to qualify for citizenship, you will need to invest in government-approved real estate located in one of two tiers.  The first tier is in the skiing and farm regions in the north of the country, where an investment of €250,000 is required.  The more popular coastal areas require an investment of €450,000.

Montenegro is first in line to join the EU, possibly by 2025.  At present, the country enjoys extremely low taxes (this may come under scrutiny with EU membership) and is one of the few Citizenship by Investment Programmes that gives visa-free access to Russia.

One of the least expensive programmes is offered by Dominica.  Comprising of a donation or investment in approved real estate, a passport will be granted in two to three months.  The Dominica program was recognised as the best in the world three years in a row by the Financial Times’ Professional Wealth Management magazine which publishes a CBI index.

The Dominica Chronicle has reported:

“Experts also lauded Dominica for being an industry front-runner in its effective use of Citizenship by Investment funds to achieve its goal of becoming “the world’s first climate-resilient nation” and how the small Caribbean island is becoming a “model nation” to EU countries like Malta and Cyprus, especially its Housing Revolution Project.”

Wrapping up

Obtaining a second citizenship/passport or residency through investment ensures that you and your family have the freedom required to live and travel throughout the world as your personal and business circumstances require.  Our legal consultants can advise you on applying for several popular programmes.

To find out more, please contact our office at info@twslegal.ae or call +971 4 448 4284.

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