23 countries where money can buy you a second passport or 'elite residency'

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The super-rich are no longer just spending their money on private jets, yachts, and hotels — they’re also splashing out on second passports.

The Second Citizenship Survey 2017 from CS Global Partners found that 89% of people would like to own a second passport, and over 34% said they had looked into investing in a second citizenship.

Even more striking were the 80% who said they would be willing to invest or donate 5% of their annual salary for a second citizenship — more than they spend on monthly rent.

Luckily, a number of countries offer Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programs where money — normally invested in real estate — can actually buy a second passport, and the elite status that comes along with owning citizenship in another country.

Other programs offer „elite residency“ — an extended visa with perks — in exchange for similar investments.

Nuri Katz, President of Apex Capital Partners, an international advisory firm that specialises in CIPs, told Business Insider: „For a lot of wealthy people having a second or third passport is important for the ability to travel. For some it’s also a status symbol, like buying a fancy car to show your friends.“

He added that along with the travel benefits and the status that comes along with owning real estate around the world, the programs also allow people to manage their tax burdens.

„Second citizenship is becoming more than just getting a passport,“ he said. „There are certain advantages towards using second citizenship to create residence in countries where tax burdens would be lower than where you are at the current time.“

However, Katz explained there’s a difference between CIPs and residency programs.

„Citizenship is forever, and cannot be taken away unless you received it under fraudulent circumstances,“ he said. „You also get a passport.“

Meanwhile, as laws change, a residency visa can be taken away — but it’s a more affordable way to get the perks that come along with living in another country.

In order to put together a complete list of countries that offer citizenship or residency by investment, along with advice from Katz, Business Insider consulted the latest CBI Index, published by the Financial Times‘ PWM magazine, and spoke to global investment migration firm Henley & Partners and global citizenship and residence planning company Knightsbridge Capital Partners.

Whether you choose to splash out for full citizenship or you invest in residency, here are 23 countries where money can buy you a second passport — or at least a chance to live long-term abroad — ranked by cost, from cheapest to most expensive.

23. Thailand — ‚Elite residency‘ from THB 500,000 ($15,253 or £11,793).

The Thai government offers „elite“ residency visas for wealthy foreign citizens, allowing them to live in the country for around $3,000 a year.

There are seven different packages, with the most expensive being the „Elite Ultimate Privilege“ scheme for $60,000 for 20 years of residency.

Here are the three most popular options, according to Henley & Partners:

Elite Easy Access

  • Five-year residence visa for the one-time fee of THB 500,000 ($15,253)

Elite Family Excursion

  • A five-year visa for two people, for a one-time fee of THB 800,000 ($24,405), plus an additional charge of THB 300,000 ($9,152) per dependent.

Elite Superiority Extension/Elite Ultimate Privilege

  • 20-year residence visa for a one-time fee of THB 2.14 million ($65,283)
    -Package includes complimentary VIP privileges such as government concierge services and airport services

22. Latvia — Residency from €64,600 (£58,318 or $74,973).

For residency in Latvia, here’s what’s required:

  • A minimum of €286,000 ($333,064 or £257,472) over a period of five years in a credit institution, or;
  • To invest in equity capital, the foreign national must invest a minimum of €36,000 ($41,924 or £32,409) and must pay a minimum of €28,600 ($33,306 or £25,747) in the next year.

Henley & Partners added that there are also options to apply for the residence permit through the purchase of real estate or interest-free government bonds.

You can apply for citizenship after five years through process of naturalization (i.e. language test, history test), according to Katz.

„The true catch here is when they want to get citizenship, they have to take a language test, and Latvian is an impossible language to learn as an adult,“ Katz said.

„No one can, and they know it, and as such they know no one will ever become a citizen.“

=19. Saint Lucia — Citizenship from $100,000 (£77,786).

There are three ways to get citizenship in Saint Lucia, according to Katz:

  • A donation of at least $100,000 (£77,113) to the Saint Lucia National Economic Fund (depending on number of dependents), or;
  • Investment of at least $300,000 (£231,517) in an approved real estate development, or;
  • Investment of $3.5 million (£2.7 million) in an approved enterprise project.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider
Source: Business insider

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