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Second Citizenship by Investment Checklist
So, you’ve decided to get a citizenship by investment (CBI). Next question is what you should do before you become a person with a dual citizenship. For one, your new status will bring you a bunch of opportunities, for another, new responsibilities will come along with it.
Thus, the right way would be to think over all major questions related to your new status before you get it. This way you may enhance your future benefits and avoid possible inconveniences. To help you with your homework we composed a second citizenship by investment checklist (below).
For obvious reasons this list cannot be exhaustive. Every situation is unique, because it includes facts of your biography, family status, business etc. The list we offer is rather an invitation to start thinking in the right direction, compose your own list of priorities and analyze them either yourself or with your immigration attorney and/or tax adviser.
Second Citizenship by Investment Checklist
The most important questions you should ask yourself before getting another passport are the following:
1. What do you need your second citizenship by investment for?
In other words, what are the goals that you want to achieve by getting a dual citizenship? Everything else will depend on the answer to this question, namely: a citizenship of which country better fits you, how soon you will need it, how much you are ready to spend on it and so on. For instance, if you need a second passport to travel visa free to the Schengen Area and UK, then a citizenship by investment of one of the Caribbean counties or Vanuatu will make it. On the other hand, if you are planning to move to one of the EU countries, then a passport of Cyprus or Malta will be on your agenda. Of course, any EU passport through investment is much more expensive than a Caribbean or Vanuatu passport.
2. Are you going to move to the country of your new citizenship, or you need it as a back-up?
There are a lot of questions to think over before you can answer this one. First and foremost: how safe is your new country in comparison to the one you live in now?
3. How many foreign countries and territories can you enter visa free with your new passport?
Compare the list of visa free countries of your current and future citizenship to get the best combination.
4. How your job/business, your children’s education and your lifestyle will be adjusted to your new status?
You should be aware that those changes will be comfortable for you and your loved ones.
5. What are the investment protection opportunities?
Your new status could be very beneficial in relation to your investment protection. You should check on this and compare different jurisdictions to find the best combination.
6. How much are you going to spend on your new citizenship?
Any citizenship by investment is rather expensive. The prices vary dramatically. The cheapest one for one person would be a citizenship by investment of Dominica or Saint Lucia: from $120,000 USD. The most expensive is a passport of Cyprus: from 2,2 million euro.
7. What is your timetable?
If you are looking for the fastest and easiest track toward your new citizenship, then Vanuatu would be the winner. You can become a Vanuatu citizen in 1,5-2 months. The price is from $150,000 USD. Malta is on the other end of the scale. It takes more than a year to get its passport and the price is over 1 million euro. Its due diligence and source of funds checks are also the toughest among all the currently available citizenship by investment programs.
8. Does your country of citizenship recognize dual citizenship?
Because, if it doesn’t, you probably will have to renounce your current citizenship.
9. What are the legal implications of your dual citizenship?
There may be a lot of legal questions related to your dual citizenship. For instance, how this will affect your business, your residency in a country, your/your children’s rights of inheritance etc. You’d be better doing if you consult with your immigration attorney well before you make your final decision.
10. What are the tax implications of your future status?
Tax questions are very important and difficult to address without a specialist. Among other things, you will need to check whether the country of your current citizenship and the new one have a treaty on double taxation. Your tax adviser should help you with that.
Cheap could be very expensive. If you try to save your time by skipping some of the questions above and save your money by not going to see your immigration attorney and/or tax adviser, there is a high probability that it will end up being very costly to you one day. Choosing a second citizenship is a lifelong commitment. You would be doing much better in a long run, if you spend enough time and resources to analyze all pros and cons of your situation beforehand. We hope that our second citizenship by investment checklist helps you with that.