Is there any greater luxury than to have complete freedom of travel? If your citizenship grants you a powerful passport, you already have a great deal of travel freedom. You can travel almost anywhere in the world at a moment’s notice. Japanese citizens, for example, can travel to 180 countries without the need for a travel visa. International travel is much easier as you do not need to pay or apply for visa in advance.
Unfortunately, travel freedom does not extend to everyone. For some, their passport is actually a barrier to travel. Those from a country with a weak passport, such as Iraq or Yemen, have severe travel restrictions and red tape. The process for these citizens can be extremely lengthy and complicated.
But this issue is not limited to just the world’s weakest passports. For example, citizens from the UAE may find travel to North America complicated. Those from Saudi Arabia and China require travel visas for most of Europe. From this perspective, why wouldn’t you invest in a second citizenship if you can guarantee expanded freedom and greater mobility for you and your family?
A New York based luxury website illustrates this conundrum by comparing an American billionaire to a Chinese billionaire. Both men want to dine at the Four Seasons Hotel in Paris (home to three Michelin-starred restaurants) on a whim. While the American simply needs to book his table and hop a private jet, the Chinese businessman is hampered by the need to travel to the French embassy in Beijing and ask for permission to travel to France.
Once you’ve reached a certain level of success, the last thing you feel like doing is asking for permission to travel. Of course, if the Chinese billionaire mentioned above were to obtain a second citizenship from Antigua and Barbuda, for example, by investing $100,000, he could significantly simplify travelling. The Antigua and Barbuda passport allows visa-free travel to 39 countries in Europe – an incredible boost to business travel – and 22 countries in the Caribbean – home to some of the world’s most luxurious resorts. This would be a small investment when you consider the ease of travel it would allow.
There are many citizenship by investment programs that allow high net worth individuals the opportunity to expand their travel for both pleasure and business. In recent years, CBI programmes have offered a huge economic boost to Caribbean countries. In addition to Antigua & Barbuda, mentioned above, Grenada, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis and St. Lucia all offer Citizenship by Investment programs. Speaking of travel for pleasure, these programs offer the opportunity for applicants to invest in real estate in the country. Options include luxury resorts with the ability to stay for a set number of weeks each year on the island. Although many investors are too busy for vacation, others take advantage and treat their families to some time in paradise. Those looking to go yachting in the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean also find that holding a second citizenship is helpful as they are constantly sailing between the countries.
Many investors seek programs that offer the opportunity to procure an EU passport. Having an EU passport can grant incredible travel freedom as well as the right to live, work, and travel anywhere within the European Union. Programs offered by Malta and Cyprus both present options for second passports which extend your visa-free travel options.
The advantages of travel for business associated with CBI are well documented. But the advantages, when it comes to personal travel for you and your family, are just as numerous. As there are so many different objectives, investors should select a citizenship program by collaborating with a seasoned consultant. Elevay specializes in helping each investor to determine the optimal route based on individual preferences and family situations.