Second Citizenship

5 ways second citizenship by investment saves you money

Second citizenship is an expensive luxury, you probably think. Certainly worth consideration, but only when you’re feeling flush. The thing is though, second citizenship-by-investment doesn’t just cost money. It saves you money. Sometimes in triple figures.

Here’s how.

1 – Second citizenship can save money on taxes

When it comes to tax, it sometimes feels like you can’t move a muscle without haemorrhaging money. However hard you work, you generally end up giving a huge chunk away. Sometimes even a larger chunk than you take home, depending where you’re from. And that figure dwindles even further when you start thinking about providing for heirs, with often-ludicrous inheritance and gift taxes hitting your already-taxed wealth.

In some places, prohibitive taxes apply even if you don’t live in the country. Take the US, for instance. Even if you’re a US citizen who lives abroad, you can still pay taxes on your worldwide income.

Avoid prohibitive taxes with Caribbean second citizenship

If your current country has high taxes, second citizenship could pay for itself purely in tax savings.

From the tax perspective, the Caribbean second citizenship programmes are especially worthwhile. For example, Dominican non-resident citizens are exempt from personal income tax unless sourced or derived in Dominica, plus exempt from wealth tax, inheritance tax and capital gains tax. Likewise, Saint Kitts and Nevis citizens pay no personal income tax, no inheritance tax, no wealth tax and no capital gains so long as you don’t sell assets within one year of purchase.

The Caribbean programmes are also generally the most affordable (starting from around USD 100,000 and up) which means the ROI potential is even greater. Even the moderately wealthy are looking at saving money on taxes with Caribbean second citizenship.

2 – Second citizenship can save money on visas

Citizens from countries with powerful passports can travel visa-free or on visa-on-arrival terms to many locations worldwide. Singapore, for instance, has the most powerful passport in the world as of 2018, and holders can travel to 127 countries without any visa, and 39 by getting a visa when they arrive.

In contrast, citizens from many other countries can travel to 50 or less countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms – and that’s if they can get a visa at all.

That has a not-insignificant cost implication, not only in terms of visa costs but also the costs associated with delaying your travel plans. For instance, US citizens need a visa to visit Russia, setting them back nearly RUB 15,000 and up to 6 weeks. Citizens of Vanuatu, on the other hand, can visit Russia visa-free.

Visa fees can quickly add up if you travel often, plus the delays associated with each and the additional cost of last-minute flight and hotel booking once you know your visa has been confirmed. The fact is, having a weaker passport makes travelling more hassle – and more costly – both for business and pleasure.

Avoid lost-business and visa costs with a European passport

The best second citizenship-by-investment programmes on the global mobility front are generally European. For instance, Cypriot passport holders can travel to 156 countries on visa-free or visa-on-arrival terms; Maltese, 162; Bulgarian, 158.

If you do travel often, second citizenship in these countries could well save you money (and time) by increasing the countries you can visit without paying for a visa in advance. Then there’s the money you save thanks to not missing important business and networking opportunities that often can’t wait weeks while you get a visa.

3 – Second citizenship can save money on education

If you’ve got children, it’s natural you’d want to help them build a future of opportunity and prosperity. Education plays a major role and not only from the perspective of knowledge and qualifications.

As most people recognise, a high-quality education also furnishes you with an impressive network; with vital language skills; with understanding of cultural nuance; with an international perspective that drives creative thinking; with the confidence to seize – and create – opportunities.

However, that standard of education isn’t available in every country in the world – which leads many students and their families to consider international options.

Unfortunately, an international education is often prohibitively expensive, if it’s possible to secure a competitive international place at all. Plus students often face visa issues immediately after graduating, which somewhat defeats the point as they can’t take advantage of the same opportunities as their peers.

Reduce top higher education costs with European citizenship

The two best universities in the world are the University of Oxford and the University of Cambridge in the UK, according to the Times World University Rankings 2018. One third of Oxford’s 20,000 students are international students, from over 150 countries. Likewise, one third of Cambridge’s 18,000 students are international citizens too.

Those numbers prove how desirable an education here is – but it’s also a costly route unless you hold European citizenship. For Oxford, for example, UK and EU students pay GBP 9250 in annual tuition fees, for which they can secure a full loan. In contrast, international students pay up to GBP 23,885 annually plus an annual college fee of GBP 7570 – and aren’t eligible for any fee support. Over a four year degree, that’s over GBP 125,000 without financial support versus GBP 37,000 on a full loan for European citizens.

Which makes European citizenship-by-investment a very sound, cost-saving investment. Consider, you could secure Bulgarian citizenship for your family from EUR 195,000 – to save nearly EUR 90,000 per child on their education, plus all the other benefits of citizenship.

4 – Second citizenship can save money on trade

Countries with global travel agreements almost always also have global trade agreements, to make international trade more affordable and easier for business people.