Second Passport by Investment Programs

The second Citizenship Program or 2nd Passport Program for all intents and purposes, is an economic stimulant program by which a country generates revenue assigned to funding of special projects, such as hospitals improvement, health facilities, real estate developments, etc… in exchange for citizenship and subsequently a second passport. Ideally, it is a symbiotic relationship in which the benefits for the host country can be considerable and include revenue for the treasury and the recipient of economic citizenship get the benefits afforded a citizen of that country. In addition to the capital investment, the host country of the economic citizenship or second passport programs also benefits from the generation of a new wealth class, new business potential, a more diverse gene pool, and cross culture.Second Passport-by-Investment Program

In Dominica, the concept of Economic Citizenship Program materialized in 1991, when the government saw the second passport-by-investment process as a way of financing a flag ship hotel. The original goal was not built upon, but the idea of generating revenue from “sale of citizenship for investment purposes” stuck. Since, many other countries like Belize, Grenada, Seychelles and Ireland have tried to or implemented the economic citizenship program, but only a few have succeeded at it. In many cases, inadequate due diligence was the down fall of the second passport by investment program in those countries which tried and failed.

In wake of 9/11 pressure from US Government led to the suspension of economic citizenship programs in Grenada and Nauru. Grenada began in 1997 and suspended its operation in October 2001, Ireland, requiring a US $1million investment shut down its economic citizenship program for reasons unknown.

In January 1995, the Government of Belize introduced the Belize Economic Citizenship Investment Program (BECIP). The second passport/economic citizenship program was terminated in 2005. Although very little is known about why the citizenship program was terminated its success was hindered by the implementation of a Scrutinizing Committee, made up of Belizeans who would screen the applicants, with the intention of maintaining the cultural and political stability of Belize through the control of the number of applicants who could be approved (.25%) of the population. The application process also required the applicant to visit the country before approval.

In 1994 Seychelles companies have been introduced for offshore sector and not long after Seychelles began their economic citizenship program in 1996. In addition to the high investment capital of US$ 2million; the citizenship program remains extremely defunct because a specific inflammatory benefit to the recipient was cause for much speculation and critique. That being- For an investment of US$10 million the bearer gets criminal immunity. This some thought would attract nefarious characters.

Austria is the only EU country that offers the possibility for investors to obtain immediate citizenship and an EU second passport, after making a substantial financial and meritorious investment in the country. In addition to a financial investment of at least US 4 million, the applicant must provide additional economic opportunities: such as providing a substantial number of new jobs, or bringing in new technologies of value to the country. There are considerable supplemental legal fees (in hundreds of thousands dollars) and each case is handled individually. This economic citizenship program is essentially different from the successful currently running second passport programs of Dominica and St. Kitts in that the investment must be made first and then you apply for economic citizenship. The stringent conditions make this second passport process an unpopular and expensive option.

While Dominica and St. Kitts are sometimes criticized for their Economic Citizenship or Second Passport programs, some first-world countries such as UK, USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand recognize the benefits of economic citizenship programs and are in fact vigorously competing on this market and are very ready to provide an immediate residence opportunity which would lead to citizenship after 2 – 5 years depending on the country to wealthy individuals and investors. But investor residence programs in developed countries have some great disadvantages - these programs require mandatory residence for a fixed period and heavy tax burden. Governments’ competition for wealthy and successful individuals always was and always will be.

The benefits to the host country and the citizen are well balanced, for while the country is in receipt of disposable revenue which is used for public project financing, the citizen is also generously endowed. This plain fact sells the second passport program, and drives its success.

The advantages of a 2nd passport and benefits for citizen are personal or business, or both. First off, the economic citizenship program is a confidential one and the government of Dominica or St. Kitts does not inform the country of your current citizenship of your new nationality. In support, the governments permit dual-citizenship with no residency requirements. Plus:

The passport validity is for a term of ten (10) years, and is renewable upon expiry.

  • It offers visa free travel to over 100 countries, including Great Britain;
  • Tax Free Status, the opportunity to wealth and asset protection; Any person who wishes to operate a tax-free business outside his country of origin should consider a 2nd passport program;
  • Further, taxes are not payable on monies earned through inheritance or profits earned on assets (capital growth).

The owner of a 2nd Passport creates benefits and advantages such that it allows for:

  • Expansion of travel possibilities (additional freedom of movement)- Reduced profile visibility
  • Wider Residence options
  • Alternative travel options or other ways to cross international borders (if primary passport is lost or stolen)- Stability
  • insurance against instability in home country
  • Expanded legal rights
  • Life protection (terrorist attacks, hate crimes)
  • Extra ability to open bank accounts, do tax planning, investment and business arrangements

The governments of Commonwealth of Dominica and St Kitts and Nevis expect growth and continued success of the Economic Citizenship Program or the best Second Passport Program as individual’s desires for personal security and asset protection, and freedom of movement persist.

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