5 Steps to Acquiring A Second Passport
29 July 2021
In an ever-changing world, acquiring a second passport has become a vital tool for private clients looking to provide themselves and their families with more options and opportunities in life. Citizenship planning is now an essential component of every family’s overall financial planning strategy.
A second passport provides investors with a modern “Plan B” insurance policy to guarantee they always have more options, including a safe place to go in times of political uncertainty, civil war or even pandemics. Moreover, a second passport provides greater tax efficiencies, multiple business and investment opportunities, and global mobility.
As proven by the recent COVID-19 pandemic, life can quickly become complicated, and having a second passport is the best way to ensure a safe and flexible future for yourself and your family. Why be at the mercy of a single Government to control your destiny? As countries continue to close their borders to specific passport holders, dual citizenship is now necessary, and having two passports means always having more options.
Many countries now offer Citizenship by Investment programmes that provide various investment opportunities in exchange for a country’s citizenship. By investing in real estate or contributing to government funds, individuals can acquire a second passport for themselves and their families to pass down to future generations. As life becomes more digitalised, the various governments offering citizenship by investment have implemented processes through their approved agents, like RIF Trust, that help investors apply and receive their new citizenship remotely and from the comfort of their own home.
Here are five steps that investors need to take to acquire a second passport:
- Pick A Programme and Investment Option
Many countries offer a Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programme, but not all are created equal. Once an individual or family has made the wise decision to acquire a second passport, it is time to choose which country is the best option for them.
Whichever programme is selected, applications can only be made through a government-approved agent. These agents will help investors navigate the different options available. Investors should always do their due diligence when researching CBI agents to ensure the highest probability of successful and timely approval.
The number of countries offering Citizenship by Investment programmes has increased over recent years. More nations realise the benefit of offering citizenship by investment to stimulate their economy by increasing inbound foreign direct investment. In only three to six months, individuals can receive their second passports from Europe, the Caribbean, or the South Pacific. Each programme provides many benefits, and deciding which programme best fits an individual’s needs can take time.
For a country in Europe, such as Malta, there is the requirement that applicants visit the island as part of the application process. Whereas, Caribbean countries such as Antigua and Barbuda, St Kitts and Nevis, St Lucia, Dominica and Grenada, do not require applicants to spend time in the country to apply and receive their second citizenship. The same can be said for Vanuatu in the South Pacific.
Citizenship by Investment programmes offer different types of investment routes. Countries usually provide one or more of the following investment paths:
Government Contribution: Caribbean countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, and St Lucia accept government donations to their government’s funds. This is a one-time, non-refundable contribution that starts from $100,000 USD.
Your citizenship can be approved in just a few months. When the application is approved, and the contribution is made, the new passport can be delivered to the applicant anywhere in the world.
Real Estate Investment: Another option for Citizenship by Investment is to qualify by making an actual investment in property that you can later resell. Many of the Citizenship by Investment programmes start from a real estate investment of $200,000 USD.
The real estate investment option is more costly initially, but the return on investment and the opportunity to own or rent a second home is appealing to many investors.
- Application and Gathering Supporting Documents
The most important part of the Citizenship by Investment process is building the application and gathering the supporting documents. These documents include the main applicant’s passport, passports of all family members on the application, copies of all birth certificates for all parties, copies of national identification cards, marriage or divorce certificates, proof of current address etc.
When originals are not provided, a notarized copy of the original document must be provided.
- Make the First Payment
Once the application has been completed and all supporting documents gathered and properly certified, the next payment is due. The application, processing fees, legal fees and due diligence fees must all be paid before submitting the application.
With the payment of fees obtained, the application and supporting documents are submitted to the government by the CBI agent and the government due diligence process begins. This is the longest part of the process and includes an extensive background check, but assuming the initial approval is obtained, the applicant is well on their way to receiving their second passport.
- Government Approval
After the assessment, the investor’s application is approved in principle. This process can take between three to four months. Once the process is complete and the investor’s application is approved, the rest of the investment amount must be paid.
- Receive Citizenship Certificate and Second Passport
Once all the fees and investment amounts have been paid, the Citizenship Certificate and passports are hand-delivered to the applicant’s home.
RIF Trust offers post-citizenship services through the RIF Club that assists new CBI passport holders with many other post-citizenship services such as renewing passports, adding additional family members or newborns, obtaining a local phone number, or setting up a bank account in the new country of citizenship.
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Holding second citizenship is one of the best modern-day insurance policies, allowing you and your family the ability to travel visa-free or relocate immediately, especially in times of social, political or economic uncertainty in your home country.
When applying to any Citizenship by Investment programme, please be diligent in choosing which agent to process your application to maximise your chances of a successful application. RIF Trust is a government-authorised agent for all major CBI programmes in the Caribbean, Europe, and the South Pacific. Our senior executive team have over 100 years of combined industry experience. They have successfully assisted over 1,500 high-net-worth individuals and their families with obtaining their second passport through Citizenship by Investment.
For more information on the available Citizenship by Investment programmes, please email email@example.com, call +971 (0) 4 520 6777, or schedule a free initial consultation with an advisor by clicking here.