Saturday, December 10, 2016

"Top Five Countries for Secondary Citizenship"

From Barron's Penta, Nov. 15:
An American business executive was biting his nails and perched at the edge of his seat as the presidential race reached its final minutes. He didn’t know what would happen to the country, but he did know that if Donald Trump won the election, he would gain citizenship somewhere else in the world. According to the Jersey, Channel Islands, law firm Henley & Partners—an outfit that specializes in helping the world’s wealthy acquire citizenship elsewhere around the globe—ever more wealthy Americans are hedging their bets. Henley & Partners has received a fivefold increase in inquiries about alternative citizenship programs since Donald Trump was declared the victor of the presidential race.

For those interested in seeking an additional passport, here are five countries considered by experts the best routes to a secondary citizenship.

Dominica. This volcanic island of great natural beauty sits smack in the middle of the Caribbean and is not to be confused with the Dominican Republic. It is second-to-none when it comes to acquiring an additional citizenship, says Christian Reeves, a citizenship expert at Premiere Offshore, a consulting firm that helps Americans move their assets and retirement accounts offshore in a protected and U.S.-tax compliant way. “You’re going to buy a passport for $140,000,” after government and legal fees, he says, “and you’ll have it within 90 days.” Dominica, a mountainous island of 72,000 people and boasting a beautiful national park, also offers the most visa-free travel options for the price. You get access to 119 countries, including most of the E.U., and the bar to Dominica citizenship is low: no criminal record. If you want the best-value foreign citizenship on the market—Dominica is it.

Malta. Tucked between Sicily and the North African coast, the Mediterranean archipelago has the best, high-cost passport. Here’s what you need to do in order to earn Maltese citizenship: pay 650,000 euros ($700,000) in fees to the government, spend at least 183 days a year in Malta, buy or rent a home on the island for at least five years, and invest 150,000 euros ($160,000) in government bonds held for a minimum of five years. Count in government and legal fees, and citizenship costs over $1.2 million. Still, Reeves says, in exchange you get visa-free access to almost the whole world—and you are living in civilized Europe. You can enter 168 countries, the second-highest of all citizenships in the world, including other E.U.-member states. This is the option if you are looking for a politically stable home where you can quickly get to London or Paris....