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.
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 still pay taxes on your worldwide income.
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. Saint kitts and nevis, for instance, holders can travel to 150 countries without any visa.
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.
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.
4- Second citizenship can save money on living costs
Living costs are generally a drop in the ocean compared to tax, education, trade and travel. But it’s still worth mentioning, if anything as an insurance policy for the future.
Because if you ever do need a more affordable lifestyle, second citizenship can be your path to get there – without giving up the finer things in life. Like maybe one day you want to retire in style but don’t want to pull money out of assets to do so.
Relocating to a country with a low-cost, high-quality lifestyle could be the perfect way to achieve that without stripping your assets.