July 25, 2012
We’ve spoken before about the importance of a second passport. It is, in short, one of the best insurance policies you can have.
If you only have one passport, you become trapped by a single government– a government that has the power to tax you into the poorhouse, steal your assets, send your children into combat against their will, and much more.
A second passport provides options. And the more options you have, the more freedom you have.
With a second passport, you’ll find that you can bank in more places, do business in more places, travel to more places… and that’s just the beginning.
In a real crisis situation, a second passport may be the only ticket out. We can cross our fingers and hope this doesn’t happen, or we can take steps to have this vital insurance policy should the need arise.
Now, some people are really lucky. They happen to be descended from Irish, Italian, Polish, etc. These countries have a ‘citizenship by ancestry’ option to anyone who can prove ancestry.
Others have to work a bit harder for it. They have to move to places like Brazil, Chile, Uruguay, or Singapore and eventually become naturalized after a period of several years.
In Brazil, for example, it can happen in as little as one year. In Singapore, as little as 2-3 years. And in Chile, typically 5 years.
Others who are in a hurry can opt for an ‘economic citizenship’ program in which you make an investment in a foreign country in exchange for citizenship.
The two most famous programs are in (1) St. Kitts and (2) Dominica, both small Caribbean nations.
Dominica’s economic investment currently starts at $75,000, and in St. Kitts the investment starts at $250,000.
Despite the hefty price tag, these are incredibly scarce resources… among the scarcest valuable resources in the world. Only a few hundred are granted annually– and believe me, demand is strong.
Late last year, I was in a room packed with wealthy Chinese people who would have been happy to pay 3-4 times the price for another passport. These are people who truly understand the importance of sovereign diversification.
As with anything, when supply is scarce and demand is strong, the price goes up. I’ve written before that I fully expect the prices of these economic citizenship passports to go up. And then it happened.
First in St. Kitts, which adjusted its price up last year… and now in Dominica, which recently announced that the NEW economic citizenship investment will start at $100,000 effective September 1, 2012– a 33% increase.
This is definitely a key theme with passport programs around the world– strong demand, fixed supply.
Even if no specific investment is necessary, I’m seeing naturalization requirements become more strict– more documentation, more time on the ground, more scrutiny during the process, etc.
The key lesson here is to NOT delay. One of the most important principles in international diversification is to stay ahead of the crowd, not run with it.
If you have citizenship ancestry options (especially if you have European parents or grandparents), I encourage you to get started right away. The easiest way to do this is get in touch with the nearest relevant consulate for instructions.
If you are considering naturalization through residency, I encourage you to get started right away so that you can be grandfathered in before any rule changes that might take place.
If you are looking at economic citizenship options, I really want to stress that indecision could end up costing another $25,000 to $50,000 as the prices will continue increasing.
Last, if you haven’t considered any citizenship option at all, I really want to encourage you to begin thinking in this direction and to consider the benefits and safety of having a second passport.