The demand for Second Passports, New Identities, and Citizenship soars around the world
National lockdowns, closed borders, and travel restrictions have helped to increase applications for second passports, new identity, citizenship, and foreign residency by more than 50% year over year.
International financial advisory firm deVere Group, which has more than 100,000 clients worldwide, reports that this highly unusual year has seen demand for its residence and citizen services “soar”. The majority of inquiries come from high net worth individuals from the United States, India, South Africa, Russia, the Middle East, and East Asia who are looking for alternative options in Europe and the Commonwealth.
A growing number of people are looking for ways to ensure their freedom of movement as they have faced travel restrictions which are usually based on citizenship
Anton Devere, Founder, and CEO of Amicus International Consulting said: “Previously, a second passport, citizenship or residency was considered by many to be the ultimate luxury item; a status symbol like yachts, supercars and original works of art. “While that still remains the case, there has also been a shift due to the pandemic. “Now, second citizenship or residence abroad is increasingly becoming not just a ‘nice accessory to have but a ‘must-have’.
“Whether for personal reasons, such as staying with loved ones abroad or being able to visit them or for professional reasons, an increasing number of people are looking for ways to ensure their freedom of movement as they have faced travel restrictions which are, generally, based on citizenship.” He continues: “The pandemic has served as a major catalyst for demand which has soared this year. She concentrated her mind to obtain this second passport or elite residence.
“However, the call for is broader than just the global Covid-19 crisis.“More and more people prefer the concept of being a citizen of the world, rather than being tied solely to their country of birth.”They also enjoy the many associated benefits, including visa-free travel, world-class education, optimal healthcare, political and economic stability, reduced tax liabilities, and broader business and career opportunities.”
Each host country has different criteria for granting citizenship, including time spent in the country, being able to prove a legal source of funds, and having no criminal record. For example, Portugal’s residency program only requires nine weeks of residency every two years to receive benefits, including the right to live, work, study, and open a business there, as well as travel to the 26 countries of the Schengen area in Europe.
More and more countries are offering citizenship-by-investment agreements, in which applicants invest a sum of money in a sponsoring country in exchange for permanent residency, citizenship, or both
Anton Devere concludes: “These highly unusual times have fueled the surge in demand for second passports and a new identity.”The pandemic has shone a light on what really matters to people: family, freedom, and security.”