Benefits of a Second Passport

Dr. Jean-Philippe Chetcuti | Published on 12 Aug 2016 | Updated on 04 Oct 2016

Benefits Of A Second Passport

The prospect of attaining a second passport was given a lot of importance in the past year, but one asks, why would one want to have secondary citizenship? What are the benefits of attaining a second passport?

A diversification strategy

First and foremost, we must understand what citizenship entails before going into the merits of a second passport. When broken down to its most basic constituents, citizenship grants you the protection of the state, however, citizenship is also a double edged sword which grants a single government the sole power on your life and assets. This is often widely overlooked by citizens who live in politically stable jurisdictions where democracy and rule of law are the order the day. While such citizens remain somewhat vulnerable to their government’s capital control and restrictions, they do not mind turning a blind eye as long as their standard of living remains untouched.

However, an unstable political climate, threatening totalitarian regimes which not only threaten one’s assets, but also one’s life, restrictions imposed on one’s fundamental rights such as the freedom of movement, and even economic collapses which spell out very dire prospects for the future of a country are often the main issues which drive citizens out of their countries.

Attaining a second passport is an excellent diversification strategy which will not only confer a number of benefits to you in the form of an investment, but also denotes that your assets will no longer hinge on the stability of one government, and you will have the necessary peace of mind that you and your assets will have a safety net to fall back to in case your current citizenship does not grant you the protection you need – or worse, is compromising your safety.

While the norm used to be that money and contacts can be one’s ticket out of the country, the past few years have seen a number of countries offering citizenship by investment programmes which have significantly risen in popularity. Naturally, one must make an informed choice when choosing to acquire a second passport. Citizenship of different jurisdictions will confer different benefits, thus it is of the essence to find a second passport which suits your needs.  Malta and Cyprus offer two such passports through the Malta Citizenship by Investment Programme and the Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Programme.

Why choose Malta for a Second Passport?

  • General Information about Malta

Malta presents itself as an ideal jurisdiction for the attainment of a second passport. Renowned for being a very safe jurisdiction with a European high standard of living but a Mediterranean quality of life, Malta offers several benefits for those looking to relocate or do business in a safe, yet attractive jursdiction. Nestled in the centre of the Mediterranean, Malta stands as an idyllic relocation base  for families looking for a quaint jurisdiction with a hospitable, English-speaking population which offers high-quality and free education and healthcare.  

  • The Political and Economic Situation

Malta vaunts a stable political climate and bi-partisan political scene that is largely convergent on issues of national and economic importance. Moreover, the Maltese economy has proven to be a highly robust one which managed to ride through the global financial crisis and share the spotlight with Germany as the only two states which maintained economic growth in the Eurozone. In fact, Malta’s banks have ranked amongst the top 5 soundest banks in the world.  

  • Mobility Rights for individuals and their businesses

One of the main benefits of a Malta secondary citizenship is that it provides for easy mobility, offering visa free travel to over 166 countries, including the USA and Canada. Malta has been a member of the European Union since 2004 and is part of the Schengen as well which gives the holders of a Maltese passport the ability to move freely through the EU and benefit from its internal markets and grants them the right to live, work or study anywhere in the 28 EU countries, as well as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. Malta enjoys excellent relations with its neighbouring countries, including North African and Middle Eastern countries, and thus could serve as an excellent base for your innovative business if you want to explore the widely untapped North African market which presents a number of possibilities waiting to be explored.

  • Tax Regime

Citizens of politically stable countries can still benefit from a Malta second passport because the jurisdiction offers a highly advantageous tax regime which sets it apart as a cost-effective base without being a tax haven as the latter have gained a rather ill reputation with banks lately. New citizens, especially HNW individuals, benefit from advantageous tax schemes and an extensive network of double taxation agreements, including one with the US. Moreover, resident non-domiciled persons will benefit from a remittance basis of taxation.   

  • Efficient Application Process

Another highly attractive benefit of attaining a second passport in Malta is the fact that attaining citizenship is a highly efficient process. Citizenship will be approved after a short 4 month processing time. Meanwhile, applicants will benefit from fast-track residence cards which are issued within 1-3 weeks, granting Schengen mobility for 18 months. Within a year (inclusive of processing times), a passport will be issued from the date of initial registry.

  • Family of the Applicant

The family of successful applicants will be eligible for citizenship as well. This includes the family of the main applicant and spouse, minor children and unmarried dependent adult children <27. Moreover, citizenship is granted permanently and descendants will automatically be entitled to citizenship thereafter.

  • Eligibility for Malta Second Passport
    • Fit & Proper - clean criminal conduct, in good health
    •  Non-refundable contribution of €650,000 to Government Fund
    •  Investment in Government Bonds €150,000 for 5 years
    •  Investment in Property min. €350,000 for 5 years or Rental of Property min €16,000 for 5 years
    •  Genuine Link with Malta for 1 Year

Why choose Cyprus for a Second Passport?

  • General Points about Cyprus

Ranked as the 5th best relocation destination in the world by an international lifestyle review for its favourable tax regime for new residents, Cyprus presents itself as another noteworthy jurisdiction for a second passport. Vaunting a warm, Mediterranean climate and a multi-lingual workforce, Cyprus offers fast-track Citizenship by Investment which ranks among the top ten best in the world.

  • Benefits of obtaining a Cyprus Second Passport

Within a short 3 month (fast-track) processing time, applicants may acquire Cypriot citizenship without any minimum residency requirement prior to the attainment of citizenship. As an EU Member State, Cyprus also grants its citizens free movement of goods, services and capital and visa-free movement to 157 destinations. Citizenship is valid for life, and can be transferred to descendents. Additionally, citizenship is granted to the spouse as well as the children of the investor without any additional investment requirement. Parents of the main applicant are also eligible for Cyprus citizenship, provided an investment of €500,000 in real estate is made. 

  • Eligibility for Cyprus Citizenship
    • Minimal investment is €1.5m in real estate or €2m in other investment options;
    • Investment in property can be reduced to a minimum €500,000 (plus VAT if applicable) after 3 years;
    • Clean criminal conduct;
    • Investor’s name must not be included on the list of persons whose property is ordered to be frozen by the EU;

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