Getting a second citizenship has become a goal for all high net worth individuals looking to broaden their horizons and provide themselves and their families with a resolute Plan B.
The good thing is, getting a second citizenship has never been easier. Many countries offer citizenship by investment program. Five Caribbean nations of Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Lucia, St. Kitts & Nevis, along with Turkey and the Pacific nation of Vanuatu passport, all offer their own route to obtaining citizenship through making an investment.
Getting your second citizenship is quick, simple, and affordable. Investment thresholds start at 100,000 USD, and applicants can obtain their new passports within less than half a year.
But there remains one issue that many do not consider, maintaining your second citizenship. Truth be told, that is a simple thing to do, but there are some small mistakes that you should look out for that could result in the revocation of your second citizenship, and this is what we will be discussing today.
What does revocation of citizenship mean?
A country can revoke a citizenship, meaning it can withdraw the citizenship from one of its citizens, depending on its internal laws and regulations.
When it comes to a second citizenship, the main issue is criminal activity. Most countries have been extremely vocal in stating that if a person would get their citizenship by investment and then commit a criminal offense, then the government would withdraw their citizenship.
But there are smaller mistakes that people can fall victim to, and here are the main ones you should look out for.
Maintaining your investment
There are a lot of countries that offer citizenship by investment, and all of these countries, except Vanuatu, offer various investment options. So we will be focusing on those countries in this part.
One of the most popular investment options is purchasing real estate. But the government requires those who choose to purchase real estate to maintain ownership of it for a specific amount of time. Dominica requires applicants to hold on to ownership of the property for at least five years before they can sell it, while Turkey requires them to hold on to it for three years.
Each country has its law, but the premise remains the same. Anyone who sells the property before the holding period is over will have their citizenship revoked.
However, investors can rent, use, or profit off of their property during the holding period.
Proving source of funds
Anyone applying for citizenship by investment will have to undergo due diligence prior to obtaining their second passport. This process maintains the integrity of the program and ensures those becoming citizens are a good fit for the country’s population.
The due diligence process not only checks a person’s criminal background but the source of their investment. Make sure the trail of the money you will use to invest is clear and precise and that it will withstand the scrutiny of time.
One of the biggest issues, Al Jazeera’s Cyprus Papers, a leak of information that put the now suspended Cypriot citizenship by investment program in hot water, was the lack of credible source of funds for many applicants. The Cypriot government has since launched a deep investigation and is now in the process of revoking citizenships.
Make sure you have a clear paper trail and a clear transfer to the right party when conducting your investment.
Physical residence requirements
Only one country of the group, Antigua & Barbuda, requires you to spend time in the country to maintain your passport. The Caribbean nation requires you to visit the nation for five days after you have become a citizen within the following five years to be able to renew your Antigua passport.
Keep in mind, if you do not spend five days, your citizenship will not be revoked, but you cannot renew your Antiguan passport until you spend those days on Antiguan shores.
Most citizenship by investment programs have a list of approved international agents. Working with one of these agents who has accreditation from the granting government ensures accountability, transparency, and legitimacy.
However, applying through a company or person who is not a registered agent may open the door for fraudulent applications that can be discovered by the government after a while. This may lead to the revocation of your citizenship and the loss of your investment, so always work with a company that has the required certificates to apply on your behalf.
Getting second citizenship and keeping it
We at Savory & Partner specialize in second citizenship services, we help you and your family quickly and affordably get a second passport. But we also provide comprehensive consultation on what to do after you get your new passport so that you do not fall victim to a simple mistake that you could have easily avoided. All you need to do is contact us today and book a free, comprehensive consultation.