According to a new report from the United Nations, there has been an increase in people holding second passports. In addition to this evidence, only one country—the Bahamas—has seen its share of passport applications decrease over the last decade. With so many Americans becoming ultra-rich and able to afford luxury vacations abroad, is it time for them to consider purchasing a second citizenship?
The “how valuable is a us passport” is the question that many people are asking themselves. The United States has been one of the most powerful countries in the world for centuries, and so it’s no surprise that Americans want to be able to travel as much as possible. With this in mind, how valuable is a us passport?
Over the last three years, the number of applications for secondary citizenship or residence in other countries among America’s “one percent” has risen dramatically.
Many of America’s richest residents (i.e., U.S. billionaires, celebrities, and tech entrepreneurs) are attempting to build a “Plan B” for themselves and their family should life in the United States become less than ideal, according to several investment migration businesses.
Why is that? Aside from the apparent COVID-19 scenario, candidates are emphasizing the near-term unknowns related with climate change and deepening political divides.
They’re doing it via channels only the ultra-rich have access to. According to La Vida Golden Visas, “citizenship by investment” (CBI) schemes, sometimes known as “Golden Passports” or “Golden Visas,” are offered in 15 nations spanning Europe and the Caribbean (including, incidentally, the United States).
These are schemes that let wealthy foreigners to purchase citizenship or residence cards for themselves and their family in exchange for spending a particular amount in the country’s infrastructure. Depending on the jurisdiction, minimum investment levels presently vary from $100,000 to $9.5 million.
“We consider these initiatives as an insurance policy,” said Latitude Managing Partner Ezzedeen Soleiman. “We’ve had several millionaires contact us and ask what the ideal area to live is in the event of a climate disaster, a new storm, or a worldwide epidemic.”
Latitude Residency & Citizenship is a broker that guides affluent investors around the globe through the process of applying for second, and even third, citizenship. The company told Insider that inquiries into CBI programs grew by 300 percent between 2019 and 2021.
Henley & Partners, a leading global citizenship and residence advisory firm, similarly said that CBI sales to American nationals rose by 327 percent between 2019 and 2020, and then by a further 10 percent in 2021.
Dominic Volek, Group Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, encapsulated the driving forces behind this surge in investor citizenship, calling them the “four C’s”: COVID-19, climate change, cryptocurrency and conflict. He also disclosed that the spike in applications from moneyed Americans began during the Trump administration, and intensified amid pandemic lockdowns.
“During the really harsh lockdowns, you couldn’t enter Europe if you simply had an American passport,” Volek said. “I believe it made a lot of ultra-high-net-worth folks realize that they may be a little more vulnerable than they imagined.”
While the U.S. passport was still ranked the world’s most powerful by immigration investment consultancy firm Global Citizen Solutions at the end of 2021, a 2022 ranking released by Henley & Partners saw the American passport tied for sixth place, on the basis of its ability to grant holders visa-free access to 186 foreign countries.
Reaz Jafri, CEO of citizenship and residency firm Dasein Advisors, told Insider that in the last three years, he has had more enquiries from high-net-worth Americans than in the previous 20 years combined.
He claimed his U.S. clientele is mostly made up of people worth $50 million to $20 billion who make their money in IT, real estate, or cryptocurrency. According to Jafri, rich clientele from all political parties share a profound concern about the future of American civilization.
“We’ve all experienced the last two and a half years,” Jafri said. “It merely showed us how weak and feeble we are,” says one observer. “People with means understand that it will happen again—and they don’t want to be caught off guard.”
The “tier a passport” is the process of buying a second passport to have more than one citizenship. It is becoming increasingly popular among the ultra-rich Americans.
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