Wealthy Americans buy a second passport as “Plan B” for their families because of pandemics, climate change, and political turmoil.

Portuguese passport (translated

Gabriel Ramos / Getty Images

  • Number of wealthy Americans to buy “Golden passport” It has skyrocketed in the last three years.

  • Top programs grant citizenship to foreigners who invest millions of dollars in the country.

  • US applicants cite COVID, climate change, and political division, several companies told insiders.

Investment immigration companies have told insiders that U.S. billionaires, tech entrepreneurs, and celebrities are trying to create “Plan B” for their families, so they apply for foreign citizenship and residence. The number of wealthy Americans who do has skyrocketed in the last three years.

Countries above a dozen are so-called “Golden passport” and visa Allows wealthy foreigners to obtain citizenship or right to housing in exchange for investment in the country. The most expensive programs range from $ 1.1 million in Malta to $ 9.5 million in Austria. According to Forbes..

“These programs are considered insurance policies,” said Ezzedeen Soleiman, Managing Partner of Latitude Residency & Citizenship. “We approached some millionaires and asked where the best place to live in the event of a climate catastrophe, another storm or another pandemic. I came. “

Latitude, a company that guides HNWI investors around the world through the application process, said US inquiries increased by 300% between 2019 and 2021. Henley & Partners, one of the world’s largest citizenship brokers, said sales to US citizens increased. It increased by 327% between 2019 and 2020, and by another 10% in 2021.

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt makes a gesture while talking on stage

Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt reportedly applied to European citizens in 2020 through the now abolished Golden Passport program in Cyprus.Alex Wong / Getty Images

According to Dominic Volek, Head of Private Clients at Henley & Partners, there are now “four Cs” that are leading the investor citizenship industry. COVID-19, climate change, cryptocurrencies, conflicts.

He added that the recent increase in American applicants began during the Trump administration and escalated during the pandemic blockade.

“With a very tight blockade, you could only enter Europe with an American passport,” Börek told insiders. “I think this has made us realize that many of the ultra-rich people, in particular, can be a little more fragile than they thought they would be.”

Reaz Jafri, CEO of Dasein Advisors, said he received more inquiries from Americans in the last three years than he had in the last two decades. He said his US clients often work in technology, real estate, or cryptocurrencies and are worth $ 50 to $ 20 billion.

What they all have in common is a deep-seated fear of the future of American society.

From technology founders worried about increasing Asian-American hate crimes to young web3 entrepreneurs trying to avoid tax increases, Jafri plans the worst for wealthy clients across the political spectrum. Said that.

“We have all lived for the past two and a half years,” Jafri said. “It all reminded us how vulnerable and vulnerable we are. People who have the means are accepting that it happens again-and they are surprised. I don’t want it. “

“Portugal is the next California”

Ponta Delgada, Portugal.

Ponta Delgada, Portugal.A. Storm Photo / Shutterstock

The two companies interviewed by insiders are from Portugal 5 year residence permit Enables visa-free travel to 26 European Union countries — is the most sought after program among American investors.

A Portuguese “Golden Visa” requires an investment of at least $ 200,000 and an average annual stay in Portugal. When the permit expires, residents can apply for full-time citizenship. This may take another 3 years.

“Portugal is the next California,” Soleiman said. “There is tremendous talent there, and there is tremendous wealth there.”

He added that ultra-rich Americans want to plant roots in Europe as a “legacy project” for their children and grandchildren. “Many of them are either disappointed with what’s happening in the United States or haven’t seen the opportunities they’ve ever seen in the United States.”

However, many Golden Passport recipients do not move and rarely visit. Parental Survey of Malta’s Citizenship Program It was revealed last year.

“Few clients actually move,” said Volek of Henley & Partners. “Most of our clients want the options available.”

The surge in Americans seeking a golden passport happens in fear of what the program has. “Suspicious individuals” and “dirty money” made a loophole to enter the EU..

Peter Spiro, a professor of international law at Temple University and a dual citizenship expert, told insiders that big companies like Henry & Partners have “serious interest” in the screening of applicants.

“They are making a lot of money from it, and they want to keep making a lot of money from it,” he said. “Therefore, they have an incentive for the due diligence element to be real. In my sense, they did a pretty good job.”

Volek told Insider that there are some small investor transition companies that aren’t properly screening applicants because the industry isn’t regulated.

Read the original article Business Insider

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