A number of HNW investors have brought citizenship by investment (CBI) passports without properly evaluating the consequences of dual citizenship. While most CBI countries do not publish the names of those who acquired citizenship (except Malta), CBI citizens have some sort of privacy. Malta publishes names of IIP citizens in gazette every year and this list is available for public.
Most CBI citizens take the passport and do not live in the country. They also rarely visit the country. Many also come from a country where dual citizenship is prohibited. This causes problems if you are found having multiple passports at the border. Dual citizenship is prohibited in Saudi arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, UAE, India, China, Bangladesh etc. Some countries have laws that will lead to automatic loss of citizenship.
Golden visa schemes, also known as residence schemes offers only residency and therefore there is no question of issues with dual citizenship. Citizenship is not necessary if you dont like to live or immigrate to new country. Multiple entry visas or residence permits is more than enough. These visas or permits issued by schengen states also offer free movement in the Schengen area. Golden visas provide optional path to citizenship after usually five years, again that is your choice. HNW investors must apply for golden visa schemes if they dont want to deal with dual citizenship issues.
Portugal, Greece, Malta, Spain and Latvia have the biggest golden visa schemes in Europe. Australia, United States and Canada are the most popular ones. There is no requirement to live in the country and will only require occasional visit for fingerprinting or renewal of permits. Please note visas can only be renewed at embassies in your home country, once it expires.
HNW must only seek second citizenship if required and must not forget to seek legal advice.
Here are some key differences between CBI and RBI schemes
|Citizenship by Investment (CBI)||Golden visas (RBI)|
|Right to vote||no||no|
|What you get?||Citizenship/Passport||Residence permit or Visa|
|Require visit to country||yes||yes short visits|
|Visa free travel||Worldwide over 100 countries with passport||Schengen area|
|Renewals||Every 5 or 10 years||Depends (every 2,3,5 years)|