This week there was some shocking news. The former Google boss Eric Schmidt along with his family applied for a Cypriot passport through citizenship by investment program in the island.
Eric Schmidt is a well known billionaire and is also highest profile americans to genuinely pursue investment citizenship options offshore. If he is granted cyprus citizenship, it will allow him full EU citizen rights including unrestricted travel into the European Union along with tax breaks.
Eric Schmidt’s real time worth $17.1 billion according to Fortune and #33 on the Fortune’s list of billionaires. He left the board of Google parent company Alphabet in June 2019 after 18 years; he stayed on as a technical advisor until February 2020. Schmidt was Google’s CEO from 2001 to 2011; prior to that he had stints as CEO of Novell and chief technology officer at Sun Microsystems.
The media outlets reported Eric applied for cyprus citizenship months ago when the pandemic started. The rise in number of global issues such as dual citizenship, covid travel restrictions, the failure of US to control outbreak and control the virus has led to US passport lose its shine with visa free travel. Schmidt also has legitimate reasons to pursue making investments and business opportunities in Europe mitigating his tax burden.
As of Nov 2020, the Cyprus passport scheme is closed by government, due to of abuse of the scheme. It is no longer possible to apply for citizenship. Eric applied for this scheme in time, taking advantage of this unique citizenship opportunity.
Why so many high profile americans are pursuing second citizenship elsewhere?
Eric Schmidt is not the only american pursuing second citizenship options abroad. The interest is high with many ordinary americans who could afford low budget. Passports are the new trend in 2020 for asset protection for many HNWI
- Diversify citizenship options abroad (dual citizenship)
- Plan B options (safety for family)
- Asset protection
- Tax planning
- Business expansion
- Education for children
Citizenship is powerful and important right, because countries cannot deny entry of their own citizens. Since the Covid pandemic began, several high profile billionaires have been diversifying citizenship options to escape to coronavirus free countries from lockdowns. The decline in the power of US passport, due to worldwide travel ban on americans, rise in uncertainties in the US have pushed many americans to pursue alternate citizenship options abroad especially in Europe and Caribbean.
We have seen a sharp increase in inquiries from americans for these programs due to pandemic. The demand for citizenship and residency is at all time high, sparking huge interest for alternative citizenship and residence planning.
Global uncertainties, chaos coupled with economic crisis, tightened regulations has made all people to think about second citizenship planning well in advance. It is always a must to have plan B in place. Don’t be trapped in one country.
A Second citizenship is undoubtedly the best pandemic investment, and passports becoming an important safe haven investments. It is impossible to ignore passports in a wealth management portfolio along with other asset classes.
These are the most popular programs when it comes to americans
- Saint Lucia ($100K)
- St Kitts and Nevis ($150K)
- Vanuatu ($130K)
- Montenegro (€350K)
- Malta ($1m)
- Antigua and Barbuda ($100K)
- Turkey ($250,000)
- Portugal (€280K)
- Greece (€250K)
Some of these small Covid hit countries offer discounts, to raise revenues for the government.