Multiple Golden Visas now essential for the ultra-wealthy

Published:  6 Dec at 6 PM
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Is global citizenship now a must-have for wealthy expatriates?

Paying anything from a reasonable amount to a small fortune for a second passport, residency and citizenship in a country you’ve never even visited now seems to be the must-have accessory for expats as well as wealthy nationals of slightly politically unstable world countries. So much so that multiple Golden Visa passports are more desirable than just one as they brand the owner as worldly, interconnected and a contact to be cherished by those less fortunate. Practically speaking, these purchased signs of belonging are now becoming essential for top-level business travellers as borders across the world become more difficult to navigate.

The global trend is even more noticeable in regions showing potential for growth over the next few years, with Southeast Asia in particular taking advantage of the rise in applicants. Nowadays, the route to literally global citizenship is well-defined and easy to navigate, with money the only requirement. The states offering the benefits shield their motivations by insisting on the immigration of talent as well as wealth is part of the deal, but substantial contributions to the various economies are the real reason.

A recent study of data regarding purchases of the visas show 84 per cent of applicants to date are male, 75 per cent are self-employed entrepreneurs and 10 per cent are so wealthy due to inheritance or family money they don’t need to work. Most are between the ages of 45 and 64 years old, but a significant number are millennials aged between 25 and 44. Expats living in Singapore accounted for 20 per cent of applications, with Indian, Chinese and Russian nationals purchasing second passports and residency rights from Cyprus, Malta, Portugal, Moldova and Thailand.

Thailand’s Elite residence programme has been available for well over a decade and doesn’t include citizenship or a Thai passport, but until recently the take-up was mostly from long-stay expats wishing to avoid the visa hassles for which the country is infamous.
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