Where in the world do most HNWIs choose to become new citizens? Second citizenship can multiply your financial and lifestyle opportunities. This article shares the favoured citizenships of the world’s richest people.
Highfliers seek second citizenship to spread their wings and acquire further economic and political freedom. They like to get things done and get them done quickly. Their preferred choice of transport is their private jet.
Nomad Capitalist can cater to all your citizenship needs. We help HNWIs acquire citizenship all around the world. Here are their ten preferred citizenships.
8. New Zealand Citizenship
New Zealand offers a utopian Plan B.
Entrepreneurs and investors favor New Zealand because it is one of the most accessible jurisdictions to conduct business in. A stable democracy has led to a thriving economy. Although there is no formal citizenship by investment scheme, immigration authorities will deal with particular applications.
Paypal co-founder Peter Thiel, who currently has a net worth of US$4.4 billion, became a New Zealand citizen in March 2011. New Zealand law confirms that the Minister of Immigration can approve a citizenship application if it “would be in the public interest because of exceptional circumstances of a humanitarian or other nature.” Thiel therefore bypassed the requirement to spend 146 days a year in New Zealand by making “significant investments” in the country’s economy.
7. Canadian Citizenship
The stability of Canada is reassuring for seven‐ and eight‐figure entrepreneurs and investors.
HNWIs are drawn to Canada because of its political security, quality of life, and resilient economy.
Famous Canadian immigrants include Alexander Graham Bell, the telephone inventor, who relocated from Scotland in the late 1800s. More recently, Mike Lazaridis, who pioneered the Blackberry, immigrated to Canada from Turkey along with Shopify founder Tobias Lütke who moved from Germany.
Canada’s Start-up Visa Program accepts applications from innovative immigrant entrepreneurs who can start companies in the country that can compete on a global scale and create jobs for Canadian nationals. The Province of Québec also runs a business immigration program. Entrepreneurs, investors, and self‐employed workers are all eligible.
6. US Citizenship
The US remains the land of opportunity for many immigrant investors.
U.S. immigration law offers a Green Card to employment-based preferred immigrants. These are non‐citizens who have invested or can demonstrate proof of intent of investing $1,050,000 in a new commercial enterprise that will benefit the U.S. economy and create at least ten full-time positions for qualifying employees. These HNWIs are also called “EB-5 immigrant investors” because they are in the employment-based fifth preference visa category.
Plenty of household names have made a new life in America. These include Australia’s Rupert Murdoch, Germany’s Levi Strauss, and Russia’s Sergey Brin.
Despite the threat of an emergent China,the US still enjoys the position of world’s largest economy, so it makes sense that so many of the world’s wealthiest people live there.
However, the unique nature of America’s citizenship-based taxation system – which you don’t even need to be a citizen to get trapped in, by the way – means that more and more Americans are approaching our company to help them move offshore.
5. Australian Citizenship
Australia offers several working and skilled visas. These include Business Innovation and Investment, Business Owner, Global Talent, and Investor Visas. The latter costs from AUD2,570, and you must have held a designated investment of AUD1.5 million for four years.
With a net worth of US$7.38 billion, Sydney-based businessman Frank Lowy has come a long way. During World War II, he lived in a Hungarian ghetto. As chairman of the Westfield Corporation, he has overseen the establishment of over 80 shopping centres worldwide.
4. Swiss Citizenship
You can enroll your children in Europe’s top universities with Swiss citizenship.
A Swiss passport is among the world‘s strongest, guaranteeing visa-free entry to 174 countries, including Europe’s Schengen countries and the USA. As a Swiss citizen, you can freely live and work in the EU.
Switzerland is popular primarily for its banking services. There is no fast‐track citizenship by investment scheme in Switzerland because, frankly, the country doesn’t need to incentivise investment. Though it does offer generous tax breaks for wealthy individuals.
3. St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship
St. Kitts and Nevis offer the oldest citizenship-by-investment program.
In 1984, St. Kitts and Nevis revolutionized the world of investment migration. They did so by offering the first citizenship by investment scheme. Benefits include tax-free residence as you are not taxed on your income or wealth on the islands.
While other Caribbean jurisdictions like the Cayman Islands tend to steal the spotlight, St. Kitts and Nevis has more to offer for HNWIs, with fast and affordable citizenship by investment, making it an ideal second passport option.
Monaco is a haven for HNWIs with a reputation for glamour.
In terms of sheer concentration of wealth and glamour, few countries can compete with Monaco.
Located on the French Riviera, Monaco enjoys a warm climate and a stunning coastline. But this tiny principality is about so much more than sunshine and scenery.
Monaco, after all, is the original home of the jet-set, from its own royal family to international celebrities. (Not to mention being the original stomping ground of 007, James Bond)
The streets of Monte Carlo also serve as the backdrop for the annual Monaco Grand Prix, hands down the most prestigious event in motorsports.
But of course, sunshine and luxury aren’t the main reasons why the super-wealthy choose to live in Monaco (plenty of other countries offer that too).
No, the main reason Monaco is so popular is because, unlike many low-tax countries, which are often mislabeled as such, it’s a true tax haven. As a resident of Monaco you pay zero income tax – hence the appeal.
One thing that Monaco doesn’t have in its favour, however, is that, despite its location in the south of Europe, it’s not an EU member state, which is exactly why our next country scores higher. Other factors that make Monaco less attractive are that it doesn’t recognize dual citizenship.
1. Maltese Citizenship
If you’re looking for EU citizenship Malta’s fast-track citizenship by investment scheme is the way to go.
For those who hate to compromise, Malta offers it all. If you want the very best for you and your family, then Maltese citizenship by investment is the best option available.
Sure, you can get Caribbean citizenship by investment for a fraction of the cost, but Malta offers fast-track EU citizenship in a year, which can then be extended to your family members.
This means that once attained, you are free to live and work anywhere in Europe. Plus, your children are also eligible to study at any of Europe’s most prestigious universities.
A Maltese passport grants you visa-free access to 171 countries, greatly enhancing your travel freedom.
The thing is, once you’ve attained your Maltese citizenship, you may well decide to stay put, as many wealthy people tend to do since the country ticks a lot of boxes.
It’s an English-speaking country that’s quaint yet cosmopolitan, with a vibrant expat community and year-round sunshine.
Entrepreneurs interested in offshore company formation, meanwhile, should definitely investigate Malta’s tax breaks. Or better yet, get in touch with us, and we’ll show you the most tax-efficient way to combine all of the elements above as part of a custom-made Action Plan.
Citizenships of the World’s Richest People FAQ
World Population Review reveals that more than 2700 billionaires are dotted around the world. Over 25% of the world’s billionaires reside in the United States. That means there are 724 US-based billionaires.
You will find the most millionaires per capita in the United States of America. There are around 24.5 million millionaires. That’s just under 39% of the world’s total.Wherever you choose to acquire a new citizenship, you are moving towards greater financial freedom. We can help you on your journey. Let us guide you on dual citizenship, investment opportunities, and taxes.