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Caribbean, Europe, News feed Date: 28 November, 2023

Why You Need to Apply for a Plan B Passport in 2024

Why You Need to Apply for a Plan B Passport in 2024

What is a Plan B passport? Why do you need to apply for one? Our Hong Kong Business Development Director Aleksandra Smolen answers these questions and more in an intriguing interview that will be of interest to all those dipping their toe in the world of investment migration.

1.) On your LinkedIn profile, Aleksandra, you list #planb as one of your specialist subjects. How would you define what a Plan B passport is?

“Plan B is basically something you can fall back on if your Plan A fails, if it’s impractical. For me, a Plan B passport refers to a second passport you’ve acquired through a CBI programme or other legal means. It’s a backup option or contingency plan if your original citizenship is of limited value.”

“I like to talk to my clients about diversification. Putting all your eggs in one basket is not wise with assets for a business person. It works the same way with your citizenship or residency.”

“You do not want to restrict yourself by just having one passport. We live in times where nobody knows what’s going on. There’s been the pandemic and military conflicts to contend with.”

“No matter which country you’re from, a second citizenship has become a prudent acquisition. Even if you have a strong passport, from the US or UK. Covid showed that very well with the limited travel opportunities available. We had a lot of clients from developed countries applying for Caribbean passports to get back that freedom of travel.”

“I love what legendary investor Jim Rogers said in 2017 about not having more than one passport being “very dangerous” during the next 20 years. Having a Plan B passport is planning ahead and a crucial safeguard against mitigating geopolitical risks.”

2.) Before you acquire a passport, you invest in citizenship. Where have you helped investors obtain a second citizenship?

“I have helped investors obtain citizenship in several countries. For example, in the Caribbean, in the likes of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Kitts and Nevis, and St Lucia. In my region, there’s increasing interest in Maltese and Turkish citizenship.”

“Demand for Turkish citizenship boomed during the pandemic. The property option was a draw. Owning real estate is something tangible.”

“Bonds and funds are less appealing for Chinese investors. Real estate has generated most of the wealth in China. It’s a market where the country’s entrepreneurs know their way around.”

3.) You’ve mentioned the effect the pandemic had on the number of people interested in Plan B passports, Aleksandra. Can you add some detail to the regional and international picture?

“For the whole investment migration industry, Covid was a milestone moment. it put the whole world on pause. People had time to think and a second passport became a necessity rather than a luxury.”

“Initially this wasn’t the case in China. People didn’t want to leave as they felt safe. Shutting the borders increased the shared sense of security.”

“The last wave changed things. Major cities including Shanghai went into extreme lockdowns. Chinese investors lost trust in the government and wanted mobility back, the freedom to leave their home let alone the country.”

4.) Which Citizenship-by-Investment programmes are the most popular and why?

“Apart from Turkish CBI which I’ve already highlighted, the Caribbean Citizenship-by-Investment programmes offer a winning combination of affordability and speed of processing. Starting at $100,000, before Covid you could receive your citizenship within a few months.”

“Caribbean citizenship is the perfect Plan B. You can retain your original citizenship and gain something in terms of visa-free access. Their strong passports allow you to travel without a visa to over 150 countries.”

“Malta, though, in most cases is an upgrade on an investor’s current citizenship because of its EU status. It consistently ranks in the top 10 globally in terms of passport power and grants its holder a right to live anywhere in the EU. This makes it an attractive investment in the long run.”

5.) Who’s eligible for a Plan B passport?

“Generally, those with sufficient financial means. They will need to pass due diligence tests. We have our internal ones as we want to give our clients the highest chances of being approved. ”

“Eligibility revolves around minimum investment. This is where proof of source of income and background checks come into play. With us, you get a full service as we know about the little details that you will not find on an Internet search.”

6.) What are the investment options?

“Real estate as discussed is the most popular in my region. Donation is another common one. A lifestyle client is willing to drop more as they might spend winter in the well-connected Caribbean, in resorts funded by Citizenship by Investment such as Antigua’s Moon Gate Hotel & Spa.

7.) How long do the citizenship and passport application processes take?

“They depend on the country. St Kitts and Nevis doubled the minimum investment in 2023. With less people applying, they can guarantee priority processing.”

“Vanuatu offers another fast track to citizenship. But their passport is the weakest. If time is not so much of the essence, Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, and St Lucia are programmes that can lead to a Caribbean citizenship within a year.”

8.) What are the benefits of having a second passport?

“There are so many. First of all, in my region, investors receive freedom, increased travel freedom. With a Chinese passport, there are less than 90 visa-free destinations you can visit.”

“With a Caribbean passport, there are generally over 150. Most include visa-free access to the EU and the UK. This type of Plan B passport makes it easier for you to apply for US and Canadian tourist visas.”

“Passports are status symbols. Younger and middle-aged HNWIs have embraced the concept. They see second citizenship as a modern insurance policy.”

“A second passport offers diversification and security. They tie into legacy and succession planning. Especially when it comes to access to education and healthcare systems.”

9.) There has been some bad press about criminals investing in citizenship. How will having dual citizenship affect an investor’s reputation?

“Rather than damaging the investor’s reputation, it will boost it. The application process is becoming more and more sophisticated for the official investment migration programmes. Countries are adding extra layers to their background checks and due diligence to prevent rotten eggs spoiling the baskets.”

“Latitude Group is a member of the regulatory Investment Migration Council. We’re all about compliance and doing things by the book. So clients and partners want to be associated with us.”

10.) How can investors choose the right Plan B passport for them?

“By speaking with a qualified advisor. I’m a certified Investment Migration Advisor. I start each consultation by asking “What is your reason for getting a new passport?””    

“I give advice based on the need. My next question is “What’s your budget?” There are clients that prioritize the lowest cost and care less about the passport strength.”

“For example, Japanese and South Korean citizens enjoy strong passports. But if they want to enrol their children in an international school, they face a hurdle. They will need a second citizenship just to qualify for the right to send their kids to these educational institutions.”

Get the A-Z on why you should apply for a Plan B passport.

How Getting a Plan B Passport Can Be as Easy as A, B, C

Has reading our interview with Aleksandra Smolen whetted your appetite to invest in a second citizenship? If so, we can walk you through every step of the application process. So, don’t delay and contact Latitude Group today.

Why You Need to Apply for a Plan B Passport in 2024

Date: 28 November, 2023

Posted in: Caribbean, Europe, News feed