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Second citizenship for the safety of investors: how to create a “safe haven”

A safe haven is where you can quickly go alone or with your family if there is danger or emergency in the country of residence. Second citizenship or residency is required to have such a place.

Keep your family safe with second passports or residence permits

Leave the country. Investors with second citizenship could leave their countries of residence even during the first wave of the coronavirus pandemic when the borders were closed. They were allowed to enter countries that issued their passports or residence permits.

Investors and their family members with “spare passports” do not have to waste two to four weeks on getting visas; they can go to Europe, the UK or the USA anytime.

Open a bank account in the EU, UK or USA. It is challenging to open an account in a European or American bank with a passport of another state: applicants are rigorously checked and often refused. Second citizenship or residency helps save you trouble. These documents make opening an account in a foreign bank easier, and sometimes you can even reduce the maintenance fee.

One can keep a financial airbag in a foreign bank, namely, the money the family will use in case of departure from the country of residence. In a critical situation, the investor won’t have to transfer large amounts to foreign accounts and deal with currency control or taxes.

Move the family. Second citizenship or residency investment programs allow the participation of family members. Thus, the investor’s relatives can also move abroad whenever they want.

Buy a property. Many countries offer to invest in real estate to obtain citizenship or residency. Therefore, the family won’t have to look for housing in an emergency.

“Plan B” with a second passport or residence permit: cases from our practice

Fleeing a country on the verge of war. Farzaneh parent’s died during a terrorist attack performed by Talibs. The young woman realised she needed to leave Afghanistan before it was too late. Farzaneh used her inheritance money to buy her freedom: she got Caribbean citizenship of Dominica and left for Europe right before the Taliban seized power.

Moving to one of the safest European countries. Alejandro’s house in Lima was robbed twice within a year. He felt he couldn’t keep his family safe and was worried about children growing up in such an environment. One unexpected trip to Portugal changed it all: the family fell in love with the country that ranked among the world’s top five most peaceful and safe states in 2021. They got residence permits by purchasing an apartment and relocated to Portugal within eight months.

Safe harbour in Turkey. Amir decided to obtain Turkey citizenship for himself and his family to have a vacation house by the sea. They got second passports in half a year. But a difficult situation in the home country made Amir’s family stay in Turkey for longer.

Freedom of movement without the threat of deportation. Narong had to leave his homeland and seek political asylum in Germany urgently. His application for refugee status was considered for more than two years. During that time, the family lived under the constant threat of deportation. The problem was solved by Vanuatu citizenship obtained in two months.

Child protection. Alexander’s daughter Kate was often threatened because of her father’s work. Alexander hired bodyguards for her but believed it was a temporary solution. We helped the family obtain Malta citizenship: Kate went abroad and entered a Maltese university. In the future, she will be able to choose to live in any EU country.

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Let’s discuss the details

Schedule a meeting at one of the offices or online. A lawyer will analyze the situation, calculate the cost and help you find a solution based on your goals.

Zlata Erlach, Caribbean Investment Program Expert
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