To the mind of a great businessman, investing in one thing that will fuel other investments is undoubtedly appealing and makes perfect sense. So what one thing can you invest in that will open limitless doors for your other investments? The answer is a second passport.
A second passport means a second citizenship. And if the intent for this move is to unlock business opportunities, then being a citizen of a country that can offer more than your home country can is certainly a great move.
Most often, entrepreneurs seeking a second passport as a gateway for business expansion come from countries rife with political instability or have restrictive business environments and tax policies. Seeking opportunities abroad gives the entrepreneur greater freedom in the business playing field.
Why some regions are drawing the interest and attention of entrepreneurs and investors alike
A second passport is the end goal of a Citizenship by Investment program. Several countries offer CBI programs to foreign nationals to attract foreign capital into their economy. In exchange for fueling their economy, these countries offer investors opportunities. Among the CBI countries that rank at the top for investors are the Caribbean island nations of St Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, St Lucia and Grenada.
These countries score the highest in offering ease of travel to entrepreneurs for constant travel abroad which is part and parcel of running their businesses. Imagine if you need to fly to a different country, and your passport does not give you visa-free travel to that destination. You will have to go through the time-consuming process of applying for a visa, paying the fees, visiting the embassy or consulate for interviews. All these have to be done weeks before the travel date. This poses a huge setback when business requires you to pack and go instantly. A second passport, on the other hand, can give you visa-free access to countries that your original passport cannot offer.
The St Kitts and Nevis passport gives you visa-free travel to 156 countries, including the EU Schengen states, the UK, Singapore, among others. The Dominica passport allows you to travel to 144 countries and territories, including the EU Schengen nations, the UK, Singapore, Hongkong and China. The Grenada passport allows you to enter 145 countries visa-free, including the EU states, the UK, Singapore, Hongkong and like Dominica, to China as well. St Lucia passport allows travel to 146 countries, including the EU Schengen states and the UK.
Entrepreneurs with St Kitts & Nevis passport can easily apply for the US B1/B2 visa, valid for 10 years and allowing multiple entries. Furthermore, they can apply for a ten-year Canadian visa, allowing multiple entries at a maximum of 180 days per visit.
Travelling from the Caribbean to Europe, North and South America is even made more convenient with direct flights to and from the islands.
Dual citizenships are also allowed in most countries with CBI programs. For countries like Dominica and Grenada, they do not report the person’s second citizenship to the home country. This way, the individual is guaranteed privacy.
The best part of a second passport is that you can apply for a second citizenship for your family, provided they meet the age requirements for dependents. This way, you don’t have to be away from them for long as they can travel with you as you desire.
The benefits of opening a business by unlocking a global network
Once you are given your citizenship, you can set up a business in the country. Strict privacy rules protect business operations and transactions. The same goes for banking. Investor data and records are not shared outside the tax residency and to the public.
Once you hold a reputable second passport, you have access to a broader reach of the banking system. You are now able to open accounts freely; thus, transferring financial assets is now a breeze, and you can transact in any foreign currency.
For CBI programs who are members of CARICOM, there are free trade agreements with several nations that greatly benefit and aid the flow of business activities.
Countries with attractive taxes and growing accessibility
Countries like St Kitts, Grenada and Dominica, and other Caribbean nations offering CBI programs are considered tax havens. There are no taxes for inheritance, gifts, wealth and no capital gains. There are also no taxes on income generated from earnings abroad.
Mostly, there are no restrictions on transferring corporate profits or imported capital. Dominica, for example, offers generous export allowances, duty-free trading in the Caribbean, and full exemptions from corporate tax incentives, import duties, export allowance, and tax relief benefits.