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The pandemic has shown that the strength of a passport is not just related to the number of countries a citizen can travel to visa free. With major disruptions to global travel, governments making major changes to their taxation policies, as well as general economic uncertainty, the market for second passports has seen a huge shift in demand
The covid pandemic has led to a shift in the way people, with many people re-evaluating their own country’s healthcare system. Individuals are planning for both now and the future, looking to see which countries provide better healthcare. This has especially been the case with citizens from the US, with the last year seeing a 200% increase in enquiries from high net worth Americans. The pandemic proved that the USA was unable to manage a severe health crisis, with the country seeing high rates in terms of both infection and deaths. As such, many citizens realised the country had neither an affordable nor efficient healthcare system and subsequently had a greater appreciation of the importance of a country’s primary healthcare provisions. More individuals are looking for countries that have a better healthcare system and how they can live there.
Another important reason why more HNI are choosing to obtain a second passport is due to a global shift in taxation policies. With the world recovering from the financial consequences of COVID-19, which saw most global economies see a shrink in their GDP of at least 2.9%. High net worth individuals are preparing for their home countries to start implementing heavier taxation policies, so are looking for countries where they can gain more financial freedom.
Take India for example, which recently announced amendments in its tax regime for non-resident Indians, who may now face higher taxation rates. High net worth Americans are anticipating higher taxes for the rich, which has resulted in increased leads from US citizens inquiring about second citizenship. It is clear that HNI’s should start looking at the countries they are currently living in and consider their financial future.
Many countries offering CBI programmes also have attractive tax regimes that include zero tax on foreign income, capital gains, wealth, and inheritance. Several also have double taxation treaties with the US and CARICOM countries. With Indian’s and American’s expecting to face higher taxation rates, these tax incentives make a second passport all the more attractive.
Over the last year, travel restrictions have been imposed on an unprecedented scale, with air travel coming to an almost standstill. Whilst restrictions are now starting to ease up, there are still many countries that are still on a travel ‘lockdown’. Citizens from the UK and US, which pre-pandemic were some of the worlds strongest passports, suddenly saw themselves facing severe travel restrictions, unable to travel the world unrestricted. As such, there has been growing interest in obtaining a passport from countries that handled the pandemic more effectively and as such have fewer travel restrictions imposed.
Gaining a passport through a CBI programme would allow individuals to enjoy the freedom of movement around the world.
For more information about gaining a second passport, contact one of our CBI specialists for a free consultation and to discuss the different options available.