What’s better than a passport? Two passports (read in viral tone tiktok videos).
While remote work opens doors for workplaces and alternative lifestyles, location mobility has become all the rage for people looking to get out of the country. Some of the richest among them invested in a “Gold Visayan,” a program where buying a second home in another country entitles buyers to a second passport or path to citizenship.
And it doesn’t look like that demand is ending anytime soon: 13% of ultra-high net worth (UHNW) individuals are looking to get a second passport or citizenship, according to the 17th annual wealth of Knight Frank report (The report defines UHNW individuals as having a US net worth of at least $30 million). This group is the “top of the iceberg,” the authors wrote. “The development of the so-called digital nomads has only just begun.”
Over the past two years, UHNW individuals in the US have become increasingly restless as political divisions worsen, the cost of living rises, travel restrictions encourage displacement, and working and living abroad becomes more feasible. . In their eyes, a second citizenship is offered a safety net. Interest in obtaining a second passport through investment opportunities grew sixfold from 2019 to 2021 among US clients, according to a report through the passport company Get a Golden Visa.
As the popularity of the second passports grew, they went from a status symbol for the elite to something more convenientating a second place, the managing partner of Get Golden Visa, SPOKE luck.
“Talking to three leading experts in the field, it is clear that the need for action has expanded rapidly since the COVID-19 pandemic and now covers a wider demographic, including those seeking protection from arbitrary locking the border or looking to work in another country,” said the authors of the Knight Frank report.
Alternatives to these Western investment programs are growing, per the author; Applications are developing in Turkey and Dubai, Singapore, and Hong Kong offers more flexible programs. Some countries, such as Portugal and Thailandrolled out tailored visa programs that do not require a second passport to attract more digital nomad. It is freelancers who lead the trend of nomadic work, pointed out the authors of Knight Frank, as companies are quieter to deal with tax issues or labor laws related to working internationally.
But the surge in demand for living elsewhere does not come without complications and the potential displacement of locals; the Knight Frank authors write that it promises “disruption in outbound countries, destination markets, tax systems, housing rental needs, and office requirements.” Portugal, a former hot spot for Golden Visa applicants, recently ENDS its program after the influx of second citizens boosted housing prices. Other Mediterranean countries are also making efforts the breaks are bomb-Greece the price is doubled on the minimum investments required to obtain a Golden Visa, citing the lack of affordable housing for Greek citizens.
But that doesn’t mean people will stop clamoring for the Golden Visa. As revealed by Knight Frank, 16% of UHNW clients from Asia, 15% from America, and 12% from the Middle East still plan to get their hands on it.
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