There are many underlying factors why somebody might require an alternative citizenship.
Vazir Group, a UAE-based immigration company based out of headquarters in Dubai, has emphasized on five of the main reasons:
- Family security and happiness
One of the key determinants behind the demand for global citizenship is because individuals want to provide a more secure life for their family. It doesn’t necessarily mean shifting the family unit thousands of miles to an unfamiliar destination, but rather ensuring that the parents and children know they have a safe base, and not have to return to territories that have been affected by global crises such as famine or war.
A key factor is happiness which results from and directly correlates with stability. People’s happiness is measured by the health, prosperity and success of the country they reside in.
The World Happiness Report 2019, released by the Sustainable Development Solutions Network for the United Nations, ranked countries such as Canada as one of the happiest countries in the world. It is also one of the most preferred countries for migration. On the other hand, countries including Syria and India have dropped immensely over the past few years due to their instability, economic status and education level. This is also one of the reasons why there’s a growing demand from these countries for a second passport
- Ease of global travel
A strong passport opens up travel to many global destinations without having to go through long and sometimes expensive visa processes. For example, a Canadian passport allows visa-free travel to 172 countries around the world (173 countries with a passport from Cyprus). The ability to travel in such a way offers greater freedom, allowing access to a range of different countries for both business and pleasure.
The UAE tops most of the global passport rankings and allows its citizens an easy access to many countries. Other countries from the region such as Yemen, Syria and Irak rank at the very bottom of those lists with an access to only 35 countries on average.
- Securing existing financial assets
Choosing a permanent residency or citizenship in a secondary place provides the added benefit of financial access in that country. This allows the opportunity to conduct banking transactions and investment in financial markets and property that may otherwise have been restricted for foreign nationals.
By diversifying geographic spread of finances, high net worth individuals manage the risk associated with having funds in only one currency denomination. Should one country’s economy stagnate or exchange rates fluctuate, the ability to hold funds in another mature market provides long term financial security and the capacity to weather the ups and downs of emerging markets.
- Opening new opportunities for business and investment
For business owners and entrepreneurs, being able to travel freely across the world to close a deal is essential. An individual’s passport has a big impact upon the locations that they can go to in order to conduct their work and make investments. Visa processes can often take a long time, and in a world where deals are struck in a matter of minutes and not weeks, having a passport that allows you to hop on a plane at a moment’s notice, can often mean the difference between winning and losing a contract.
- Potential for international residency and benefits
Dependent on the chosen host country, there are many potential benefits of a new permanent residency or citizenship, including access to free healthcare and education. In some cases, it offers multiple citizenships for children and grandchildren. For those residing in the Middle East, a second international home can offer a base to escape to during the hot summer months, or in more serious situations, a sanctuary to head to in times of conflict, political and economic crises or societal unrest.