More and more U.S. billionaires are buying 'golden passports' that grant them citizenship to New Zealand, Portugal and other 'safe' countries, with sales up 337 percent in the last three years over growing fear of civil unrest in America.
Henley & Partners, a firm that helps the wealthy shop around for citizenship across the globe, said sales to American nationals have shot up more than 337 percent since 2019, Business Insider reported.
Latitude Residency & Citizenship and Dasein Advisors, two other citizenship firms, said they too have seen more inquiries from American clients over the past three years than in the previous 20 combined.
'We've all lived through the past two and a half years,' Reaz Jafri told Insider, referencing the pandemic and the civil unrest that followed.
'It all just reminded us how vulnerable and frail we are, and people who have means are accepting that it will happen again — and they don't want to be caught off guard.'
Portugal was said to provide the most coveted 'golden passports' as sales from U.S. billionaires over the citizenships are up more than 377 percent in the past three years
New Zealand citizenship is popular as well as it grants golden passports to wealthy investors who only have to show proof of 88 days of residency in the country over three years
Austria offers citizenship immediately to those who make a $3.7 million contribution to the government development fund or invest more than $12.3 million into a business
Malta also grants European Union citizenships to those who provide more than $1 million to the nation after only 1 year of residency
Nations that offer citizenship to wealthy individuals often call on them to make big investments in their country and provide proof of residency.
Payments: Applicants are required to make a minimum $200,000 investment in real estate
Residency: Applicants must prove they lived in the country for seven days in one year
Payments: Applicants are required to make a minimum $$6.5 million investment in real estate, growth investments or government bonds over three years for Investor 1 visas and about $2 million over four years for Investor 2 visas
Residency: Applicants for Investor 1 status must prove they lived in the country for 88 days over three years, and applicants for Investor 2 status must prove they lived in the country for 438 days over four years
Payments: Applicants are required to contribute more than $740,000 to the national development fund, more than $860,000 into real estate investment, more than $12,000 to charity. To expedite the process, applicants must make a payment of more than $925,000 to the national development fund along with the other investments.
Residency: Applicants must prove they lived in the country for at least 36 months for the standard process and only 12 months for the expedited process.
Payments: Applicants are required to contribute nearly $50,000 to the government, or, to expedite the process, applicants must make more than a $3.7 million contribution to the government development fund or invest more than $12.3 million into a business
Residency: Applicants must prove they lived in the country for at least 10 years, but the expedited process allows citizenship to be bypassed
Dominic Volek, head of private clients at Henley & Partners, said