If you are not happy where you are in life or if you’re bored with your current financial options, you are not alone. People all over the globe realize that sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side. Taking your personal and financial life offshore can open up doors that you didn’t even realize could solve some of the problems you are having, such as unhappiness with your home country’s political future, your domestic investment options, or the way of life you feel you are stuck adhering to.
Expatriating has nearly endless benefits. Some individuals, however, don’t want to burn the bridge to their home country completely. Dual citizenship, also viewed as earning a second passport, is one of the best ways to remedy this dilemma.
This article will lay out some of the basics of earning a second passport in our favorite offshore jurisdiction, Switzerland. With a thriving economy and a high standard of living, it is no wonder people are flocking from all over the globe. For more information on acquiring citizenship in Switzerland, or want guidance on anything offshore, contact Alpen Partners below!
Let’s start by looking at the benefits of having a second passport.
- A Good Backup Plan
By earning a second passport, individuals have the added benefit of being able to flee in the event of political or economic instability in their home countries. Some countries have more stable and trustworthy government systems, economies, and remain non-controversial. These safeguards can be the perfect escape for you and your family.
- More Privacy and Safety in Banking
With a second passport, you will have easier access to global banking opportunities. International banks of particular nations have proven time and time again to be safer, more secure, and more accessible than banks of other countries.
- Global Investment
Offshore investment may open up a plethora of opportunities that may not be available in your jurisdiction. There are many technological, agricultural options, etcetera, that just aren’t found in an individual’s home market. These options may offer high returns or can be an excellent hedging technique.
If you decided to gain new citizenship completely, you will no longer be subject to the tax laws of your home country and can enjoy life without the hassle of being taxed on money that you may not even be making in your home country. Both personal and financial liberation overseas are achievable by tapping into new and developing sectors and developed areas of investment, allowing and encouraging you to diversify your portfolio.
- Better Travel
With a second passport, you can take advantage of visa-free travel to different nations, working and living in a new country easily, business opportunities, safer business, and cultural exploration. Citizenship also allows you to vote, leave the country for as long as you like, and everything else a person who was born in the nation can do.
One of the biggest draws to Switzerland is the country’s strong economic system. The economy is so strong that there is no national deficit. The Swiss income exceeds its expenses, so a self-reliant economy fully backs the currency. The country also boasts low unemployment, high per capita income, and a popular banking destination utilized worldwide.
Before becoming a citizen, you will need to gain residency first. There are a few different options to do so. One is through investment, which grants a person residency by either creating a Swiss company or paying a lump sum taxation (LST) fee that is roughly USD 170,000 or CHF 150,000.
If you want to change your citizenship completely, Switzerland has a route for those with permanent residency, through naturalization, though it will take some time.
Earning Your Second Passport In Switzerland
There are a handful of routes to gaining citizenship in Switzerland.
One way is through the right of blood, which is referred to as jus sanguinis. An individual can earn citizenship if they are born to a Swiss father or mother and the parents are married, born to a Swiss mother if the parents are not married, or if they are born to a Swiss father if the parents are not married and the father subsequently acknowledges the child as his own.
Another way is through descent — a person born to at least one Swiss parent, no matter of birthplace. If born outside of Switzerland, they must be registered with a local Swiss consulate by their 22nd birthday.
Naturalization is the third way a person can acquire citizenship. A person who wants to be naturalized bust mee the following requirements:
- Holding permanent residency (such as through investment)
- Have lived in Switzerland for at least 12 years and lived in the country for 3 out of the last five years preceding the application
- Must speak in German (Swiss German preferred), French, Italian or Romansch
- They can demonstrate they have fully integrated into the Swiss way of life, familiarity with Swiss habits, customs and traditions, understanding and obeying Swiss laws, etc.
The last option is to acquire citizenship via marriage. After a person marries a Swiss individual, they apply for facilitated naturalization after living in Switzerland for five years and have been married for at least three years. As is the criteria of naturalization, they must prove integration in the Swiss way of life.
Alpen Partners and Dual Citizenship
With a partnership with respected law firms in various regions of the world, Alpen Partners is advising its clients on every step of the expatriation journey. There is increasing tax pressure globally and professional mobility, expatriation has become one of the most efficient tools for asset protection and estate planning. Dual citizenship clearly has its benefits, so what are you waiting for?
Some benefits can affect your taxes, your investment portfolio, the cost of living, and your lifestyle altogether. As the cost of traveling becomes cheaper, the benefits of expatriation for financial reasons are more easily obtained.
Taking the leap and leaving your home country can be a big decision with tons of personal and legal steps. The hassle of navigating the legal process of expatriation can be reduced with the guidance of Alpen Partners. Each step requires assistance, including getting the passport, making sure everything is completed correctly regarding taxes, acquiring work permits, making investments, and more.
Our expatriation and relocation services take your goals and current situation to handcraft a unique plan for you.