How to Get a Swiss Passport

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Many of our high-earning clients approach us to let us know they feel limited by their current investment opportunities, the banking systems offered by their home country, or simply need to make a change. Luckily, not only do we offer financial services to make their fiscal dreams a reality, but we also can assist with opening up their worlds through relocating internationally. This article will cover why you should consider taking steps to earn a second passport in Switzerland. As one of the world’s highest-performing economies, Switzerland is the perfect place for high net worth investors to live and conduct business. For more information on acquiring citizenship in Switzerland, or want guidance on anything offshore, contact Alpen Partners below! Here are some more details on the benefits of earning a second passport. Sometimes the grass really is greener on the other side.

Why do investors want a second passport?

Many investors will earn a second passport when they have decided to relocate to a new country. This is because they will live in a new country for so long they naturalize and earn citizenship. When they become citizens, they can freely leave and re-enter their country of residence, which is a huge benefit for those hoping to return home to see family and friends and continue to conduct business. However, there are many other benefits that lead investors to seek out a second passport. Some of these benefits are outlined below.

  • Back-Up Plan
    Many of our clients want a second passport because it offers the benefit of being able to flee in the event of political or economic instability in their home countries. Switzerland offers political and economic stability, which is appealing for those living in more tumultuous economies. With a second passport ready, investors can pick up and leave to the more stable region when it’s needed. On the other hand, some individuals want the benefits of relocating but don’t want to burn the bridge to their home country completely. Dual citizenship is one of the best ways to remedy this dilemma.
  • Private and Safe Private Banking
    Another benefit of moving to a more stable country is safer, stronger banking. Switzerland is known explicitly for having a robust banking system, applauded for privacy and security. When an investor earns a second passport, they 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.
  • Investment Opportunities
    Offshore banking opens up an investor’s world to new investment opportunities. This means investors have the opportunity to diversify their portfolio in markets that have no correlation with their current portfolio. They can also invest in markets that aren’t available everywhere. Many technological, agricultural options, etcetera, just aren’t found in an individual’s home market. These options may offer great returns or can be an excellent hedging technique. Further, when you hold a passport, you have more investment options that are only offered to citizens.
  • Relocation and Expatriation
    If you haven’t yet considered relocating, now is your time. Expatriating offers nearly endless benefits. For individuals who want to cut ties with their current home country and free themselves from unnecessary taxation, earning citizenship in a new country can offer the ability to do so. Even dual citizens can benefit from higher standards of living, economic benefits, and financial liberation.
  • Easier Travel
    Not only are there financial benefits to a second passport. When an investor earns a second passport, they expand the number of countries they can travel to visa-free. In addition, traveling for business and leisure becomes significantly easier when you don’t have to worry about acquiring a visa in time. Citizenship also allows you to vote, leave the country for as long as you like, and everything else a person born in the nation can do.

Why should you get a passport in Switzerland?

Switzerland is one of the most attractive countries for high-earning investors due to economic stability, a friendly tax system,  and a high standard of living. 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. Politically, the country is very stable and hasn’t seen war conflict since 1515.  The country is centrally located in Europe and offers easy travel. You can be in France, Germany, Italy, or the UK within an hour. The small European country has an equally small population that takes advantage of its natural resources. The population holds value in personal privacy and offers a great home to raise highly cultured, multilingual children.

How to Get a Swiss Passport

Before we dive into getting a Swiss passport, we must note that this article alone is not meant to be legal guidance; if you are serious about getting a second passport, we highly recommend reaching out to Alpen Partners for thorough planning.

To earn a Swiss passport, there are a few options, depending on a range of factors.

One way is through the right of blood or jus sanguinis. Individuals 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 which applies to a person born to at least one Swiss parent, no matter of birthplace. Unfortunately, many individuals seeking Swiss citizenship are not lucky enough to be born into citizenship, so they have to be more creative.

Naturalization is the third way a person can acquire citizenship. It is also the most common way for investors to earn citizenship.  A person who wants to be naturalized bust meet these requirements:

  • Before becoming a citizen, you will need to gain residence 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 of roughly USD 170,000 or CHF 150,000.
  • The person can have lived in Switzerland for at least 12 years and lived in the country for 3 out of the last five years leading up to the time of application.
  • Must speak in German (Swiss German preferred), French, Italian, or Romansch
  • Applicants must demonstrate they have fully integrated into the Swiss way of life, familiarity with Swiss habits, customs, and traditions, understanding and obeying Swiss laws, etc.
  • Overall, an applicant for residence will have to have a clean criminal record, good character, and relevant experience and qualifications.

The last option to note 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. We often see this when a client earns permanent residence and finds love while living in the country.

Earn a Swiss Passport with Alpen Partners

There is a lot to consider when making a move to a new country. Switzerland attracts investors from all over the world. With attractive investment options, ideal banking conditions, and high standards of living, there’s no question why you should consider the European destination. Our skilled advisors at Alpen Partners will assist you every step of the way of your journey. With the help of immigration lawyers and investment professionals, we can find the relocation plan that best fits your needs. For more information on seeking a Swiss passport and investment options abroad, contact Alpen Partners today!

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