• Wednesday, February 21, 2024
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Nigerians securing second passports in 2023 – Learn more at our events in Abuja and Lagos this week!

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Wealthy Nigerians are buying citizenship overseas

With more than 200,000,000 citizens Nigeria is the largest African country in the world by population size. There is certainly a wide disparity between the rich and poor in the country and many Nigerian citizens seek to relocate to western nations such as the USA, UK and Canada in search of a more secure environment and access to top tier overseas education and healthcare for the family.

However, wealthy families in Nigeria enjoy a high quality of life locally with access to everything they need. The Nigerian elite are well accustomed to luxurious goods, restaurants and domestic services. On top of that, the country has a vibrant culture and a wealth of natural beauty with beautiful beaches, from lush rainforests of the south to the majestic mountains of the north.

Affecting all Nigerian citizens, regardless of their economic status, is the lack of global mobility. The Nigerian passport is ranked 96th in the world with visa-free access to a mere 43 countries in the world.

A significant proportion of high net worth families who would prefer to remain in their homeland, and/or not be grounded to one place for the sake of acquiring a second passport through naturalization. This explains the rise of the investment migration industry In the region in recent years, and the large volume of Nigerians taking advantage of ways to acquire a second passport.

Doing so opens visa-free travel to a variety of countries, eliminating the hassle of constantly applying for visas and allowing the freedom of spontaneity. While also securing eligibility to live, work, and invest abroad. Obtaining a second passport has become rather easy for the wealthy and middle class through Citizenship by Investment programs.

By making an economic investment, Nigerian passport holders can acquire permanent residency or direct citizenship in a relatively short time frame. Many of these programs don’t even require residency, so Nigerians become dual citizens without leaving Africa or wherever they live abroad. This gives wealthy individuals and their families access to more freedom and greater global opportunities.

However, for Nigerians a second passport is not only about borderless freedom and opportunities; it also offers greater financial security in the form of increased asset protection, tax benefits and more. This is why Nigerian citizens are increasingly investing in dual citizenship to ensure their future and that of their families.

Global Residency & Citizenship Events in May

After a successful long term collaboration with A.D. & Partners, Lincoln Global Partners decided to co-launch Anglo Residency & Citizenship Solutions.

Upon the launch of Anglo Residency we are hosting a number of events in Nigeria starting in Abuja this Saturday 6th May 10:00 at the Continental Hotel.

We will then be in Ikeja Lagos on Wednesday May 10th 13:00 for our event at The Sheraton Hotel, followed by our final event in Victoria Island on Saturday May 13th 10:00 at The Four Points Hotel by Sheraton.

For three consecutive days after each event we will be available for private consultations which can be booked via this link.

Dual Citizenship: Super tool for wealthy Nigerian businesspeople

Globalized markets are both a blessing and curse for those with weak passports. Traveling for business purposes can often be a daunting task with a Nigerian passport due to visa restrictions. One which requires a great deal of advance planning and preparation. Oftentimes more wealthy Nigerians contract agents to handle the process of getting a visa for them, although even with professional help the task is rarely simple. It takes a great deal of effort, time, and connections. Then there is always the fear of visa rejection. This poses a grave disadvantage for Nigerian business people. Foreign nationals who are business competitors likely have a leg up if they can get to the table faster, so to speak. Leaving many wealthy Nigerians to turn to second citizenship for the sake of visa free travel.

Many Caribbean nations offer citizenship by investment without a residence requirement. Meaning Nigerians don’t have to immigrate out of Nigeria unless they wish to. Citizenship by investment allows Nigerians to enjoy visa free access to a slew of countries, particularly the EU Schengen area, Hong Kong, the UK and Singapore, node business markets and in some cases China and the US.

Having a second passport allows Nigerian businesspersons the ability to conduct their international business affairs freely and hassle-free.

What countries do Nigerians get second citizenship from?

Citizenship by investment programmes are offered throughout Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean. Nigerian investors are typically most attracted to CBI programs in Caribbean nations such as Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Saint Lucia. These Caribbean passports can be key assets granting visa free travel to upwards of 125 territories worldwide. The Caribbean programs offer alternative citizenship either by real estate investment or an economic donation.

There are also golden visa options available in Europe for Nigerians who want visa-free access to Europe with the additional benefit of being able to live in the Schengen Area. Portugal’s Golden Visa program with its flexible pathway to citizenship has been a European favorite.

However, the upcoming closure of the program has seen the demand shift to Greece and Malta. Greece offers an excellent Golden Visa with low-cost investment options starting from €250,000. Whereas Malta’s Permanent Residency program requires a donation to the government, administrative fees and a purchase or rental of a property for physical residency.

Neither Greece nor Malta have a minimum stay requirement to maintain residency. However, one must live there for at least 7 years before becoming eligible to apply for citizenship. Malta, notably remains the last of its kind.

Meaning, its citizenship program is now the only pathway to citizenship in an EU country without a requirement to live in the country. However, Malta is only an option for ultra high net worth individuals.

That said, The Caribbean investment programs are much more cost and time effective. The processes are straightforward and handled by immigration agents like Lincoln Global Partners. The most favorable aspect of Caribbean investment programs is that the applicant doesn’t even need to travel to the country to complete the process and there are no physical residency requirements. (Aside from Antigua & Barbuda which requires applicants to spend a total of 5 days in the country over a period of 5 years.)

Through a Caribbean investment program, applicants can obtain second citizenship by investment and pass it on to their families, including dependent parents and children up to the age of 30. Thus securing second citizenship on a multigenerational level and for future generations.

Advantages Beyond a Passport
A second passport does not only enhance global mobility, it creates a safety net of healthcare and education — generationally. Let’s analyze Antigua and Barbuda for example, as it’s a top CBI destination for Nigerian investors.

Larger Nigerian families (6 members) can make a donation to the University of the West Indies and in exchange secure Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship for the entire family, PLUS one year of free tuition to the rather esteemed Caribbean university for one family member.

Consider this, often Nigerian families may save a lifetime to send one child to university abroad. In the states this would cost upwards of $150,000 for one international student. When instead, the entire family can reap the gains of this cost by accumulating an additional passport along with a university education.

Additionally, Antigua and Barbuda has visa free travel to South Africa, which is desirable for investors frequenting from the Federal Republic.

Other options open doors for low cost educational systems. Grenada, the Caribbean spice isle, offers lower cost tuition for Grenada passport holders (including foreign investors), and even scholarship opportunities at St. George’s University.

Beyond education, dual nationals are given access to healthcare systems throughout the West Indies for Caribbean countries. The same concept applies to the greater EU for aforementioned EU golden visa investment programs.

Then of course there is the major added bonus of taxes and assets. Those that wish to relocate to the Caribbean can acquire tax residency, protect their assets and legally reduce their tax rates — down to zero in some cases.

The Caribbean nations offering CBI apply a territorial based taxation system and therefore do not tax residents on their worldwide income, while the European countries with Golden Visa programs offer tax incentives for new foreign residents.

Layers of benefits come from having dual nationality. From the joys of spontaneous travel to the advantage of being about to choose from multiple educational systems.

A Luxury or a Necessity?
Whether business people, individuals or Nigerian families, the hard truth is that Nigerians applying for dual nationality often do so to escape civil unrest, reduce personal, economic, political; and financial risk, and establish a back up plan for uncertain times. However, unrestricted access to another country is a desired backup plan not only for Nigeria’s wealthy and middle class.

Of course, not all Nigerians are high net worth individuals with the wealth to throw down $130,000+ to buy a new citizenship. Many Nigerians flee the country instead pursuing alternative routes through work, education or residence permits which will eventually lead to dual nationality. In the long term they can secure citizenship in other countries through naturalization after relocating to a country and physically living there for a number of years.

The fact of the matter is that second passports aren’t sought out only by the world’s elite. Sure, that’s how investment programs began, but now they’ve become an almost essential asset to the upper and middle class.

Even traditionally inward immigration countries such as the United State and United Kingdom are now seeing increasingly high demand for second passports. After Brexit, many UK citizens found themselves in need of EU access and invested in programs throughout the Mediterranean.

Americans in search of a back up plan due to polarized politics, a weakened economy and safety issues are an ever growing second citizenship market. In fact, in 2022 they became Portugal’s number one citizenship customer.

Interested in obtaining dual citizenship?
Citizenship by investment and residency by investment programs mend many of the issues Nigerians face. If you’re looking to become a global citizen, enhance your global mobility and secure second citizenship for your family members it will be a pleasure to assist you. You can reach us at [email protected] or by phone on +447867749891.