Money

You Can Get A Second, More Powerful Passport For As Little As $100K

It’s the age of the “global citizen”
IMAGE Passport Index
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Filipinos love to travel, but the limitations of a Philippine passport are all too real. The 2019 Global Passport Power Rank by Passport Index, which ranks and compares the world’s passports based on their visa–free score, puts the country at a dismal 64th out of 198 countries and territories. 

With a Philippine passport, you can travel visa-free to 34 countries and will be granted visa on arrival in 35 countries. You’ll need to apply for a visa to the other 129 countries on the list.

Compare that to the number one country on the list—the United Arab Emirates—whose passport grants its holders visa-free access to 113 countries and visa on arrival to 54 others.

The possibility of moving freely between borders, without being weighed down by inconveniences such as visa applications, is the main thrust of global financial advisory firms like Arton Capital. The Canadian company specializes in investor programs for residence and citizenship, linking governments with individuals and families who would like to acquire a second passport through immigrant investor programs (IIPs) and citizenship by investment programs (CIPs).

“We live in the age of global citizens,” said Armand Arton, founder and president of Arton Capital, during a TEDx Talks session. “As global citizens, the only boundaries we have are the way we see ourselves and the way we see each other.”

Local partnership

Arton and his associates were in the country recently to ink a partnership with local business consultancy firm EnterPH. Together the two companies provide advisory services and assistance to clients—mostly those in the ultra high net worth (UHNW) segment—seeking to make significant investments in order to become global citizens.

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“Global citizenship is a movement that is gaining popularity throughout the world,” Arton said. “An investor can gain a second citizenship for $100,000 ranging to $2 million depending on where they decide to invest. These programs offer mobility of movement, financial security and freedom for the whole family.”

Arton presented a few examples of countries that offer these so-called “global citizens” programs. In the Caribbean nation of Antigua and Barbuda, a minimum government “donation” of $100,000 is enough to get the process started on acquiring citizenship for that country. According to the 2018 Passport Index, Antigua and Barbuda ranked 26th in the most powerful passports list, granting holders visa-free access to 132 countries.

Arton said citizenship to Antigua and Barbuda can be granted in as little as three to four months.

In another example, clients may opt to invest at least 350,000 euros in Portugal to be eligible for a second passport. While physical residence isn’t a requirement in Antigua and Barbuda, applicants to Portugal are required to stay in Portugal at least seven days a year in order to be eligible for citizenship. It also takes six years to acquire citizenship, after which passport-holders are then free to travel to 159 countries visa-free with a Portuguese passport.

In the country of Montenegro, applicants need to make a government donation of 100,000 euros as well as invest in approved real estate projects in the country worth anywhere between 250,000 euros and 450,000 euros. Once approved, applicants and their families can enjoy visa-free access to 117 countries.

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Ultra high net worth individuals

Besides these three, Arton said it can offer citizenship assistance to at least 10 other countries, including Canada (Quebec), USA, Great Britain, Bulgaria, Malta, Cyprus, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Dominica, and Grenada, with more countries to be added soon. Each country, of course, has its own set of requirements for its investor programs.

According to a study commissioned by Arton Capital and Wealth X, a global consultancy group that gathers data on the world’s ultra wealthy, the average net worth of someone who applies for a second citizenship is above $205 million, which is about 47 percent above the global average for UHNW individuals of $139 million.

Clearly the burgeoning economy and the increase in the number of UHNW individuals in the Philippines and the rest of Asia were factors in Arton Capital's decision to partner with a local company and establish a presence in the region. Arton revealed they are already working with Filipino clients out of their offices in Singapore and Dubai, and said they expect the number to rise in the coming years.

“The place where we were born does not dictate who we are, where we can go, or what we can become,” Arton said. “When we limit human mobility, we’re restricting the use of one of the most important growth tools humanity has at its disposal.”

 

For more information on Arton Capital’s second residency and citizenship programs, contact EnterPH through email [email protected] or mobile at +63918 9382602.

 

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About The Author
Paul John Caña
Associate Editor, Esquire Philippines
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