Interview: Understanding dual citizenship - Gulf Business
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Interview: Understanding dual citizenship

Interview: Understanding dual citizenship

Micha Emmett, CEO of CS Global Partners, explains the benefits of multiple nationality and why it can be attractive to the GCC’s business community

What are the key benefits of dual citizenship, and why should somebody consider it?

“Dual citizenship, or multiple nationality, enables individuals to hold citizenship of more than one country, which allows more flexibility on where and how they choose to live.

“Those with a second citizenship, or indeed multiple citizenships, receive a number of benefits, including increased global mobility, enhanced security, access to better education and healthcare systems, and substantial business and investment opportunities.

“In a survey conducted by CS Global Partners last year, we found that Middle East businesspersons faced significant hurdles when conducting international business, partly due to the administrative processes of travelling abroad. Depending on how mobile your second citizenship allows you to be, these challenges will dissipate with additional visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel.

“Individuals and families around the world who are faced with barriers to travel, or are worried about their future in their home country, may look to invest in a second citizenship. This is where CS Global Partners can assist by supporting individuals to achieve a life of greater opportunities for their business and their families.”

Who is dual citizenship best suited to? Are members of the business community among the most likely to gain from it?

“Anyone can enhance their quality of life by holding multiple citizenships. The business community are prominent clientele because of the potential for expansion achieved in diversifying their opportunities for growth. This can come in many shapes and forms but really it’s quite a simple equation: multiply citizenship, and you’ll multiply your exposure to business opportunities.

“In the survey conducted, 75 per cent of the sampled businesspersons said they felt limited by their local markets. Investing in a second citizenship, as our clients will tell you, is a way to open new horizons both personally and professionally.”

How popular are citizenship applications at present? To what do you attribute this popularity?

“As the world has globalised, enabling trade and communication to expand more rapidly and readily across countries, the awareness to acquire second citizenship has increased. Second citizenship as an industry, where individuals and families invest in a legislated programme of a nation they choose, has grown in popularity over the last six or so years, spurred on by political and economic complexities around the world.

“Families and individuals may not necessarily want to relocate, but rather hold a second citizenship as a form of security against an unpredictable future.”

What is the appetite like in the GCC? Why is it so attractive to people from the region?

“The popularity of the industry in the GCC is proportional to the need. With political and economic challenges evident in the area, the popularity and appetite has grown. Those in the GCC are looking for insurance and a way to expand their exposure to the rest of the world on a business and personal front. Holding a second citizenship will provide that person added security, and expand their opportunity to conduct business on a more global scale.”

There are a few different types of residency and citizenship programmes – what are the
main differences and what should people consider before applying
for one of them?

“As the investor immigration industry expands, so too do the offerings of citizenship and residency programmes around the world. The oldest and most robust second citizenship programmes exist in the Caribbean, namely in St Kitts and Nevis, and the Commonwealth of Dominica. Enhanced and perfected over a course of decades, these two countries have popular citizenship by investment programmes that are secure, discrete, and efficient in their processing. They are entrenched in the legal frameworks of their respective governments, and so are the most stable products on offer if what you desire is security and simplicity.

“In terms of residency programmes, there are also a number of these available, and may be beneficial to individuals who wish specifically to relocate. Portugal’s Golden Residence Permit Programme, for example, is a popular option because it allows applicants and their families the opportunity to live, work, study and undertake business in Europe.”

What are the potential challenges involved? Not only during the application process, but once citizenship is granted, too?

Second citizenship is designed to erode challenges, rather than add to them. However, before starting the process, it is important to firstly check that holding a second citizenship in your home country is legal. Secondly, you’ll need to enlist a government approved agent, who will support and guide you through the process. CS Global Partners is an authorised agent for a number of citizenship and residency programmes, allowing us to use our extensive experience and services to assist clients in achieving second citizenship or residency.

“Once citizenship has been achieved, the new citizen will be required to abide by the laws governing their newfound country – a basic understanding of the country and the responsibilities they have to maintain the citizenship (and renew their passport) is key.”

Investment is a major part of many citizenship programmes. What can the Gulf region gain in this regard – especially if GCC nationals are investing outside the region?

“An investor has a lot to gain aside from second citizenship, and the accompanying passport they may choose to utilise. Investing in another nation diversifies their portfolio, and enables the expansion of business networks. The additional mobility achieved with second citizenship also allows businesspersons to move more freely, being more flexible to travel at short notice for work. If an investor considers Dominica, or St Kitts and Nevis, for their second citizenship this will also open new avenues for investment in projects around the world, harnessing their entrepreneurial spirit.”

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