Rich Americans are preparing for possible ‘instability’ by getting second passports

Henley & Partners, a law firm that specializes in garnering dual citizenship for the wealthy, is seeing a rise in clients applying for a second citizenship in anticipation of “volatility and uncertainty.”

“The U.S. is still a great country, it’s still an amazing passport,” Henley & Partners executive Dominic Volek reportedly said Tuesday, adding, “But if I’m wealthy, I would like to hedge against levels of volatility and uncertainty.”

Volek continued, “The idea of diversification is well understood by wealthy individuals around what they invest. It makes no sense to have one country of citizenship and residence when I have the ability to actually diversify that aspect of my life as well.”

Americans are now outnumbering other nationalities in acquiring a dual citizenship, according to the law firm.

While the “exit tax” of renouncing citizenship can be costly, many wealthy U.S. citizens are adding visas and dual citizenship to help their financial positioning and to make business travel safer. Some of the rich passport seekers are worried about hostage-taking or “high-risk countries” where financial transfers could be navigated easier with a second passport.

The places where the rich are adding passports are Portugal, Malta, Greece and Italy.

“With Malta you become a European citizen, with complete settlement rights across Europe,” Volek explained. “So you can live in Germany, your kids can go and study in France and you have the right to live, work and study throughout Europe.”

The countries with the easiest dual citizenship requirements include Portugal, Malta, Dominica, Spain, Mexico, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, Cyprus, Canada, Ireland, Vanuatu, St. Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, Italy, New Zealand.

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Some of the rich are also seeking retirement options abroad as the growth of remote working during the pandemic made it easier to virtually work from anywhere in the world.

CNBC reports that migration of millionaires has hit a new high in the year of 2024. In comparison, 51,000 millionaires moved in 2013 while an estimated 128,000 millionaires are projected to move to another country in 2024. However, the United States still remains the destination for the rich more than any other country. China has seen the biggest loss in millionaires leaving their country.

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