Money & Power

Invest in This Luxury Hotel in the Caribbean and Get a Second Passport

This is one way Filipinos can travel visa-free to over 130 countries.
IMAGE PIXABAY/PEXELS; PUBLIC DOMAIN/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS/DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS; SIX SENSES HOTELS RESORTS SPAS
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Marriage, bloodline, or residence—these are some of the common ways one can obtain foreign citizenship, and in effect, a foreign passport.

Recently, second passports have become a status symbol for the wealthy, since, practically speaking, they open doors for those with weaker passports.

Here, we’ll assess the different ways one can legally apply for a second (or third) citizenship, the processes, and how to get a second passport in 90 to 120 days.

ANCESTRY

Some countries, including a few coveted European Union members, grant citizenship by descent. Applicants may trace their roots and look at whether their parents, grandparents, or sometimes great-grandparents, were citizens of a country. Called “Jus sanguinis,” meaning “right of blood,” select countries grant this form of citizenship to a certain degree.

These countries include Germany, Ireland, Israel, France, Australia, Italy, the U.K., Greece, Hungary, Argentina, Turkey, and South Africa. After confirming your parents or grandparents’ citizenship, you must also check if you’re an eligible candidate by assessing whether your ancestors did not lose or renounce their citizenship. This procedure, although quick, relies solely on the draw of blood.

NATURALIZATION

The naturalization process varies per country but this procedure would entail fulfilling the permanent residency status through initial employment, refugee status, marriage, or family in the country before applying for naturalization. Those who aren’t pressed for time and have the options listed above available to them may opt for this method, but in many cases, it could take years.

INVESTMENT

For those for whom money is not an issue or for those who are short on time, several countries have been offering Citizenship by Investment Programs or similar citizenship programs for over 30 years.

Through an application process, you can claim all those previously inaccessible benefits and become a citizen in these following countries: Australia, Canada, the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Greece, Italy, New Zealand, Cyprus, and the Caribbean Region.

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Choosing an investment program

One of the most enticing options is the one offered by the Eastern Caribbean nation of St. Kitts & Nevis, which was one of the first countries to open citizenship via investments in the 1980s. Apart from it coming with a passport that allows visa-free travel to over 139 countries, there are many perks that come with being a citizen of this small island nation. For one, it will reserve the passport-holder the right to work and live in St. Kitts. Another advantage is that citizens don’t necessarily have to reside in the country to maintain their status.

The citizenship is valid for life and is then passed on to the investor’s spouse, parents, and a number of eligible dependents. “St. Kitts boasts the longest established Citizenship by Investment Program in the world presenting opportunities to obtain a well-recognized passport for you and your family,” says Mr. Bastien Trelcat, managing partner for Southeast Asia of Harvey Law Group.

One of the latest developments in this program is the partnership between St. Kitts and the Six Senses Group. Through a government-sponsored deal, shareholders of the latest Six Senses hotel at St. Kitts will be welcome to apply for citizenship, along with their families.

Six Senses Resorts and Spas is a luxury chain of hotels, with branches set up in pristine locations such as Singapore, Vietnam, Thailand, Bhutan, Fiji, Maldives, and other romantic settings. Six Senses Yao Noi in Thailand was most recently named Travel + Leisure magazine's No. 1 Resort Hotel in Southeast Asia for the second consecutive year.

The minimum investment requirement to become a shareholder is just $220,000 (P11.78 million), with financing available for over two years. Once validated, applicants will receive their passports within 90 to 120 days from the day of application. The Six Senses program, which is available to all nationalities, is particularly appealing to businessmen since St. Kitts citizens are free from personal income, capital gains, gift, wealth, and inheritance taxes, and have a currency pegged to the U.S. Dollar.

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An aerial view of St. Kitts, the location for the 16th Six Senses Hotel in the world.

Interested parties better hurry, however, as only 100 shares are available to those in the Philippines through the Harvey Law Group, the development’s official collaborator in the country.

For more information, contact Harvey Law Group (Philippines), 25 E Citibank Tower, Valero corner Villar Streets, Makati City, 810.3233.

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About The Author
Hannah Lazatin
Senior Staff Writer
Hannah is a communications graduate from Ateneo de Manila University. She’s originally from Pampanga and from a big, close-knit family who likes to find a reason to get together at the dinner table. Experiences inspire her. “Once, at a restaurant, I received an interpretation of my second name ‘Celina,’ and it meant 'someone who tries everything once' and that is me through and through,” she says. As for the job, she wants her “readers to be inspired by the stories of the people we feature and to move them to reach for greater things.”
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