KAL KENNARD, MANAGING PARTNER
There is so much more to second citizenship than travelling around more easily, and although our current world crisis is highlighting some compelling reasons to arm yourself with multiple passports, in my experience there are many more.
Travelling without the need to apply for visas has until now been the reason the majority of clients apply for a second citizenship, however there are myriad reasons besides better mobility to apply for yourself and your family if you are in a fortunate enough position to afford it.
A better question is “can you afford not to?” given the real threats such as civil unrest, closed borders, and potentially substandard healthcare systems in a pandemic proving particularly unsettling.
If you have the option to physically move to another country when borders are closed, you have the ultimate personal freedom and security.
With your future travel or relocation pathway secured in the guise of your second passport, you are also able to create a concrete personal and financial foothold in your second home, which opens up some attractive benefits.
I believe a second home will have an effect on you whether you live there or not. A home isn’t only where you are, it’s who you are, and a second passport in your second home country will expand your life and also you as an individual.
I’d only been in St Kitts for a few months in the mid-2000s, but it struck me how much I already felt a kinship and passion for the twin-island nation. Its landscape, culture and people had already started to become a measure of who I am. St. Kitts & Nevis welcomed me with open arms and it enriched my life beyond measure.
When I speak to clients about second citizenship, my excitement in assisting them comes from my personal experience of growth and enrichment by being connected to that country. It’s not only a passport, you see.
In our other company Elmsbridge Property International, we have focused on creating and selling luxury second homes internationally for a long time, and we are strong proponents of residential tourism – not only for the countries where the homes are located, but also for the lucky homeowners.
A mutually beneficial relationship between a residential tourist and a country is symbiotically nourishing, and why I am such a huge proponent of it in our client networks. In my opinion, it is the ultimate in sustainable tourism and the best way in which to maximise the benefits of becoming a citizen.
The benefit of residential tourism in Antigua (where we are based) and other Caribbean islands has been strongly felt with many millions of dollars of investment flowing in from homeowners who have fallen in love with the paradisiacal island.
Owning a home in your second citizenship country not only offers you a retreat for mind and body in one of the most beautiful parts of the world, the Caribbean islands in particular are also a natural wonderland on land and sea.
Antigua & Barbuda in particular is a safe haven, a place of kindness, community, diversity, music, art, a place to reconnect. A place to let children and adults run barefoot in the sand, to make new friends, to bridge cultural divides, to breathe unfiltered clean air and eat fresh regional produce.
You don’t need a passport to be a residential tourist but if you and your family have the passports, this is your home and your ultimate security as the doors will never be closed to you. A physical home in an elite yet unpretentious crossroads such as Antigua can be more than a good financial investment, it can have deep personal significance.
To a country and especially a small island destination, the benefits of attracting long-stay homeowners each year are compelling:
- Far greater income per person when compared to a short stay tourist (second homeowners employ people and are repeat spenders in domestic businesses)
- An international champion for your country and culture
- Attracting talented international citizens assists in the creation of new industry (i.e. Cayman Island’s GDP is 80% derived from financial services, an industry seeded by internationals)
- Second home owners often invest in or start businesses in the jurisdiction
- Greater immersion into the community and culture, and connectivity to other countries
2020 appears the ideal year to showcase that second citizenship beyond the passport can bring personal and financial benefits to individuals and families they perhaps hadn’t imagined. In turn, the nation will see foreign direct investment boosted and more powerful international ambassadors created.
Antigua & Barbuda in particular is a place I will continue to champion in my belief that citizenship and embracing a second home there will enrich your life. Beyond potential future security or desire for travel made easier, it’s an opportunity for personal growth and more happiness in your life. It’s definitely not only a passport.