Dubai, UAE: Ten short years ago, there were only a handful of immigration programs available to MENA nationals. Over the last decade, the industry has managed to grow substantially –today, there are more than 80 investor visa options around the globe. Investors from countries like Algeria
“Demand from North African nations has been steady for some time, but there has been a high increase over the last year, specifically in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, and Tunisia.” says Diaa Nasri, Savory & Partner’s Business Development Manager – North Africa. “It has been an honour to know that I am helping people reach their goals of a safe and secure future through a second citizenship.”
The most popular of these programs are the citizenship by investment (CBI) programs, whereby foreign nationals can legally obtain a second citizenship and passport in another country through an investment in the nation.
Considering North Africa’s affluent upper and middle class and civil unrest becoming more prevalent due to socio-economic challenges, it comes as no surprise that the region’s high-net-worth individuals are keen to obtain second citizenship in a stable and safe country.
However, the real question that needs to be answered is: why are high-net-worth individuals and businesspeople in North Africa suddenly so interested in obtaining second passports through these citizenship by investment programs?
The biggest determinants swaying citizens all over the Middle East and North Africa to apply for second citizenship are mainly:
Safety & Security
North Africa’s socio-economic and political turmoil, specifically due to the unprecedented damaging effects on the entire North African region caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused a rush for golden visas and second passports among the region’s wealthy.
Holding a second passport or residency in another country provides a Plan B for North African investors and their families to escape the challenges of their own nations. It is invaluable to have the chance to move to an alternate place to live or reside during situations of war, political unrest, civil violence, economic downturns, and natural disasters. In this increasingly unpredictable world, a second citizenship can bring comfort and peace of mind.
For some North African nationals, being able to travel with their current passports has proven difficult due to the visa application process taking anywhere from 15 to 30 days. It is also possible that the visas are not getting approved. Having limited access to all parts of the globe makes it difficult to travel freely for business, leisure, or in case of an emergency.
However, when paired with a second passport, North African nationals can obtain visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 120 countries and territories, including more popular areas like the United Kingdom and Schengen Zone. For instance, a St Kitts & Nevis passport grants unrestricted travel to over 150 countries and territories, while a St. Lucia passport will get investors into over 140 nations, and one from Dominica has access to over 135 countries worldwide.
Global freedom of movement is a particularly attractive benefit for high-net-worth individuals and businesspeople who enjoy or need to travel for business, education, or leisure. Holding a more powerful passport saves time and money, as well as allowing for more opportunities, both personal and professional.
Entrepreneurs and businesspeople in the North African region are severely limited when it comes to lucrative business and investment opportunities. A second passport obtained through a Caribbean citizenship by investment program can grant access to key economic markets around the world, including the United Kingdom and the European Economic Area (EEA).
The citizenship by investment programs of St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, or the Commonwealth of Dominica are the most popular CBI programs amongst investors in Algeria, Morocco, Libya, and Tunisia. These programs also allow for dual citizenship; hence you would never need to renounce your first citizenship.
The wealthy work hard for their money and deserve to preserve it as effectively as possible. Most CBI programs offer advantageous tax policies that high-net-worth MENA nationals find very appealing. Depending on the program, these tax benefits range from zero or low tax rates on assets and income to protecting wealth with financial privacy laws and shielding assets from inflation by storing them in a different country.
Quality of Life
North Africa is a beautiful, vibrant part of the world. Unfortunately, its status as a developing region means it cannot provide its citizens with quality infrastructure and systems as much as it would like.
As the CEO and Founder of Savory & Partners, Jeremy Savory notes, “I have spent time in quite a few North African countries and have built many strong relationships with people from the region. When they express their concerns about the future, it gives me great solace to know that my company can help put their minds at ease and help them secure better futures for themselves and their families.”
Second citizenship allows an investor and his/her family to access a better quality of life. The benefits of living in another country include world-class healthcare, top-tier educational facilities, robust infrastructure and public transport, as well as luxurious lodgings in attractive environments.
Where to get a Second Citizenship?
Applications to any citizenship by investment program are best advised to be done through a government-authorized agent. Such accreditation is bestowed through a rigorous verification process that can only give citizenship investors peace of mind.
Savory & Partners is an accredited agent for multiple governments where citizenship by investment is offered. Founded in 1797, the agency has evolved from pharmaceuticals to family assets and legacy protection through second citizenship and residency. The company’s professional, multinational staff is made up of expert advisors who have guided thousands of clients, including many North African investors, on their journey to find the most suitable CBI program for them. The Savory & Partners team will be happy to answer your enquiries in English, Arabic and French.