The European Union is in the news a great deal these days, mostly for reasons that cause the citizens and governments of the member countries grave concern. However, notwithstanding the ongoing discussions about and efforts to solve the various debt problems of the EU, it remains a vibrant cultural and economic global force. So much so, in fact, that people from all over the world seek opportunities to live and work in EU countries.
European passports are sought after, especially among high net worth individuals (HNWI). For those unfamiliar, high net worth individuals are a specific category of investors with at least $1 million in liquid financial assets.
Why the fuss? Other than how cool it seems, why would someone want dual citizenship that includes a European Union passport? Reason enough so that many governments have created special immigration classifications to accommodate someone who is, in a manner of speaking, a business immigrant. European Union Citizenship is defined by the Treaty of Maastricht as follows
Before we examine some of the advantages of having an EU passport, there is one very important thing to remember: Not all countries allow for dual citizenship. This is something you'll want to look into before you do anything else. Assuming that dual citizenship is permissible for the country in which you qualify for a European Union passport, here are some of the advantages of having one:
Safety. There are, quite simply, parts of the world where traveling as an American is, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst, risky if not downright dangerous. Other nationalities are targets of prejudices and negative attitudes as well. Did you know, for example, that some countries in the Middle East will deny entry to someone with a passport evidencing travel to Israel? Having an option as to which travel document you use based on the political climate of the specific country is very valuable when things are "iffy."
International Mobility. Having more than one passport affords you greater freedom to travel if a country has an entry or length-of-stay restrictions. Most countries have established such entry requirements. Citizens from a country such as Canada need a visa to travel to Paraguay, for example. However, citizens from Singapore essentially have carte blanche when it comes to entering the United States, the United Kingdom or the Euro Zone. The UK passport enables you to travel with visa-free or visa-on-arrival status to over 189 countries. As a Bulgarian passport holder, you can travel visa-free to more than 150 countries.
Employment Mobility. Simply put, an EU passport enables the holder to seek employment without immigration restriction. Someone with a Bulgarian citizenship, for example, can work in Germany, France, Italy, or any of the other member nations.
Residential Mobility. As in, live in any EU member country you desire. Think of the possibilities as you seek the highest possible quality of life. With an EU passport, your "neighborhood" consists of the entire European Union.
Tax options. The opportunity to forum shop for the tax regimen most advantageous to your particular circumstances can hardly be overstated. As well, the different regulatory scheme of the EU as it relates to taxation affords you a layer of privacy not available in many countries around the globe.
Benefits available only to citizens. As a citizen of the European Union, you are able to avail yourself of all of the rights and privileges offered by the country in which you reside, no matter which member country that might be. Health, education, unemployment programs, pensions and the like are all benefits to which you would be entitled to EU citizenship.
The ability to make the best out of a worst-case scenario. An EU passport enables you to travel virtually unimpeded in the event of any incident that involves your country. You can simply travel as a citizen of the European Union, thereby sparing you from any unwanted attention and, worst-case, unwanted government action.
We've touched on only some of the advantages of having an EU passport. The aspect common to all of them is freedom: to travel, to invest, to work, to play, to live. What's there not to like?