What is your back-up plan? For a growing number of wealthy individuals, a second citizenship is becoming both a pathway to new investment options and a way to offer their families more security. Wise investors have long realized the importance of diversifying their business interests in order to withstand regional economic changes. Now more people have become aware of the risks they may face if they limited to citizenship in one country. Economic downturns, regime changes, political instability and environmental disasters can suddenly make a home country a bad place to be. To avoid those hazards, the solution can be to gain dual citizenship.

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs provide wealthy investors a way to gain a second or in some case multi citizenships. The best rated CBI programs are ones that allow citizens visa-free travel to numerous other countries through reciprocal agreements. In addition to providing an insurance policy against outside factors, dual citizenship can allow further education in the some of the world’s most sought after universities and expanding business operations into different countries.

Citizenships are rated on the Henley Passport Index which ranks passports based on the number of countries the passport holders can visit without a visa. India, for example, is ranked as 78th with visa-free access to 59 countries. This limits Indian nationals’ access to many key travel and business destinations including China, Russia the UAE, the United States, United Kingdom, and Europe’s Schengen Area. In fact, all of the countries in South Asia are ranked fairly lowly on the Henley Passport Index, falling between 82nd place and 102nd and their rankings have been in decline. This has helped to encourage citizens of South Asian countries to take advantage of the options provided by CBI programs in other countries. Applicants to any of the CBI programs are required to pass background checks and make pre-approved investments but the specific requirements vary considerably by country.