Wealthy Africans, How Valuable is Your Passport?

Published 3 years ago
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Is your passport holding you back? The luxury of holding a second passport is fast becoming a necessity amongst High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI). The demand for citizenship by Investment programmes has grown increasingly in recent years amongst wealthy Africans looking to expand their opportunities and global reach. 

There is a lot to consider when evaluating your investor visa options and there is no “one size fits all” approach. The cost of such programmes can range from just over $100,000 to a few million dollars, so it’s imperative investors make the right decision.

Simple but ineffective   

Whilst every country’s passport comes with its own visa-free travel list, a simple measure of how many countries it grants access to does not tell the full story. The “quality” of those countries matter. Access to France, for example, is more important than Kiribati in most people’s view.


While “quality” is important when making an investment decision on a second passport, combination and fit with your current passport also matters. It’s what that second passport adds in terms of additional country access that gives you the value and return for your investment.

What is the real value?

La Vida Golden Visas, a private consultancy firm, headquartered in London, have developed a unique Passport Value Report that goes beyond simply counting visa free countries. It helps prospective investors to see not only the true value of their existing passport but critically the incremental value of the second passport to consider as an investment. This is done through a combined measure of GDP (“wealth access”) and visitors (travel popularity) of the countries added through such investment in a second citizenship.

The problem for Nigeria and South Africa

Take the Nigerian passport as an example. Nigerian citizens have visa-free access to 54 destinations. That’s a modest 23.7% of the 227 countries and territories worldwide. It’s one of the lowest ranking passports among many of its West African neighbours, with Ghana at 73, Cameroon at 61 and Cote d’Ivoire at 67. But the story does not end there. Nigeria’s visa-free list mainly consists of other African countries. It does not include destinations such as Europe, USA, China, or the UK. Places where many Nigerians may strive to do business or visit for leisure. The shocking reality is that the visa-free countries Nigerians have access to equate to just 2.1% of the world’s GDP and 3.1% of the world’s international travel popularity.

South African passport holders do slightly better. They gain access to a higher number of visa-free destinations at 112. Nearly 50% of the world perhaps? But let’s not get too carried away. In terms of “quality” this still only represents 20.2% of the world’s GDP and likewise misses out on visa free access to most of Europe, the UK, USA and China.


How to Fix the Problem

La Vida offers eight second citizenship by investment programmes but one of our most popular solutions amongst our African investors is that of Grenada, in the Caribbean. Citizenship by Investment in Grenada is a fast, efficient and straightforward process, taking as little as 60-90 days to process. Grenadian citizenship provides many benefits, including visa-free travel to over 140 countries, no tax on worldwide income and no wealth, gift, inheritance or capital gains tax. There is no interview, education, language test or management experience required, and dual citizenship is permitted. The entire process can be completed remotely. 

Importantly, Grenada is also an E-2 visa treaty country with the USA, meaning approved E-2 visa applicants are eligible to start a business and live in the USA with their family. Processing time for the E-2 visa is usually only two months. 

What value does Grenada add?

Pair a Grenadian and Nigerian passport and the world begins to open up. You gain access to 163 destinations worldwide, which includes the UK, EU Schengen zone, China and Russia. Now you have visa free access to 58.7% of the world’s GDP, a huge improvement on the 2.1% that a standalone Nigerian Passport offers. Pair Grenada with South Africa and access to the world’s wealth climbs from 20.2% to 60.2%. Arguably increasing opportunity three-fold.

According to Paul Williams, CEO of La Vida, ‘’Grenada is an effective solution for many nationalities. Almost all our African investors applying for Grenadian Citizenship have chosen the real estate investment route. With no need to visit Grenada during the application process, minimal processing fees and no physical residency requirement, investors are finding this a very appealing option.”  

Real Estate and Kimpton Kawana Bay 

La Vida offers a selection of Government approved real estate projects, but there has been one clear choice for most of our applicants which is the popular Kimpton Kawana Bay resort.

Ideally located on the world-famous Grand Anse beach, with magnificent views over the Caribbean Sea, the Kimpton Kawana Bay resort is the newest 5-Star luxury resort in Grenada. Currently under advanced construction and set for practical completion mid-2021, the resort will be run by the boutique operator Kimpton® Hotels & Restaurants, part of IHG (Intercontinental Hotels Group), one of the world’s largest hotel chains. The freehold condominiums are priced from US$220,000, comprising of one-bedroom suites and studios and include up to two weeks free usage per year. In addition, your property is put into the hotel rental pool, earning an annual return on your behalf via Kimpton. Investors can also disinvest after five years and recoup their initial property investment.


Tom Scott, Managing Director of Kimpton Kawana Bay, recently stated, ‘’In 2019, 54% of all CBI real estate applications in Grenada were for Kimpton Kawana Bay, illustrating the confidence investors have in our project. We have seen a continued high level of sales in 2020, especially from our Nigerian clients”.  

Aside from the investment, Grenada enjoys a growing economy and stable democracy. Its citizens have access to top schools including 90% tuition fee discounts at Grenada’s, St. George’s University, the world’s largest offshore American accredited medical school. This has been another attractive feature of the countries Citizenship by investment programme.  

Grenada Citizenship by Real Estate Investment Highlights:

  • Gain a second passport and visa-free travel;
  • Own high quality, five-star, deeded freehold real estate;
  • Owners receive two weeks personal usage each year;
  • Owners will receive a share of hotel revenue;
  • Gain access to St. George’s Medical School;
  • Gain access to the USA’s E-2 visa programme;
  • Prices start from $220,000 plus application fees.

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