Pass­port to Suc­cess

For some wealthy in­vestors, one na­tion is sim­ply not enough. Ge­orge Hop­kin looks at the growth in in­vest­ment mi­gra­tion

Hong Kong Tatler - - Life -

hough you’d never guess they share much ground, me­dia mogul Rupert Mur­doch does have some­thing in com­mon with film di­rec­tor Terry Gil­liam. Both men have changed their cit­i­zen­ship to take ad­van­tage of the re­sult­ing busi­ness ben­e­fits.

Gil­liam—fa­mously known as the only non-bri­tish mem­ber of com­edy troupe Monty Python—re­nounced his US cit­i­zen­ship to be­come a true Brit in ev­ery le­gal sense in 2006. “I thought I’d just sim­plify my life,” the writer-di­rec­tor told The Onion’s film in­dus­try web­site AV Club later that year. “I’m get­ting old. I’m gonna die. I’m not at all happy with what Amer­ica has been in the last 10 years. The re­al­ity is, when I kick the bucket, Amer­i­can tax au­thor­i­ties as­sess ev­ery­thing I own in the world—ev­ery­thing I own is out­side of Amer­ica—and then tax me on it. And that would mean my wife would prob­a­bly have to sell our house to pay the taxes. I didn’t think that was fair on my wife and chil­dren.”

Mur­doch be­came a nat­u­ralised US ci­ti­zen—and as a re­sult for­feited his Aus­tralian cit­i­zen­ship—in 1985 in or­der to ex­pand his Amer­i­can em­pire; leg­is­la­tion meant it was im­pos­si­ble for a non-us ci­ti­zen to own a US tele­vi­sion sta­tion. He was much less forth­com­ing than Gil­liam about the de­ci­sion. When asked at the time why he had traded cit­i­zen­ship, he an­swered sim­ply: “Be­cause I wanted to.”

Mur­doch and Gil­liam are far from alone; there is a grow­ing num­ber of wealthy busi­ness­men who want to be­come global cit­i­zens of mul­ti­ple na­tions. Make no mis­take: This is not the hot-topic im­mi­gra­tion that’s mak­ing head­lines across a Europe suf­fer­ing from mi­grant-cri­sis fa­tigue or a US dumb­founded by stri­dent Don­ald Trump rhetoric. This is the world of mi­grant in­vestors, where those with the right level of in­come and the ap­pro­pri­ate le­gal ad­vice can ef­fec­tively buy them­selves and their fam­i­lies the very best op­por­tu­ni­ties the planet has to of­fer.

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