The Guatemalan passport is among the Top-40 most powerful in the world, surpassed only by those of the EU, the US and a handful of other locations, and would be an improvement on the passports of 90% of the world’s population. Interestingly, it also just happens to be the most economical option for a second passport on the current second citizenship market.
There are currently around 7.5 billion people on the planet, with less than 900 million living in the combined locations of Western Europe, the US, Japan and Australasia, the main areas of the world that are privy to powerful passports. A passport’s power is gauged by the amount of countries it has entry to on its own steam, without the need to be augmented with a specified visa. Countries in Asia, Africa and the Middle East rarely have passports that allow their owner access to as many as 70 countries without the need of a visa, and the vast majority have access to less than 50.
The two biggest countries in the world in terms of population are China and India, yet the Chinese passport has visa-free access to just 51 countries, two more than India. At the other end of the scale, the most powerful passport in the world is that of Germany, which has access to 177 countries visa free. Anything over 100 countries is respectable and around 120 or more is considered desirable. The Central American country of Guatemala’s passport has access to 119 countries, including the UK, France, Germany and Russia, which makes it highly desirable.
Guatemala is a Central American country that borders both Mexico and Belize, the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. To most people, Guatemala is synonymous with Mayan ruins and rainforests, beautiful beaches and extreme water sports. It’s no big surprise to learn that Guatemala is a very popular destination for ecotourists, thrill seekers and traditional holidaymakers, so much so that tourism brings in some $2 billion annually to the Guatemalan economy.
However, the Guatemalan economy is not solely based on tourism. In recent years, in terms of import and export alone, Guatemala has been consistently among the strongest economic performers in Latin America, even rivaling established South American economic giants like Chile and Brazil. In 2015 Guatemala’s GDP growth rate hit an impressive 4.1%.
Guatemala is the largest economy in Central America and its main trading partner is the United States, which has some 200 businesses based in the country. As well as tourism, the Guatemalan economy is based around offshore banking, agriculture, mining, petroleum and construction.
Why Choose Guatemalan Citizenship?
There are three fundamental reasons why if you are a high net worth individual coming from a restrictive country, and looking to improve on your freedom of movement and business options, choosing Guatemalan citizenship is a great idea;
A) Passport Power
If you are in pursuit of a second passport, chances are it’s because your original passport is barely fit for purpose. Some passports from countries in the Middle East like Afghanistan and Iraq or from African nations like Somalia and Eretria are so dysfunctional, their owners need to get a visa just to get back into their own country!
The Guatemalan passport may not quite rival the very best that the EU has to offer, or indeed the passports of the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Singapore which all grant access to 170 or more countries visa free, but its total of 119 countries is still highly respectable, and likely to be a lot more powerful than the passport you are currently using.
More importantly, it’s the category of countries the Guatemalan passport has access to that makes it really appealing. For example, no passport from Asia, Africa or the Middle East will have access to nations within the EU, but the Guatemalan passport grants its holder visa free access to the UK and Ireland, the EU in its entirety, plus most of Eastern Europe, including Russia.
B) A Different Nationality
Individuals from Middle Eastern countries like Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Yemen will know only too well what it feels like to be pigeonholed and judged on the country of their birth. No matter how clean cut and respectable they might look, no matter the cost and cut of their suit or the quality of the briefcase they are carrying, they cannot help the fact that the girl working at the check-in counter might be thinking “this guy is from Iraq… is he a terrorist?”
Let’s face it, whether it be Iraq, the UK, the US or even Switzerland, all countries have their problems. Like many Latin American countries, Guatemala has its issues with inner-city gang related violence, mainly in its capital, and has an unfortunate gang culture among its youth. That said, luckily those problems are not synonymous with the country of Guatemala in the same way that terrorism is unfortunately synonymous with countries like Syria, Iraq and Iran. When people think Guatemala, they think Mayan ruins, rainforests, beaches, paragliding and diving.
When you use your Guatemalan passport for the first time, the girl behind the check-in desk is hardly likely to look you up and down and think “this guy is from Guatemala, he looks like a gang member” (unless of course that’s what you already look like!) They are likely to think “here’s a cool South American guy”, albeit one with an Asian, African or Middle Eastern name.
You should however be prepared for the occasional greeting of “Hola, como estas?” from Spanish-speaking check-in girls, so be prepared and learn to reply “muy bien, gracias!”
The price of second citizenship can vary dramatically, from as high as €10 million for Austrian citizenship, to €2 million for Cyprus citizenship, €1.2 million, to as little as $100,000 including service charges for a Guatemalan passport. The most sought-after passports are those of EU countries, as not only are they extremely powerful, but citizenship of an EU country entitles an individual to the right to live and work in any other European Union nation. Not everyone can afford those kind of prices for a second passport, but thankfully there are other options.
Another popular location is the Caribbean. Citizenship there is far cheaper to acquire than those of the EU. While the passports of Caribbean island nations like St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, Grenada and Dominica are not as powerful as those of the EU, they are still far superior to anything available in Africa, Asia and the Middle East. They offer speedy delivery, plus the added bonus of coming from an area synonymous with discreet banking and minimal taxation.
Guatemala offers a very similar package to that of aforementioned Caribbean countries like St. Kitts and Nevis and Dominica, but at a fraction of the price. Guatemala is also rapidly gaining a reputation as a tax and banking haven. It is therefore little wonder that the Guatemalan citizenship program is among the most popular in the world, and among the best sellers on the 2ndPassports.com roster.
You might even find that after reaping the financial rewards of increased income brought about by greater freedom of movement thanks to your Guatemalan passport, and less taxation thanks to your Guatemalan citizenship, you may decide to add to your collection of passports and apply for an EU citizenship program also.
You wouldn’t be the first to do so!
If you are interested in acquiring Guatemalan citizenship and a passport far more powerful than the one you are currently packing, we at 2ndPassports.com are ready to help you take that first step, and stay with you throughout the process until its conclusion.
If you visit our homepage you will see our Guatemala program, plus a large selection of the very best residency and citizenship programs from the EU and the Caribbean. We can give you all the information you require on Guatemala’s citizenship program, and also advise you on any other programs that might suit you, and help you make the right choice.
Feel free to contact us via email, WhatsApp or Telegram. If you prefer you can chat to one of our expert representatives directly – you can call us using our encrypted phone and Skype lines. All of our contact details are listed at the top of the 2ndPassports.com homepage.
We look forward to hearing from you!
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