Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt is reportedly becoming a citizen in the European island nation of Cyprus, which could cost him $2.5 million and give him tax breaks
- Ex-Google CEO
Eric Schmidtis reportedly obtaining citizenship in the European country of Cyprus, per a Recode report, a move that will allow him to travelto the European Unionand possibly reap tax benefits.
- The specific reason for Schmidt's citizenship application is unclear, but it could be to have a financial backup plan during the pandemic or as part of a wider business
- The world's wealthiest have reportedly been taking part in so-called "passport-for-sale" programs that allow them to skirt foreign national laws and travel bans brought on by the pandemic.
- Many countries offer tax breaks to foreigners if they invest around $3 million in the nation.
Ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt is reportedly obtaining citizenship in the European country of Cyprus, according to a report from Recode.
The news surfaced after a publication in the island nation included mention that Schmidt and his family have received approval for citizenship, per the outlet. The move would allow him to skirt coronavirus travel bans and freely enter European Union countries.It could also reap him personal tax benefits thanks to what is called a "Citizenship by Investment" program that provides tax breaks to foreigners after they've invested a few million dollars in a country. Cyprus's program in particular has become one of the most popular in recent years.
Schmidt likely applied for citizenship in Cyprus within the last year, Recode notes. It's unclear why specifically Schmidt has sought citizenship in the foreign nation, but it could be because of business reasons or to have a financial backup plan during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Recode.A spokesperson for Schmidt did not immediately respond to Business Insider's request for comment.
The move is yet another sign of the sharp divide between how the 1% and the rest of the world are faring during the pandemic.Read more: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt jumped to the company's defense as it faces a landmark antitrust lawsuit: 'There's a difference between dominance and excellence' So-called "passport-for-sale" programs have seen an uptick in popularity during the pandemic as the world's wealthiest seek secondary citizenship in foreign nations to avoid pandemic-driven travel restrictions. Cyprus is one of two small European countries that have seen a particular increase in demand, with citizenship applications spiking 75% during the pandemic as CNN reported. The nation of Montenegro, which has been dubbed "the next French Riviera" as Business Insider's Katie Warren reported, has seen a 142% increase in applications.
Obtaining secondary citizenship in foreign countries is also nothing new among Silicon Valley's inner circle. A 2017 report from New York Magazine revealed that tech execs have sought land in New Zealand as a precaution against the apocalypse, a trend that has continued into the pandemic — some have reportedly flocked to their properties in the Kiwi nation since March.
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