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Billionaires are paying up to $23 million for the latest ultra-wealthy status symbol

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/20/2018 Zoe Bernard

Yachts, sports cars, and sprawling mansions have long been the status symbols of the ultra-wealthy, but in recent years, a new badge of affluence has emerged among the 1%.

Billionaires and millionaires are flocking to secure not just second homes in foreign countries  but citizenship as well. 

According to a new report by Bloomberg, wealthy people are shelling out as much as $23 million for citizenship in another country. 

There are but a handful of countries in the world that allow prospective residents to purchase citizenship outright. Among them are Austria, which commands an eye-popping $23 million for citizenship; Malta, which costs around $1 million; and Caribbean islands like Saint Lucia, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda, which charge the relatively cheap $100,000 apiece.

For some, purchasing a secondary passport is just another way to flaunt extreme wealth. But for others, buying a multimillion-dollar citizenship is a security measure.

In an interview with Business Insider's Hillary Hoffower earlier this month, president of financial firm Apex Capital Partners, Nuri Katz, suggested that the second-passport trend is all about capitalizing on opportunity: "It provides a certain freedom that some citizens of some countries don't have; it's a freedom of movement."

Related video: This country now has the most powerful passport in the world (provided by Buzz60)

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