- Peter Thiel is in the process of acquiring Maltese citizenship, the New York Times reported Saturday.
- The Republican investor and donor from Silicon Valley has American, German and New Zealand passports.
- The EU is trying to ban Malta’s “golden passport” scheme, which grants beneficiaries access to the EU.
Silicon Valley investor and former Trump adviser Peter Thiel hopes to add Malta to his collection of foreign passports, according to a New York Times report on Saturday.
Thiel, born in Germany, is also an American and New Zealand citizen. PayPal’s founding billionaire donated about $ 30 million to Republican candidates running for next month’s midterm election, according to the Times, making him one of the most influential individual donors of the breed.
But if his “Make America Great Again” ambitions go wrong, Thiel – who is credited with starting the trend of “doomsday preparation” among the Silicon Valley elite – has several makeshift plans, though plans for his 10-bedroom bunker in New Zealand were rejected by the local government this summer.
Among these plans is Maltese citizenship, a popular passport among the ultra-rich seeking access to the EU. It is one of the few member states of the European Union left with a “golden passport” program, in which foreigners can receive citizenship in exchange for an investment of over $ 700,000 in the local economy.
A spokesperson for the Thiel Foundation did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.
The number of wealthy Americans applying for citizenship or residency in foreign countries has skyrocketed over the past three years as US billionaires, tech entrepreneurs and celebrities try to create a “plan B” for their families, several companies told Insider. of investment migration in May.
“We view these programs as an insurance policy,” said Ezzedeen Soleiman, managing partner of Latitude Residency & Citizenship. “We’ve had a few billionaires who came up to us and asked us where is the best place to live if there is a climate catastrophe, if there is another storm or another global pandemic.”
Malta’s agenda may not last much longer if the EU gets its way. The European Commission, which has cracked down on gold passports in recent years, announced last month that it is taking Malta to court over the nation’s refusal to dissolve the scheme.
Thiel may have already ruined his chances by posting his Malta apartment on Airbnb, according to the Times, as applicants are prohibited from renting their residences before the citizenship process is finalized.
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