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Coming Up with Effective Plan B Should Your Citizenship Be Revoked

Is it possible for your home country’s authorities to revoke your passport? No doubt about it. Facing the facts, it pays to have Plan B or even Plan C, so that you won’t be at a loss as to what to do in case of citizenship revocation. At International Wealth, we think you should be proactive and obtain a second citizenship abroad while time permits, to nullify any potential passport cancellation effects. 

Deprivation of citizenship or Plan B

Citizenship weaponization

Around the world, governments use multiple instruments to achieve their foreign policy goals, with citizenship being on the list. The strategy dates back to ancient times. Roman emperors awarded Roman citizenship to their best military commanders and combatants when the Roman Empire occupied new territories. Apart from it, those doing a good job for the state received conquered lands from the emperor as a powerful stimulus to fight for Roman rule.

Russian politicians took advantage of the like strategy by issuing Russian passports to people in neighboring countries. Russian authorities used a simplified procedure to grant Russian citizenship and issue passports to the local Russian-speaking population allegedly to protect people from oppression and mistreatment in their states. Yet, thereafter Moscow provoked forceful intervention, with passportization going on before, after, and during such intervention being an auxiliary tool only.

This happened to not just Ukraine but also multiple regions adjoining Russia. Some of them, say South Ossetia and Abkhazia, that used to be a part of Georgia in the past, became quasi-independent, while Crimea was officially annexed by Russia.

Countries other than Russia to use passportization strategy

Certain other countries use passportization as their foreign instrument policy. In 2011, Hungary amended its citizenship laws to expand the list of foreigners entitled to Hungarian citizenship by ancestry. Under the amended law, at least 5,000,000 ethnic Hungarians from Slovakia, Romania, Serbia, and Ukraine received the right to apply for citizenship in Hungary.

Even today, the law causes heated arguments. Considering the latest political developments, it is for a reason. Neighboring countries have grounds to believe the Hungarian government will eventually be given a free hand to employ the Russian strategy and annex foreign territories populated by ethnic Hungarians in vast amounts. 

For those looking for an escape hatch or a backup plan, passportization may be an efficient instrument as it allows them to obtain second citizenship based on ethnic ancestry. This is especially important for beneficiaries from regions other than unstable cross-border ones.

At present, immigration agents in the US and a number of other states not bordering on Hungary recommend their Hungarian-born customers apply for citizenship in Hungary. The recommendation is well-grounded, as a Hungarian passport is among the strongest in the world allowing holders thereof to enter 183 countries and territories either without a visa or with a visa they receive on arrival.

Comparing citizenship by investment programs

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De-passportization as gaining momentum trend

In certain regions and states, a reverse de-passportization trend prevails, and it does much more harm. It involves more frequent wholesale citizenship revocation where certain ethnic or religious groups are concerned. After passport cancellation, the latter are oftentimes incarcerated or expelled.

With the like strategy, Nazi Germany used citizenship revocation to strip millions of Jewish Germans of their German citizenship. For most of them, it was the only citizenship they had. Under the circumstances, the ethnic group had to flee Germany looking for refuge abroad as stateless persons. In most other cases, they ended up in Nazi extermination camps. 

From then onwards, lots of like passport cancellation and citizenship revocation cases occurred when people were en masse deprived of their citizenship and passports:

  • In 1962, nationalities of 120,000 ethnic Kurds were withdrawn in Syria as the local government tried to make the region they lived in more Arabic.
  • In 1982, Myanmar authorities adopted the law to deprive over 1,000,000 Rohyngia religious and ethnic minority representatives of their citizenship rights.  In 2017, the country’s government made most Rohyngia residents flee the country in a brutal ethnic cleansing operation. The remaining Rohyngia people were forced to accept IDs identifying them as foreigners. As a result, obtaining Myanmar citizenship was blocked and no longer possible for them.
  • In 2013, a Dominican Republic court actually withdrew nationalities of at least 70,000 Haitians residing therein. In most cases, their families had been living in the Dominican Republic for dozens and hundreds of years, and several generations have grown up to adulthood there.
  • In 2018, over 4,000,000 nationals were denaturalized in India.

Most International Wealth readers and subscribers will obviously be relieved to learn that their home countries are not on the above list and they don’t have to fear either citizenship revocation or passport cancellation. Still, even in countries that are most economically developed and boast the highest living standards, the risk of citizenship revocation or passport cancellation is not zero. Not to mention the fact, limitations to citizenship may be introduced for certain ethnic minorities or representatives thereof.

Even the United States are par for the course. In 1790, a year after the US constitution had been ratified by 13 former British colonies, the Congress adopted the Naturalization Act. The above Act limited the right to be naturalized by granting it to Caucasian future Americans only. In 1857, sixty seven years later, the Supreme US Court resolved that Afroamericans were not US citizens and they would never be eligible for US citizenship.

It was 11 years later that the 14th Amendment came into force granting citizenship to all US-born persons. Thereunder, millions of ex-slaves received the same rights and privileges just Caucasian Americans enjoyed before.

The Supreme Court interfered again to guarantee that only some native-born Americans will be able to enjoy all the citizenship rights. In the 1870s, the court upheld certain US state laws that banned women from voting or working in man-dominated career fields. In the 1890s, it supported the Southern state laws formalizing racial segregation which in fact was second-rate citizenship for African Americans.

The US Congress pushed to exclude representatives of what Congress people considered to be unwanted ethnic groups from citizenship. In 1882, amendments were introduced to the US laws prohibiting Chinese workers from immigrating to the US, a.k.a. the Chinese Exclusion Act. Contradictory to the 14th Amendment, the above Act prohibited US state and federal courts to grant US citizenship to any persons coming from China.

For female US citizens marrying foreigners since 1907 till 1931, such a marriage came with US citizenship loss. Till 1924, no US citizenship was granted to native Americans who populated the territory now known as the United States of America. It was only in 1965 that ethnic-based or race citizenship exclusions were discontinued in the US altogether.

Western economies tightening screws on citizenship

Although it is true that no mass religious or ethnic exclusions to the USA citizenship happen any longer, de-passportization is still very much alive in the States. Hoda Muthana’s case is a vivid example thereof. A New Jersey native, Muthana left her native country in 2014 to join an IS terrorist group in Syria.

A federal court resolved in 2019 that Muthana who faced passport cancellation was no longer a US citizen and thus had no right to come back to the US from Syria where she was kept in a refugee camp together with her minor child. On appeal, the above court decision was upheld, and the Supreme Court was not eager to reconsider the case later on.

As for Muthana herself, she can hardly be called a friendly or a nice person who deserves some respect. In Syria, she married an IS gunman and espoused terrorist attacks on innocent US population. Muthana has burned her American passport as according to her being an IS member she no longer needed the document.

You may think that Muthana’s case is an exception to the rule. It is true when talking of the laws currently in force or for any native-born US citizens. As for those who were naturalized, their situation is getting very unstable. The reality is, in future both groups may face additional risks.

In 2016, Raphael Cruz, a Texan Senator, came up with a bill to expand the list of offenses that may potentially result in a US citizenship revocation and passport cancellation. Supporting a foreign terrorist organization in any meaningful way was high on the above offence list, with resulting US passport cancellation.

Although the bill proposed by Cruz does not define “material assistance”, the US Supreme Court declared in 2010 that even merely consulting a person or a group on how to resolve a conflict peacefully may be considered materially assisting terrorism activities and thus result in passport cancellation or citizenship revocation where such group or person is recognized as a terrorist. It is safe to believe your eyes in this case. Non-violent actions that have nothing to do with terrorist activities are seen as material terrorism support by the US Supreme Court in the above case.

In fairness, we should point out that the bill proposed by Cruz was never enacted into a law. Yet, if any analogous bill is ever enacted, the number of people threatened by citizenship revocation and passport cancellation will increase dramatically. Many verdicts and judgements of this kind seem well-grounded as they have a well-established connection to hijacks that actually happened. At the same time, doctors, ministers, or any other persons accommodating alleged terrorists or terrorist organizations will immediately appear at risk of prosecution resulting in passport cancellation at the least.

From pro-lifers and Antifa groups to multiple opposition leaders, political activists run the risk of passport cancellation due to their non-violent protest activities. As the government sees it, citizenship revocation may appear a useful opportunity when taken against their political opponents.

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Citizenship revocation effects and coming up with effective Plan B

As a result of your US passport cancellation, you will lose the right to travel freely around the globe or enjoy diplomatic protection in other states and territories that US citizens are entitled to. The same is true for citizenship revocation and ID documents of any other states with strong passports. Needless to say, in case of passport cancellation you’ll be deprived of the right to be elected to government posts or any other official positions and partake in your country’s political life through voting. 

A freshly minted apatrid whose citizenship was canceled and who somehow managed to leave their state, will have to apply for a visa to re-enter it. Due to alleged terrorist activity support, it is likely, their visa application will be rejected.

Authorities may use passport cancellation as an instrument or a weapon against their political enemies or other opponents. Under these circumstances, it makes sense to obtain a second passport and foreign citizenship as it may become your plan B and an escape hatch in case of emergency.

Be it the Portugal Golden Visa Residence Program allowing for fast-track naturalization in an EU country (to become a citizen, an applicant will have to live in Portugal the total of 1 week per annum within a 5-year period and pass a Portugal language exam) or fast (with procedures taking 3 to 6 months) and simple (all procedures are performed remotely) citizenship by investment in Caribbean states, the International Wealth investment immigration pros are ready to assist their customers with such a plan B. Remember, we are here to minimize your citizenship revocation risks and maximize your chances for a cloudless future.

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How can I avoid negative effects associated with citizenship revocation?

The best way for you to minimize any related risks is to obtain a second passport in a safe, prosperous, and friendly jurisdiction. Be it via your naturalization, marriage, army service, citizenship by descent or origin, special services to the state (this mostly applies to prominent scholars, sportsmen, cultural figures, celebs, and businessmen), and investments – depending on your particular situation, the International Wealth immigration experts will select the way to achieve your goals that will work best for you.

Where can I get a second passport the fastest?Where can I get a second passport the fastest?

You should set your eyes on jurisdictions famous for their citizenship by investment schemes. The list is rather long. It includes Antigua, Grenada, Dominica, Jordan, Malta, Saint Lucia, Turkey, Vanuatu, Saint Kitts and Nevis, and Montenegro.

Where can I turn for assistance to obtain my golden passport and citizenship by investment abroad?

Don’t hesitate to contact seasoned immigration pros at International Wealth. With our extensive investment immigration experience and wide partner network, we’ll secure the desired results for you in next to no time. The International Wealth experts will select the best host state meeting your every requirement that is commensurate with your financial resources and assist you with obtaining citizenship by investment therein. With us, everything can be done in a fast and anonymous way. For more information, please, contact the International Wealth experts who’ll be glad to help you get thorough.

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