The dual citizenship regulations can be quite complex and they vary from one country to another. The person holding two passports of two different national states is referred to as a bipatride. Bipatrides can use either of their passports when travelling, opening bank accounts, and performing other tasks that require having a national passport. Today, most well developed countries of the world allow dual citizenship. However, some countries impose certain restrictions on the holders of two (or more) passports. Besides, the rules change sometimes, which makes the matter even more complicated. What restrictions can there be? Let us find it out by providing concrete examples.
Even though having dual citizenship brings numerous obvious advantages, the status also may imply certain disadvantages. The most serious of those include the threat of double taxation and the necessity to comply with the laws of two different states.
Imperfect dual citizenship: restrictions and key disadvantages
Let us consider the restrictions imposed on the holders of two passports in different countries.
- In Egypt, people with dual citizenship are not allowed to be elected to the national Parliament.
- In Armenia, holders of two passports cannot be elected and they cannot even vote in national elections.
- In Israel, diplomats and parliamentarians have to renounce their foreign citizenship when they come to office.
- In Columbia, a bipatride cannot become Minister of the Exterior nor Minister of Defense.
- In Australia, bipatrides will face restrictions if they run for a seat in the federal Parliament.
- In New Zealand, the holder of two passports is allowed to participate in the elections but if you are already a Member of Parliament, you cannot apply for foreign citizenship nor use your second citizenship for any purpose.
- In the Philippines, a bipatride cannot participate in municipal elections.
- Until 2011, dual citizenship was prohibited in South Korea. Since that time, South Koreans can be citizens of another country only if they have acquired their foreign citizenship by birth (not by naturalization or investment). Besides, the Korean bipatride must swear not to use his/ her foreign passport while in South Korea.
- In South Africa, you have to request permission to keep South African citizenship if you obtain a second passport.
- In Turkey, you have to inform the authorities about obtaining a second passport without fail (a Turkish embassy or consulate will serve this purpose).
- In Pakistan, dual citizenship has been allowed since 1951 but the list of the ‘approved’ countries is limited to nineteen only (these are the countries that have signed bilateral agreements with Pakistan on recognizing dual citizenship).
- In Bangladesh, acquiring dual citizenship is possible only by way of exception. Only non-residents of the country can use this opportunity on the condition that they are not citizens of any of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) countries.
- The German and Austrian legislations allow dual citizenship only if the foreign citizenship has been acquired by birth.
- In the Russian Federation, citizens must necessarily report obtaining a second passport to the authorities.
- In India, dual citizenship is prohibited. An Indian citizen acquiring a second passport has to renounce Indian citizenship within three years after the foreign passport acquisition. The ID that he or she gets to keep is an OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card.
This information provided above shows that acquiring a second passport does not only bring weighty advantages but it also may entail certain limitations in some countries. However, if you are not planning to run for president of a foreign state, you should not be worried too much about the restrictions.
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A fast a simple way to obtain foreign citizenship
How can you become a citizen of a foreign country? One way is to be born there as many countries grant citizenship by birth to foreign nationals.
Another way to obtain foreign citizenship is by naturalization. If you legally reside in a foreign country for several years, you may become qualified for full citizenship there. The required permanent residence period will normally be shorter if you marry a citizen of the foreign country.
If you were not born abroad and if you are not patient enough to wait for several years, you still have a good chance to acquire a second passport! Some countries, including Antigua, Vanuatu, Montenegro, and Turkey, among others, grant citizenship by investment to foreign nationals. The foreign citizenship acquisition process can be extended over six weeks only even though in most cases it takes a few months.
If you are thinking about applying for a foreign citizenship by investment, please bear in mind that every country will have strict rules and regulations. The bureaucracy involved in the process can be frightening indeed, which turns many potential investors off. It is true that you have to hire an experienced attorney to guide you through the application process and that means spending additional money. On the other hand, this will make the process of foreign citizenship acquisition much faster and simpler and the lawyer’s check will constitute only a fraction of the overall required investment anyway.
Foreign citizenship by investment and the restrictions in place
You should realize that even though you are making an investment into a foreign passport, there are certain restrictions that cannot be avoided anyway. Some host states simply will not accept applications for their citizenship from people falling into certain groups. The country of your birth or of your current residence may be of importance in some cases.
For political reasons mostly, several countries do not accept applications from citizens and legal residents of the ‘sanctioned’ countries. These limitations can be lifted if certain conditions are met. Below please find the information about the limitations in place in various countries that grant citizenship by investment to foreigners.
Antigua and Barbuda
Antiguan immigration authorities will not process applications from citizens of the national states listed below. If the applicant has emigrated to another country before coming of age or if they have lived in Canada, UK, USA, Australia, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, or the UAE for at least ten years and they have no economic ties with the country of their birth, this restriction does not apply. The ‘black list’ of countries looks like this:
- North Korea.
Please mind that all candidates for Antiguan citizenship have to undergo complex security checks anyway even if they come from a ‘trustworthy’ country.
Applications for Dominican citizenship will be processed on a case-by-case basis if they are submitted by citizens of the following countries:
- North Korea.
The following exceptions apply:
- The applicant has lived in a different country for the last ten years or more;
- The applicant is not engaged in any commercial activities in any of the abovementioned countries;
- The applicant does not have considerable assets in any of the countries;
- The applicant successfully passes all the security checks.
The Maltese passport is one of the most attractive ones as this is an EU passport, as a matter of fact. However, the following three groups of foreign nationals cannot apply for citizenship of Malta:
- Citizens of Afghanistan, South Sudan, Syria, North Korea, Iran, Somalia, Congo, Yemen, and Venezuela;
- Non-citizens of the abovementioned countries who live there, have business companies there, or have economic ties with any of these countries;
- Citizens of those countries that are denied the right of entry to the USA.
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Below please find a list of the countries whose citizens do not qualify for applying for citizenship of St Kitts regardless of their current place of residence:
- North Korea.
Iranians and North Koreans cannot apply for citizenship of St Lucia because it is impossible to conduct due diligence procedures in their regard.
Officially, citizens of all countries are eligible to apply for Turkish citizenship by investment. However, the procedure involves opening a bank account in the country and/ or buying real property there, which is going to be highly problematic for citizens of the following national states:
- North Korea.
People coming from the following jurisdictions are not eligible to apply for citizenship of Vanuatu:
- North Korea.
This restriction does not apply in case the applicant for Vanuatu citizenship has been living outside their country of birth over the last five years or more.
As things stand for now, Grenada does not impose any restrictions. However, if any of the other states granting citizenship by investment has turned down the application from the person who is now applying for Grenadian citizenship, his/ her application will also be rejected by the authorities of the country.
Bulgaria and Montenegro
Citizens of all national states qualify for citizenship of Bulgaria and Montenegro if they make investments into the economy of one of the countries. However, depending on the current political situation, applications from citizens of some countries may not be welcome neither in Bulgaria nor in Montenegro.
The word ‘apatrides’ refers to those people who are citizens of no national state. They are also called ‘stateless persons’. Apatrides are welcome to apply for citizenship of the following countries in exchange for investments:
- Antigua (applications from apatrides born in Brunei, Kuwait, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia are accepted).
If you would like to make certain that you personally qualify for foreign citizenship, please apply for a consultation with the InternationalWealth immigration experts. We will look at your case thoroughly and give recommendations.
Professional consultations for those seeking to acquire a second passport
Dual citizenship is an efficient instrument of asset diversification and it certainly enhances your personal security. However, it is not so simple to acquire a second passport! The process can be quite troublesome and time-consuming.
Investing in a foreign citizenship would be a wonderful idea without doubt but you should use experts’ advice for sure. InternationalWealth team has partners in all national states granting citizenship to foreign investors and we will be happy to provide the full range of services to you.
Do you have any questions related to acquiring foreign citizenship by investment? Would you like to learn more about the advantages of having a collection of foreign passports? Our team of immigration experts is at your disposal!
Please apply for a personal consultation on dual citizenship acquisition right now! You are welcome to contact us by email, a messenger, or our live chat.
What are the advantages of having a second passport?
Dual citizenship brings a number of weighty advantages. With a second passport, you can increase your freedom of movement, protect your assets in a more efficient way, open bank accounts in foreign countries, and engage in international business operations with ease.
Who is not eligible to apply for a second passport?
Some countries will not accept applications for citizenship from stateless persons. Citizens of the sanctioned countries are also unlikely to be able to acquire foreign citizenship.
Do I personally qualify for foreign citizenship?
If the information provided in the article above is not sufficient for drawing a conclusion, please apply for a consultation with an InternationalWealth expert. We treat every case individually.