- Reasons to acquire a second passport
- Five methods of acquiring a second passport
- The simplest and the fastest citizenship by naturalization
- The most prestigious second passports
- Citizenship by investment opportunities
- Citizenship by investment opportunities
- Expert support to those wishing to acquire second passports
Would you like to have a second passport? There are several paths leading to citizenship of one more national state and we discuss those below. A second passport can serve to enhance your freedom of movement and personal security in the first place. It brings other important advantages too and if you are a well-to-do person, you should consider the opportunity to acquire a second passport very seriously.
Reasons to acquire a second passport
Wealthy individuals from China, the Middle East, and the Russian Federation appreciate the benefits that second passports bring them. Even citizens of the United States sometimes apply for second passports because they feel uneasy about being taxed in the US regardless of where in the world they earn profits.
We must admit that some national states make it hard for foreigners to acquire their passports. Switzerland will serve as an example here. It is possible to become a citizen of the country but it takes a lot of time and effort. Other national states such as Singapore, for example, do not allow dual citizenship. That means that if you acquire a passport of Singapore (which is possible), you have to renounce your current citizenship.
On the other hand, a businessperson holding a Swiss passport will face fewer restrictions in comparison to a businessperson with a US passport. The former will have access to all sorts of banking services in Europe and Asia while the latter will often be denied this opportunity. A second passport can thus improve your chances for success in business, among other things.
Watch the evening news on TV and you will see that the world is in trouble. Protest marches and spontaneous outbursts of violence occur frequently in different parts of the world. The US administration is raising taxes, the Australian Government is too tough as far as anti-pandemic measures are concerned and this causes civil unrest in the country. People in France and Italy force their way into trade centers that demand that the visitors have QR codes…
Sad as it is, no country is immune to trouble no matter how strong its economy is. Anything can happen in your home country and if you have a second passport, you are going to feel much safer inside. Why? Because you have a place to resort to if things come from bad to worse at home!
A second passport can bring other valuable advantages too. For instance, it will give you access to a large number of tax planning instruments. Tax rates are different in different national states and you may be able to acquire a second passport that would allow optimizing your fiscal burden.
Besides, with a second passport you will have more employment opportunities. If you are a citizen of a country, then you have the right to apply for jobs there without any restrictions. The same goes for educational opportunities and access to social security systems: you can enjoy those in a foreign country if you hold its passport! The reasons to apply for a second passport are compelling indeed.
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Five methods of acquiring a second passport
There are several ways to acquire a second passport. Sometimes, you will need a lot of patience as the process is going to take time. At other times, foreign citizenship can be acquired promptly but then a considerable investment is going to be required. In other cases, you will need some luck. Let us discuss five methods of obtaining a second passport.
1. Citizenship by descent
Some people are winners of a ‘genetic lottery’ but they are unaware of that! Quite a number of national states will grant citizenship to descendants of their citizens living in other countries. If you are able to prove that one of your parents or grandparents (and even great grandparents in some cases) was a citizen of a foreign country, acquiring its citizenship will be fast and easy. Israel, Great Britain, Italy, Hungary, Canada, Lithuania, Poland, and many other countries grant such opportunities to foreigners.
2. Citizenship by marriage
If you marry a foreign national, you will qualify for citizenship of his/ her home country. Normally, you have to wait for a couple of years before you can apply for a second passport. However, countries such as France or the USA make it quite easy for foreign spouses of their citizens to obtain citizenship. In Cabo Verde in particular, you can become a citizen right after registering your marriage with a local person.
We must caution you against entering a pro forma marriage at this point. It may have been possible several decades ago but not now. If you make a fictitious marriage with the sole purpose of acquiring a second passport, you may face serious consequences indeed. In some countries, you may even go to jail for that.
3. Citizenship by investment
Citizenship by investment is also known as ‘economic citizenship’ even though the latter term is not exactly correct. An ‘economic citizen’ of any country is not different from a native-born citizen as far as his/ her rights and obligations are concerned. The former term, in its turn, is self-explaining: make a sizable investment in a foreign country’s economy and receive a second passport in return.
This is one of the fastest ways of acquiring foreign citizenship (only marrying a Cabo Verdean is faster) but it is going to take a few months anyway (from two to six in most cases). So please do not trust immigration agents who claim that you can have a second passport in a week or two: this is impossible.
What is also attractive about obtaining foreign citizenship by investment is the lack of obligation to live in the foreign country, not even for a day. Some national citizenship-by-investment programs do not require that the applicant visit the country at all! So you can have a second passport without leaving the comfort of your home. The required investment amount is going to exceed US$ 100,000 in any case (see below). Around a dozen countries offer foreign citizenship-by-investment opportunities.
4. Citizenship by ‘accelerated naturalization’
Many national states will grant citizenship to outstanding foreign individuals. This is regarded as an exceptional privilege in all cases and only the head of state – the president or the sultan – can issue a corresponding decree.
Qatar, for instance, issues passports to African sportsmen and then sends them to the Olympics. The Government of Austria granted citizenship of the country to Anna Netrebko, a famous Russian opera singer, as a sign of appreciation of her amazing voice. Some Asian countries will readily issue second passports to talented artists or scientists. So if you have some outstanding talents, you can consider this opportunity.
5. Citizenship by naturalization
You can also become a naturalized citizen of a foreign country if you live there for a long time. The waiting period can be anywhere between three and thirty years depending on the country. In addition to that, you may be asked to take language and history tests when applying for a second passport in some countries.
The personal presence requirements can also differ from one country to another. The Canadian authorities, for example, will want you to spend most of your time in Canada for four years before you can apply for citizenship by naturalization. Portugal requires that a foreign golden visa (residence permit) holder visit the country from time to time during five years and this will already make him/ her qualified for a Portuguese passport.
Tina Turner, a famous American singer had to live in Switzerland for twelve years before she could apply for citizenship of the country. Since she was prepared to wait for so long, we presume that the benefits that the Swiss passport brought to her were significant indeed. Please also note that you will have to renounce your current citizenship if you would like to become a naturalized citizen of some national states.
The simplest and the fastest citizenship by naturalization
Citizenship by naturalization is an attractive option because it does not require any substantial investments. If you have a job in a foreign country or if you have a stable passive income at home and simply like the nature in a foreign state, you can live there for a few years thus qualifying for a second passport.
In some countries such as Monaco, for example, you can live all your life and never qualify for citizenship anyway. In some other places, the local authorities are more welcoming to foreigners and they will grant you citizenship by naturalization after some time. Please mind, however, that you have to legalize your stay in a foreign country in any case if you want to become its citizen in the future.
1. Second passport and citizenship of Uruguay
Uruguay is among the best-developed Latin American countries and the living standards are rather high there. Acquiring a legal residence permit in Uruguay is quite easy and you can qualify for full citizenship of the country after living there for five years (for three years if you are married to a Uruguayan national).
Please note that you will have to physically reside in the country for a year or so after the residence permit is issued to you. This will demonstrate to the local authorities that you are serious about relocating to Uruguay and staying there for good.
2. Second passport and citizenship of Brazil
A Brazilian passport is a powerful travel document (especially compared to other Latin American passports) and the country is extremely beautiful. You can become a citizen of Brazil by naturalization if you start a business in the country or invest around US$ 75,000 in the local economy.
Please note that Brazil does not extradite foreign nationals on their home country authorities’ first request. Countries that offer citizenship by investment do not offer such an opportunity.
3. Second passport and citizenship of Paraguay
Paraguay is a developing Latin American country and the living standards are not so high there. However, you can qualify for a legal residence permit in Paraguay if you put a bit more than US$ 5,000 in a local bank. Maintaining the balance is all that is required for keeping the residence permit. After three years, you can apply for citizenship of Paraguay.
4. Second passport and citizenship of Panama
The Panamanian Friendly Nations visa program allows citizens of over forty national states to obtain residence permits on simple conditions. What you have to do to qualify for one is put US$ 5,000 in a local bank plus establish one more ‘tie’ with Panama. This can be purchase of a piece of real property in the country or registration of a business company there. You will qualify for citizenship of Panama by naturalization after five years of living in the country on the residence permit (Friendly Nations visa).
5. Second passport and citizenship of Canada
Believe it or not, but naturalizing in Canada is rather fast. If you have a job in the country or if you have any other reason to legally stay there for four years only, you can qualify for Canadian citizenship by naturalization.
Please note that you have to be physically present in Canada during this period most of the time (you can stay away from Canada for a couple of months only during the four years). The Canadian immigration authorities are very strict about it.
The most prestigious second passports
We have been talking about acquiring a second passport but you can actually make a collection of foreign passports. Countries that allow dual citizenship will also allow multiple citizenship. The more passports you have, the more opportunities you have. One passport can serve for travelling, for example, another one can give you access to international banking services, you can use your third foreign passport to make investments abroad, and so on and so forth.
Are you thinking of applying for a passport of a rich and reputable national state? Then you should consider one of the countries listed below. These are the states with the highest GDP per capita. You will probably find it amusing to learn that small countries top the list.
|Country||GDP per capita in US dollars|
|United Arab Emirates||70,262|
Top 25 countries for GDP per capita
Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Singapore, and Switzerland are rich countries offering the strongest passports in terms of the number of jurisdictions their holders can enter without a visa. The USA has the largest economy in the world with a turnover of 20 trillion dollars. The US passports are rather strong too.
The rich Arab states of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and Kuwait offer weak passports and besides, they are hostile to dual citizenship.
On the other hand, Brunei being a small rich Middle East country, offers the strongest passport in the world. It is the only national passport that allows entering all five largest countries and territories without visas: the USA, the UK, Russia, China, and Schengen zone states.
Citizenship by investment opportunities
If you are not a genetic lottery winner, not an outstanding individual, not married to a foreign person, and not patient enough to wait for years for citizenship by naturalization, you still have a good chance to acquire a second passport. If you are wealthy enough, you can invest in the economy of a foreign country and this will make you qualified for its citizenship.
That is not to say that all national states administer citizenship-by-investment programs, of course. But around a dozen of them do so anyway and below we list these countries and indicate the minimum required investment amount that will make you eligible to apply for a second passport in one of the countries.
|Country||Minimum required investment amount|
|Jordan||USD 0.75 million|
|Malta||0.88 million euros|
|Montenegro||0.35 million euros|
|Turkey||USD 0.25 million|
|Egypt||USD 0.16 million|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||USD 0.15 million|
|Grenada||USD 0.15 million|
|Vanuatu||USD 0.145 million|
|Dominica||USD 0.1 million|
|Saint Lucia||USD 0.1 million|
|Antigua and Barbuda||USD 0.1 million|
Please note that the Montenegrin citizenship-by-investment program is going to become unavailable from January 1, 2022. The Maltese program is undergoing a revision and it is not quite clear at the moment when it is going to become fully functional again. As far as all other national programs are concerned, you are welcome to apply for foreign citizenship and a second passport to any of them. International Wealth experts will be delighted to assist you in the process.
Second passports and fraudsters
Citizenship-by-investment programs are growing more and more popular year after year. An increasing number of people want to be less dependent on the Government of the country of their birth and they look for opportunities to get a ‘spare passport’. Just in case.
Investment immigration is a large industry with a billion-dollar turnover and naturally, it attracts fraudsters of various kinds. Below we list some outrageous ‘offers’ that you might hear sometimes. Any such offer should be declined immediately.
As we have mentioned above, acquiring a second passport within a week or two is impossible so don’t trust anyone who claims the opposite. Similarly, if somebody says that he or she can fix a diplomatic passport of a foreign state for you, simply cut the conversation with this person. No national state issues diplomatic passports to foreigners and if you hear that you can ‘buy’ a diplomatic passport, it can only be a forged one.
Some agents may also want to con you into paying for a second passport of a country that does not administer a citizenship-by-investment program any longer even though it did so before. Please be informed that Cyprus, for example, has stopped issuing passports to foreign investors. Officially, the program has been suspended (not closed) but it is impossible to acquire a Cypriot passport for investments at the moment when this text is written. Ireland also used to ‘sell’ its citizenship for a million euros but it does not do it anymore. A foreign investor can only acquire a legal residence permit in the country but not full citizenship.
Please also beware of ‘camouflage passports’. These are passports of the states that do not exist any longer such as British Honduras or Rhodesia, for example. Make sure that the country is still on the map before hiring someone to help you obtain its passport.
A fraudulent agent might also offer you a ‘grey passport’ of a foreign country suggesting that he or she has a ‘special friend’ in the immigration service of the country. Yes, some immigration service officers have been known to issue passports to foreigners for a bribe. These would be ‘real’ passports with ‘real’ passport numbers. However, imagine what is going to happen if such an officer makes a confession: your grey passport will be annulled immediately.
Finally, if anybody tries to sell you a forged passport, just turn around and walk away as fast as you can. You may well end up in prison otherwise.
You have to realize that contemporary governments have very powerful instruments of assessing the authenticity of any passport. If the idea of getting a fake passport has ever crossed your mind, simply get rid of it. Please use only legal methods of acquiring a second passport.
So if anybody offers you to acquire a second passport ‘cheap, easy, and fast’, there is already a good reason to disbelieve this person. Two of the three characteristics of the second passport acquisition process can be present at a time, but not all three of them.
Expert support to those wishing to acquire second passports
The choice of foreign citizenship opportunities is great, the information in the Internet is abundant, and numerous fraudsters are prowling around. Given these facts, you will be well-advised to use the assistance of a reliable agency that can help you clearly understand all the advantages and disadvantages of each available option and thus make the right choice.
We monitor all the changes to the citizenship-by-investment programs that, regrettably, occur a bit too often. Please keep reading our blog if you would like to keep track of such changes as we inform our readers about them as soon as they take place.
You have to also bear in mind the fact that it is becoming more difficult to acquire foreign citizenship by naturalization. Belgium, for instance, has recently prolonged the naturalization period from three years to five. Georgia in the Caucasus has prolonged it from six to ten years. Besides, the requirements that the candidate for naturalization has to meet have become tougher.
Quite a large number of countries running citizenship-by-investment programs provide opportunities to invest in real estate on their territories to qualify for citizenship. However, the price of real estate is growing almost everywhere and the sooner you buy a house abroad, the better value-for-money ratio you will get.
Please do not be shy to ask for help. Acquiring foreign citizenship and a second passport is a complex process and you do need professional assistance. International Wealth experts practice an individual approach to each client as every particular situation will be unique.
Please write to email@example.com or contact us in any other way (see the ‘Contact us’ icon at the top of the page) and request a free consultation on acquiring foreign citizenship and a second passport. We will ask you several questions and based on your answers, we will make a few suggestions that might be of interest to you.
How should I go about applying for a second passport?
You have to become a citizen of a foreign country in order to obtain its passport. Acquiring foreign citizenship is not an easy task to complete. However, we have helped hundreds of people to obtain second passports and we will be happy to help you too.
Do I have a legal right to hold two national passports?
Citizens of most countries of the world can legally hold two, three, or more national passports. Having a collection of foreign passports can bring a number of valuable benefits. Nevertheless, some countries such as India, China, and Singapore, for example, prohibit dual citizenship. Please tell us what country you come from and we will tell you if it allows dual citizenship or not.
What are disadvantages of dual citizenship?
If you are a citizen of two countries at a time, you may be subject to taxation on both of them. Besides, you have to abide by the laws of two jurisdictions. In addition, acquiring foreign citizenship can be a long or an expensive process. For this reason, you had better apply for professional assistance in the matter.