The idea of getting a second citizenship may seem radical to those who were born and lived most of his life in one country, but nowadays wealthy individuals can relatively routinely get a second citizenship. Obtaining foreign citizenship will provide the availability of the second passport and its fully legal use when travelling from one country to another without restrictions.
Not only citizens of countries who are experiencing difficulties with visa-free travel, but also any other citizens can consider the option of having the second passport. Moreover, the existence of dual citizenship in some cases gives an opportunity to reduce taxation and provides new opportunities for asset protection.
Why do we need an alternative citizenship and a second passport? Whatever your situation is, there are many reasons why you may think about how to become a dual citizen, and, accordingly, have more than one passport. Political circumstances, for instance, may make it difficult to travel abroad for citizens of many countries, as these circumstances may result in tightening of the visa regulations and every time you wish to visit some country, you need to apply for a visa, without a guarantee that such application would be successful.
And, when you’re applying for a visa, the passport into which the visa is to be stamped, may not be available for you for a few days or even weeks when being in the application process. This may be an important factor which may postpone your business travel plans, and can result loss of time and money.
If for any reason you cannot get or re-apply for your passport in the country of your residence (for instance, due to political instability, civil war, and other circumstances), the availability of the second passport can be very useful, if not extremely crucial and significant. Even if you just have lost your passport, its replacement may take some certain time, and the possession of a second passport can be very important (assuming you have an urgent requirement to go somewhere to sign an important contract).
In order to get second passport there are six main reasons / ways of obtaining second passport:
- Being born on the territory of a country.
- Family linage (parent or grandparent).
- Marriage with a foreign citizen .
- Naturalization (the process is different from country to county – from 3 years to 10 years and more).
- Special merit to the country.
However, there are certain ways of getting second passport that can be done through the investment eg. countries Saint Kitts & Nevis, Dominica, Paraguay, Cyprus, etc. which have their own investment programs offering high-net- worth individuals to invest into these countries and to have a chance to obtain a second passport in addition to such investment.
A few of the above mentioned countries enable to obtain second passport even without physical presence in the country where you apply for such. However, as the obligatory requirement, the investment between USD 200.000,- to USD 5 million has to be made in government bonds, real estate or other forms of assets.
In some countries, even with very high investment, getting a second passport is not that easy way as it looks like. Only very few countries grant citizenships without any residency requirements like, for example, St. Kitts & Nevis. In most cases, citizens have to spend certain period of time – from 5 to 10 years – living in the country and insure that the required investment is made. Example of such country is United Kingdom, to get an investor visa you have to invest minimum of £ 1 million in UK government bonds or share capital of UK registered trading companies. In addition, the candidate should not spend more than 180 days per calendar year outside the UK per during the qualifying period.
In case of applying for second passport in such countries as St. Kitts and Nevis it can be granted within 120 days without any visit to the country by investing USD 250 thousand plus the passport costs that gives an opportunity travel to more than 139 countries including European Union, UK, Canada and etc. Similarly, Republic of Dominica provides the same option for getting second citizenship with the requirement of an investment of USD 200 thousand plus processing costs.
It is important to outline that different countries have different rules and regulations of getting second passport / citizenship which may vary depending on its requirement and legislation rules.
For further questions related on how to obtain second citizenship / passport please contact us.