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Learn Why a Second Passport Is Important and How To Get One

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Dual citizenship is a policy enabling individuals to be a citizen of two different countries simultaneously. It allows individuals to share the rights of the citizens in each country, along with responsibilities and obligations. Dual citizenship is a huge privilege for digital nomads, investors, and their families as it’s a gateway to a new life as global citizens.

Learn Why a Second Passport Is Important and How To Get One
Photo by Denise Jans

The benefits of a second passport include new business opportunities, ease of travel, free access to public services, and the security of a home abroad. Families with children are also interested in dual citizenship programmes for the extensive schooling options.

The member states of the EU are among the top citizenship providers. In 2019, the member states granted around 706,400 citizenship to people around the world. This number was 672,300 in 2018.

How To Get a Second Passport

Applicants can obtain Dual citizenship in several ways. In some countries, it’s available by birth, through ancestry or marriage. Some countries allow citizenship by investment and residence. The latter, also known as Golden Visa, has been highly favourable with investors and families looking for a second home abroad.

Citizenship by Investment: Malta Draws Attention as a Quick Option in EU

Malta offers a direct citizenship program through investment and government contribution. If you’re planning to apply for the program, you’ll be required to stay in the country for either 12 or 36 months, depending on your investment amount. If you’re looking for a European passport, note that this is one of the quickest options.

Caribbean Passports: The Most Affordable Option

Caribbean citizenship by investment programs still keeps their charm as they offer second passports with lower budgets than Europe. For example, Antigua and Barbuda offers citizenship by investment in return for a $100,000 donation. This amount is $150,000 for St.Kitts and Nevis.

Portuguese Passport: Get European Citizenship With a Low Budget

Although Portugal doesn’t offer citizenship by investment directly, its Golden Visa program is a route to a Portuguese passport. If you invest in real estate that is a minimum of €280,000, you can qualify for a Golden Visa, which grants residency in Europe. This is one of the lowest investment thresholds in Europe. By staying in Portugal only for seven days on average, you can be eligible for citizenship at the end of five years.

Taking the Naturalization Route by Relocation

The naturalization process grants citizenship privileges to foreign-born residents. This option allows residents to apply for citizenship once they’ve met the stay requirements. It’s a lengthy process as it requires the individuals to stay in that country for a certain time.

The USA grants citizenship if the applicant has been a permanent resident of the country for at least five years. The applicant is also required to meet certain eligibility requirements. Canada also offers citizenship through naturalization if the applicant has met the stay requirement and passes the citizenship test.

Growing Interest: Passport by Birth or Descent

Birthright citizenship is a policy granted to individuals by the country they’re born in. The USA is one of the countries offering citizenship at birth. Argentina, Brazil, Venezuela and some of their neighbouring countries also offer passports by birth.

Getting a second passport by descent is another route to take. Italy, Hungary, Ireland, and Mexico are among countries that offer citizenship to those who can prove their connection to the country via ancestry. Go Visa-Free reports that there is a rise in enquiries for citizenship by descent.

Getting Citizenship by Marriage

Getting married to a citizen of a particular nation is another route to dual citizenship. Some countries give instant citizenship to a foreign spouse, while some still require a naturalization process. Israel, Brazil, Portugal, Spain, Mexico and Ireland are among countries that allow a quick route to citizenship by marriage.

The spouse of a US citizen can become eligible for citizenship after three years of marriage instead of five.

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