How to get a second passport
How to get a second passport
Step 1: How to get dual citizenship?
You’ll need dual citizenship before renouncing US citizenship. It’s completely legal to be a dual citizen of the United States and another country, and you’ll even have to present the second passport to the US embassy or consulate upon renunciation. It’s difficult giving up your American citizenship and becoming nation-less, though you could become a stateless person in rare incidences.
There are various ways in getting a second passport
There are various ways in getting a second passport, but there are four basic methods: Jus sanguinis, marriage, naturalization, or citizenship-by-investing. Of course there are other means as well, but we will stick to the big four as it most likely pertains to you.
1. Dual Citizenship through Jus Sanguinis
Jus sanguinis means “right of blood” in Latin and states that citizenship is linked to DNA. If you have family (mother, father, grandparents and, in some cases, even great grandparents) who was a citizen of a another country, it’s possible for you to become a citizen of that country as well.
If you have ethnic ties to the following countries, you are eligible for citizenship. (Note: If you have a mother or father from a particular country, it’s relatively easy to become a citizen of their homeland. The countries listed below have even less strict criteria).
Armenia, Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Lithuania, Malta, Philippines, Poland, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, South Korea, Tunisia, Turkey, and the Ukraine
With the USA being a cultural melting pot, there’s a chance you have ethnic ties to one of the listed countries. However, every place has their own specific rules and regulations, such as language test, documentation, religion (as is the case with Israel and the Law of Return), etc. Therefore, it’s best to research your history to discover your family’s origins, find out what the requirements of jus sanguines in that particular place, then speak with that embassy or consulate about acquiring a passport. If you have no clue where to start, try www.genealogy.com, www.myheritage.com, or www.findmypast.com for starters.
2. Dual Citizenship with Marriage
This one may seem like the easiest, but it’s not. If you marry someone from country X, then immediately move there expecting to get citizenship the day you land, you may be disappointed. Every country is different, but most require that you are married to a citizen of that country, cohabitate with them for several years, and reside in your spouse’s country for a given period (five to ten years in some cases).
If you are happily married and have lived in your spouse’s home country for years, then it may be easier getting dual citizenship. But remember that every country has different requirements: In Malaysia, for example, if you are a foreign man married to a Malaysian woman, you will not get citizenship. If you’re a foreign woman married to a Malaysian man, then you are eligible. It’s always best to do your own research and even inquire at the nearest embassy or consulate to be precise.
3. Dual Citizenship through Naturalization
Most countries allow individuals to become citizens after residing and working within the national borders for a given time period. In Hong Kong, you can become a citizen after living there for eight years. In Canada, it’s three years. In New Zealand, it’s five years. You can also be granted citizenship if you start a business in that place, or make a notable investment to help the local economy (more on that in a bit).
The best way to go about naturalization is to first work legally in that country, then settle down and live there. Most governments offer work visas to foreigners who can provide a skill or talent that locals don’t posses. For example, in South Korea it’s relatively easy to get a work visa as an English teacher since most locals can’t teach the language with a perfect native accent. Since the high demand for English teachers needs to be filled, work permits are abound.
Once you’ve worked and lived in that place for some time, you can make your case for naturalization. But as always, do your homework – every country varies. If you’ve been an English teacher in China for ten years, it will still be hard becoming a Chinese citizen due to their strict naturalization laws. Doing the same in Italy, however, might be a little easier, especially if your grandparents came from Italy.
Buying a passport has never been easier!
4. Dual Citizenship by Investing
Don’t have any ancestors from abroad? Aren’t married to a foreigner? Aren’t living in a place with easy naturalization laws? All hope is not lost.
Citizenship-by-investing gives you another out. Some countries out there allow individuals to literally purchase citizenship. In fact, even the USA has schemes that allow foreign nationals to become US citizens as long as they follow a few steps (and pay a large sum of money, of course!).
Some of the most renowned countries for citizenship-by-investing are:
St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, Antigua, Portugal, Austria, Malta, Cyprus
Puerto Rico can also be added to this list, but you don’t need a second passport because it’s still technically part of the US. However, you will need make Puerto Rico your permanent address, thus making a sizable investment to live there. It also has tremendous tax benefits, as outlined by this 2016 Investopedia article.
RUSCO has partnerships with organizations that facilitate citizenship-by-investment programs in some of the countries mentioned above. Contact us today if you are interested in learning more.