Owning a second passport through dual citizenship in another country is an integral part of international diversification. The idea is that no government should have sole power over your life or your assets. If you are the citizen of only one country, as most people are, you are essentially at the mercy of your government. If they decide to jail you or confiscate your assets, most of the time you’re on your own.
The most telling example of how second passports have saved lives and assets is during World War II, when thousands of Jews were saved from concentration camps thanks to second passports that they managed to get through diplomats from various European countries. For every Jew who managed to get a protective passport, there were countless others who didn’t because of the sheer number of applications.
A more recent example is the revolution in Egypt where many people wanted to leave but the only destinations accessible to these people, due to the origin of their passport, were countries such as Syria where the revolution was in full swing as well.
If those people had an adequate second passport, they could have seen the chaos on their televisions, rather than out of their bedroom window. Instead, they had no other option than to stay in place while bullets were flying.
An important point here is that those who already had a second passport before the situation started to deteriorate did not have to wait in line. They got out of the country safely and quickly along with their assets.
The US Government is constantly making it harder for its citizens to apply for and renew their passports. One example of this is a proposal that would allow the government to invalidate your passport if you don’t file your tax return in time.
How To Get A Second Passport
This is not information that you will find on Wikipedia. In fact, there is not much (correct) information available on how to actually get a dual passport. The ‘industry’ is full of snake oil sales people who assert that they can get you a legal passport in 30 days, as if passports are freely available for anyone who applies.
You basically have two options to acquire a second passport:
Naturalization (i.e. become resident of a country and wait a couple years until you can apply for citizenship). Some countries like Schweiz require you to live in the country for twelve years before they let you apply for citizenship, while others, like Singapore, might force you as a new citizen to go through their two year military service. There are countries out there though that allow you to apply for citizenship after only as few as three years of residency. During this residency you don’t even have to live in the country, it might be enough to visit once a year during this naturalization period.
The fast track option is to ‘buy’ a citizenship through investments in certain countries, often called an economic citizenship (see below).
Economic Citizenship: Fast Track To A Second Passport
The fastest, but certainly not the cheapest way, to getting a second passport is through an economic citizenship program, where you essentially buy a second citizenship. These programs often take the form of an investment program where you either invest in real estate or in certain funds as specified by the local goverment. The most well known of these programs is on the island country of St Kitts & Nevis where you make an investment in the country and in return get a St. Kitts passport and citizenship.
So how much does a St. Kitts passport cost? You have two options. Either invest $350,000 in qualified real estate or donate a non refundable amount of $200,000 to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation. Or how about investing €70,000 in real estate in a certain European country and get a EU citizenship in return?
There are far cheaper dual citizenships to go after though if you’re willing to wait out the naturalization period. You can get a second passport for as little as 2-3% of the cost of a St. Kitts citizenship, or even for free, if you live up to certain requirements. If your grandparents originate from a different country, there’s a possibility that you are entitled to apply for citizenship in that country, without having to go through a naturalization period.
More About Second Passports
If you’re looking for a good dual passport that offers Visa-free travel to Europe and several places in Asia, but you don’t want to wait many years or pay tens of thousands of dollars to acquire one, Paraguay is a good option. You can have a Paraguay passport with your name and picture in it after as few as three years.
If you’re Jewish or you want to be, you are entitled to getting an Israeli passport. There are some significant disadvantages to an Israeli citizenship though, but the same “Law of Return” principle is applicable to more countries than Israel.
If someone claims they can get you a second passport in 30 days, chances are you’re getting scammed. While a second passport is a really useful insurance in the event of social unrest, political turmoil, major lawsuit, economic collapse, etc., the only way to acquire a second passport is through official, legitimate means… or you have an absolutely trusted source.