In recent times, a peculiar trend has emerged where people opt for a second passport which they consider an investment.
Here are a few reasons why having a second, third, or more citizenships, is now in vogue.
High net worth individuals:
Considered a safe haven, people with a high net worth now get passports from countries that permit it.
If you are a businessman looking to expand to other countries, a second passport can come in handy. It will make movement in and out of the country easier.
Living in a country with unstable leadership often causes fear in its citizens. Having a second passport is like booking a safe haven in case the situation gets worse.
According to a report from the International Monetary Fund, this trend has been growing.
There are various other reasons to get another citizenship. A few are tax management, higher education, and the safety of the family.
10 Countries You Can Acquire Citizenship
Getting the citizenship of your desired country requires continuous effort. But, let’s analyze the cost and ways of acquiring citizenship in a few countries.
1. The United States of America:
With Donald Trump as president, the requirements for getting citizenship have changed. You will start with your eligibility criteria; this depends on the following factors;
- duration of holding a Green Card,
- physical presence in the United States, and
- whether you served in the U.S. military.
Below is a table summarising the eligibility for naturalization in the United States.
If you are eligible, you can apply for United States Citizenship thus;
- application for Naturalization (Form N-400) with the fee,
- biometrics appointment,
- citizenship interview and exam, and
- an Oath of Allegiance.
Also, you can check the payment requirements here
2. United Arab Emirates:
This country follows some tough rules when it comes to giving citizenship. The following are the requirements to get UAE nationality.
- Current nationality should be renounced,
- be well versed in Arabic,
- proof of a lawful source of income,
- should have educational qualification,
- good reputation and conduct,
- security approval,
- must be a non-felon, and
- must swear allegiance to the UAE.
Also, there are investor residency options. This involves investing in property in Dubai and getting an investor’s visa. To get the visa, an investor must invest at least USD 270,000 in real estate. An investor also needs to prove that his or her income is at least 10000 AED per month.
Being one of the most desired countries, Canada also has requirements that must be met to get citizenship. To become a citizen, start by finding out your eligibility status.
Thereafter, you will have to apply through the following process;
- Get an application package,
- pay a fee of $630 for an adult and $100 for a person under 18 then
- send an application.
Canada does not offer citizenship by investment but grants provincial residency by investment. This option is available in provinces like Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan, etc.
4. St. Kitts and Nevis:
This beautiful country does offer citizenship by investment. To be eligible for citizenship in this Caribbean country, you have to have:
- No criminal records,
- good health,
- excellent character, and
- a high personal net worth.
There are also investment offers that you can choose from to become eligible for citizenship.
One of them is the Sustainable Growth Fund that starts from US$150,000 for an individual. If you have a spouse, it will be an extra US$25,000. If there are more persons, the amount will be US$10,000 per extra person. Also, you would have to pay a due diligence fee.
The second option is real estate investment. This you can get and pay for depending on the holding period.
The Department of Home Affairs in Australia has laid down elaborate eligibility criteria for each section.
You can use this link to start your citizenship application form and pay online. Ensure that you are aware of the fees for each type of form.
There are five options you could pick from to become an Australian citizen by investment. They are;
Source: Sydney Migration
This is one of the oldest countries that allows individuals to apply for citizenship through investment. The investment requirements as per the official website of CBI Index are;
Source: CBI Index Website
The process could take between three to six months to complete. Then an approval would be granted by the King under the Royal Decree. You can also apply for citizenship if you have lived in Cambodia for at least seven years and have a residence card. You can know more about other requirements for different categories here.
The immigration program in Bulgaria dates back to 2009 as amended in the Foreigners in the Republic of Bulgaria Act. For its CIB program, the prior residence of the investor in Bulgaria is not a condition.
Here are the programs under CIB
Source: CBI Index Website
This Middle Eastern nation provides citizenship through investment and the usual process. CIB investment details are as follows:
9. New Zealand:
The country requires an individual to live in New Zealand for at least five years before applying for citizenship. Also, the country prohibits dual citizenship, but you have to check with your country of origin.
You can start your application after going through the eligibility criteria. As for the fee, it is $470.20 for adults aged 16 and over and $235.10 for children aged 15 and under.
Also, you can become a citizen of New Zealand through investment. This kind of citizenship is got by;
This is another country that offers citizenship through its Individual Investor Programme. The following are the conditions in which you can are;
Help in getting citizenship
If you are looking to become a citizen through investment programs, or through the normal procedure, there are immigration and naturalization service providers in Africa to help you through the process.
SASS Visa Agency is one such agency in Africa, that is a one-stop solution to all your visa and citizenship needs. Globemigrant liked the promptness, help, and cordial behaviour of the representatives.
They provide a host of services like work permits, visa applications, citizenship and residency, study abroad help, and group trips.
The agency has entered into a strategic partnership with ApplyBoard, Travelstart, and Hudson Troy to make the process easy. SASS Visa Agency has also won awards for its best in class services.
Integrate is another service that offers visa and citizenship help to customers. They have an experienced team that provides quality services. This covers international immigration, travel visas, and second citizenship.
There is also VFS Global, whose offices exist in various countries across Africa to help customers with visa requirements.
Do you really need a second passport?
Well, the answer to this question depends on how you think having a second passport would help you. Your motivation could be business, political, the need for a better lifestyle, investment, or the desire for a safe haven.
Whatever the reason, when applying for citizenship, do check certain points.
First, do not confuse citizenship with a permanent residency at any cost. There are some countries, like the United States, UK, France, Hungary, and Greece, that do not provide CIB programs. But, they offer residency programs.
A survey done by the International Monetary Fund a few years ago estimated the cost of getting second citizenship or permanent residency in some countries. It is available in the chart below.
The chart shows the countries that provide citizenship programs and those that have residency programs. It also displays the least investment to be made.
There are chances that the least amount for investment might have changed from the year the assessment was done. But, the image shows that investment in some countries is the only criterion for residency, not citizenship.
Apart from the countries mentioned, various countries offer citizenship through investment programs. Also, some countries offer specific visas that can, later on, lead to citizenship.
For instance, Spain offers the Golden Visa Program which can be a gateway to permanent citizenship. Also, countries like Turkey, Cyprus, Dominica, Saint Lucia, and Latvia, offer citizenship by investment and citizenship by registration.
It is up to you to apply for citizenship in any way you want as per the options provided by various countries. Do opt for the service providers who have a proven track record and have been in the market for some years.