How and where you can get a Second Citizenship
Today, I want to talk about the different ways to get a second citizenship.
Some countries grant citizenship based on jus soli, which in Latin means “right of soil”.
This citizenship is conveyed to a person by being born on the soil of that country.
Due to its cultural history, most American countries (both South, Central, and North) such as Argentina, Brazil, Panama, United States or Canada, among others, grant citizenship to everybody who is born there, regardless of their parents’ nationality, without any restriction.
Now, you must be thinking that is too late for you.
Right, it is.
But if you are planning to have a child, it might make sense to move to one of these countries to give birth. Your child will thank you in the future.
Others may find an opportunity under jus sanguinis (right of blood) based nationality laws.
For instance, if you have an Irish grandparent you may be eligible for Irish citizenship, regardless of where you currently live or your nationality.
Or Italy, where there is no limit of generations to obtain citizenship. If you have an Italian ascendant, you are eligible.
Other countries such as Hungary and Poland, have similar nationality laws, although with additional requirements. Take a look at your family tree, and call us, we may be able to help you!
However, the bureaucratic procedures to apply for citizenship can be tedious and you have to go through several hoops. But, it’s worth it.
If you are not within the privileged blood group, welcome to the Club. I am not either.
We have other options: Citizenship by Naturalization. This usually implies living in a country a certain period of time, and meeting certain requirements, or being married with a national, or apply for a fast-track Citizenship by Investment program.
Citizenship by Investment. What are your options?
If you have disposable liquidity of a few hundred thousand dollars and you are willing to invest in your freedom insurance, in less than 6 months you can get citizenship in several countries and have a new passport in your hands.
Caribbean countries such as Antigua, Dominica, Grenada or Saint Kitts and Nevis, grant citizenship in exchange for an investment, either a non-refundable donation to the government or purchasing a government approved real estate asset. Investments/donations amounts range from $100,00 to $400,000.
Due to competition between citizenship by investment programs, amounts have considerably decreased during the last year, so it might be wise to take action and make a decision shortly.
From the aforementioned countries, we find Grenada’s citizenship by investment program particularly appealing.
Grenada is one of the few countries of the world that allows visa-free travel to China. Government donations between $100,000-$250,000 (depends on the number of family members) or $350,000+ for real estate investment are required. There will be other government fees (approx $50K) on top of this.
Cyprus and Malta are other countries that offers naturalization of investors.
The investment amounts are higher, so are the benefits. In Malta, for EUR 1 million (including a donation to the government, an investment in real estate and government bonds). In Cyprus, for EUR 2.5 million (entrepreneurship or government bonds or real estate or stocks) you can get an EU citizenship in less than one year.
In Bulgaria you can invest approx. EUR 1,000,000 in non-yielding 5-year Treasury bonds. At Flag Theory, we provide several financing programs, with which you can reduce the total cash outlay to approximately EUR 300,000.
Vanuatu and Turkey are other countries that offer similar programs. To navigate through this confusing world of citizenship by investment, we have enabled the Passports.IO application where you can compare all available programs and find all the information you need to make a decision.
What about if I’m not from the lucky blood club or do not have enough cash available?
We understand that citizenship by investment might not be for everyone and that there are other priorities and needs on where to put your money.
However, we live in a world where if you are a skilled entrepreneur, investor or just have enough passive income to live without needing to work, most countries are literally competing to offer you residency, which could lead to citizenship.
If you have time and the possibility to move abroad or start or invest in a business, or acquire a residential property or simply bring a part of your income to another country, you can get a temporary residence permit or even in some cases a permanent one.
A permanent residence permit is also a powerful tool for more personal freedom.
Although it does not provide you with a passport, it gives you the right of abode in the country and may in some cases, expand your international mobility as an EU card or a Mercosur residency does.
Some countries require presence in the territory a certain time per year to maintain the immigration status but others don’t.
Take for instance Panama, where citizens of more than 50 countries can obtain permanent residency by establishing a company in the country and depositing $5,000 of capital in it.
However, it might make sense to move to Panama and get tax residency, considering that both personal and corporate income earned outside the territory are free from taxation. In next letters I will discuss this in more detail.
After 5 years, you may be eligible for citizenship and obtain a second passport, although this implies fulfilling certain requirements.
Other countries such as Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Paraguay and Costa Rica offer similar programs with which for a few thousand dollars you can immigrate, obtain residence and after a few years, citizenship.
Latin America countries are known for their open immigration policies.
European countries also offer residency programs. For instance Portugal, Spain and Greece grant residence to investors, retirees or entrepreneurs. Asia is the same – Vietnam, Singapore, Hong Kong, Philippines, Malaysia or Thailand, just to name a few.
At Residencies.IO, you can compare more than 100 residency programs, for both investors, entrepreneurs, retirees or persons of independent means, including a comprehensive report of each of them with details, requirements, procedures, taxes and much more.
To know how these programs apply to your personal situation and circumstances, do not hesitate to call us, it will be a pleasure to have a chat and assist you.
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NOTICE: The contents of this article are not to be considered as a legal opinion or tax advice and should not be relied upon as such. Far Horizon Capital Inc does not hold itself out as a legal or tax advisor. If you wish to receive a legal opinion or tax advice on the matter(s) in this article please contact our offices and we will refer you to an appropriate legal practitioner. Use of our website FlagTheory.com is subject to our terms and conditions.