Many countries worldwide allow dual citizenship, and your home country may be one of them. Depending on your nation’s policies, you may be permitted to possess a second passport, gaining dual citizenship and opening the door to attractive opportunities like offshore accounts, unfettered travel, and wealth preservation.
Securing a second passport makes travel much easier. If your home country doesn’t have a good relationship with a potential international travel destination, there may be restrictions on when and where you can go. By using a second passport, you can go to this destination without your home country being able to limit your travel plans.
For many, the most important benefits of second passports include the potential for reduced income taxes and the ability to relocate during economic crisis in your home country. With dual citizenship, you can start a business in another country that will levy lower taxes on your income.
Policies differ country to country: some don’t allow second passports at all, while others maintain specific restrictions on which nations you can obtain a second passport from. After the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, rising security concerns have only made second citizenship restrictions more complicated.
The Effects of Terrorism on Dual Citizenship Laws
In most countries, obtaining a second passport used to be a fairly simple process. However, in the past two decades, heightened security concerns and declining trust among nations have combined to make dual citizenship more difficult and more expensive.
No one can deny that the world has changed since the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the United States. The events on that day impacted more than just the people of the U.S.—they forced every country around the globe to look at its domestic security and immigration policies. The result is a more cautious world, with safer precautions and protocols, but more hoops to jump through for those seeking second passports.
Many countries took preventive measures in response to the uptick in terrorism. Grenada suspended its economic citizenship program, and Belize shut down its program entirely.
In the United States, the federal government created the Department of Homeland Security in 2002 to protect against terrorist attacks, natural disasters, and other man-made accidents. The department’s agencies combine to handle citizenship and nationality-related issues, as well as the enforcement of national immigration laws—throwing up new obstacles to dual citizenship.
How to Get a Second Passport
If you’re a United States resident, there are several ways to gain dual citizenship elsewhere. Depending on a country’s second citizenship programs, you may be able to get a second passport through birthplace or parentage, or obtain citizenship by investment, marriage, or special immigration programs.
Conversely, if you’re looking to obtain second citizenship to the United States, you first must ensure your home country allows dual residence. If the nation has positive relations with the U.S., you’ll have an easier time getting a second passport. However, if you have any ties to countries that are experiencing political turmoil or are in conflict with America, your route to U.S. citizenship may be slightly bumpier.
To learn more about how you can obtain a second passport or dual citizenship—especially with regards to international tax planning and asset protection—explore the resources and services CS&P have to offer.
With complex laws and varying goals, every second citizenship case is bound to be different—that’s why provide completely customized solutions for every client. Contact us to learn more and see how CS&P can help.