Getting a second passport is an asset that most people can only dream of. It brings freedom, stability, and immeasurable opportunities for those who have them. While some people are lucky enough to be born with the right to multiple passports, others apply for a secondary passport later, sometimes through marriage, ancestral ties, or naturalization.

However, one of the best ways to get another passport for international travel and other purposes is through citizenship by investment – also called economic citizenship. This guide details how to do it and make the most of having second citizenship.

The Benefits of Owning Another Passport

There are many benefits to owning another passport. From enhanced global mobility to increased freedoms, here are some of the top benefits.

More travel freedom

Second passport benefits for frequent travelers are immense. Imagine being able to travel across the world without a visa or move and work freely in a number of different countries. Depending on the country of citizenship, second travel documents can expand your options to travel internationally.

Global mobility opportunities

The opportunities that come with having second citizenship for business purposes and other financial objectives can be innumerable. Whether concerning investment or business travel, a new passport from a high-ranking country on the Global Passport Index can widen your options and allow you to access a better and broader range of investments.

Adds stability

Circumstances can change suddenly, as we all witnessed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brexit in the UK and the recent political climate in the United States have also shown that having dual citizenship and a second passport can give you more options when making life-changing decisions for you and your family. Second passports provide peace of mind, increase personal and economic freedoms, and minimize risk.

If you’re looking to build a better future for yourself and your family, a second passport is the best way to ensure they will have a more secure life in the future.

Eases retirement planning

A second passport for retirement planning is one of the best options for individuals seeking retirement abroad. While you don’t need a second passport to move to a new country, having a second passport simplifies the experience of living in a foreign country, particularly if you frequently return home to visit family. The generous tax benefits of having a second passport from certain countries are also key in strategic retirement planning.

Interested in applying for a second citizenship?
Get in touch with our team of specialists today

Contact Us Arrow Icon

Americans Get Financial Freedom Through Second Citizenship by Investment

One of the primary reasons Americans are looking to obtain a secondary passport is the economic freedom they offer, not just for the individual applicant but their family’s financial security. You can define this in different ways, but citizenship by investment is the most fool-proof way to guarantee a successful family second passport application for US citizens, and a path to financial freedom.

There may be the option for significant tax benefits by holding two passports, allowing you to live a tax-optimized life. A secondary passport by investment program also provides investors with more options to open a bank account in a foreign country that may have strict banking regulations on non-citizens.

Certain countries will sanction foreign nationals’ purchases of certain goods and investments, such as property. With second citizenship and a financial account in another country, you can enjoy greater economic and personal freedom, making it easier to move money and make purchases only citizens have the right to.

You’ll be able to safeguard your wealth, providing a more secure future for yourself and future generations. Also, with one passport, you can access one healthcare and education system; with an EU passport as a secondary passport, you have the right to key services universally available to all citizens.

Best Countries to Get a Second Passport

best-countries-to-get-a-passportIf you don’t hold the right to citizenship through descent, marriage, or naturalization, the easiest way to get an additional passport in a second country is through citizenship by investment. But what is the best second passport for US citizens? 

Citizenship by investment programs exist in many countries worldwide, allowing qualifying investors and their family members to get second citizenship in exchange for making a specified investment in the respective nation.

Investments typically come in the form of a real estate investment, financial contributions, or government bond purchases but can vary depending on the investment program chosen. Portugal, Spain, and Caribbean countries like Dominica, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis are some of the best countries to get a second passport.

How to get a second passport through Portugal’s Golden Visa

The Portugal Golden Visa is a residency by investment program that rewards qualifying investors with a long-term residence permit. While you don’t qualify for a Portuguese passport right away, Portugal offers one of the best Golden Visa programs for second citizenship, with Golden Visa holders qualifying for Portuguese citizenship after five years of residency.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: PORTUGAL GOLDEN VISA 2023

The Portugal Golden Visa program has recently undergone substantial changes. The new legislation, which took effect in October 2023, eliminated the purchase of real estate and real-estate-related funds as qualifying investment options for the program. 

However, several attractive investment routes still maintain their eligibility for the program. To learn more, please refer to our comprehensive guide: Portugal Golden Visa

How to get a second passport through Spain’s Golden Visa

While the Spain Golden Visa program doesn’t offer citizenship, it is possible to get a Spanish passport after obtaining a Golden Visa and fulfilling the country’s residency requirements. You must maintain your investment and permanent residency in the nation for ten years to qualify for naturalization.

Other immigrant investor programs

property-taxes-greece-guideGreece’s Golden Visa program: The Golden Visa Greece offers citizenship by naturalization after seven years of maintaining your Golden Visa. The primary applicant and their family can live or work anywhere within the European Union (EU) with Greek citizenship.

Malta Citizen Program: The Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment program (CES) is a perfect option for foreign investors seeking second passports in the EU. Although the bar for entry is high, at €690,000, investors can become EU citizens by naturalization within three years. The timeframe can be reduced to 12 months for an investment of €840,000.

US EB-5 US Visa: If you are a non-US citizen, the United States is one of the best countries for second passport acquisition. The US EB-5 Permanent Resident Visa offers a Green Card first, followed by the possibility of US citizenship after the five-year mark. While you must maintain your respective investment for at least five years (and your Green Card) to qualify for citizenship, it’s worth it if you intend to acquire dual nationality in the United States.

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments. 

We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application. 

Where to get a second passport?

Golden Visas and other residency by investment programs offer numerous benefits. However, if you’re looking for a quick solution to obtaining a second passport, the only answer is citizenship by investment (CBI). 

valid passport agency dual citizenship foreign Where to get a second passport depends on your lifestyle preferences and budget. Generally speaking, obtaining another passport is straightforward in many countries offering citizenship through investment. 

Some of the most popular CBI countries include: 

In the Caribbean, you can submit a fast-track second passport application in countries such as Dominica and St. Lucia, starting from just a $100,000 investment. After successfully applying, you can gain dual nationality and a second passport benefits within six months. 

Malta’s citizenship program offers citizenship by naturalization; however, the naturalization period can be as little as 12 months with an investment of €840,000. 

Advantages of European citizenship 

One of the main advantages of getting another passport and obtaining EU citizenship is the freedom it provides for travel. As an EU citizen, in addition to borderless movement in the Schengen Area, you access all the benefits of the right to live and work anywhere in the European Economic Area (EEA). With a European Union passport, you have visa-free access to over 170 countries worldwide. 

Regarding tax optimization, several tax regimes can be utilized in European countries, like Greece’s Non-Dom Tax regime for Golden Visa holders. Whatever program you commit to, a European passport’s benefits are immeasurable, and it offers the most practical plan B. 

Advantages of Caribbean citizenship 

valid passport agency dual citizenship foreign

Second citizenship with a Caribbean passport provides a backup option for personal security. It also offers a viable way to manage your wealth assets efficiently and protect your finances. Visa-free travel with a second passport from the Caribbean offers substantial privileges, with access to over 140 countries worldwide. 

A significant benefit is that citizenship from a Caribbean country is more affordable than programs offering European citizenship. Several Caribbean countries have minimum investments starting at $100,000.

If you’re concerned about both the second passport cost and processing time, it’s the easiest way to get a second passport with more flexible requirements, and second passports are granted in as little as three months. 

To compare the best citizenship by investment programs worldwide, check out our article: Citizenship by Investment Comparison Guide. 

What to consider when researching second passport countries?

When applying for a second passport, some of the main factors to take into consideration include the following: 

  • Is the country on the OECD whitelist? 
  • Is the country inside the EEA/Schengen Area? 
  • How much does the passport/program cost? 
  • How long does it take to get citizenship? 
  • Is the country safe and politically stable? 
  • Are there lucrative investment opportunities? 
  • What is the cost of living? 

Everyone has different criteria when considering second passport options, and it’s essential to weigh these factors based on personal circumstances and priorities. Additionally, one should also consider cultural and linguistic aspects, as well as potential language barriers. 

How to Obtain a Second Passport Legally

The protocol to submit a passport application in CBI countries varies depending on the program and the country. You will need to submit several supporting documents, which generally include: 

  • Your current passport 
  • Proof of legitimate source of funds 
  • Proof of making the required investment 
  • Proof of good health 
  • Specified size passport photos 
  • A clean criminal record certificate 

These are just the general requirements listed by most governments. For some programs, you must not be from or have connections with a blacklisted country, or you may have to prove you hold a certain net worth. 

Second passport investment options 

tracking number south america passport photos due diligence hard work

Like the eligibility criteria, the investment options for second passport programs also vary. Typical investment options include: 

  • Contributions to national development funds 
  • Purchasing real estate 
  • Capital transfers to national banks 
  • Purchasing government bonds 
  • Establishing businesses that create full-time jobs for citizens 

Economic contributions and donations are the most straightforward path to a second passport if you don’t hold a claim to birthright citizenship. Regarding investments, unlike property purchases, contributions are non-refundable and provide no future financial returns. Which investment option you choose should align with your personal and economic goals. 

Getting a Second Passport for Children

If you meet the criteria for citizenship, securing an additional passport for your children is typically a simple procedure. Whether you choose a residency or citizenship program, you can apply for your dependents, including a spouse and dependent children. While most citizenship programs include dependent children’s eligibility, they often require extra fees or investment for issuing a citizenship certificate and a secondary passport.

With the Golden Visa program in Portugal, for example, you can apply for residence permits for your children. After five years, they can also apply for Portuguese passports.

Citizenship in countries that abide by the rule of jus soli (ancestral citizenship) can also be a way for future generations to apply for a passport, provided they have supporting documents to prove family ties.

How Global Citizen Solutions Can Help You

At Global Citizen Solutions, we provide expert guidance on investor visa programs worldwide. With an international team operating out of four countries, we can discuss your objectives and help you secure second citizenship by investment to gain a second passport.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is a second passport?

A secondary passport is a second travel document issued by a country’s government.

This could be a duplicate passport from one country, which acts as a replacement passport, or an alternative passport from a second country, which offers benefits beyond what the first passport provides.

Can I get a second passport?

Getting a second passport requires your country of origin and the second country of citizenship to accept dual or multiple citizenship.

You can obtain passports from two different countries if you qualify for dual nationality.

What is the cheapest second passport?

Dominica, St. Lucia, and Antigua and Barbuda offer the cheapest second passports, with a minimum investment of $100,000 to qualify for their citizenship by investment programs.

What is the easiest way to get a second passport?

If you don’t hold the right to citizenship from another country through the naturalization process, descent, or marriage, citizenship by investment is the easiest way to get a second passport.

Countries with easy second passport programs include St. Lucia, Grenada, Dominica, and Vanuatu.

Which country gives the fastest passport?

Vanuatu, a South Pacific Ocean country, has the world’s fastest citizenship by investment program.

Successful applicants receive a second passport within 60 days of making the required contribution of $130,000.

Can US citizens get a second passport?

Americans can legally have a second passport as the United States permits dual nationality. As a US citizen, you’re free to get citizenship and a second passport in any country.

Where to apply for a second passport?

If you are unsure where would be the best place for you to invest in another passport, it can be a good idea to get in touch with a migration specialist.

This means you can receive expert advice from a market insider who can list options that best suit your personal preferences and financial goals.

What is the easiest passport to acquire?

The easiest countries to get a second passport depend on your budget and eligibility. Caribbean countries like St. Lucia, Dominica, and Grenada offer the easiest passports to acquire.

The passport application processing times will vary depending on the country, but generally, you receive a passport within three to six months. Vanuatu offers one of the fastest passport programs, with a two-month processing time.

Can you have three different passports?

Your capability of having three different passports or multiple citizenships depends on whether or not your countries of citizenship allow multiple citizenships.

For each additional passport you seek to obtain, you should check eligibility with your country’s passport services or immigration department.

Which countries allow dual citizenship for US citizens?

American dual citizenship is allowed in many countries. You can be a dual citizen in Portugal, Malta, the UK, Dominica, and others worldwide if you have a valid US passport.

This list is subject to change depending on policies in the specific country, and it is best to check with the government agency in the country. Dual nationality will depend on the citizenship laws of the second country.

Are there any restrictions on using a second passport?

There are certain restrictions associated with using a second passport. While a second passport provides added flexibility for international travel, limitations exist.

For instance, you cannot use both passports interchangeably for the same trip or purpose; you must choose one passport to present to immigration authorities.

When traveling to a foreign nation, one passport may have a physical visa attached to it, which is the only passport you can use to enter and exit the country.

Furthermore, Americans with a US and foreign passport must present their US passport upon re-entry into the United States.

Are there any tax implications with having a second passport?

Having a second passport can potentially lead to tax implications, as taxation laws vary between countries and may impact your financial situation.

The US operates a citizenship-based taxation system, meaning US citizens are subject to paying US taxes regardless of where they obtain citizenship or permanently live.

This means that second citizenship and a second passport could require you to file taxes and report your worldwide income to both countries.

However, it’s important to note that tax laws and agreements between countries can be complex and subject to change.

What is the validity period of a second passport?

Adult passports in most countries are typically valid for ten years. However, it’s important to note that the validity period can vary depending on the country, and certain countries have different renewal procedures or requirements for obtaining a second valid passport. 

Are there any risks or disadvantages associated with having a second passport?

One significant concern with obtaining citizenship in a second country is the potential for legal complexities or conflicts between the laws and regulations of the two countries.

This can pertain to taxation, military service obligations, or legal rights and responsibilities.

Additionally, some countries may restrict dual citizenship, and obtaining a second passport could jeopardize citizenship status in your primary country.

Moreover, if either country experiences political or diplomatic tensions, holding dual citizenship could become a sensitive matter.

Golden Visa: Invest in Worldwide Residency and Citizenship
More Info arrow icon
Unlocking Opportunities: Panama Residency by Investment
More Info arrow icon
Citizenship by Investment Comparison Guide
More Info arrow icon
A Plan B Passport Explained
More Info arrow icon