Entrepreneurs that travel across the globe to conduct business may want to consider dual citizenship as a wonderful opportunity to expand their market and explore multiple countries. Second citizenship for entrepreneurs allows access to potential markets that facilitates scaling up and provide countless trading opportunities. In today's fast-paced world, entrepreneurs have access to a wide range of tools that can assist them in expanding their businesses. Cutting-edge software, quality automation, sturdy financial services, and a skilled workforce all play a significant role in projecting a local business onto a global platform. However, none of the tools elevates the business outreach as effectively as residency and citizenship by investment programs. Around the world, many countries offer dual nationality to citizens from other countries in return for investment through real estate or government bonds, amongst other options. For international entrepreneurs who are required to travel to different countries to conduct business, holding a second passport provides them with visa-free travel and opens up a world of opportunities. In this article, we will highlight some of the major benefits that you can enjoy as an entrepreneur with second citizenship.

Benefits of holding second citizenship for entrepreneurs

The benefits that dual citizenship offers are far-reaching. In this section, we’ll provide you with some information on how holding second citizenship can help entrepreneurs in their business endeavors.

  • Visa-free travel to key destinations
  • Tax benefits
  • Banking and investment
  • Avoiding political and economic instabilities
  • Greater exposure
  • Lifestyle and generational benefits

Visa-free travel to key destinations

Second citizenship for entrepreneurs

As an international entrepreneur, you may need to travel across countries at short notice to expand your business in a globally connected market. Obtaining a visa for countries where travel is restricted can be both time-consuming and expensive. Thus, the primary reason to obtain second citizenship as an entrepreneur is the freedom and ease with which you can travel to more countries without a visa. The number of countries you can travel to without a visa will  obviously vary from country to country.

For instance, a Portuguese citizen can travel without a visa or get a visa-on-arrival in 172 countries. With second citizenship in many Caribbean countries, you can travel to over 130 countries visa-free around the world.

Tax benefits

As entrepreneurs seek to expand their businesses, there can be significant tax burdens on both themselves and their ventures. Taking second citizenship opens up opportunities to reduce tax liabilities. However, any possible tax benefits of second citizenship will depend on your origin country and the country of your dual citizenship.

Some countries require citizens to pay tax on money earned overseas –  that is, you need to pay tax in both countries, while others will have Double Taxation Agreements in place, whereby you can avoid double taxation.

Tax liability and tax incentives

A few countries, such as countries in the Caribbean, have much lower tax rates compared to many other countries. In some countries, dual citizenship holders have zero tax liabilities, for instance, in the UAE. With proper planning and professional advice, you do not have to spend too much on taxes and can secure a hassle-free process to enjoy greater tax freedoms.

Check out our article: UAE Passport: The Information You Need to Know.

Banking and investment

Business opportunities and foreign investment

In many countries, foreign nationals have some limitations in conducting or investing in a business or in real estate within its borders. Therefore, foreign nationals cannot reap the benefits of generous exchange or interest rates or invest in profitable property markets.

For these reasons, holding second citizenship comes in handy and opens up business and investment opportunities for entrepreneurs. Second citizenship allows you to enjoy various financial benefits, such as reliable banking options, favorable exchange rates, enhanced incentives, better interest rates, and much more.

For an international entrepreneur, a strong relationship with clients and partners is key in making your business sustainable worldwide. A second passport enables you to trade with many potential clients outside your country, and, additionally, you will have access to more markets.

Avoiding political and economic instability

In any country, economic or political instability needs to be considered when it comes to conducting business. Political and economic stability is vital for entrepreneurs, as both can negatively impact businesses in several ways.

In worst-case scenarios, when there is instability in your home country or your home country becomes unsafe, you can relocate to another safe and secure country without time-consuming protocols. This is far easier when you have a second citizenship.

Political instability

Holding second citizenship can give you an opportunity and an escape route from civil unrest, political conflicts, or sanctions imposed on your origin country. You can relocate your assets and live and work in a more stable and secure country. Holding a second citizenship became particularly helpful during the COVID-19 pandemic as well when countries across the globe had imposed a lot of travel restrictions on non-citizens.

Greater exposure

Multiple businesses, potential customers, greater exposure

One of the major advantages of acquiring a second citizenship is the exposure that it gives you in the global market while providing you with access to more potential clients. Acquiring second citizenship means that, along with conducting business in that country, you will also be able to trade with many other nations that your second citizenship country provides you access to.

It opens the gateway to a wider business world with an ocean of opportunities. With visa-free travel to many countries, you can have access to new markets where you can invest and expand your business reach.

Lifestyle and generational benefits

Entrepreneurs are hard workers, constantly thinking about expanding and meeting new clients throughout the year. Taking time out is crucial to reset and recharge. With dual citizenship, you’ll be able to enjoy different and exciting cultures, landmarks, cuisines, and attractions. You can take advantage of the best medical facilities and educational systems as a dual citizen.

One of the main advantages of having second citizenship is that it can be extended to your dependents and future generations, providing access to fantastic opportunities for your whole family now and for years to come.

taking advantage of exotic locations

Ways to acquire a second citizenship

There are a few different ways to get a second citizenship, and the route you take will depend on your preference, your financial situation, your family tree, and your passion for living abroad. You could get dual citizenship if your grandparents were citizens of a different country in many cases. Another option is to move to a foreign country and live there for a certain number of years before applying for citizenship through naturalization.

You can obtain a second passport through the following options. In the next section, we will discuss each of them in greater detail.

  • Citizenship by investment
  • Citizenship by descent
  • Citizenship by marriage
  • Citizenship naturalization
  • Fast-track naturalization

Citizenship by investment

Citizenship by investment is also called economic citizenship. It is the easiest and fastest way to get a second citizenship. The country will provide you with second citizenship in return of a qualifying investment in the country’s economic growth. Usually, there will not be any residency requirements, and sometimes your presence is not even required. There are some affordable options available to you.

If you are interested in learning more, check out our citizenship by investment guide.

Note: Some countries also offer residency by investment programs, which provides the investor with residency in return for an investment in the country. After a certain amount of years, they can apply for citizenship.

Citizenship by descent 

If you prove your bloodline, any country with the right of blood law can give you citizenship. If you have a parent, grandparent, or any other family member who is already a citizen of the country, you can apply for second citizenship in that country.

You must provide valid documents, such as birth certificates, and other documents to prove your connection. The rules differ from nation to nation. Countries such as Greece, Italy, France, Japan, Thailand, Turkey, and Romania provide citizenship instantly.

Citizenship by marriage

The process of getting second citizenship by marrying an individual who is already a citizen of the particular country is known as jus matrimonii or citizenship by marriage. The rules are different across countries about how long you should be married to get citizenship.

In countries like the US and France, the naturalization timeline can be fast-tracked for the spouses to get citizenship. In a few countries, such as Cape Verde, you will become a citizen immediately once you get married.

Citizenship by naturalization

This is a standard route to citizenship, where you have entered the country through legal means and live there for a required period of time. After you gain citizenship, you are expected to take a test that shows your understanding of the nation’s culture, law, tradition, and language, although this will vary from country to country.

The naturalization process depends on the country you are applying to. It can take as little as two years or as many as 30 years. For a few countries, like Canada, you need to be there physically to get citizenship by naturalization. For countries that do not offer dual citizenship, you are required to renounce your old citizenship.

Fast-track naturalization

It is often called citizenship by exception. Citizenship is often granted at the discretion of the head of the country, for instance, a sultan or president. For example, In Spain, naturalisation usually takes ten years of uninterrupted residence within the country. In the fast-track route, the citizenship by ancestry stream allows you to apply for naturalisation after one to two years of residence in Spain.

Summing up

Second citizenship programs have gained more popularity in recent times. It is an ideal option for entrepreneurs seeking greater opportunities on a global scale, in relation to travel, growth, investments, and more. High-net-worth entrepreneurs choose different paths to acquire a second passport, depending on what they are looking for and which markets they want to explore.

Some of the most common second citizenship instances are Americans opting to become citizens in Caribbean nations, such as St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, and Dominica. The Caribbean countries have easy and relaxed residency requirements.

Also, many Americans are tracing their roots to claim citizenship in countries such as Denmark, Germany, Portugal, and Ireland. Citizenship by descent has become popular amongst young business people and entrepreneurs. Entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals look at secondary citizenship as an offshore banking opportunity to reduce sovereign risk by keeping their assets in multiple currencies.

A popular option for second citizenship is through placing an investment in a business or in  estate, as a means to make their investment into the country. Citizenship by investment is a fast-growing and continuously evolving industry, which is a smooth route to secondary citizenship or residency. Currently, 30 countries offer citizenship or residency by investment programs. However, some countries require your physical presence for a minimum number of days.

As there is a rapid advancement in technology and infrastructure, the business world is trying hard to cope with the changes. Many companies do business only within their borders, which remains an obstacle for international entrepreneurs. Acquiring second citizenship is a complex process and requires a considerable investment, but it can definitely be worth it. These are just small prices to pay for opening up a whole new world of opportunities for both yourself and your business.

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Frequently asked questions

What is the easiest second citizenship to get?

The Caribbean nations offer easy and hassle-free second citizenship programs. They are the best in terms of quality and simplicity. If you are interested in Europe, Portugal offers a residency-by-investment scheme, whereby you can apply for citizenship after five years through naturalization.

Which countries are best for second citizenship?

According to Forbes, the best countries to get second citizenship are St Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, Malta, Portugal, and New Zealand.

Can a person have two countries’ citizenship?

Holding dual citizenship depends on the country of your residence and application. For countries that do not allow dual citizenship, you will need to renounce your old citizenship to get a new one.