Holding a second passport is a form of diversification that is familiar to investors all over the world. A second citizenship opens up a world of opportunities by having access to two different countries. However, these programs require ample due diligence and the process to become a citizen can often be lengthy. This begs the question; can you hold more than one citizenship? If so, is it worth investing in more than one citizenship program?
Can you have mulitple citizenship?
In some cases, you can hold more than one citizenship. This all depends on the particular citizenship you currently have. Some countries such as Singapore, China or India do not allow dual citizenship, in which case applying for a new citizenship would force you to renounce your citizenship to your home country.
However, most countries, including the United States, Australia and Canada, allow their citizens to have dual nationality. In fact, 64 countries around the world allow dual citizenship. In this case, if your home country allows dual citizenship, you can apply for and become a citizen from secondary (and even tertiary!) countries without your original citizenship being revoked.
This is a recent trend. More and more people are looking to foreign countries to become dual nationals, whether due to political or economic instability in their home country, as a pandemic concern about mobility to strengthen their passport, or a host of other reasons.
What are the implications of dual citizenship/dual nationality?
Dual nationality describes an instance where an individual is a citizen of two different countries simultaneously. Multiple countries allow dual citizenship, the United States being a good example. For instance, a person born in a country like Canada from parents with a US citizenship might be a US citizen and Canadian citizen.
Multiple citizenship grants an individual access to the benefits and privileges offered by each country where they are considered a citizen. Dual nationality also allows them, in some instances, to operate businesses, vote in both countries and much more.
How to get multiple citizenships?
Citizenship by birth
Certain countries, such as Canada and the U.S. have a system that awards citizenship to a person born in the land, which is also called Jus Soli or “Right of Soil”. This automatically grants citizenship to the child regardless of the nationality of the parents, however it has become a complicated process following the rise of “birth tourism”.
Citizenship by naturalization
The naturalization process is Citizenship by naturalization is the most common way to gain citizenship to a country. Certain countries such as the UK or Greece allow permanent residents that have lived in the country for a certain number of years to apply for citizenship. As you can imagine, becoming a naturalized citizen and obtaining your foreign passport can be a lengthy process.
By having family ties in the target country
There are places where you can obtain citizenship by descent; if you have family ties, it is fairly easy to do so. But if you use this route and you legitimately have ties in the country, then application gets easier.
Through citizenship by investment programs
A popular option to get citizenship offered in multiple countries is through investment programs. Many programs offer attractive citizenship by investment programs, such as Grenada, St-Kitts & Nevis, St-Lucia and the United States. Depending on the country an immigrant investor applies to, obtaining citizenship through investment can be done incredibly fast, in some cases in less than 6 months.
JH Marlin specializes in multiple citizenships and citizenship by investment programs across the world!
By marrying a citizen of the target country
Another option is to get citizenship through marriage. If you’re lucky enough to meet someone overseas, you might get to marry them and eventually get citizenship. Obviously, one should not marry a legal citizen just for their passport.
Can you have more than two passports?
Once you’ve applied for a second citizenship, can you apply for a third as well? Is more considered better when it comes to passports? After gaining a second passport through a citizenship by investment program, you can renounce your original citizenship and even apply to a third country for citizenship as well.
In short, if your home country allows for dual citizenship, it probably also allows for triple citizenship. Typically, laws and regulations around citizenship are such that a country does not disallow a person to hold more than one citizenship. This does not prevent that person from applying for more than one additional citizenship.
What about loss of citizenship? Can you lose your citizenship status by getting a foreign citizenship?
It is extremely unlikely to be rejected by your country of citizenship by adding a foreign citizenship and passport if you do your due diligence. Some countries do not allow dual citizenship, both the country of birth and the new nation you plan to become a citizen of: therefore, it is essential to assess the situation before engaging in a lengthy, and costly, citizenship by investment process.
Many individuals looking to improve their passport portfolio should consult an expert in multiple citizenships and citizenship by investment programs to avoid a potential loss of citizenship status.
Can you have multiple citizenships? Find the answer with JH Marlin
Why do individuals seek out more than two citizenships?
While holding more than two citizenships may seem like a foreign, and even excessive, idea, many people take advantage of these laws and actively apply for citizenship in foreign countries. For example, it is not uncommon for a citizen of the United States to apply for a second citizenship from the United Kingdom, and a third from Ireland.
Multiple citizenships can offer advantages when traveling and conducting business, but certain citizenships offer tax advantages too!
In fact, citizenship by investment programs are some of the most common ways to do this. Often, high-net-worth individuals strive to create a portfolio of citizenships. This includes passports to exotic countries in the Caribbean and Europe – some of the most popular of which are Dominica, Grenada, Antigua & Barbuda, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Vanuatu, Montenegro, Malta, and Turkey.
Having a portfolio of citizenships facilitates traveling
The countries presented above all include strong passports that are great for travel! A strong passport brings in multiple advantages when traveling abroad; you get faster processing and avoid requesting visas at embassies over and over.
One example of such a strong passport is the one that St. Kitts & Nevis provide for its residents. This authorization instance grants access to 150 countries around the world. This is particularly beneficial for entrepreneurs who travel for business, as it avoids the tedious immigration process.
Multiple citizenships opens business opportunities for entrepreneurs
From a business perspective, maximizing your citizenship enhances your business market. You can also register your business in another country to maximize growth and income. Secondary citizenship in a tax haven country can help to minimize taxation as well.
Being a citizen in multiple countries can increase your family’s security
Multiple citizenships do not just result in business advantages. A second or third passport acts as protection for your family. It acts as a contingency plan in case of instability in your home country.
The right citizenship allows you to control your taxes
Certain countries offer significant tax advantages to their citizens. Citizenship from tax havens such as Dominica allow individuals to maintain their income and wealth in a completely legal way. Except for American citizens, it is a great solution to reduce the impact of high taxation.
How many citizenships is too much?
Sometimes in these cases, more is better. Having more passports may cover your bases by including more countries on their visa-free travel list. It can also open you up to business in several more countries. If these seem like priorities to you, applying for citizenship in more than one country may be the right move for you.
Working with an expert in citizenship by investment programs is the best way to proceed when looking to obtain multiple citizenships
Can you obtain a second passport in your home country? Can you have multiple citizenships in your current position? Which country should you target for a second citizenship? Those are all important questions that need to be considered before starting the citizenship process. JH Marlin Attorney at Law can offer you advice and assist you before, during and after the citizenship by investment process in multiple countries. Do not hesitate to reach out to Jennifer Marlin, an expert in citizenship by investment, to learn if you can have multiple citizenships.