In the best of times, people might think you are crazy for getting a second passport, or foreign citizenship.
But what about on the brink of World War 3? Perhaps now is the time to give yourself some options.
If you are American or British, the last thing you want is to be trapped. Imagine if a U.S. passport–arguably the most cherished passport in the world–suddenly couldn’t get you across borders. This could happen if a foreign coalition raises international pressure to stop the U.S. from aggressive action in the Middle East.
But the U.S. government itself could revoke your permission to travel for any number of reasons. They can cancel an individual’s passport without explanation. And as we inch towards more intense nationalism, it is unfortunately not so far-fetched that the U.S. would limit their own citizens travel opportunities wholesale.
At that point, it will pay off to have a passport from Panama or Italy. It means you can still travel to many places without the U.S. having a say. It means you can flee in the face of American military escalation, martial law, natural disaster, or financial collapse.
The best resource online for learning about second passports and foreign citizenships is Sovereignman.com.
This is something everyone who wants a second passport should check first and foremost. Are you one of the lucky people who have ancestors from certain countries?
If your ancestors left one of these eight countries within the last few generations, you might qualify for citizenship and a passport. Germany, Italy, Ireland, Poland, Greece, Lithuania, Latvia, and Armenia all have citizenship by ancestry programs.
Each of those countries has some sort of program to award citizenship to those who can trace their lineage back to a citizen of the country. It may take some time, you might need to spend some time in the country, and you might have to learn the language. But these are relatively small obstacles to acquiring something as valuable as a second citizenship.
This free Sovereignman report can tell you more about the citizenship by ancestry process for each nationality. So if you have ancestors from any of those countries, this is the place to start.
A number of countries will allow you to apply for citizenship after living there for a number of years.
For instance, you can easily get permanent residency in Panama which can lead to citizenship and a second passport.
There are two easy ways. One is the friendly visas program, which allows citizens from a number of countries, including the USA, UK, Canada, and Australia, to establish residency, live, and work in Panama. And once you apply, you can leave the country while you wait.
The other method is for retirees, who only need to demonstrate that they have a lifetime monthly pension of at least $1,000 or $750 if they buy a property worth over $100,000.
And once you have residency, you need to wait five years to apply for citizenship, but you don’t have to spend all that time in Panama.
Belgium has another great offer for people who have time. If you establish permanent residency in Belgium, you can apply for citizenship in five years. But the standards are a bit more strict. You have to show that you have business ties, an address, and other connections to Belgium; it can’t just be on paper.
If you have money, you don’t need to be lucky or patient.
And in some countries, like Argentina, you don’t even need that much money to establish residency. $1,000 per month of passive income (like dividends or rental income) deposited into an Argentinean bank account will establish residency. And after that, you can apply for citizenship in only two years. During those two years, you need to spend at least 6 months of each year in Argentina. So Argentina is more like a hybrid option between time and money.
In some countries, you can buy a passport by investing in property or giving a “gift” of cash to the government.
Saint Lucia, Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts & Nevis, Grenada, Comoros, Vanuatu, Malta, Cyprus, Bulgaria, and Austria all have citizenship by investment options.
On the Carribean islands of Antigua and Barbuda, you could get citizenship and a passport for a $100,000 donation to the government plus $32,500 in fees. If you would rather have a property, you will have to buy a government-approved property worth at least $400,000 plus $57,500 in fees. A $1.5 million investment in a business is another option. And there are additional fees on top of this for each dependent you will be setting-up with a second passport. So this is clearly not a cheap option for obtaining a second passport, but it is still something to consider for those who have the means.
St. Kitts and Nevis have a similar program for citizenship by investment. You can get in on it for a $157,500 donation and fee, or a $400,000 property investment, plus about $82,500 in fees. Another option in St. Kitts and Nevis is to go in on a real estate deal with someone else, in which case you can both get the citizenship benefits with a $200,000 investment each in a $400,000 plus project.
These are not the only ways to get citizenship. There are some interesting exceptions and loopholes that can get you–or your child–citizenship.
For instance, if you want to marry a Brazilian, you can cut to the front of the line and immediately apply for citizenship. Brazil even has an “anchor baby” option.
Another option is having a baby in Brazil. In our Sovereign Man: Confidential member library, we have a profile of a couple who moved to Brazil and had their baby there. The baby automatically became Brazilian. Ten months later, the parents gained permanent residency. A year later – and yes, they lived in Brazil the whole time – the couple qualified to apply for naturalization (full citizenship).
Follow the links for much more information about the quality of the passports from each country. Each country’s passport will open doors to certain other countries for visa-free travel.
And even though having a second passport is a great insurance plan for worst case scenarios, there are plenty of less extreme reasons to want a foreign citizenship. These passports open doors to extended international stays, investing abroad, and doing business around the world.
If you have one nationality, then one, single government has total control over your life, your finances, your business, and your personal affairs.
It means that you’re chained to the consequences of that single government’s decisions, no matter how destructive, no matter whether you agree.
If they decide to provoke another war and impose a draft… or levy debilitating taxes… or print so much money that the consequent inflation causes social unrest… then you have little recourse.
A second passport is an insurance policy.
Sure, hopefully you never need it. And hopefully, you never need the fire insurance policy that protects your home, either.
But if that day ever comes when you smell smoke, you’ll thank your lucky stars you’re covered.
You’re also expanding your work, leisure and investment options – both for yourself and for your kids. Many universities in Europe, for example, are low-cost or free to EU nationals. Another passport also allows you to protect both assets and yourself: As far as I can tell, Isis isn’t going after the Chileans.
Having a second passport just makes sense.