Pick your metaphor: Train wreck. Abortion. Cage match. Temper Tantrum. Shit show.
I imagine there were countless people last night staring at their TVs in disbelief, sorely dismayed that the most advanced democracy in the world couldn’t offer a civil discourse.
The media wept after last night’s debate, bemoaning the the lack of dignity in today’s political process.
But perhaps it’s for the better. Perhaps it’s time people finally realized that there is no dignity in politics… that, despite potentially good intentions, the system is rotten and rarely achieves a positive outcome.
Instead there’s constant conflict, which has rapidly escalated out of control. And that conflict is a snapshot of the country as a whole: rage, chaos, fear, paranoia.
This is reason enough to have a Plan B. But after last night’s debate, you might just find yourself ready to skip ahead to a second passport.
I only say this partly tongue-in-cheek; for people who find themselves dismayed and yearning to disconnect from the circus altogether, a second passport offers a lot of power and flexibility to do so.
A second passport means you’re no longer tied to a single country. It means there’s at least one more place where where you can live, work, do business, invest, and bring your family.
And depending on the country you choose for citizenship, you could end up with more than a dozen new places to live.
For example, if you obtain citizenship from a European country, then nearly the entire continent is open to you. You could obtain Italian citizenship through ancestry but live in the South of France (or two dozen other countries) due to the free movement of people across the EU and Schengen Area.
You could obtain St. Lucian citizenship through an economic investment, but also gain more freedom to live in one of the 15 “CARICOM” countries in the region, like Belize or the Bahamas.
Or you could obtain citizenship from a place like Argentina and have the right to live and work in any of the South American “MERCOSUR” member states with minimal formalities.
So a second passport can really put a lot of new options on the table for you and your family.
And if you’re thinking, “Sounds great, but how do I get a second passport?”, there are plenty of ways to do so.
The first is through ancestry. We all come from somewhere. And if you’re part of the ‘lucky bloodline’ club, you might have ancestors in a country that confers citizenship to descendants of its nationals.
I brought up Italy earlier because it’s a great example. If you have Italian parents or grandparents, for example, and you have the right paperwork (like birth certificates, death certificates, etc.), Italian law entitles you to citizenship.
The legal concept here is called jus sanguinis, which is Latin for ‘right of blood’. Essentially it means that if you can prove blood ties to a citizen of that country, you could likely find yourself eligible for citizenship.
Most countries in Europe have nationality laws based on jus sanguinis. Italy, Spain, Ireland, Poland, and Germany are great examples.
Obtaining citizenship through ancestry is the fastest, cheapest, and often easiest way to obtain a second passport.
The second way is through TIME.
Nearly every country in the world (except for possibly North Korea) has legal procedures for foreigners to obtain residency.
Some countries require you to have a job. Others require you to start a business. Others require you to go through a lengthy ‘points-based’ application process.
And once you obtain legal residency, most countries will allow you to eventually ‘naturalize’, i.e. apply for citizenship after some fixed period of time.
The requirements vary wildly from place to place.
In the tiny country of Andorra, for example, a foreigner must be a legal resident for at least a DECADE, and potentially up to 20 years, before being eligible to apply for citizenship.
But in Argentina, the residency requirement is just TWO years.
A third way to obtain a second passport is with money. There are a number of countries in the world that have ‘Citizenship by Investment’ programs whereby you make an investment (or donation to the government) in exchange for citizenship.
These programs aren’t dodgy or illegitimate. They’re 100% legal, backed by the country’s constitution and legislation.
The primary driver of these Citizenship by Investment programs is to bring much-needed capital into countries that could use the money. And that’s why there’s been a bonanza in these programs in the Caribbean, in places like St. Lucia, Antigua, Dominica, etc.
The fees vary, but you can expect to pay between $100,000 to $150,000 for a decent Caribbean passport, plus a bit more for each additional family member.
The programs are pretty fast and straightforward; we’ve seen several of our members obtain passports in less than six months.
Lastly, you can obtain a passport through “flexibility”.
For example, are you willing to change your religion? Because the “Right of Return” entitles every Jewish person in the world to obtain residency and citizenship in Israel.
Also, getting married to a foreign national could put you on a fast track to citizenship in that country.
There are a ton of options, and we’ve barely scratched the surface here.
But the bottom line is that a second passport is a sensible precaution… an important part of a Plan B. And there are countless ways to obtain one.