by Simon Black
Fifteen years ago I began my journey of international diversification.
Just a few months after I sent my documents to the Italian embassy in New York, I received my Italian passport… I remember it like it was yesterday.
My second passport opened up tons of new doors for me. I could now reside on most of the European continent if I wished to… and I could now access investment and banking opportunities abroad.
Obtaining a second citizenship is something I recommend everyone consider doing.
A second passport is a gift you can leave for your children, so they can expand their options and freedom in life.
It gives you – and your family – the opportunity to go to new places, and explore opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have access to back home.
It’s also the ultimate insurance policy– assurance that, no matter what happens (or doesn’t happen) in your home country in the future, there’s at least one other place in the world that will welcome you with open arms.
There are many ways to obtain a second passport. Here are the main ones:
- Ancestry: if you are lucky enough to have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from the right country, you may already be eligible for a second citizenship by descent.
- Time: In many countries it’s possible for foreigners to obtain legal residency. And after a certain number of years of legal residency, you become eligible to apply for naturalization and receive your passport.
- Flexibility: these are unconventional ways to obtaining a second citizenship, such as giving birth in a foreign country, marrying a foreign citizen or even changing your religion…
However, if you do not fall in any of those categories, there’s a substantially faster and more straightforward way to obtain a second passport: citizenship-by-investment.
This is exactly what it sounds like: you invest a certain sum of money in a country in exchange for citizenship and a passport.
This is completely legal and legitimate; citizenship by investment programs (CIPs) are based on formal legislation passed by each country.
And there are at least a dozen explicit citizenship-by-investment programs in the world that are either already functioning or should come online soon.
These programs are particularly popular in both Europe and the Caribbean, and often do not require that you live in that country for any amount of time.
That makes it one of the fastest ways to get a second passport today.
However, the term “citizenship by investment” can be misleading, because in a lot of cases, you will neither see an investment return nor even receive your capital back at all. So they’re often more like “citizenship by donation” programs.
Citizenship-by-investment programs start at a little over $100,000 for a single applicant and can reach up to $10 million for the most expensive option (most are in the $100,000 to $1M range).
Therefore, you should think carefully about whether the benefits and the quality of the passport you are receiving are worth the expense.
For most people, there are better options out there – including letting time work in your favor by obtaining residency in a foreign country and then applying for naturalization.
However, sometimes a high-income or high net worth individual needs a second passport quickly and cannot afford to wait for several years.
Some people might come from a country (like Colombia or Pakistan) that has severe visa restrictions and finds it very difficult to travel for business with their home country’s passport.
Others might intend to give up citizenship from their home country due to political disagreements, excessive taxation, or even safety concerns. But they need another passport first before they can renounce their current one.
Others might just want the comfort of having the ultimate insurance policy in place.
Whatever the reason, if you need a quick answer, there are a number of citizenship by investment programs out there.
And for those who want to learn more, my team recently put together a comprehensive ‘Black Paper’ of all the various citizenship-by-investment programs around the world.
It was released exclusively to premium subscribers of our flagship publication, Sovereign Man: Confidential.
However, the information is so important that we summarized a portion of it for you in a free report that you can access here.