Dual Citizenship, And Second Passports

“Kathleen, your summary of ‘honeymoon’ and ‘adjustment‘ was one of the best I have read. I have lived in several countries outside the United States and experienced these stages, too. The only difference in my case is that I still consider the United States my ‘home’ and Brazil and Dominica my ‘second homes.’ I am as comfortable in these countries as I am in the U.S.

“Thanks again for your observations. Very valid!”

–Gary D., Brazil

***

“Kathleen, do you know of an easy way for an American citizen to get a passport from another country? I travel extensively in the Middle East and would like to carry a passport other than my U.S. passport. I believe that you could get a Costa Rican passport if you had certain assets in the country?

“Do you know of any alternatives?”

–Jim T., United States

Well, it depends on your definition of “easy.”

It’s possible to buy second citizenship in St. Kitts by investing something in the region of US$500,000 in the country (typically in real estate). Other countries offer these kinds of “economic citizenship” programs, the details of which change continuously.

Otherwise, it takes a minimum of three years of permanent residency, depending on the country (most require five years of residency), and then it can take another six months to a year before you are naturalized.

We’ve heard that, in the Dominican Republic, it’s possible to get a lawyer to back-date documents so that you might get a passport within, say, six months. We don’t recommend this workaround approach, of course. Plus, a DR passport isn’t a great travel document.

As you want a second passport specifically for the purposes of travel to the Middle East, before you decide on any one to pursue, you should check visa requirements for that country. You wouldn’t want to end up qualifying for a second passport to a country that isn’t eligible for travel visas to other countries where you intend to travel.

The “easiest” alternative can be second citizenship through ancestry. We’ve written about this here.

 

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