How To Get A Second Passport (And Why You’d Want One In The First Place)
Years ago, when I was just starting out covering this beat, I encountered a headline that has stuck with me:
“Why Would You Want A Second Passport?”
At the time, I wondered myself. Why would anyone need or want a second passport?
Today, I understand.
About two years ago, after more than four years of back-and-forth with the Irish immigration authorities, I received my Irish passport in the mail. I was finally, officially, a dual citizen.
My son, Jackson, born while we were living in Waterford, is also Irish. At that time, Ireland offered jus soli, or rights-of-the-soil citizenship. That is, because I happened to be on Irish soil when Jack entered this world, Ireland rewarded him with citizenship.
Over-immigration caused the Irish to rethink their policies. Today, it is still possible to apply for an Irish passport based on your Irish maternal lineage, and it’s still possible to obtain Irish nationality by residing full-time in the country for five years or longer. However, the country no longer offers jus-soli citizenship.
We didn’t move to Ireland so that I could bear a child who would be eligible for Irish citizenship. We didn’t even move to Ireland so that we could earn Irish citizenship ourselves. And we didn’t relocate to Ireland with the definite intention of remaining in the country long enough to quality for a second passport.
We moved to Ireland to make a home and to build a business. We resided in the country full-time for seven years, expanded not only our business but also our family, and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.
As an added bonus, we earned Irish citizenship. We didn’t set out after it, for, again, I didn’t appreciate the value of a second passport 13 years ago when we made our initial move overseas.
Today, I do.
Planning a trip to Brazil? Americans need a visa…Irish nationals do not.
Want a bank account in Europe? An EU passport will open the doors of many bankers who otherwise might ignore your knocks.
Thinking you’d like to live or work in the EU? Good luck, my fellow American. No problem, though, dear fellow citizen of the Emerald Isle (or any other EU country).
Interested in traveling in the Middle East? In some countries, your blue passport with the eagle on the cover might seem a liability…but a red one with a harp on front won’t raise anybody’s eyebrows.
A second passport expands horizons and fosters opportunity. It allows you to live, work, and invest more freely. Jackson, for example, thanks to his Irish passport, will be able, if he wants, to attend university in Europe, to get a job in any EU country when he’s older, and to move around the European Union at will.
A passport for an EU member country brings special advantages, but it can also be the hardest to come by these days (with important exceptions, related to genealogy).
You have a number of other good alternatives, as well, in the Americas and the Caribbean.
Information on residency, citizenship, and second passports is easy to come by in this Internet Age. The trouble is, googling “foreign residency” or “second passports,” you don’t know whether you can trust the information you find.
The best (that is, the most reliable and trustworthy) source of information on foreign residency, citizenship, and second passports I know is The Sovereign Society. I’ve worked with this group for two decades. They know this beat. Their lead editor, attorney and former Congressman Robert Bauman, is a personal friend and the guy I go to first whenever I have a question on this front.
Bob has recently published a new edition of his best-seller The Passport Book: The Complete Guide to Offshore Residency, Dual Citizenship, & Second Passports.
This is the resource I recommend for all the information you need on this often misunderstood and misrepresented subject. Bob’s book details how to acquire residency in the world’s top overseas havens, as well as the current best options for obtaining dual nationality and a second passport.
It could be far easier than you might imagine to secure a second passport. As Bob puts it, “You could be owed one.”
“The key,” Bob explains, “may lurk up in your family tree.
“Several countries,” Bob continues, “grant full citizenship based on the law of blood, jus sanguinis, even without a descendant ever having lived in the country.”
Ireland offers one the best and best-known of these ancestral programs. If you have a parent or grandparent born in Ireland, you are eligible for Irish nationality.
The Republic of Italy offers a similar program, as does Poland. If you are the descendant of Polish citizens who left Poland after the country became an independent state in 1918, you are eligible to claim citizenship as long as
there has been no break in Polish citizenship between the emigrant ancestor and you.
Other countries that offer citizenship based on the citizenship of parents or grandparents include Spain, Greece, Lithuania and Luxembourg.
Bob details the particulars of these second citizenship opportunities, along with those for a dozen other countries, in new edition of his Passport Book: The Complete Guide to Offshore Residency, Dual Citizenship, & Second Passports.