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The Best Second Passports You Can Hold

15 Dec
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The Best Second Passports You Can Hold

6 Best Second Passports—Lief Simon's First-Ever Easiest Citizenship Index

Why would someone need a second passport?

For perpetual travelers, it can be essential.

For some Americans, the biggest benefit can be that, when structured properly, a new citizenship is the only completely legal way to opt out of American taxes for good (by renouncing your U.S. citizenship after you’ve obtained a replacement nationality).

Until you have a second citizenship, you may not appreciate the feeling of freedom it gives you to not have to rely on one country’s government. Essentially, by having multiple nationalities, you’re no longer the property of one government and become a sovereign individual instead.

Remember that citizenship isn’t the same as residency. You can gain legal residency in another country without becoming a citizen of that country.

And, if you do obtain citizenship in another country, you don’t necessarily have to give up your U.S. citizenship. You can be a dual citizen, depending on the country.

It’s much easier to understand and embrace the reasons for wanting a second passport than it is to get one. Unless you’re born a multi-citizen, obtaining a second passport takes time and money or both. The effort and cost can be well worth it, though, and the Citizenship flag is an important one to plant in the big-picture agenda of internationalizing your life.

Safer travel, easier travel, less costly travel, safe haven, easier access to foreign banking, increased access to foreign investment options, expanded business opportunities…

Again, The Advantages Of Carrying A Second Passport Are Many

If you’re an American, the reality is that many banks around the world don’t want to do business with you any longer. It’s simply too much hassle. If your only passport is the blue one with the gold eagle on the cover, you can have a problem. With a second passport, more doors (and bank accounts) can open for you.

You still aren’t going to circumvent IRS reporting rules (and we never recommend trying), but at least you’re more likely to be able to open accounts in places where you want to conduct business or spend time.

Some countries have special allowances with other countries related to importing and exporting or work or residency status.

For example, Italy has an agreement with Panama allowing Italians a much simpler path to residency and a work permit. Citizens of most South American countries have easier access to residency and work permits in Spain.

A second passport can save you time and money when traveling. By having an EU passport for example, you won’t have to wait in a queue at the airport to get in any country of the Schengen zone.

Many countries make it possible to acquire citizenship through residency. After you’ve been a full-time resident of the country for a specific number of years, you can become eligible to apply for citizenship and a passport. In some countries, if you have pension income over a certain threshold—generally US$1,200 or more monthly—you can acquire a residence visa that eventually could lead to your eligibility for second citizenship and passport.

While economic citizenships go for hundreds of thousands of dollars, the cost of obtaining a passport by being resident in the country for a specified period is usually but a few thousand dollars.

The much bigger investment requirement in this case is your time. Most countries require a minimum of five years of legal residency before you can apply for naturalization. And most countries require you to be physically present in the country for most of that time. The idea is that you assimilate.

The specific requirements vary depending on the type of residency permit you have and how long you’ve held it, but most countries require you to be a permanent resident for at least three to five years before you’re eligible to apply for citizenship, meaning that time in the country while you hold a temporary residency visa doesn’t typically count toward the years of residency required before you can be naturalized.

Many moving parts involved with deciding which path to residency in which country could be your best option.

That’s why my team and I have prepared my first-ever “Easiest Passports Index.”

The Easiest Passports Index

Most indices rank countries based on their power and travel access. Interesting, maybe, but typically useless to the average American because the average North American has no way to obtain those nationalities.

Germany ranks second in the Global Passport Power Rank, for example, but you must live in Germany legally for eight years to qualify.

Hungary ranks fourth, but you’ll have to learn Hungarian, the most difficult European language.

Most Americans aren’t going to be able to do those things.

The goal of my new 2023 Index is to make you aware of good-to-hold second passports you may have not considered before… and that are realistically available to you.

Acquiring a second passport is a critical piece of any Plan B.

My objective in my new Index is to present you with your most accessible options for doing that.

Lief Simon