There are many associated benefits with acquiring a second passport, and as one’s right to privacy in one’s home nation is being eroded by the likes of the OECD, EU and other omnipotent bodies, so greater numbers of Americans and Britons are looking into their ability to qualify for a second passport.
For some people who have parents of different nationalities, acquiring a second passport is relatively simple – but for most of us, to gain citizenship in another nation we have to give up citizenship in our own home country and this is not attractive.
In this article we look at the basic benefits of getting a second passport, and examine the economic citizenship second passport programmes in the two most reputable countries.
We must begin with a few words of warning however – there are unscrupulous companies and individuals operating over the internet who claim to be able to sell second passports. These are either not legally sanctioned or they are stolen, and if you enter into an agreement with one of these agents and purchase a passport in this way you are breaking very serious laws. Having said that, there are a limited number of legitimate, legally sanctioned programmes that allow you to apply to a given country’s government for a passport, and we will explore these in some depth shortly.
Firstly let’s look at the benefits of getting a second passport. The vast majority of advantages relate to taxation and privacy. For example, the most valuable passports are from the likes of Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis because they offer tax-free living status to qualifying individuals who take up residence in either country. Depending on the current passport you hold, getting a second passport can also open up your visa free travel options too, and reduce your terrorism profile, (note it has been reported that during the recent terror strikes in Mumbai, the terrorists were specifically looking for individuals who were holders of American, Israeli and British passports for example). Of course a second passport can also give you the right to reside in another nation, and depending on which passport you acquire, certain nations maintain your privacy and do not report your passport status or any investment activities for example to other countries such as America or the UK.
Americans have long been quite fascinated with the thought of having a second passport – but suddenly Britons and Western and Northern Europeans are exploring their options too. The EU has been clamping down and restricting investment and individual privacy in recent years, and the British government’s regular threats to introduce ID cards have been reasons why individuals have begun to feel disillusioned by the restrictions on their lives. As a result, countries like Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis have become of more interest. Each country offers a legitimate and legal second passport, economic citizenship scheme. These schemes are attractive because they are far quicker than the other legal methods of gaining a second passport, such as going to reside in a given nation for a prolonged period and then applying. Additionally their attraction also lies in the fact that the government back and support the schemes…
To qualify for a second passport in Dominica the application fees are USD 75,000 – you will then pay legal fees on top and have to undergo a background check. Once you qualify you can then benefit from the fact that Dominica is tax-free when it comes to foreign source income, capital gains, wealth, gift and inheritance tax. Your dual citizenship status is allowable, and it is not reported – and of course, if you do choose to live on the island you’ll find it is a typical Caribbean tropical paradise offering an excellent standard of living for less!
To qualify for a second passport in St. Kitts and Nevis the fees are USD 35,000 as well as legal fees, you also have to undergo a background check and invest USD 350,000 into the country. Most people do this by buying a home there that they either use themselves or let out. Note, this property can later be sold. The tax-free benefits are the same as in Dominica, as is the dual citizenship status.
Note, you do not have to live in either nation to qualify for the second passport, nor benefit from the advantages it brings. If you do decide to find out more, make sure you go through the proper legal channels, don’t decide to cut corners and buy a dodgy passport off the internet for a fixed fee as this will offer you no legitimate benefits and be 100% illegal! Tread carefully.