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Second Citizenship

In the context of this web-site we use the term second citizenship to demonstrate that somebody holds two citizenships and is entitled to have two legal passports. We may talk about dual citizenship in case the countries signed an agreement of dual citizenship. In all other cases, we talk about second citizenship.

For example, the Russian Federation has agreement about dual citizenship only with Tajikistan. This agreement regulates military service and other issues. Therefore, in case citizen of the Russian Federation obtains citizenship of Tajikistan, or vice versa, he (or she) will have dual citizenship.

In case citizen of the Russian Federation obtains any other citizenship (with the exception of Tajikistan) he does not lose citizenship of the Russian Federation but at the same time he will not hold a dual citizenship in legal understanding of this word. He just obtains second citizenship. In easy words, when an owner of two passports one of which is Russian passport, is at the territory of the Russian Federation, the state considers him to be a Russian citizen only. His second citizenship will be ignored. Lawyers call this situation a “legal vacuum”.

Second Citizenship – Summary

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland

Acquisition of British citizenship is regulated by the British Nationality Act of 1984. Due to Great Britain’s historic relationship with its former colonies and the British Commonwealth, certain groups of peoples fall into special categories. Citizenship requirements and special considerations for these groups are frequently different than for those considered to be foreign nationals and, to a degree, are different from category to category. Persons included in these special categories are: British Dependent Territories Citizens, British Overseas Citizens, British Subjects, British Protected Persons, Commonwealth Citizens, and Citizens of the Republic of Ireland. Persons falling into these special categories may be registered as British citizens if they have lived in the United Kingdom lawfully for five years; the twelve months preceding the application must be of continuous residence. British citizenship can be acquired by birth, by decent, and by naturalization. British citizenship may be granted by naturalization upon fulfillment of the following conditions. Person has been a resident of the United Kingdom for six years. For persons married to British citizens the local residence requirement is reduced to three years preceding application, with certain restrictions on periods spent outside the UK. Person is of good character and has sufficient knowledge of English, Welsh, or Scottish Gaelic. Person intends on remaining in the United Kingdom or entering Crown service. British passport is a very good document for visa-free travel. It is well-respected all over the world. Dual citizenship is allowed in the UK without any restrictions.

The United States of America

Citizenship of the USA can be obtained by birth, by decent, by naturalization, or through military service to the country. Child born within the territory of the United States, regardless of the citizenship of the parents, is considered as an American citizen. United States citizenship may be acquired by naturalization upon fulfillment of the following conditions. Person must be 18 years old, have resided in the USA for at least five years as a lawful permanent resident, be able to speak, read, and write English, be of good moral character, be familiar with the history and culture of the country, be attached to the principles of the United States Constitution, and have renounced former citizenship. Foreign citizens who marry citizens of the United States need only reside in the USA for three years, but must still fulfill the other conditions. The Immigration and Nationality Act does not define dual citizenship or take a position for it or against it. There has been no prohibition against dual citizenship, but some provisions of the INA and earlier U.S. nationality laws were designed to reduce situations in which dual citizenship exists. While recognizing the existence of dual citizenship and permitting Americans to have other citizenships, the U.S. Government does not endorse dual citizenship as a matter of policy because of the problems that it may cause. Claims of other countries on dual-national U.S. citizens often place them in situations where their obligations to one country are in conflict with the laws of the other. Global investors who are considering relocation to the USA should also keep in mind that the US tax system is not territorial (like in Canada). So, the global income of the US citizen is taxable.


Canadian citizenship is probably the best citizenship you can obtain. In order to be eligible to apply for Canadian citizenship you must get Permanent Residence status first. The qualifying period of residence is 3 years (or 3 years out of 5 years before the citizenship application is launched). Canadian passport is an ideal document for visa-free travel. Dual citizenship is allowed without any restrictions.


In Australia, as in many other countries the minimum local residence requirement exists for those who wish to become naturalized citizens. In order to be eligible to apply for Australian citizenship you must get Permanent Residence status first. After the PR status is obtained the qualifying period of residence is 4 years. Moreover, you must reside in Australia at least 12 months out of 2 years preceding the launch of application. Australian passport is an ideal document for visa-free travel. Dual citizenship is allowed in Australia without any restrictions.

St. Kitts & Nevis

Citizenship laws are based upon the Constitution of St. Kitts and Nevis. Categories of citizenship are divided by the date of independence, September 19, 1983. Citizenship-by-investment program of St. Kitts & Nevis was established in 1984. Regulations regarding citizenship-by-investment are contained in Part II, Section 3 (5) of the Citizenship Act, 1984. Two investments options are available:

  1. Real Estate option is a combination of investment and donation. Investor is expected to buy property with a value of USD 400,000 (or USD 200,000 for collective investments) in the project approved by Saint-Kitts government for the purposes of citizenship program. Investor must also be ready to pay purchase cost 5 or 6 %, and then he is expected to pay government fees USD 35,000 per principal applicant, USD 20,000 for a spouse, and USD 10,000 per each dependent. The important condition of real estate option is that you cannot sell your property during the first five years (seven years for collective investments) after the purchase without losing citizenship of Saint-Kitts. And the last but not least, even after five (seven) years of ownership you should not cherish the idea to sell your property at the purchase price. There is practically no local real estate market in the country. Therefore, you will sell with considerable discounts if at all.
  2. The contribution option requires non-refundable donation of USD 250,000 for a single applicant or USD 350,000 for a family of 4 members (e.g., husband, wife, and two minor children under the age of 18 years). All the government fees are included but due diligence fees are to be paid extra.

Holders of Saint-Kitts & Nevis passport enjoy visa-free travel to the UK, Ireland, all-EU countries, and many other countries. Dual citizenship is recognized. Person seeking citizenship of St. Kitts is not required to renounce previous citizenship.

To be continued…

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: I already have PR of Canada got in March 2014. It is not possible for me to stay in Canada for three years because of my business in Iran. Therefore, I will not be able to apply for citizenship there. I have two questions. I have read that St. Kitts & Nevis and Dominica do not accept citizenship request from Iranian anymore. Nevertheless, a lawyer told me because you have PR of Canada you could apply for that. Do you have any information about this issue?

Answer: Yes, we have information on this issue. The lawyer you deal with is mistaken. St. Kitts & Nevis and Dominica do not accept citizenship applications from Iranian nationals due to US sanctions on Iran (irrespective of the country of residence of Iranian nationals).

Question: I want to apply for an EU citizenship. However, I do not think I will be able to stay for a long time there.
Answer: Citizenship is normally granted after several years of physical residence in this or that country. If you are not ready to relocate we can recommend Portugal In case you invest EUR 500,000 into Portuguese real property you will be able to get residence permit. To maintain permit, you will need to spend 7 days per year in Portugal. After 5 years you can get permanent status. After 6 years you can get citizenship and passport. In this case physical residence requirement is very small.

If you have any questions or wish to use our legal assistance in obtaining permanent residency or citizenship in Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, Vanuatu, Turkey, Cyprus, or Malta, contact us today

Last updated 04.09.2023

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