Home | About Elma Global | Contact and Office Location | Guarantees | Media about us | Sitemap

Second Citizenship, Second Passport – Frequently Asked Questions

Is it legal to obtain second citizenship and second passport?

In the Russian Federation there are no prohibitive norms concerning second citizenship and second passport by Russian citizens. The only exception is made for persons occupying important positions like President, Prime-Minister, Security Officers, Deputies of State Duma, and some other positions. If you are a man of business no restrictions for holding two or several citizenships apply. That is why obtaining of second citizenship for Russians is a perfectly legal procedure. This means you may hold a second passport absolutely legally. In case you are citizen of another country it is recommended that you check the local legislation first or consult a specialist. In some countries (for example, UK, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, Belgium, Russian Federation, Israel, and some others) dual citizenship is allowed. For citizens of these countries is legal to have second passport (and also legal to hold several citizenships, not just two). In other countries (Denmark, Germany, Monaco, Japan, China, Kazakhstan, and some others) dual citizenship is not allowed.

Why to obtain a second citizenship?

Many factors exist that stimulate citizens of many countries to obtain a second legal passport. Among them are the following:

  1. One of very widespread motive for obtaining of second citizenship is impossibility to receive a visa in order to travel to the USA, UK, Canada, European Countries, or another country with strict visa-rules. If you hold Russian, Ukrainian, or Chinese passport, you will have to apply for visa every time you want visit, let us say, Germany, United Kingdom or USA. Embassies of developed countries issue visas not for everyone who applies. There were cases when the whole pile of certificates about financial solvency, stable earnings and a family that keeps the client in home country were useless to prove that you have no the so-called “immigration intents”. When you apply for a visa in a decent country such legal principle as “presumption of innocence” does not work. A person is already “guilty” that he is a Russian citizen or the citizen of a country of a former USSR.
  2. It may be also reluctance to open bank accounts abroad or incorporate an offshore company using your native passport. Tax system may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction; and in some cases, holding two passports can be of help in optimization and minimization of the taxable basis. Motives for desire to have second passport may be different.
  3. If you are citizen of the former USSR country it is practically impossible to obtain permission for work (work permit or work authorization) in Germany, France or Spain. Your application will be declined in 90 % for various reasons. On the other hand, citizens of Bulgaria, Romania and other EU-countries even do not need to ask for such a work permit. They can simply relocate to another EU-country and take any suitable job. If you are a holder of American or Canadian passport it will be easier to obtain work authorization in EU. And surely it will be very easy to get work permit in any country of the British Commonwealth of Nations.
  4. Reluctance to serve a service in the army for a fixed period in a home country or unwillingness your children will serve in it. This reason is typical for citizens who live in countries that are considered militaristic. When there is a real risk that your kid is mobilized and go to war, you will think about obtaining for him a second passport of some small and peaceful country (Antigua & Barbuda, Saint-Kitts & Nevis or Commonwealth of Dominica).
  5. Second passport gives its holder the ability to permanently change a country of residence any time he wants and without any cumbersome paperwork that is always associated with visas, temporary residence permits, and even permanent residence permits. Only second citizenship is the full immigration status while even permanent residence can be revoked under various circumstances.

What options are in existence for second citizenship programs?

“Elma Global” provides legal assistance in obtaining citizenship of a number of countries. Among them are the following states: Antigua & Barbuda, Grenada, Saint-Kitts & Nevis, the Commonwealth of Dominica, St. Lucia, Vanuatu, Turkey, and Malta. In the above-mentioned countries citizenship can be obtained by investment in scope of 5-18 months depending upon the chosen country. It should be noted that despite our Company can assist in obtaining of the second citizenship of some jurisdictions in a short period of time this is not at all “sales and purchase of passports”. Developed countries do not sell their citizenship and passports. They grant it if an applicant fulfils certain requirements, including but not limited to residence requirements. In all cases the applicable legal procedure includes due diligence.

What kind of residency programs do you recommend for investors who are not interested if fast passport programs?

There are many of them: USA (visa EB-5), United Kingdom, Canada, Spain, Italy, Singapore, etc. But in case you want citizenship, keep in mind that physical presence requirement in these countries applies. For instance, in the United Kingdom investor is expected to live six years before he becomes eligible to apply for citizenship. In the USA residence requirement for citizenship is five years but these five years must be on permanent basis (Green Card). Canada seems to be the most democratic in this respect with only three years of permanent residence before citizenship and passport. In the USA, UK or in Canada you can be naturalized without renouncing your former citizenship. These countries recognize dual citizenship. In Singapore the situation is different. You may apply for citizenship of Singapore after two years residence there but in all cases, you will be required to renounce your previous citizenship. Though passport of Singapore is an excellent and well-respected passport, it is not the option for those who wish to keep their first citizenship.

Are there any countries that prohibit their citizens to hold two citizenships?

Most European countries do not prohibit their citizens or nationals to hold two or more citizenships, except for Germany, Denmark, Malta, and Monaco. These states do not acknowledge dual citizenship. So, when a foreigner is acquiring German citizenship, he is required not only to apply for renunciation of his native citizenship but to produce a document, showing renunciation. It should be kept in mind, that despite some countries do not prohibit their citizens to hold two citizenships, but regard dual citizenship (one of cases of broader notion: multiple citizenship) with suspicion or, it is better to say, without encouragement. This is explained by the fact that under certain circumstance of correct tax planning second citizenship allows people to legally minimize their taxable basis.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Question: I am US citizen and would like to receive a second passport. Please, let me know fastest and most economical ways to get second passport.
Answer: The cheapest second citizenship by investment programs is the program of the Commonwealth of Dominica; it requires donation of 100,000 USD to government foundation. Alternatively, you may opt for Malta – the only passport-by-investment program that is available in the European Union.

Question: Is it possible to have different names in different countries, e.g. different name in a second passport?
Answer: Yes, it is possible to have different names in legal documents but this is normally is not recommended (to avoid problems when travelling with two passports). First you must obtain citizenship and get passport on your current name. Then you can officially apply in the country of second citizenship to change your name or family name. If you mean that you want to have documents with other name directly, this is also possible in some countries (Turkey, Cambodia) where you can take a local name.
Question: Why is it not recommended? Even if it’s not directly (like I imagined) will the documents be with another name?
Answer: If you are going to use both travel passports together (simultaneously) there might be problems. It may seem strange for a passport control officer and you may be arrested for a short period of time for additional checks. But if you use the passport with a different name as the only document for travel you use it will be OK.

Contact us today

Updated 24.07.2023

Pay a special attention to the following publications: