What to Think About Before Considering Dual Citizenship – Is It Worth It?

Bank Accounts, Company Formations, Tax Planning, Residency Solutions, and more
CALL US ON +971 50 4467827 - TO SETUP YOUR NON-CRS COMPANY STRUCTURE IN DUBAI.
About Before Considering Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship is often overlooked when it comes to its powers. But if you take a minute to think about it, not all passports are equal. There are plenty of differences between passports, as well as what you can do with one or another.

The difference between passports has been observed throughout the coronavirus pandemic. In the summer of 2020, many citizens of the USA were banned from a plethora of countries because of how the government handled the pandemic.


Later on, citizens of the UK had to face similar restrictions when there were virtually no restrictions around the UK – most other countries tried to contain the virus, but the UK was probably the most permissive country in Europe.

These are normally some of the most desired and appreciated passports in the world – also quite powerful, since they allow you to visit almost all countries out there without a visa. But then, the pandemic kept all these people trapped. The situation was different for those with dual citizenship though.

Now, the UK has faced another major issue recently – the Brexit. At some point, the whole European Union was a playground for the country. But with Brexit, more and more Brits were rejected in terms of entry, jobs, and so on – lots of uncertainty regarding their immigration status.

All these things are unexpected and can easily change the game. They prove how political dynamics can destroy everything. Apparently, some of the most desired passports in the world became useless. Brits became second-class citizens in Europe in terms of freedom.

Stable countries – while still maintaining their financial power – will end up restricted in terms of freedom, and this is what hurts the modern individual. Dual citizenship is by far the most common solution to these issues.

There are more ways to get dual citizenship. You can marry someone, find some foreign heritage or perhaps live in a country long enough to be able to apply for citizenship. Obviously, you do need to commit to this venture.

You cannot apply for citizenship if you barely spend a few weeks in the respective country – yet, there are countries out there that allow buying your citizenship by making an investment or perhaps a donation. Most countries will require living there for some years and perhaps passing an exam.

Now, what are the most significant reasons wherefore you might consider dual citizenship?

Gaining an extra insurance policy​


Most people are unhappy with their governments. Sometimes, the decisions they make appear to be against the actual people. Many of them will affect you directly, even if you cannot understand it straight away – take a look at Brexit, for example.

A random referendum cleared out the right to move freely around the European Union for Brits. Lots of people have already built new lives abroad, in other countries – imagine the hassle they need to go through in order to sort these problems.

As a direct consequence, more and more Brits turned to Irish citizenship. Some of them were lucky to be eligible for it – a second nationality in a country of the EU meant they could move freely with no problems again. Poor decisions can also lead to civil unrest and even war.

Dual citizenship allows you to avoid these problems, especially if you have nothing to do with them.

Embracing the freedom to travel​


The freedom to travel is also worth some attention. Dual citizenship will increase opportunities. For instance, if you get citizenship in the European Union, you will be able to travel worry-free in around 30 countries.

Then, there are powerful passports out there that will allow visa-free travels in most countries out there. Obviously, these are among the most desired ones. Keep in mind that pandemic restrictions only applied to certain passports and not all of them.

Those traveling from countries with weak passports will need to pay for visas, go through a series of procedures, and wait for ages. Imagine trying to travel from Libya or Syria – war-torn countries where everyone is seen as a potential threat.

Freedom makes a massive difference to your quality of life, especially if you have family abroad, you want to conduct business abroad, or you simply love traveling. Then, based on conflicts between countries, some passports will face more issues than others.

Benefiting from better tax planning


Dual citizenship means you will be able to switch your tax residency from one jurisdiction to another based on your personal circumstances and financial benefits. Why would you pay 20% in a certain country when you can pay 10% in another? Simple.

Obviously, there are a few exceptions out there – unfortunately, the USA will count among these exceptions. Tax circumstances can change when least expected – you could end up with a major return on investment or maybe an inheritance. You can minimize the tax liability in a legal manner.

Some countries will charge you for cryptocurrency gains. Some others will not – they will allow you to keep your profits, without taxing you. Dual citizenship allows you to run into a different jurisdiction and plan your tax in a strategic manner.

It also depends on the country you pick for the other citizenship. For example, the USA will not allow you to get out of this issue. If you hold citizenship, you will need to file tax returns annually, regardless of where you live. Eritrea is another example.

Pretty much every other country in the world has a different system, so you can work your way around laws. In fact, some countries even have different tax systems for foreigners, only to attract foreign investment.

Giving up on the original citizenship​


Having two passports will allow you to renounce your original one, if that is actually the plan. For instance, you are sick and tired of being robbed by the government in the USA. You get dual citizenship and give up the original one then.

It is good to have the freedom to choose, yet having two passports will normally bring in more benefits than actual drawbacks. After all, dual citizenship is mostly about boosting the opportunity to choose freedom.

With all these, renouncing citizenship is more and more common. More Americans than ever gave up their passports in 2020, mostly because of the rough anti-money laundering laws and the law to tax everyone, regardless of the location in the world.

A similar phenomenon occurred in the UK. Soon after Brexit, Brits had to choose between keeping their citizenship and getting one in another country. Those who changed their lives and lived in other countries gave up their British passports.

Enjoying an alternative identity​


Your passport is your identity – the main one. Indeed, there are more types of IDs out there, but the passport is the one recognized internationally. Dual citizenship will give you the option to claim a different identity should you ever have to – for instance, if a country does not reflect your personal values.

From a different point of view, feel free to claim a different identity if a particular country has sensitive relations with your original country. For example, given the conflict by the Ukrainian and Russian borders, you are more likely to get into Russia with a Belarusian passport than a Ukrainian one.

The same rule applies to other countries – you will find it difficult to get into Egypt with an Israeli passport, just to give you an example. You are more likely to be allowed in with a Jordanian passport, though. Conflicts all over the world and different countries will always have something to share.

With these thoughts in mind, it does pay off considering your dual citizenship with a strategic mind. There are more factors to keep in mind, such as taxes, residency requirements and options, naturalization timeline, and so on.

On the other hand, it may also be a good idea to pick a country that tends to stay neutral in global politics. Countries like Switzerland and Portugal are ideal. In fact, Portugal was neutral most of World War II, so it does not really have any conflicts with other countries.

Benefits of dual citizenship​


The reasons to get dual citizenship can also classify as the main benefits behind this procedure. Having two passports is definitely a plus. Now, what other benefits can you gain from being a citizen of two different countries?

Reuniting with your family

Family reunification is a priority for many societies these days, meaning it is much easier to get dual citizenship and not just for yourself, but for your entire family. No one is left behind. On the same note, citizenship will be passed down to descendants for long-term security.

Gaining access to superior health systems​


A top-notch healthcare system should also be a priority, and unfortunately, many countries fail to provide it. Do your homework before making a decision and opt for a country with a first-class healthcare system. Dual citizenship could make the difference between life and misery – and not just for you only.

If you have children, you want the best for them – you want to provide them with the tools to succeed in life. Apart from the health system, a top-notch education will also help your little ones succeed. This is also an opportunity for you – perhaps this is the chance to complete that post-secondary education.

Adopting domestic wellbeing​


The second citizenship could be the way forward if you are after clean living and better standards. Think about the air quality, the ecosystem, the access to nature, and so on. If air quality was your main priority, what would you choose between China and New Zealand? Exactly.

Your dream destination could become your new home.

Being yourself​


A second citizenship will also give you the possibility to be yourself. Harmful discrimination is still part of today’s reality in many countries out there. In fact, there is little to no tolerance for diversity in numerous communities out there.

Religious persecution is another common problem. A second passport is the chance to enter and stick to a welcoming country that embraces everything. Happy citizens will obviously find a deeper sense of community, where everyone is respected.

Other benefits of dual citizenship worth some consideration include:
  • Better personal security
  • Improved professional security
  • Extra economic opportunities
  • Global mobility

Drawbacks of dual citizenship​


Dual citizenship could be great from many points of view, but it is not perfect. Besides, what works for some people will not work for everyone else. The process requires serious consideration. Here are some of the potential drawbacks.

Double taxation

This rule occurs if one of your nationalities is American or Eritrean. At the moment, these two countries will put a tax on your income regardless of where you live. If you have left the USA 30 years ago and you work in New Zealand now, you will still pay income tax in the USA.

This is only an example. You could live anywhere in the world. You will pay income tax where you live, but also in the USA. It is a rotten system that still survives, along with the one in Eritrea. Hopefully, things will change in the future.

For example, the USA seems to establish income tax treaties with more and more countries in order to reduce the secondary tax – sometimes, to even reduce it. Even so, you will still have to file tax returns in the USA if you hold this citizenship.

Problematic procedures​

Getting dual citizenship is not easy. Of course, if you have a big stash of money, you could probably buy it. Many countries will give you residence – and some will give you nationality – if you make significant investments.

Sometimes, the process is automatic – a child is born in that country. Other times, it can take years. The process is tedious and can get expensive – plus, it will require spending a particular amount of years in the new country.

Dual obligations​

Dual obligations will occur under certain circumstances. If you decide to get passports in politically stable countries, such issues are less likely to occur. Not all obligations are dual, but some are. For example, if you have citizenship in a country with mandatory military service, you will need to do it.

You will need to travel back and do it. The same rule applies for other similar duties that are mandatory. Back to the military duties, you could lose one of your nationalities if you fail to fulfill such requirements or if you end up fighting against it.

Employment limitations​

Last but not least, dual citizenship is often considered an advantage for business opportunities and employment. But on the same note, it could be a problem as well. If you need a job position with the government and this job requires access to classified information, it will be a bit sketchy.

You are entitled to that information, but you can also be considered a foreigner, so you may face refusal. You may not even be able to apply for such positions. People born into dual citizenship are less likely to encounter as many problems as those who sought it out.

Now, a bit of homework on potential countries out there will help you begin your research.

Best countries for dual citizenship

Some countries are better than others for a wide variety of reasons – here are some good examples.

New Zealand

New Zealand allows freedom of movement when it comes to Australia, but citizens can also travel freely in most countries out there. Further future geopolitical agreements may provide even more possibilities later on – besides, the country is one of the safest and most beautiful in the world.

Portugal

There are more ways to reach dual citizenship in Portugal – naturalization and investments are the most popular ones. What do you get there? Most importantly, you have civilized people and places where everyone speaks English, a great climate and unique cuisine. The passport is quite powerful as well.

Malta

Malta has always been considered a tax haven, but the country is also neutral and provides access to an excellent climate and lots of tourist attractions. There are incredibly good business opportunities in Malta. The country has a tax-friendly environment, and almost everyone speaks English.

Grenada

You can get a passport from Grenada within a few months only. The application can also include parents, grandparents, and siblings – not just yours, but also your partner's. The passport offers access to a tax-friendly legal field, but also to visa-free travel in plenty of countries – plus, the country is super safe.

Saint Kitts and Nevis

Believe it or not, Saint Kitts and Nevis runs the oldest program to provide citizenship by investment. Many countries have tried to imitate it – unsuccessfully, though. It takes a couple of months to get citizenship, and it allows access to more than 150 countries, including the European Union.

Easiest countries for dual citizenship​


If you are desperate to get a second nationality, here are some countries that can make it super easy.

Argentina

Once you get residence in Argentina, you can apply for citizenship within a couple of years only. The passport is powerful as well – you can travel without a visa in Europe, but you will not be able to go to the USA.

Paraguay

Paraguay is just as attractive – you can be a national within a couple of years only. Requirements for naturalization are quite mild too. Besides, your current nationality is irrelevant – it makes no difference where you come from.

Italy

Italy welcomes those whose ancestors were born in Italy. On the same note, you can qualify if you marry an Italian individual and live in the country for three years. EU citizens can apply after four years only – there are more options though.

Ireland

Ireland is similar to Italy. Irish ancestors will give you citizenship. If you are a foreigner, naturalization is probably the easiest way to do it. You need five years in Ireland – or three if you are married to an Irish citizen.

Dominica

What can be more exciting than citizenship in an actual paradise? A small investment of $100,000 will qualify you. Besides, you will also benefit from this investment – after all, it is business, right? You need some interviews and checks too.

Hardest countries for dual citizenship​


Some countries do not allow dual citizenship at all, so you may need to give up your current one. It is pretty obvious that no matter what you do, you will never be able to get a second nationality in one of these countries. Other countries are just as difficult to deal with.

  • North Korea – rules are not clear, but one thing is for sure. People are not given passports, but some travel documents should they need to go abroad. You will also need a visa to leave the country.
  • Vatican – the tiny state has some of the strictest rules on immigration. There are less than 1,000 people in the state, and about half of them have actual citizenship. Citizens' children are not entitled to citizenship.
  • Liechtenstein – the small size of this country means restrictions are high, as the government tries to prevent overpopulation. To do everything through naturalization, you will need 30 years in the country before you can apply.
  • Qatar – reuniting families or marrying a local will not help too much. People who want the Qatari citizenship will need to live in the country for 20 years before they can apply for it. Any other alternative is time-consuming.
  • China – despite having some clear rules, get ready to be rejected for all kinds of unusual reasons. China is super strict when it comes to citizenship, but you can find easier ways to get residency there.

Conclusion​

Bottom line, the dual citizenship is usually a blessing for most people out there. On the same note, it could be a nightmare for lots of other people as well. Assess the benefits and circumstances before deciding on the optimal country for your second nationality.
 
Last edited:

KDX

OffshoreCorpTalk Addict
Entrepreneur
I'd like to mention that due to the difficulty of getting "Chinese citizenship" most opt for the HKSAR route, where you will be eligible for permanent residence after 7 years of continuous residency in HK which also gives you the eligibility for the "HKSAR Passport" which means that you will become a PRC citizen with a right to abode in HKSAR, thus becoming a "Chinese citizen". Not sure if you can get both passports without relocating to the mainland though.

Also

"Some countries do not allow dual citizenship at all, so you may need to give up your current one. It is pretty obvious that no matter what you do, you will never be able to get a second nationality in one of these countries. "

This is on paper yes, but, there are many ways to attain dual nationality even if its technically not allowed.
For example, you are currently a Republic of A citizen. Republic of A (ROA) does not allow dual nationality and thus if you are granted nationality in another nation then you will no longer be a ROA national.

Now, this is what the law says but, how would they know if you got a new nationality? Well there's obviously telltale signs like you leaving your country for 5+ years but then again its very possible that you just have a long residency visa or permanent residency which is not citizenship. As long as you don't tell about it then you will likely not be caught. St Kitts even boasts about it not reporting anything to your country of origin.

Of course, the situation could be different. Lets think about a scenario like this:

You are currently a citizen of the Republic of B (A).
You are about to naturalize as a Republic of A citizen. A does NOT recognize dual nationality and you are required to renounce any other nationalities before finalizing the naturalization process.

There are a couple of ways to get around this.

1. You renounce your B citizenship but B wants to make sure you got your citizenship so you don't become stateless. You never tell B that you were able to gain your new citizenship thus the renouncement is nullified.

2. You renounce your B citizenship but after gaining A citizenship you "recover" it. This would work only if your country allows this. For example: if "B" was the USA, you would not be able to recover your citizenship.

3. You have more than 2 citizenships. You sacrifice one of your citizenships but retain the other ones. Maybe you would have a hard time convincing that you are not a citizen of your country of birth if you lived there all your life, might want to keep that in mind.

Also, if you go renew your passport at an embassy overseas, many countries will give you a form which has a little yes/no checkbox which reads "I hold nationality/citizenship from a state other than Republic of ABC". In this case you would have to lie in order to keep your other nationalities hidden. So maybe just go visit the country if you have to get a new passport and you probably wont get such forms.

Also, in Japan dual nationality is allowed in practice for those who are born dual nationals or who became Japanese nationals but did not have to renounce their citizenships (not sure if such scenario exists). There is a clause for the Ministry of Justice to demand you renounce your citizenships, but they've never done that.


Just throwing out all of my knowledge there. Don't take anything as facts because nothing is certain.
 

Golden Fleece

Entrepreneur

Paraguay is just as attractive – you can be a national within a couple of years only. Requirements for naturalization are quite mild too. Besides, your current nationality is irrelevant – it makes no difference where you come from.
This is the problem with offering generalized information. Having spoken to lawyers in Paraguay, I know that this is not true. The government gives preferential naturalization treatment to immigrants from western nations. If you come from the Middle East and much of Asia, you have virtually no chance of gaining citizenship in Paraguay. That is just how it works. Unlike Western nations, the country does not wish to import future problems. You must also speak Spanish, although you may slide by with a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish if a fixer helps you by using their connections. You must also use a lawyer, either directly or through a fixer, with political connections. That is absolutely essential. Many other lawyers will make promises, but they will not be able to keep those promises unless they have the proper connections. Years later, you will learn of their failure on your behalf.
 

James Spader

Forum Moderator
Staff member
. If you come from the Middle East and much of Asia, you have virtually no chance of gaining citizenship in Paraguay
Isn't that just the same as for anything else, I mean as soon as you come from such areas the trouble starts with European financial services and much more.

The information provided is meant to be used for information purpose only. An EYE OPENER if you want so. Many don't even know what the title is about, the legal part, the tax complications and whatever there may be of problems that have to be solved is up to each user to figure out. We don't offer legal or tax advise at OffshoreCorpTalk - it is all general information,

But thanks for the comments, keep them coming.
 

FPW

New member
2nd PP by investment isn't as glorious as it used to be, today while border crossing, you might land yourself into deep shithole if you don't speak the language of the 2nd PP!

You have either to get married or follow the 5-10 years rule to gain 2nd PP in most other countries.
But, if you're trying to minimize your taxes by dubious offshore adventures at the same time - good luck!
 
Last edited by a moderator:

bonox

Corporate Services
Silver Member
Mentor Group Gold
Business Angel
But, if you're trying to minimize your taxes by dubious offshore adventures at the same time - good luck!
all depends on how you look at it, skills, and if you are used to navigate in this underworld.
 

suzy

Corporate Services
Mentor Group Gold
Business Angel
I'd like to mention that due to the difficulty of getting "Chinese citizenship" most opt for the HKSAR route, where you will be eligible for permanent residence after 7 years of continuous residency in HK which also gives you the eligibility for the "HKSAR Passport" which means that you will become a PRC citizen with a right to abode in HKSAR, thus becoming a "Chinese citizen". Not sure if you can get both passports without relocating to the mainland though.
Thank you for the information, just what I was looking for thu&¤#
 
  • Like
Reactions: KDX

suzy

Corporate Services
Mentor Group Gold
Business Angel
Regardless where I research on such, before I go further I always check with a local lawyer or other professional.
 
  • Like
Reactions: KDX

KDX

OffshoreCorpTalk Addict
Entrepreneur
Regardless where I research on such, before I go further I always check with a local lawyer or other professional.
Looking at it now, I was a little wrong but I'm pretty sure the fundamentals are still right, with a permanent residency in HK for 7 years you have a way easier time naturalizing as a PRC citizen than you would if you resided in mainland china, although the political situation is volatile so I'm not sure if it will become harder. Keep us posted if you are able to get any info on this as I'm also curious on how people become "HKSAR citizens" nowadays

I'd like to mention that due to the difficulty of getting "Chinese citizenship" most opt for the HKSAR route, where you will be eligible for permanent residence after 7 years of continuous residency in HK which also gives you the eligibility for the "HKSAR Passport" which means that you will become a PRC citizen with a right to abode in HKSAR, thus becoming a "Chinese citizen". Not sure if you can get both passports without relocating to the mainland though.
* After 7 years of continuous permanent residency in HKSAR you are eligible for the HK permanent residency which will give very strong grounds for becoming a PRC citizen with a right to abode in HKSAR, which in turn gives you the eligibility for the HKSAR passport. I've heard of the PRC naturalization process being very short but I wouldn't count on it. But it's for sure way easier than naturalizing as a mainland resident as I've heard of people with a Chinese wife and kids + 10 years of residency getting rejected
 

uplana

Corporate Services
Mentor Group Gold
As I understand it, there is no need to give up your current citizenship just because you apply for a second citizenship, or did I understand it wrong?

Someone with more knowledge may be able to help?
 

Golden Fleece

Entrepreneur
As I understand it, there is no need to give up your current citizenship just because you apply for a second citizenship, or did I understand it wrong?

Someone with more knowledge may be able to help?
It is entirely contingent on the laws of your home country laws and the laws of your new country. Many countries allow dual citizenship. Many others do not. Some allow it by treaty with other nations (e.g., Paraguay). Some do not allow dual citizenship, but also do not enforce that restriction (e.g., Panama) -- although that could change.
 

KDX

OffshoreCorpTalk Addict
Entrepreneur
okay, so now I need to find a list and information about countries that allow dual citizenship.
It's very complex. Some countries may just say that you are NOT a dual citizen. But that doesn't matter.

The real question is, do both of your countries consider you as a citizen? Then you are a dual citizen. It doesn't matter if one of them doesn't recognize you as a dual citizenship as long as both of them consider you a citizen. You should actually avoid countries knowing you have dual citizenship, as that will be put on record and now if anything happens you may have to renounce it or etc.

Some countries (e.g. Thailand) require you to send a letter to your gov renouncing your citizenship, but that letter is meaningless to your own gov as they have their own procedure to renouncement. Therefore your new country will consider you as not a citizen of that country, but in reality you are a dual citizen and you get all the benefits of it.

As I mentioned in my post above, there are a lot of ways to avoid renouncement and in some countries you can recover your citizenship and you can claim that you were not able to naturalize etc. this way, both countries think you are only their citizen. As it should be.

multiple citizenship is a complex diplomatic thing and there's a lot more to it than just the recognition/legality of it. Happy to share any info if you want, I've researched the topic a bit.
 

Marc Rich

Active Member
As I understand it, there is no need to give up your current citizenship just because you apply for a second citizenship, or did I understand it wrong?

Someone with more knowledge may be able to help?
These countries that have the Citizenship by Investment programs will usually not alert the authorities in 1st citizenship country. That is how so many Chinese have Vanuatu or Dominica when it's VERY illegal for them to have a second passport.
 

KDX

OffshoreCorpTalk Addict
Entrepreneur
These countries that have the Citizenship by Investment programs will usually not alert the authorities in 1st citizenship country. That is how so many Chinese have Vanuatu or Dominica when it's VERY illegal for them to have a second passport.
I think this is the case with normal naturalization too. I know a guy from here who is native HK (PRC) and he has a second citizenship from naturalization. I've heard of lists that countries publish, but I don't know if most of them "alert" the previous country.
 

Latest Threads

Top