Multiple Citizenships

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Multiple Citizenships

In the environments of the global executive, secondary citizenship has is value, not just in security, but in seeking opportunity.  The passport of a small nation, reduces your profile for kidnapping and ransom, and can allow one to travel more freely in some nations – such as Pakistan…   FYI, would you rather travel around Pakistan with a US passport or one from Ireland or St. Christopher and Nevis?  It also can provide the opportunity to reside in other countries, and give you a way to cross international borders if your primary passport is lost or stolen.

Most every country has a program offering citizenship or passports to individuals with a family history in that nation. In Ireland, persons with at least one Irish-born grandparent qualify for Irish citizenship and passport. Many countries allow spouses of citizens to apply for citizenship and passport, usually after a specified period of residence. In Austria, the ordinary 10-year period of residence necessary to qualify for a passport and citizenship is reduced to six years if you’re married to an Austrian citizen.

Your religion may also be a viable route to alternative citizenship. For instance, Jews who immigrate to Israel are entitled to Israeli citizenship and passport. Israel does have compulsory military service thus taking out Israeli citizenship may have other consequences for young adults.

In most countries, you can acquire citizenship following a period of prolonged residence. Among other countries – such as  Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, and the United States exchange residence rights for domestic investment. Eligibility also depends on your age, education, life skills, health, and other criteria. Your spouse and minor children can join you, but may be subject to a separate qualification process. In most cases, after you live in a country for three to ten years of continuous legal residence, you and the family members accompanying you can apply for citizenship and passport.

Residents of the overseas territories of some nations, notably the Netherlands and the United Kingdom, qualify for citizenship in the home country. For instance, individuals living in one of the Dutch Caribbean island territories for a period of five years or longer may qualify for a Dutch passport. To qualify, you must demonstrate good conduct and substantial integration, including oral and written fluency in the Dutch language.

But why wait!

A handful of countries do offer near “instant” citizenship in return for an economic contribution. The Commonwealth of Dominica and the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis are the only countries with an official, legislated, economic citizenship program – or – programe.

Economic citizenship in Dominica you may acquire citizenship and passport in return for a cash contribution. Total costs including all fees for a single applicant come to about US $105,000. Add US $25,000 if you need a passport for your spouse and up to two children under 18. Dominican passport holders can travel without a visa, or obtain a visa upon entry, to nearly 90 countries and territories.

In the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis, there are two ways to obtain economic citizenship. The most practical strategy is to make a direct contribution. Total costs including all fees for a single applicant under this option come to about US$225,000, or US$275,000 for an applicant with up to three dependents. Alternatively, you may purchase qualifying property worth a minimum of US$350,000. However, fees and taxes under this option are much higher than if you make a direct contribution. St. Kitts & Nevis passport holders can travel without a visa, or obtain a visa upon entry, to more than 120 countries, European Union Schengen member countries which includes nearly all of the 27 EU member nations.

Many countries have in their citizenship laws provisions allowing the government to offer citizenship and passport to individuals who provide a significant benefit to that country.  These countries do not offer “economic citizenship” as such. Rather, individuals with a genuine interest in that country and who are prepared to provide an outstanding service to it (including an investment) may be rewarded with citizenship and passport without requiring a period of prolonged residence or proof of fluency in the official language. Two countries in the European Union offer such an opportunity on an ongoing basis, with total costs starting at a minimum of US$600,000. Holders of an EU passport can live and work in any of the 27 members of the European Union.

In all cases, applicants must pass a strict vetting process that includes a comprehensive criminal background check.

NOTE:  Internet searches will reveal many offering to sell passports from countries that don’t have economic citizenship programs. In recent years, passports from Costa Rica, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Lithuania, and other countries have been offered. These offers are scams and generally involve illegally purchased or stolen documents. Securing a passport on this basis is illegal and will  get you deported if you are luck or arrested

A second citizenship is a tool and should be viewed as a tool that comes with important owner instructions especially if you value your primary citizenship.  Mark Nestmann not only can help with this, he will provide you with some guidance on what to do and what not to do.

For more information see Mark Nestmann at

http://www.nestmann.com/

let him know you read about 2nd citizenships in the Aegis Journal

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