For many, holding a second passport is still a foreign concept, clouded by misconceptions and fears. Most people live out their lives with one passport and the assumption that getting another is an exhausting process with no certain results. Truth be told, with all the information accessible to us, fears still cloud the world of second passports. Let’s look at some of the most common misconceptions second passports, and the reality behind them.
Misconception #1: A person must renounce their original citizenship to get a second one
This is a very important misconception to address. However, it is a complicated one.
Dual or multiple citizenship, which refers to holding two or more citizenships at the same time, is a very common occurrence throughout the globe. A lot of countries allow their citizens to acquire a second or even a third citizenship without needing to renounce their original citizenship.
However, some other countries do not permit dual citizenship, and those who want to obtain a second passport must renounce their original one. And in some cases, people will hold the citizenship of a country that does allow dual citizenship but will qualify for the citizenship of a country that does not.
For example, a Turkish person may qualify for citizenship in Singapore after residing for six years in the country. Turkey does allow dual citizenship, so it does not require him to renounce his original citizenship, but Singapore does not allow it, so to become a Singapore citizen, he must revoke his Turkish status.
There are also some countries that do not allow dual citizenship with specific nationalities. This, however, is a very rare case and does not happen often.
However, going back to the misconception, all citizenship by investment programs operate in countries that allow dual citizenship, and they do not require anyone who wants to get a second passport from these countries to renounce their original citizenship.
Misconception #2: Second passports are difficult to get
Another very common misconception is that getting a second passport is a hassle that requires spending a decade or so, living abroad. Truth is, yes, people can obtain citizenship by residing in a foreign country for a certain period but it’s not always the case.
Many people can qualify for citizenship by descent if they have a clear line of lineage in a country that grants citizenship to the descendants of its citizens, or by marriage. But the requirements and regulations differ from one country to the next.
But the simplest and fastest way is by investment. There is no residency requirement to qualify for many programs, nor is there a multi-tiered exam; a straightforward process that can be completed in as little as two months.
Misconception #3: Passports obtained through investment cannot be renewed
Those who get a second passport through a Citizenship by Investment Program own it for life. Many assume that getting a passport through investment only provides a person with a travel document that eventually expires and cannot be renewed. This is entirely false.
Citizenship by investment programs grant successful applicants a citizenship certification as well as a passport, meaning they become full-fledged citizens with all the rights of naturalised citizens. They can renew their passports indefinitely, pass them down to future generations, and issue any other document that other citizens can.
Misconception #4: Citizenship by investment passports have a specific stamp, design, or color
Many assume that an immigration officer at an airport can tell if the passport they’ve been handed is one obtained through citizenship by investment because of a small clue on the passport, such as a small-lettered phrase, specific stamp, or sometimes a different color. This, of course, is false.
Once a citizenship by investment program approves an applicant, the government issues a passport from a civil service office the same way it would for a naturalised citizen. The passport has the same color, same serial number configuration, and no extra hidden marks or clues indicating it was obtained through investment.
Citizenship by investment programs require that the naturalisation law of any country be modified to include an investment route, meaning that applicants to the program fall under the same category of those born into citizenship or those that obtain it through residence or marriage.
It is also important to note that citizenship by investment passports are not gold coloured. This falsehood mainly stems from residency by investment programs being referred to as golden visas. The media picked up on this and started referring to passports obtained through citizenship as golden passports, and then people started assuming they were gold-coloured.
Misconception #5: Second passports can easily be revoked
One massive misconception regarding citizenship by investment is that a country can revoke a passport of an economic citizen (one who got it by investment) easily and for little or no reason. Or that the laws may change and render economic citizenships unlawful, and the government will then revoke these citizens’ passports. This is remarkably untrue.
The act of revoking a citizenship is a complex one that falls under constitutional law. Taking away a person’s status as a citizen is one of the most difficult tasks a government can undergo. And it must be supported by an immense reason that can withstand any legal scrutiny.
During our interview with the CEO of the St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program, Les Khan, he made note that citizenship can be revoked for any one of these 3 reasons:
- If the person was untruthful on the application.
- If they were involved in criminal activity.
- If they became a reputational risk for the country.
So no, second passports cannot be easily revoked.
Discover The Most Common Misconceptions About Second Passports In This Video
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Savory & Partners is an accredited agent for multiple governments where citizenship by investment is offered. Founded in 1797, the agency has evolved from pharmaceuticals to family assets and legacy protection through second citizenship and residency. The company’s professional, multinational staff is made up of expert advisors who have guided thousands of clients, including many North African investors, on their journey to find the most suitable CBI program for them. The Savory & Partners team will be happy to answer your enquiries in English, Arabic, Farsi, French and Spanish.
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