There are many reasons why people choose to retire to a different country. A foreign country may offer a better climate, a lower cost of living – something that may be important for those with limited retirement funds – or they may have fallen in love with it upon visiting.
In the UK, the BBC estimated that 5.5 million British people live permanently abroad – that is almost one in 10 of the country’s population. With some of the top destinations being Australia, Spain and France.
For someone planning to settle down permanently in another country, it is more convenient to become a citizen of that country because it can simplify matters such as opening a bank account or owning property. Whether one may choose to attain dual citizenship and obtain a second passport if their own country allows, some opt to drop their native citizenship altogether and call their new country home.
Factors to consider in terms of new citizenship and a second passport are visa-free travel, personal security and financial freedom such as the ability to open a bank account or establish a business. There is also the question of whether a retirement destination is welcoming to expats who wish to become citizens. It is relatively easy to obtain citizenship in the following five countries.
Ireland: Jus Sanguinis
One of the easiest ways to gain second citizenship is through ancestry in a country that offers jus sanguinis citizenship, or citizenship through the blood of ancestors.
In Ireland, it’s simple to get dual citizenship if one’s family is from the country. If a grandparent was born in Ireland, one is entitled to Irish citizenship by applying through the Foreign Birth Register.
Irish citizenship confers the right to live or work in EEA and EU member countries. One can live in the country for 280 days per two years before becoming a tax resident.
The ease and versatility of citizenship in Ireland is why the country has over 14 million passports in circulation despite having a population of just four million.
Otherwise, a person can qualify to become a naturalized citizen of Ireland by living there for one year, plus four years of cumulative residency over the eight years preceding the one year.
Canada: A Path Through Immigration
Canada also offers a simple path to citizenship. To be eligible for Canadian citizenship, one must have permanent resident status and have lived in Canada for 1,095 days in the five years before the date the application was signed.
One must also meet personal income tax filing obligations in three tax years that are within the five years before applying for citizenship.
Lastly, knowledge of Canada is important to your application of citizenship. In addition to being able to speak the native tongue of either English or French, one must take a test to demonstrate knowledge of the country’s history, values, institutions, and rights.
The Caribbean: Citizenship by Investment
The Caribbean island of Dominica and its neighbour St Kitts and Nevis offer citizenship by investment options that are both relatively inexpensive for high–net–worth–individuals and come with an array of perks. Both nations also allow mobility to the world’s major vacation spots and business hubs.
In order to assure the second citizenship in these countries, an investment of $150,000 to $200,000, plus fees can grant an individual and their family a secure future.
Individuals are not permitted to submit a request directly to the Citizenship by Investment Unit. Instead, for a fee, they are represented by authorised agents. The agent helps one prepare documentation and correctly fill out all forms.
The citizenship application process can take between 2 to 3 months and after acceptance, the investor can apply to receive a Dominican passport.
Israel: The Right of Return
In some cases, one’s religious affiliation can make them eligible to acquire citizenship. That’s the case with Israel’s Law of Return, which gives every Jewish person the “right to aliyah,” or the right to immigrate to Israel.
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, any Jewish person can move to Israel and become a citizen.
Otherwise, one can acquire Israeli citizenship through naturalization. If one has lived in Israel for three years out of the five years before applying, given up another citizenship in hopes of becoming an Israeli citizen, and plan to reside in Israel permanently.
An individual country offering of temperature to one’s liking, a stable political leadership, the best expansion of visa-free travel and banking facilitated to one’s economic needs, are all factors to consider before applying for a second passport. By thoroughly investigating a range of options, one can find the right second home and gain security and flexibility in retirement.