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Second Citizenship Laws from Around the World

Although some countries prohibit their citizens from obtaining a second citizenship, many allow dual citizenship, giving individuals the chance to gain nationality of two or more countries simultaneously.

 

With this in mind, we’ve decided to look at the citizenship laws of a handful of countries, including eligibility requirements for citizenship, to give you an overview of the opportunities available for you and your family. For citizens who choose to apply for a passport, we also discuss passport renewal requirements.

Citizenship Laws in Asia-Pacific

Bangladesh

Bangladesh allows dual citizenship under certain circumstances where the individual is not a citizen of Afghanistan, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, or Sri Lanka. A Bangladesh passport is valid for 10 years for those aged 18 to 55, or five years if you’re under 18 or over 55, letting holders visit around 40 destinations on a visa-free or visa-on-arrival basis. The country allows investors to acquire permanent residency status in Bangladesh, and citizenship of Bangladesh is available to those who invest a minimum of US$500,000.

New Zealand

New Zealand allows dual citizenship, but only where the individual’s other country of citizenship also allows dual citizenship.  New Zealand’s passport is valid for five years for under 16s, and for 10 years for those aged 16 and over, offering visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to around 185 destinations. There is no citizenship by investment scheme in the country.

Pakistan

Pakistan allows citizens over the age of 21 to hold dual citizenship of just 20 other countries, including Australia, Canada, France, New Zealand, the UK, and the US. However, such citizens are barred from serving in the military, holding various public offices, and taking some civil service jobs. A Pakistani passport is valid for between five to 10 years, letting holders travel on a visa-free or visa-on-arrival basis to over 30 countries and territories.

The Philippines

The Philippines recognises dual citizenship and Filipinos who get second citizenship will not lose their Philippine nationality. The country’s passport is valid for 10 years for adults, and five years for minors, and gives holders visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 65 destinations.

Russia

Dual citizenship is permitted in Russia, but dual nationals are required to inform the authorities of their status within 60 days of becoming a dual citizen. The Russian state will also consider the dual national a Russian citizen exclusively. Biometric Russian passports are valid for 10 years, while non-biometric ones expire after five. Overall, a Russian passport offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 115 countries and territories.

Singapore

The Government of Singapore doesn’t allow dual citizenship, meaning that those who register as citizens must renounce their foreign citizenships. Furthermore, those who become naturalised elsewhere after the age of 18 may be deprived of their Singaporean citizenship. Singapore passports must be renewed after five years, with holders gaining visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 190 destinations. Please note that Singapore doesn’t have a citizenship by investment scheme, but it does have a residence by investment programme.

Citizenship Laws in Americas

Antigua and Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda allows dual citizenship, enabling overseas nationals to obtain its citizenship and, if they wish, apply for an Antigua and Barbuda passport. Requiring renewal every five years, it lets holders travel to over 150 countries and territories on a visa-free or visa-on-arrival basis. The country’s citizenship by investment scheme allows eligible, reputable individuals who make a one-time contribution of at least US$100,000 (and pay a US$30,000 Government Fee) to gain Antigua and Barbuda citizenship. However, they must fulfil a travel requirement and a residence requirement of at least five days within five years of receiving citizenship.

Argentina

Argentina does allow dual citizenship, but dual citizens are recognised as exclusively Argentinian while they are in Argentina, so they must (with some exceptions) enter and leave the country on their Argentine passport. Unlike in most other nations, Argentine citizenship cannot be renounced and can only be revoked if obtained through criminal means. An Argentine passport must be renewed after five years for those under 18, or ten years for adults, and offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to approximately 170 countries and territories. Argentina only has a residency by investment scheme, not a citizenship by investment programme.

Dominica

Dominica allows dual citizenship. Upon obtaining citizenship of Dominica, one may choose to obtain a passport that is valid for ten years. Citizens of Dominica can travel to around 140 countries and territories on a visa-free or visa-on-arrival basis. There is no residence requirement under the country’s well-known Citizenship by Investment Programme, whether before, during, or after the process, and Dominica allows many family members (including siblings) to be included in an application for citizenship. The average processing time is three months from submission of an application.

Grenada

Known as The Spice Island, Grenada allows dual citizenship. Upon obtaining citizenship of Grenada, one may choose to apply for a passport that is valid for five years and offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to more than 140 countries and territories. The Caribbean country enables reputable individuals to obtain citizenship through its citizenship by investment scheme, which has a minimum contribution amount of US$150,000 for a single applicant, and no residency requirement.

Panama

Persons with birth-right citizenship of Panama may acquire a second citizenship. However, all naturalised citizens must take an oath to renounce their original citizenship. Panama’s Friendly Nations Visa grants permanent residency to nationals from 50 countries with which it has economic and professional ties, providing an alternative means of living in Panama. The country’s passport is valid for five years and provides visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 140 destinations.

St Kitts and Nevis

St Kitts and Nevis recognises dual citizenship. Anybody who meets the country’s stringent requirements may apply under the St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Programme to receive citizenship of St Kitts and Nevis, and if they choose to apply for one, a St Kitts and Nevis passport (which must be renewed every 10 years and offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 155 countries and territories). The dual island nation has the world’s oldest citizenship by investment programme. There are no travel or residence requirements under the Programme, so individuals need not visit the country before, during, or after the citizenship by investment process. What’s more, St Kitts and Nevis allows the inclusion of a wide range of family members in an application for citizenship.

St Lucia

St Lucia recognises dual citizenship. Under the St Lucia Citizenship by Investment Programme, anyone who meets the country’s requirements may obtain citizenship of St Lucia, and should they choose to apply for one, a St Lucia passport. This expires after five years and gives the holder visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to more than 145 countries and territories. The island’s citizenship by investment scheme has no residency requirement, with an average processing time of 90 days from submission of an application to approval in principle.

United States

The US Government recognises dual nationality. A US passport is valid for 10 years for those aged 16 and above, and for five years for minors under 16. It also lets individuals visit around 185 countries on a visa-free or visa-on-arrival basis. The US doesn’t have a citizenship by investment programme, but has a famous residence by investment programme known as the EB-5 Programme.

Citizenship Laws in EMEA

Armenia

Armenia’s citizenship laws are based primarily on the principle of jus sanguinis (right of blood, i.e. descent), though you can be naturalised if you meet certain requirements. In most cases, male dual citizens are required to serve in the military, unless exempt for reasons including health issues. An Armenian passport expires after 10 years, and offers visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to around 60 destinations.

Egypt

Under Egyptian law, dual citizenship is allowed but individuals must inform appropriate Egyptian officials. Holders of dual citizenship are prohibited from enrolling in military and police academies or being elected to Parliament. Egyptian nationals can travel to around 50 countries and territories on a visa-free or visa-on-arrival basis, and must renew their passport after seven years. The country approved its new citizenship law in 2019, which paved the way for investors to obtain citizenship of Egypt for a minimum investment of US$250,000.

Israel

Israel permits its citizens to hold dual or multiple citizenships, and all Jewish people who intend to live in Israel have the right to Israeli citizenship under Israel’s Law of Return. A dual national is not considered a foreign citizen under Israeli Security Service Law, and will therefore remain subject to mandatory military service. An Israeli passport offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 160 countries and territories and is valid for 10 years for adults and five years for those under 18. The country does not have a citizenship by investment programme.

Italy

Italy permits dual citizenship and anyone with an Italian ancestor born in Italy may be entitled to citizenship by descent. Those who own an Italian passport get visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to over 185 countries and territories, and must renew it every 10 years as an adult, every five years if aged between 3-17, and after three years if issued before the age of three. Italy does not have a citizenship by investment scheme, but it does have a residence by investment programme.

South Africa

The South African Government allows dual citizenship, but citizens above the age of 18 who wish to acquire a second citizenship must first apply to retain their South African nationality, or risk losing it. However, naturalised South African citizens cannot apply to keep their citizenship if they voluntarily obtain citizenship of another country. All dual citizens are also required to enter and leave the country on their South African passports. These are valid for 10 years for adults and five years for children, and give holders visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 100 countries and territories. There is no South Africa citizenship by investment scheme.

Sudan

Sudan allows dual citizenship, although owing to the ongoing conflict with South Sudan, citizens who take up South Sudanese nationality will lose their Sudanese citizenship. Expiring five years after issue, a Sudanese passport offers holders visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to around 40 countries and territories. Sudan does not have a citizenship by investment programme.

Syria

Syria recognises dual citizenship. Syrian nationals who wish to give up their Syrian citizenship upon obtaining citizenship of another country may only do so with the Government’s permission. A Syrian passport is ordinarily valid for six years, or just two for men about to undertake military service, and offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to only around 29 countries and territories.

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom allows dual citizenship, though citizens of British Overseas Territories may lose entitlement to register as British citizens if they take up another nationality. A UK passport is valid for five years for those under 18, and 10 years for anyone older, with British nationals able to visit around 185 countries and territories on a visa-free or visa-on-arrival basis. The UK doesn’t have a citizenship by investment scheme, though it does have a residence by investment programme.

If you are interested in acquiring a second citizenship through citizenship by investment you can contact us for a free consultation at [email protected]

Benefits of a Second Citizenship

Possessing a second citizenship offers more benefits than one might think, including global mobility, vast economic opportunities, family reunification, health benefits, improved personal security and much more.

BENEFITS OF SECOND CITIZENSHIP

How to get a Second Citizenship?

How to get a Second Citizenship?

The main ways to obtain a second citizenship are through: 

  • Marriage
  • Naturalisation
  • Birth
  • Descent (parents or grandparents)
  • Economic investment

Here at CS Global Partners, we help reputable investors gain a second citizenship  through citizenship by investment (CBI). In order to get a second citizenship, individuals must make a significant financial contribution to the nation in question, usually through a contribution to a government fund or a real estate investment.

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