With the numerous benefits of acquiring a second passport or citizenship, the main question then becomes how to acquire it cheaply. However, the answer to this question will mainly depend on the reason for seeking a second citizenship. For example, if you are looking to take your investments to another country due to cut down on taxation, the definition of a cheap passport will differ from one just looking for somewhere else to retire and enjoy life. This means that each situation is different, and thus the prospective cost of obtaining a second passport or citizenship. While it may be straightforward and cheap to earn a second passport through options such as naturalization, marriage, or ancestry, other methods such as investment will cost you. However, by taking into account the options at your disposal, you can inexpensively obtain a second passport or citizenship.
Why you may need a second passport
The benefits of having a second passport are worth the time, money, and energy you will spend looking for it. A second passport will give you more freedom to travel, live, work, and invest in a number of countries. A second passport also ensures you and your family can have access to better life quality through work, education, and healthcare. Having the option to choose where to stay means you can also enjoy stability and a secure future for your family should the situation change in your country.
Consider your descent first
One of the easiest and fastest ways that may sometimes cost you almost nothing is getting a second passport through ancestry. The way it works is that some countries will allow individuals to access passports if they have descendants living in that country. However, the laws for obtaining passports through this channel may be different for various countries. Nonetheless, it is an option to take into consideration first.
Citizenship by residency
Citizenship by residency is also another cheaper way to gain citizenship without having to invest a lot of money. However, this does require that you spend some time in the country where you wish to apply for a second passport. Most of the time, it will involve applying for legal residency, which will then result in full citizenship after a stipulated amount of time. While residency rules may not mean spending all your time living full time, some countries will have requirements to be physically present for some given amount of time living there to prove your commitment.
Citizenship by investment
Obtaining a second passport or citizenship through investment in one of the fastest, easiest and safest ways. However, there is a misconception that it is only restricted to the rich. The truth is that most countries offering this option have made it attainable for those who are committed and willing to invest overseas. It is possible to earn a second passport or citizenship by investing only about $100,000 depending on the country you choose. On the other hand, you may find some countries with higher investment requirements, but the upside is that these investments yield much higher returns.
When deciding where to invest for citizenship, it is thus important to set realistic expectations of what you want to achieve and what it will cost you. It is further advisable to consider the various options available to ensure you get a good deal. This means looking at places where you can get the cheapest citizenship investment programs. When looking for areas where to invest, it is important to make a distinction between what it is costing you, and the benefits you gain from your investment. For example, you may be required to make an investment of about $100,000 in the form of a donation to the government. This means that you only get citizenship but the money is not recovered. On the other hand, if you consider investing in real estate, it may cost you upwards of $150,000, which also means you can recover some of your investments. To ascertain whether you are getting the cheapest deals, you will need to take into account some factors such as the cost, processing period, and expiry duration of your passport among others. While these will depend on where you are seeking second citizenship, here are some of the countries that offer relatively cheaper quality second passport or citizenship options.
Malta’s requirements for a Fast Track citizen program is either by donating 650,000 euros to the National Development and Social Fund, a minimum investment of 350,000 euros in real estate, or making a minimum investment of 150,000 euros in government bonds. If you are applying with your spouse, you will be required to make an additional donation of 25,000 euros. After making these investments, one can apply for naturalization after 12 months. It is a requirement to have spent at least half of the 12 months physically in Malta. One can also qualify for citizens by making a 320,000 real estate purchase, investing 250,000 euros in government bonds, and making a donation of 30,000 euros to the government. While the real estate and government bond investment may earn a return, the donation is an expense that you will not get back. In addition to its warm friendly weather, Malta has a relaxed taxation policy, which means your foreign income may qualify to be taxed at a flat rate of just 15%.
Cyprus requires one to invest a minimum of 300,000 euros on a new property or one approved for government development. One can apply for naturalization after seven years of residency, with the requirement being to have been physically in the country 12 months prior to applying for citizenship. A Cyprus passport allows travel to almost 173 countries and expires after 10 years.
c) St Kitts and Nevis
Established in 1984, the citizenship program is one of the oldest in the world. Applicants can earn a second passport or citizenship through investments or donations. A single applicant can contribute a minimum of $150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund, which grows to $195,000 for a family of up to four. $25,000 will be required for additional family dependents. One can also apply by investing at least $200,000 in real estate. St Kitts and Nevis passport is valid for 10 years and is renewable.