Obtaining a second citizenship: advantages and disadvantages

Residence permit


Obtaining a second citizenship: advantages and disadvantages

Today, obtaining a second citizenship is in demand among foreigners. Such a step entails both advantages and disadvantages. Learn more about the pros and cons of getting a second passport

Order a legal consultation from a local specialist in visa and migration issues
Order a legal consultation from a local specialist in visa and migration issues

Obtaining a second citizenship for a bipatriate and his business certainly has a number of advantages, but also certain disadvantages.

The procedure for obtaining a second passport is completely new, even 50 years ago it was believed that a person could be a citizen of only one country, and the concept of a second citizenship was called "absolute absurdity".

However, in the 80s of the 20th century, it became possible to obtain a second citizenship by investment. From that moment on, the number of people applying for dual citizenship began to gradually grow, as did the number of offers from different countries of the world.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of second citizenship?

Family ties

- Advantages offered by a second passport

Most states that allow dual citizenship allow holders to pass it on through inheritance. Thanks to which children whose parents are citizens of different countries can receive the benefits of both citizenships. Also, programs for registration of citizenship by investment allow the investor to obtain new passports for himself and his family members.

- Disadvantages of dual citizenship

When registering a second citizenship, an investor can add his family to the application: wife, children, parents, grandparents, and even in some cases, brothers and sisters. However, this can be done only with an additional payment. The amount is usually quite affordable.


- Advantages offered by a second passport

Some countries, such as the Caribbean countries, offer tax benefits to their residents, but it is much easier for citizens of the country to get them. Tax benefits generally depend on the country in which a person obtains a second citizenship. Also, the second passport allows you to renounce the citizenship of a country in which income tax must be paid regardless of the place of residence and duration of absence from the homeland (USA, Eritrea).

- Cons

In most countries, in order to take advantage of tax benefits, it is necessary to live in the state for most of the calendar year.

Visa restrictions

- Advantages offered by a second passport

Most people who decide to get a second passport consider its main advantage to be the ability to simplify travel by removing visa restrictions. The number of visa-free destinations depends on the country in which the second citizenship will be obtained. An additional advantage of second citizenship is the ability to legally use two passports, each of which can be used to obtain visas if necessary.

- Possible difficulties when crossing borders

The owner of the second citizenship may face difficulties when crossing the border. For example, every US citizen, even if he has another citizenship, must use an American passport to enter and leave the country. Similar restrictions also exist in other countries. Therefore, holders of second citizenship often have to build their route taking these features into account.

Would you like to receive an answer from an experienced lawyer? Order legal advice from a local specialist in visa and migration issues. To receive the service, select the country you are interested in and your citizenship.

Travel safety

- Advantages
The more nationalities a traveler has, the more consulates/embassies around the world you can turn to for help in a difficult situation.
- Disadvantages
In certain regions, holders of second citizenships can be targeted by terrorists and taken hostage. Therefore, we advise you to carefully use such a document as an identity card when traveling.

Military Service

- Advantages offered by a second passport
With a second passport, one can legally get rid of the status of conscript in the historical homeland
- Disadvantages of dual citizenship
The country in which the second passport will be obtained may require military service. Also, for example, a US citizen who has a second passport may lose his US citizenship if the armed forces of the country of the second citizenship participate in a war against the United States.

Medicine, employment and education

- Advantages of dual citizenship
The holder of two or more citizenships can use educational and health care facilities, and also has the right to work freely in his historical homeland and in the new state of citizenship.
- Disadvantages
New civil obligations, for example, to use the health care system, will probably have to pay deductions to the social insurance fund of each country.

Political system

- Advantages offered by a second passport
Avoids political instability and bureaucracy. If the country of residence faces political instability, a second citizenship will allow you to quickly move (with loved ones) to a more peaceful state and move assets there. An absolute advantage is that in a new country, a bipatriate will be able to participate in political life, vote in local elections and hold government positions.
- Disadvantages of dual citizenship
Dual citizenship can close access to a political career. In some countries, bipatris do not have the right to hold public positions. They also have additional political obligations. However, it is worth noting that individuals who have acquired dual citizenship at birth (for example, thanks to parents with passports of different states) tend to face fewer problems and restrictions in this area than those who acquire citizenship in another way. Also, a very important minus is that in certain states, citizens are obliged to participate in political life. For example, in Turkey and Egypt, non-appearance at the elections is punishable by a fine or criminal prosecution with the possibility of imprisonment.
Banking system and investments
- Advantages of a second passport
Investment opportunities are expanding, and it is also possible to open bank accounts in several countries.
- Cons
Before opening an account in a new country, proof of connection with the host country may be required, for example, a tax residency certificate, utility bills at a local address, or other documents.

Real estate transactions

- Advantages of second citizenship
Certain countries grant the right to register real estate as ownership only to citizens. Having a passport in one of these countries gives you the full right to own real estate in accordance with local laws and regulations.
- Disadvantages of dual citizenship
A bipatriate may have difficulties paying taxes on real estate in several countries.

Geographical diversification of assets and financial privacy

- Advantages offered by a second passport
Second citizenship allows you to place capital and conduct business in different countries. The main advantage of such internationalization is risk diversification. An additional plus is increased financial privacy through the use of foreign accounts, trusts and other instruments.
- Disadvantages of dual citizenship
Understanding the peculiarities of the financial system of a new country can be quite difficult without experts.


- Advantages of dual citizenship
In the case of a politically motivated arrest or unfair trial, a bipatriate can avoid the restriction when states refuse to extradite their citizens.
- Disadvantages
Obtaining a second citizenship is a relatively long process, so it is necessary to take care of its registration in advance if you experience possible problems with the judicial system of the country of residence.

Confidentiality and prospects of loss of second citizenship

- Advantages
Obtaining citizenship is a confidential process, so if a bipatriate's country of origin prohibits dual citizenship, its officials will not be able to find out. Also, the governments of some countries around the world are actively promoting the idea of dual citizenship.
- Disadvantages
It is possible to lose dual citizenship as a result of legislative changes, changes in the foreign policy of the historical or new homeland, provoked, for example, by a military conflict. Also, the second citizenship can be lost by showing carelessness, if one of the countries prohibits multipatriism.

Advantages and disadvantages of different ways of obtaining citizenship

For a more detailed analysis, it is necessary to consider the advantages and disadvantages of each of the ways of obtaining citizenship.

Citizenship in exchange for investment

Undoubtedly, the main advantage of citizenship by investment is the ability to get a second passport quickly and easily, sometimes even remotely. For example, the economic citizenship of Vanuatu or St. Kitts and Nevis is issued in one and a half to two months without the personal presence of the investor. Compared to citizenship based on naturalization, where status registration takes from two to twenty years and involves living for a significant part of each year in the host country, this is a very significant plus.
Disadvantages of citizenship in exchange for investment include its high cost, usually hundreds of thousands of dollars. Also, the registration procedure requires the payment of additional fees. In general, it is necessary to pay about $1,000,000 for EU citizenship. Also, quite often countries have to close programs, because criticism of these processes is growing in the world. The governments of the countries are accused of insufficiently detailed verification of applicants for compliance with the current legislation on the fight against money laundering and terrorist financing.

Accelerated naturalization

There are several ways to speed up naturalization, for example, marrying a citizen of the country, confirming the presence of relatives who are citizens of the country, or serving a foreigner in the local army.
However, this method has a number of disadvantages: if the marriage turns out to be fictitious, citizenship can easily be lost. Also, in some countries, fictitious marriages are even criminally liable. Obtaining a second passport through proof of origin can be quite difficult and time-consuming. Countries that offer citizenship for military service require recruits to pass numerous tests and are sometimes sent to serve in hot spots.

Citizenship by naturalization
The procedure for obtaining citizenship through naturalization involves many years of residence in the host country. Thanks to this, you can learn more about the culture of the new state, learn the language and integrate. This allows you to revise your views on life and create new business connections with businessmen from other countries. The disadvantages are that the naturalization process is complicated, and a positive result is not 100% guaranteed. You will have to spend a lot of effort and time on settling various formalities and numerous legal procedures, additionally learning a new language. Sometimes the authorities can reject the application without explaining the reasons.

So, getting a second citizenship usually has many advantages, and the disadvantages rarely outweigh them.

Recommended articles

1 min

Popular Digital Travel Credential: Croatia and Finland to start testing digital passports

Digital Travel Credential: Croatia and Finland to start testing digital passports

Digital Travel Credentials (DTC) is an annual pilot project of Finland and Croatia, which involves testing digital passports. Find out more about what this system is and when it will work at the borders of air travel

17 Feb. 2023

More details

1 min

Travels Capitals of gourmets: cities of the world with the most delicious street food

Capitals of gourmets: cities of the world with the most delicious street food

National cuisine is the business card of every country. The greatest charm and color is always transmitted through street food, because local residents cook according to their own unique recipes and with great love. Learn more about the top cities in the world with the tastiest street food

18 Feb. 2023

More details

1 min

Expats Moving to the USA: Entry Rules and Legal Ways to Immigrate to America

Moving to the USA: Entry Rules and Legal Ways to Immigrate to America

The USA is a dream country for the life of many foreigners. When moving here, immigrants usually aim to live there for many years. However, there must be legal grounds for this. Learn more about the rules for legal entry and stay in the USA in 2023

19 Feb. 2023

More details

1 min

Popular Business in Turkey: the number of enterprises with foreign capital increased to a record in 2022

Business in Turkey: the number of enterprises with foreign capital increased to a record in 2022

The number of enterprises with foreign capital in Turkey increased significantly in 2022. Find out in more detail which countries' citizens open a business in Turkey, which industries and locations are chosen by foreign investors and features of business registration in the country

20 Feb. 2023

More details