If you are anything like us, you’re always interested in the loopholes and tricks that can make both your personal and professional life easier.
It is indeed a good feeling when you manage to navigate the system and get the things that others can not get. Believe it or not, there are some shortcuts even when it comes to obtaining second citizenship!
How to get citizenship in another country?
There are a few ways of getting the citizenship of a foreign country.
The most common one is naturalization, and lots of people that got second citizenship got it by naturalization. So how do you get naturalized in a foreign country?
Firstly, you move there, then you live there a certain number of years – how many years you need to live there varies from country to country. It generally goes anywhere from 5-20 years, sometimes less if you’re married to someone who is already a citizen. Certain countries don’t have citizenship by naturalization and you will not get it no matter how long you live there.
So, as you can see this is a lengthy and hard process.
In order to even move to a foreign country, you need to prepare lots of documents and paperwork, and go through lots of tests. Getting citizenship is another level of all that. You need to live in a country for lots of years, and then you might be able to apply. On top of this, you might need to prove good local language skills and knowledge of their history.
The second alternative, as you already know if you follow our site is what we call Citizenship by Investment programs. In most cases, this means that you need to donate money in order to buy a passport quickly. In this case, you will be able to get a passport in a much shorter time- anywhere from 3 months to a year, depending on a country.
You have to be aware that in this type of program you will be spending lots of money or simply giving it away. Even if you go through the property purchase path that property will be highly inflated in price. If they are giving you a passport, can you really blame them for charging that much extra?
In the world of Citizenship by investments, there are around 10 major official programs. Most of those are well known.
Famous EU programs are Cyprus and Malta, they are also the priciest programs in the world and the only official EU passports that you can get this way.
Unofficial Citizenship by investment – faster path to EU citizenship?
There are a few countries that offer similar things to Citizenship by investment, unofficially.
You will be able to get real citizenship and passport, of course, but these programs are not open to the public and they are not advertised.
In this case, you will qualify on some basis: either by ancestry or by extraordinary talent or skill, or the ability to potentially improve the country.
How does this work?
In lots of countries, there are provisions of law or people in power who can make it happen.
You probably heard of athletes getting citizenship in another country. Lots of countries are open about giving citizenship to sports players, so they can compete and represent that country. This is a nice gap in the system.
There are similar opportunities for scientists, artists, business people that made a big impact in the country, etc.
Of course, this doesn’t mean that it is easy to get it, but it is certainly possible. You can’t simply go and apply on this basis, it usually involves certain connections in the government.
There are some EU countries where it is possible to get citizenship using this gap in the system. If you are interested in learning more about it, please reach out to us.
Impossible citizenship to get
UAE is a very common example when people talk about impossible citizenships to obtain. You can be born and live in this country for 20 years, and you will still not be able to get it. Those are their rules – they simply don’t give citizenship to foreigners, period.
However, the ruler of the country has almost limitless power, and if he decides to give citizenship to someone that is entirely possible.
This is just one example of gaps in the system when it comes to citizenship. There are numerous cases where the seemingly impossible is made possible with the right connections.
More realistic examples in Eastern Europe
Serbia is a country that doesn’t officially offer citizenship by investment, however, it is possible to get it if you are significant enough. For example, foreign investors who brought lots of money in the country and employed local people were given so-called ‘’honor citizenships’’ and a Serbian passport.
A similar thing existed in Montenegro, long before they introduced their citizenship by investment program.
Why you should consider unofficial programs?
We are big fans of unofficial programs. They are quicker and easier than the official ones.
Sometimes those programs are a lot cheaper than the official ones.
By the time you do donations in the official program and pay all the fees, for the cheapest citizenship by investment programs you’ll be spending at least 120 to 130 000 USD. And this is for the cheapest Caribbean ones, whose passports will unfortunately not get you really far. As you probably know EU official programs will cost you much, much more!
Well, we can offer you the unofficial programs that will not break your bank. They will be even cheaper than those most affordable official ones.
You will be able to save money, and still gain access to the EU.
It’s important to note that most of those Caribbean programs are well known around the world. Because of that they, unfortunately, got a bad name when it comes to banking and doing business around the world.
The perfect example of this is Dominica. They had this program for many years, and it’s well known that they sell passports. Well, if you have a Dominican passport and you walk into Swiss bank chances are they will ask you for your other passport. If you have a passport from one of these unofficial programs they will not ask. Why? Because they will not know that you purchased a second passport.
Unofficial programs will sometimes get you options that you will not be able to get otherwise.
It is very important to be aware that these programs come and go. They are not always available.
You can read more about this in our article Best time to get a second citizenship.
We are familiar that back at the time it was cheap and easy to get citizenship in Bulgaria. Today this is not an option anymore. The doors closed and the opportunity is gone.
It is important to note that this is not an easy pass for criminals. They do thrill due diligence even if you apply for unofficial programs. In the case of Bulgaria, some Russian oligarchs with criminal past managed to get citizenship but it was taken away from them when the system got shut down.
Let’s say that you are a professional from a non-EU country living on a budget. This might the perfect option for you. You want to move to the EU but can’t afford 650 000 EUR for Maltese passport.
You maybe want second citizenship to get out of your country, your passport is horrible and is not letting you travel as much as you would want.
Whatever your situation might be we are able to help. Reach out to us, tell us your situation and we will tell you all we know about the official and unofficial programs for citizenship.
You can also check out this article Why should you consider a second citizenship