We are restricted based on where we’re born. It isn’t fair but it is what it is.
Someone is born in Switzerland or Canada, and someone is born in Nigeria or Syria. Cards were dealt that way, and we have to play with them.
Well, the truth is that you can discard some cards and pull some new ones.
One of the most valuable things most people can do for themselves and their children is to secure a second (better) citizenship.
We are going to loosely group people in three categories.
Let’s back up for a moment and think of what do we get from citizenship.
We get the ability to live, work, vote, participate in the environment in a certain country. We also get the ability to travel visa-free.
How the world is changing
Visa-free travel is a big motivator, especially for us in Offshore citizen. We spend most of our time traveling so being able to do so without any restriction is a big deal for us!
It is estimated that by 2035 there will be one billion location independent workers, just like us here.
This means that we will see more and more people traveling and experiencing the world.
We will see more and more affluent people in Africa, India, China, etc.
As people become more affluent, naturally, they want to travel!
Good passport, Bad passport
So, what are those three groups of people that we already mentioned, that will want a second passport?
The first surprising group is Americans.
Why would an American want second citizenship, you wonder?
Isn’t it one of the best passports in the world?
The first reason, that comes up often is that they don’t want to deal with the IRS. America is unique because they have citizenship-based taxation.
Every other country in the world has residency-based taxation, which means that if you move away from that country you will not have to pay their taxes.
Americans living abroad still have to pay American taxes, plus taxes in a country where they live.
They have to comply with all the foreign bank account reporting rules, they need to deal with FATCA consequences, etc.
This means that as an American you can never be free from the US tax system.
All these are reasons why some Americans choose to renounce their citizenship. However, this is not easy nor simple because you always have to have citizenship. You need to have a plan B. This is why those people obtain second citizenship before they renounce the American one.
Plan B as an option
The second group of people is people who simply want a backup plan.
They don’t trust the government, they’re concerned about what might happen in the future. They’re worried about numerous scenarios: governments getting aggressive, war occurring, some sort of chaos, hyperinflation, imprisoning people, etc. (sounds like Communism, right?).
Those people don’t want to be part of all that, and they want another option if something happens.
People who are least likely to want second citizenship would be Canadians, Australians, Swiss, people from New Zealand, Danish, UK, etc. Those people have what we call good passports. This means that they can travel visa-free to many countries. If you have a lot of visa-free access with your passport, you don’t want another passport for those reasons. However, they might still want a backup.
The biggest thing for someone like me, who is from Canada and is not concerned about traveling, is having a plan B. The other thing that I want, is greater freedom. This is a huge value for me, and probably for you as well.
I would like to have more time in Europe. Now as a Canadian I can spend 3 months at the time in any other EU country that is not Bulgaria (I have permanent residency in Bulgaria where I can stay as much as I want). If I had an EU passport I wouldn’t need to be concerned about how much time am I spending anywhere in the EU.
You might be interested in our article Best time to get a second citizenship.
People from less developed countries
The third group of people is the ones who would mostly be interested and motivated to get a second passport.
These are people who come from countries that offer what we call bad passports. Bad passport doesn’t allow you to travel a lot, and you need to go through visa applications and screenings for almost everywhere you want to go.
For those people there are two main reasons: they want to live in a different country and they want a better travel document.
Opportunities in countries are not equal.
You might want a better and free education for your children, you might want better healthcare, you might want a safer place for you and your family. You might want a better job and business opportunities.
Who fits in this group would be anyone from Africa, Latin America, a large part of Asia, a large part of the Middle East. If you are from those parts of the world and have enough funds it’s smart to look into getting a second citizenship.
There are 10 or 12 official Citizenship by investment programs and lots of unofficial ones. If you’re interested in getting a second passport you can reach out to us and we will help you.
You can also read our article about Unofficial Citizenship by investment programs.