Dual Citizenship: Breaking Down Borders And Barriers

6 min read

Dual Citizenship: Breaking Down Borders And Barriers

As an expat, mobility plays a crucial role in your overall experience. In recent times, governments have imposed draconian restrictions on international and national travel, eroding basic fundamental rights such as freedom of movement or association.

These events have shed light on the importance of having a strong passport. A weak passport might keep you trapped within the confines of a country, while a strong one may guarantee the freedom of movement you need to build the life of your dreams.

Although a passport’s strength is often measured by the number of visa-free countries it gives access to or its strength, many of these benefits really stem from dual citizenship.

In today’s article, we’ll disclose the untapped potential of dual citizenships and why they play a crucial role in determining the strength of a passport. From unlocking economic opportunities to expanding travel freedom, this article reveals the surprising benefits of dual citizenship.

 

By making use of dual citizenship, you can enjoy more straightforward access to exclusive scholarship programs

By making use of dual citizenship, you can enjoy more straightforward access to exclusive scholarship programs

A PATHWAY TO EXPANDED OPPORTUNITIES

One of the obvious benefits of dual citizenship is the travel freedom it comes with. In other words, it’ll allow you to access more countries than you could with just one passport. Here’s how dual citizenship can open up new opportunities, experiences and advantages.

  • Visa-free Access: With dual citizenship, you’ll be able to access a wide range of countries and regions without visas. This simplifies paperwork and saves you lots of time and money. In other words, it’s a cost-effective and simple way of moving around the globe;

  • Bypassing Restrictions: Depending on the particular geopolitical situation, you may encounter many problems if you don’t have dual citizenship. However, you may be granted easier access to certain countries and jurisdictions with two citizenships. Dual citizenship often comes with benefits such as exemptions from entry bans.

By holding dual citizenship, you’ll have more leverage as an expat, enabling yourself with a wealth of countries you can relocate to, alongside other privileges that citizens with a single nationality don’t enjoy

 

Related content: Residency vs Citizenship – The Only Guide You'll Ever Need

 

GLOBAL CAREER PROSPECTS

Accessing multiple countries is a game-changer for expats, but that’s not everything. Dual citizenship also allows you to explore different industries and economies easily. Holding dual citizenship increases your professional mobility, allowing you to pursue new opportunities across borders. Whether you want to get a new job abroad, start a business or establish yourself in a different country, dual citizenship opens up these and more doors that may be harder to access without it.

Moreover, while people with just one citizenship may need to pay exorbitant visa fees and go through a ton of paperwork and confusing information, dual citizenship allows you to streamline many bureaucratic procedures, saving you time and money.

Plus, you’ll be able to access specialized work programs, tax benefits and more. With dual citizenship, you can expand your professional prospects, whether it’s pursuing an international career or expanding your business to other countries.

 

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Holding dual citizenship increases your professional mobility, allowing you to pursue new opportunities across borders

EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL ADVANCEMENTS

If you’ve read so far, you might have realized that dual citizenship grants you easy access to multiple countries. Imagine that you need to pursue studies abroad, but you’re not a citizen of that country. Then you’d have to deal with fierce competition as there’s a limited number of places for international students. However, if you’re a citizen of that country, you can secure a place in prestigious institutions.

For example, if you want to start a new life in Brazil and benefit from its ProUni scholarship, you must be a Brazilian citizen. This program offers full and partial scholarships in private higher institutions.

As you can tell, holding dual citizenship may open doors to a myriad of opportunities that are exclusively available to dual citizens. Various countries offer scholarships catered to citizens pursuing education in their home country or abroad. These scholarships may cover multiple expenses, including tuition fees, research grants, and living expenses.

By making use of dual citizenship, you can enjoy more straightforward access to exclusive scholarship programs, thus diminishing the cost of your education. The blend of preferential treatment and specialized funding can guarantee a smoother educational path filled with opportunities.

As a dual citizen, you’ll have easier access to highly competitive programs, which can determine your academic and professional trajectory

 

Related content: 10 Citizenship By Investment Programs Available Worldwide

 

Dual citizens may enjoy more favourable tax regimes and inheritance planning options that non-citizens cannot access

Dual citizens may enjoy more favourable tax regimes and inheritance planning options that non-citizens cannot access

FAMILY BENEFITS

Many relationships and marriages are complex because no party holds dual citizenship. However, with it, families can smoothly come together.

In fact, dual citizenship plays a major role in simplifying and strengthening international marriages and partnerships. Both partners may eliminate many complexities and hassles related to immigration processes, residency permits and visas. This grants couples leverage to freely live and work in any of the countries without the restrictions non-citizens often need to deal with.

For example, suppose a Spanish citizen marries a Colombian. In that case, he can become a Colombian citizen, too, thus granting themselves the freedom to reside in Colombia without the need to deal with lengthy paperwork.

Aside from simplified paperwork procedures, dual citizenship provides unconventional advantages in terms of inheritance. Dual citizens may enjoy more favourable tax regimes and inheritance planning options that non-citizens cannot access. For example, if you hold Italian citizenship, by law, your closest family members (mainly spouses and kids) will get part of your assets. This is known as forced heirship, which could help you preserve a great deal of your wealth within your family.  

On top of preserving your assets and passing them on to your kids or spouse, dual citizenship helps you to keep a strong connection with your culture and roots, ensuring your values and traditions are instilled in your family’s next generations.

 

Related content: Obtaining Citizenship Under The Mercosur Agreement

 

Dual citizenship helps you to keep a strong connection with your culture and roots

Dual citizenship helps you to keep a strong connection with your culture and roots

HOW TO GET A DUAL CITIZENSHIP

In this article, we’ve discussed some of the benefits dual citizenship entails. Other advantages of holding dual citizenship are political rights and access to affordable healthcare. All these benefits are excellent, but now you’ll know some of the different routes to get dual citizenship.

  • Marriage: Some countries allow foreigners to obtain citizenship by marrying a national. The previous example was a Spanish citizen who married a Colombian, so he got Colombian nationality. Other countries that offer this are Portugal, Mexico, and Poland, among others. Note that certain countries might ask for a language proficiency level, residency requirements or a period of marriage before applying;

  • Investment: Also known as citizenship-by-investment (CBI) programs, these offer foreigners the ability to become a citizen of the country by investing in Real Estate, bonds, or starting a business. The investment requirements vary from country to country, so it’s essential to read the CBI regulations to choose the right thing to invest in. My favourite investment program at the moment is St. Kitts and Nevis;

  • Military Service: upon completion of service in a country's military, a foreign may get the chance to become a citizen, potentially holding dual nationality. This route is not easy, and only a few countries do it. Some examples are the US and France;

  • Direct Lineage (AKA Descent or Ancestry): This pathway streamlines the process of acquiring a second citizenship if you’ve got parents or grandparents from that country. You might need to hand in birth certificates or DNA tests. Of all routes to dual citizenship, this one may be one of the easiest and cheapest—for example, some EU countries’ CBD program fee costs under €300 ($337 USD);

  • Adoption: When a couple adopts a foreign kid, not only are they the legal and permanent parents, but their kid is also eligible for their nationality. Countries like the US, France, Brazil, Spain and the UK allow adopted kids to become citizens. This could grant an adopted kid double citizenship if their country of birth allows it;

  • Naturalization: Another route to dual citizenship is through the process of naturalization. This entails becoming a citizen of a country by fulfilling specific criteria, such as meeting residency and language requirements, demonstrating an understanding of the country's history, culture, and government, and successfully passing citizenship examinations. For example, EU countries like Spain, Portugal and Belgium offer relatively simple ways to become citizens by naturalization;

  • Special Talent or Contribution: In select countries, individuals who possess extraordinary talents, exceptional skills or have made significant contributions in areas such as arts, sciences, engineering, or sports may have the opportunity to obtain dual citizenship. These countries recognize and appreciate the remarkable abilities and achievements of individuals and, as a result, extend the privilege of dual citizenship to those who meet their specific criteria. Some such countries include the UK, Germany and New Zealand.

According to your circumstances, you may prefer one route over the others. If you’re a high-net-worth individual, you might prefer to invest a large amount of money to get your new citizenship quickly. But if you’ve got a spouse from a particular country, you may be eligible for citizenship by marriage.

 

Related article: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency

 

Naturalization is another route to dual citizenship

Naturalization is another route to dual citizenship

CONCLUSION

In conclusion, dual citizenship offers a multitude of advantages that can significantly enhance your life as an expat. From expanded travel opportunities and global career prospects to access to prestigious educational institutions and simplified family arrangements, dual citizenship provides a pathway to a world of possibilities. Whether seeking greater mobility, professional growth, or personal connections, acquiring a second passport can be a game-changer.

Don't miss out on the untapped potential of dual citizenship. Take the next step towards securing your future and unlocking new opportunities by exploring the various pathways to dual citizenship discussed in this article. With each pathway catering to different circumstances, whether through marriage, investment, military service, direct lineage, adoption, or special talents and contributions, there is certainly a route that suits your unique situation.

I’ve been helping clients get a second passport and secure their new lives abroad for multiple years. Contact me, and let’s make a second passport a reality

 

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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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