Getting a second passport
Being a citizen in a country means in practice you have that nationality.
Legally and technically, there are exceptions and citizenship/nationality are not fully the same, but the words can be used interchangeably for our purposes here.
For example, if you are a citizen of America, you are an American, meaning you have that nationality.
Citizenship usually endows a lot of rights.
You have the right to reside in a country and go back there however much you want (unless the government imposes restrictions due to a pandemic, of course).
You can use all public facilities, avail health care (if applicable in your country), vote, join their army, run for public office, and so on.
A rule of thumb of having international Bases is that you should not live where you have a passport, because being a citizen ánd a resident of a country often comes with plenty of obligations.
If you are a citizen and live in that country, you are a subject of that country, a minion, a peon.
This means that they can, for example, stop you from leaving that country.
The government can also force you to vote (or pay a fine), enforce heavy taxes, limit your source of income, in some cases even draft you into their army, and so on.
You should set up your Citizenship Base in at least 2 countries – but you should ideally not live in those countries.
Having a second and third passport ensures that you will always have somewhere to go even if your primary citizenship or residence runs into trouble.
Ideally, you should be a citizen of tax free countries, so you do not have to pay taxes on your income that you make while you do not live there.
Fortunately, this is rarely the case, and out of all the Western countries, only Americans are in a very bad position concerning this issue.
The United States, land of the “free”, is one of the very few countries in the world where citizens have to keep paying taxes even if they do not live there anymore.
Once you have citizenship in a few other countries, you should seriously consider renouncing your American citizenship. Those taxes can really add up.
Having citizenship in one nation often means you have free (or at least easier) access to other countries where it has an agreement with.
How to get citizenship ?
Becoming a citizen is usually a very lengthy and often costly affair.
In many cases, citizenship is only possible for residents who have been living in that country for X amount of years.
This is called naturalization, and is an option in most countries.
- Argentina and Peru (2 years)
- Canada, Ecuador and Israel (3 years)
- A whole bunch of countries where it’s possible after 5+ years, such as Barbados, Chile, Fiji, Thailand, Uruguay, Malta and Japan
If you have a couple of hundred thousand dollars to spare, you can also just purchase a passport in countries such as Cyprus, Malta and Vanuatu.
There are other specific scenarios where countries would just grant you a passport with little to no hassle or questions asked, such as when you’re an international celebrity, exceptionally talented individual (like a rocket scientist), and so on.
(I mentioned this already in the Residence article, and it most likely does not apply to you.)
On another note, not every nation allows you to have dual citizenship.
That means that if you want to get a second passport, you’d have to renounce your first one.
This is not a good idea, and I would advise you to seriously think about it before renouncing your primary passport – unless you’re an American and are sick of paying taxes even if you do not live there anymore.
Best countries to get citizenship
In general, I would suggest the following nations to get citizenship, based largely on the ease of attaining it, and the absence of taxes if you do not make your income there:
These are in no particular order, and you can check out articles about specific countries to learn more about them.
If we look at it from a global and diversified perspective, getting citizenship in one Latin American country is a must (because there are so many options and it often gives you access to the other MERCOSUR nations), and then perhaps in the UAE, Armenia, or Singapore.
This gives you broad coverage of the world, as you’d have passports spread evenly across roughly every part of the globe.