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Security and Peace of Mind: Why a Second Passport Is Your Best Plan B

Henley & Partners

Publishing date 14.6.2024
Reading time 12 minutes

In this article, we explore second citizenship as your Plan B should a drastic turn of events threaten your financial stability, personal well-being, and peace of mind. We detail the benefits of having a second passport, review the most attractive programs, and offer guidance on simplifying the application process.

A second passport safeguards your future

The world has experienced significant changes in recent years. Long-standing geopolitical relationships have fractured, the pandemic nearly halted global activity, and regional conflicts have impacted global finances. For many high-net-worth individuals, such unrest led to a forced exodus to safer havens, allowing them to resume their lives and business operations. However, others still face uncertainty as they navigate residence reapplications, shifting migration policies in host countries, and potential moves to new destinations.

In these unpredictable times, preparation is crucial. Educating yourself or consulting with experts about securing a second passport can provide a reliable fallback in unstable situations, making it an essential strategic step you can take now.

The key benefits of a second passport

The primary advantages of a second passport include ensuring your family's safety, enhancing financial stability, and facilitating seamless global travel.

  • Enhanced security planning: A second passport from a stable country allows you to pre-plan for your family's safety. In times of crisis, it provides an alternative, enabling prompt relocation to maintain safety.
  • Financial resilience: Having a second passport can bolster your financial stability. Second citizenship allows for risk diversification and wealth protection through investments or property acquisitions.
  • Improved quality of life: Access to superior healthcare, education, and other services can significantly improve your lifestyle. It also offers opportunities to experience new cultures and broaden your horizons.
  • Freedom of mobility: Having a second passport gives you more freedom to move around the globe. Depending on where you acquire your second citizenship, you and your family can enjoy visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to numerous destinations.

Second citizenship or second residence — which one is right for you?

When considering a second passport, you might wonder whether obtaining a second residence would be a simpler option. Citizenship offers additional benefits like voting rights and extensive mobility and is generally permanent unless revoked for legal reasons, while residence is easier to acquire but may require dealing with renewal processes, adherence to changing laws, and the risk of withdrawal. When making this choice, you need to understand the unique benefits and limitations of each to determine which one aligns with your long-term goals, financial situation, and personal circumstances.

Impact of nationality on second passport eligibility

When acquiring citizenship by investment, your nationality typically won't be a barrier unless one of the involved countries prohibits dual citizenship. The advantage of dual citizenship is that it allows for the bilateral recognition of rights in both your primary country and the one where you are seeking citizenship. However, if either country does not permit dual citizenship, you might need to renounce your current citizenship. We recommend thoroughly researching both your home country's laws and the citizenship policies of your desired destination to understand your eligibility for dual citizenship.

How to get a second passport

There are several pathways to obtaining a second passport. Each has its own set of requirements and considerations.

  • Citizenship by investment: This involves making a financial contribution to the destination country, such as a business investment or the purchase of property or government bonds.
  • Citizenship by descent: If your parents or grandparents come from a country that offers citizenship by descent, you may be eligible for citizenship there based on your lineage.
  • Citizenship by naturalization: This could involve residing in the country for a minimum number of years, passing a language test, and demonstrating knowledge of the country’s customs, history, and legal system.
  • Citizenship by marriage: Marrying a citizen of a country that offers citizenship through marriage can also be a pathway.

Citizenship by investment — navigating the process for your second passport

If citizenship by investment seems like the right choice for you, the first step is to research countries offering this opportunity. Look into their citizenship by investment requirements and the benefits of citizenship offered. Once you've chosen a destination, you'll need to follow their specific application process, which usually involves making a significant contribution to the country's economy. Be prepared to provide documentation and undergo background checks.

Without professional help, you might find the administrative and legal requirements challenging, which could lead to mistakes or delays in your application. We suggest that you contact our experts at Henley & Partners for a free, no-obligation consultation on your options and how we can assist you in navigating the process of obtaining citizenship by investment.

Leading citizenship by investment programs

Our leading citizenship by investment programs — Malta, Austria, Antigua and Barbuda, and Grenada — rank in the top four of the Henley Global Citizenship Program Index. This index evaluates countries based on their exceptional performance in key areas such as reputation, quality of life, mobility benefits, and compliance.

Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment Program

If you are exploring your citizenship options, consider Malta. With its comprehensive four-tier due diligence process, this program remains one of the world's most sought-after investment migration opportunities. Henley & Partners is an official agent for this highly regulated citizenship process.

Under citizenship legislation, you get a Maltese passport by contributing to the country's economic development. Following a 36-month residence period (or 12 months in special cases), eligible individuals receive citizenship by naturalization.

Acquiring Maltese citizenship grants you many benefits. Not only do you gain the right to live in this beautiful Mediterranean paradise, but you also get visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 190 destinations worldwide, including the USA.

Austria Citizenship by Investment Program

An EU member and a wealthy, stable nation, Austria is unique among Western European countries that offer citizenship by investment as it doesn’t require prior residence to get an Austrian passport. According to Austrian citizenship by investment provisions, applicants need to invest in the Austrian economy through a joint venture or by financing a business that creates employment or generates new export sales.

With a second passport from the Republic of Austria, you can also reside and work anywhere in the European Union or Switzerland. Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to around 190 destinations is another great benefit of Austrian citizenship.

Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Program

Antigua and Barbuda is ideal if you wish to relocate swiftly, as it only takes about four months to get citizenship. After your application is approved and you complete an online interview, you can collect your passport in the country. Citizenship requires the purchase of real estate, an investment in an eligible business, or a contribution to educational or development funds.

A second passport from Antigua and Barbuda provides you and eligible family members with a safe sanctuary, along with visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel benefits to over 150 destinations, including countries in Europe’s Schengen Area, the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore.

Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program

Fast and uncomplicated, this citizenship by investment program is an excellent choice if you wish to relocate within a few months and enjoy extensive global mobility. If you are an entrepreneur seeking easy access to Asian markets, having a second passport from Grenada is very beneficial. Significantly, the Grenada passport offers visa-free travel to China as well as visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to over 140 other destinations, like Hong Kong and Singapore.

To acquire citizenship in Grenada, you need to either invest in real estate or contribute to the National Transformation Fund. You can expect to get a response from government officials around 90 days after you submit your application. If successful, you'll receive your passport within ten working days.

Next steps — research, reach out, and reach a decision

Our Global Citizenship Program Index is a handy tool that you can use to simplify your initial country research. To develop this tool, we worked with leading academic researchers, country risk specialists, economists, and independent experts to assess the world’s leading citizenship programs. You can customize your search for your ideal citizenship by investment program by selecting criteria like quality of life, application processing time, and investment requirements. This way, you can quickly identify the countries that best align with your preferences.

Once you have a shortlist, get in touch with us for expert guidance on your citizenship by investment planning. After an initial free consultation, we can create a tailored plan of action and manage the processes so that your second citizenship is acquired smoothly and in compliance with all necessary legal requirements.

Alternatively, reach out to us directly. After understanding your needs and goals, we'll recommend programs that best fit your circumstances and guide you through their citizenship by investment process.

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Getting a second passport involves exploring different pathways such as citizenship by investment programs, naturalization, or claiming citizenship through ancestry. By identifying the most suitable pathway, you can navigate the second-passport process effectively.

Not everyone is eligible for a second passport due to varying requirements and criteria. Eligibility depends on factors such as citizenship status, having a clean criminal record, and financial capacity. It's essential to research the requirements and consult with professionals to assess your eligibility for a passport from your destination of choice.

The cost of a second passport varies depending on the country and citizenship pathway you choose. Citizenship by investment programs often require significant financial investments. Administrative fees and legal costs also apply.

In many cases, acquiring a second passport doesn't require you to renounce your first citizenship. Many countries recognize dual citizenship. However, regulations vary, so research and professional guidance are recommended.

For the latest information, please visit the relevant program pages on

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