Important factors to consider in residence planning
The date of an important business trip is approaching, and you find out that you need a visa. You have to fill out a long form (possibly listing every country you have visited over the past five or even ten years). You may need to travel to a consulate or embassy for an interview. The visa may cost as much as your airline ticket and you may have to send your passport to the consulate or embassy and not receive it back for two–three weeks. You begin to question whether you really need to go on this trip, and you forget about bringing your family along as you would not want them to go through the same procedure as well.
Due to political circumstances, citizens of many countries find it difficult to travel abroad and are confronted with visa restrictions each time they want to enter a foreign country. On the other hand, nationals whose passports usually allow them easy access to most countries may still need to obtain a visa to travel to some countries or find it impossible to obtain visas due to temporary travel restrictions during trade sanctions and other geopolitical disturbances. They may also be significantly exposed to terrorist threats or other forms of hostility due to their nationality. Moreover, although you may well be granted the required visa, this is always a very tiresome procedure, during which the passport on which the visa is stamped is not available, and this can be a significant factor in delaying your travels.
If for some reason you cannot get or renew a passport in your home country due to political instability or civil war for example, the right to another passport can be extremely useful. Even if you simply lose your passport, it may take some time until you can get a replacement and having an alternative passport may be crucial. Or as in the example above, if you require a visa and have to send your passport to a foreign embassy or consulate for processing, you cannot travel overseas during that processing time — unless you have an alternative passport.
Most importantly perhaps, citizenship and a passport, particularly from a small, peaceful country, can even save your life when traveling and in times of political unrest, civil war, terrorism, or other delicate situations. For good reasons, many international businesspeople from major countries and important persons who are active worldwide consider an alternative passport as the best life insurance money can buy.
In an unsettled, ever-changing world, acquiring an alternative citizenship is a wise decision and an investment for the future. Your citizenship of choice is for life, your spouse and children can be included, and there is often no need to give up your present nationality while you enjoy the benefits of a legal second passport. You should, however, check the laws of your current country (or countries) of citizenship to ensure that you are in a position to legally acquire an additional nationality.