How To Get A Second Passport
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How To Get A Second Passport
      CHAPTER 1
      CHAPTER 2
      CHAPTER 3
      CHAPTER 4
      CHAPTER 5
      CHAPTER 6
      CHAPTER 7
      CHAPTER 8
      CHAPTER 9
      CHAPTER 10
Chapter 2
Citizenship: The Two Stage Process

First we will consider the various categories under which all applications for rights of residence and citizenship fall.

The gaining of a new nationality almost always involves two steps:
  • first, gaining the right to reside in the new country; and,
  • second, qualifying, by a period of residence, for citizenship. Normally the qualification for citizenship is a period of residence which can be up to 12 years depending on the country. The important step is obtaining the right of residence. Once you have that right, provided you do actually reside for the required period, the naturalisation process is almost automatic.
But not all rights to reside will result in the possibility of citizenship. For example, the US offers a number of residence-visa classifications but only two of them are helpful in having the holder’s residence qualify for naturalisation; and it can be difficult, if not impossible, to change from one US visa class to another that will help you obtain citizenship.

There is one major exception to the general rule concerning the two-stage process.

Citizenship by birth.

In many countries, anyone born in that country, irrespective of his parents’ nationality, is automatically a citizen. Many Hong Kong people have travelled to Australia, the US or Canada, for the birth of their children, so that those children automatically have another citizenship. In international law this is known as the “jus solis,” or law of the soil.

Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the UK, and the US are the most popular destinations for Hong Kong residents. Except for the UK, birth in any one of those countries confers citizenship.

There is one exception to this general rule. When the parents are accredited diplomats to the host country, their children do not get its citizenship. Aside from that, your child’s birth in one of these four countries (not the UK) will confer on him that country’s nationality.

The UK recently changed its rules so that only people of British ancestry can be British, regardless of where they were born. This was of course designed to stop the influx of British passport-holders from India, Kenya, Hong Kong and other colonies or former colonies. It also excluded from British citizenship all persons, who though clearly by race and parentage of

British origin, were so unwise or unfortunate as to have been born upon soil not that of the UK. So any reader who is pregnant and British, living outside the magic circle of Britain’s frontiers, should travel back in time to ensure delivery inside the circle.

By contrast, citizenship of Switzerland by birth depends, not on the place of birth, but on Swiss parentage, regardless of place of birth.

Generally, having a child born in another country can provide — in due course — entry for the entire family. Aside from marriage, this is probably the cheapest, though not the quickest, method of obtaining a new citizenship for yourself and your entire family.

Reminder: This edition of How To Get A Second Passport was published in 1990. Check the useful links page for updated information.





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