The process of qualifying for citizenship in
the countries in the big league [full details in Chapter 7] has a significant
disadvantage: the condition that, to achieve citizenship, you must live
in the country as a permanent resident for up to five years. Of course
if your major goal is to move to one of those countries permanently anyway,
there is no harm in that condition, and citizenship is a secondary benefit
of achieving your primary objective.
As mentioned earlier however, the residence requirement may be a price
you are unable or unwilling to pay if your primary objective is to obtain
a second nationality.
Moreover, while you or your family may be able to mobilise $US100,000,
if you do not have the experience necessary to use it wisely in running
a business, you may be ill-advised to adopt such a plan.
Moving to another country and another culture can be a severe emotional
and economic wrench — culture shock. Unless you already have friends
or relatives in the new country, you are leaving all your roots behind:
all the friends and connections you have built up over the years —
and, perhaps, your family as well. The older you are, the more difficult
and traumatic such a move can be.
Unless you have easily-transferable skills, the income, prestige and
status you have built up at home may be lost. You could find yourself
starting at the bottom of the social and economic pile in the new, and
possibly very strange, country.
These are all very important questions that you should consider seriously
before embarking on any move.
Two particular points about moving to the US are:
There is a some times-overlooked complication for people who apply
for permanent residency in the US. Once your application for permanent
residence in the US has been approved (which puts you on a waiting list
and does not necessarily get you in right away), you enter a legal limbo.
While you are on the waiting list, and before the approval takes effect
by your getting to the top of the list and getting the final green light
in the form of your green card, you are nevertheless treated as if you
were a permanent resident. Now this status disqualifies you from getting
a tourist or business visa in the meantime.
This means that between the expiry of your current tourist (B 1 or
B2) visa and the issue of your green card you will be unable to visit
the US. Of course, if you have a good lawyer, he may help you argue
that there are reasons why this rule should be waived in your particular
Once you have your green card (permission to reside in the US)
you are subject to US taxes on your world-wide income and capital
gains, whether or not you reside in the US. If your objective is simply
the obtaining of a second nationality, I believe acceptance of the
imposition of US taxes for the rest of your life is too steep a price.
Some cheaper Choices.
The purpose of this Special Report is to show how you can obtain a
second nationality at relatively low cost, whether measured in money
or human terms.
The countries we have briefly surveyed so far offer citizenship only if
you immigrate. But there are ways to acquire a second citizenship or travel
document that do not require you to disrupt your lifestyle in any significant
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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