5 Legal Ways You Could Be Eligible for Dual Citizenship

5 Legal Ways You Could Be Eligible for Dual Citizenship
January 23, 2018 - News Guide

Most people take their citizenship for granted, but for many others, citizenship is not as simple as being born in a particular country. Take most of the GCC – a large percentage of babies born in the Arabian Gulf will never gain citizenship of the country they were born in.

Every country has its own rules and policies, regulations and eligibility criteria that allows it to legally grant citizenship to a person.

Due to these various different ways through which citizenship is granted, you may be eligible for dual citizenship and may not even be aware of it. This is especially true if your parents or grandparents originally hail from a nation other than the one in which you were born, and if your ancestor’s country grants citizenship on the basis of descent.

Wondering if you may be able to apply for a second citizenship?

Here’s a quick guide to some of the ways you (or your child) could obtain dual citizenship:

Place of Birth:

A common way for citizenship to be determined is by place of birth – called jus soli (a Latin term meaning ‘right of soil’). There are many countries that offer unrestricted jus soli – the most famous being the USA. Restricted jus soli is practised in a number of other nations, such as Australia, Egypt, Hong Kong and the UK, among others. While the rules differ from country to country, it is usually required that a parent (more commonly the father) is a national citizen in order for a child born in a country to also gain the same passport.

Right of Blood/ Via Descent: Jus sanguinis (meaning right of blood) is practiced by various countries in which citizenship is not necessarily determined by place of birth, but when one or both parents are citizens of the state. Several countries - many in Europe whose populations historically left home to explore other parts of the world - also grant citizenship by descent up to two generations of ancestorship.

The jus sanguinis rule can however work negatively against your future generations. For instance, if you or your spouse is British and have a baby abroad, citizenship by descent is only transferable to one generation down from the parent who is a British citizen otherwise than by descent. So, if your child grows up to have children also born abroad, your grandchildren may not automatically be guaranteed British citizenship.

By Naturalization:

If you have long been settled abroad, you may be eligible to apply to be naturalized in order to become a legally recognized citizen of a country. Many countries, such as New Zealand, offer this although there are specific requirements, such as having been a legal resident for a certain amount of time, having the intention to continue to live in the country, having a good command of the local language and being able to demonstrate possession of a good character.

By Legal Residency:

Obtaining legal residency in a country through investing in programs that allow applicants to buy or rent residential real estate, can serve as the first step to seeking a second citizenship through the route of naturalization. After gaining permanent residency through fulfilling the legal requirements for the prescribed number of years, applicants can then apply for citizenship. Many countries do not impose minimum stay requirements to obtain permanent residency if the applicant can prove “ties to the country” – owning residential real estate often serves this purpose.

Citizenship by Investment:

A few countries allow citizens with no previous ties to a nation to become citizens through investment. Selected countries around the world have been offering this route for more than 30 years, with Antigua and Barbuda, Cyprus, Dominica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Grenada and Saint Lucia among the most popular.

This is a quick, legal and simple route to acquiring a second citizenship, with investment programs becoming increasingly affordable. The investment budget to obtain legal second citizenship can start at around $200,000 for a family of four with any of the popular Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs and range up to €2 million for Cyprus nationality, which gives you full rights to live and work across the EU. Other requirements usually involve a background check to prove a clean source of funds and criminal a formal application being presented through an agent authorized by these governments to process citizenship.

Citizenship by Investment (CIP) has grown in popularity in recent years as many of the countries that offer this route to citizenship hold powerful passports that enable their citizens to gain visa-free entry or visa-on-arrival to more than 120 countries across the world – including top business and leisure destinations such as the UK, Schengen Zone, Hong Kong, Singapore and Russia. All the nations offering CIP also allow dual nationality, which means businessmen from countries holding passports with weaker global mobility find obtaining a second passport a very convenient route to freely travel the world without giving up the citizenship they were born with.

Want to know more about these Citizenship by Investment Programs, their various benefits and whether or not you are eligible to apply? PassPro is a Government Authorised agent for the Citizenship by Investment Programs of Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia and St Kitts and Nevis. Call +97145541449, email [email protected]  or fill in the below form and we will be more than happy to guide you on your second citizenship journey.

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