Which countries enable multiple citizenship and which do not
The number of passports directly depends on the legislation of your home country and other countries. Not all countries allow multiple citizenships.
For example, if you live in Finland and are interested in obtaining a Monaco passport, you are forced to renounce your first citizenship and be only a citizen of Monaco since Monaco strictly prohibits dual citizenship.
But if you live in Finland and want to obtain Dominica citizenship, a Caribbean country, you will not lose your original passport since both countries allow multiple citizenships. In this case, you will have two passports.
Countries that enable multiple citizenship
|Antigua and Barbuda||Bulgaria||Grenada||Libya||Philippines||Sweden|
|Bangladesh||Czech Republic||Ireland||Mauritius||Saint Kitts and Nevis||Turkey|
Some countries do not allow multiple citizenships, and some even consider having dual citizenship a criminal offence. These are some Asian states, African countries, and others.
People who obtain Dutch citizenship automatically lose their previous passports. The Austrian Citizenship Law does not allow dual citizenship, except for persons who acquire two citizenship at the time of their birth. For example, a person born to Austrians living in the United States acquires both Austrian and American citizenship at birth.
Countries that do not allow multiple citizenships
How many citizenships can you have in the USA?
The USA allows dual citizenship and does not require giving up a previous passport. But before you apply for US citizenship, it is essential to contact the embassy of your home country to find out whether that country allows multiple citizenships. Otherwise, you may lose your citizenship in that country without knowing.
How to obtain multiple citizenships
The process of obtaining citizenship of another country can be both simple in some cases and cumbersome in others. There are several paths you can take to gain a second nationality.
Family ties. This way is quite simple if you have a family relationship with a person who has lived in another country and can prove it. There are laws called “citizenship by descent” that allow you to gain a second passport in the country of your ancestors. Citizenship by descent can be obtained in Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, and other states.
Marriage. You can apply for a second passport after marrying a country citizen. The period of obtaining citizenship depends on the state. For example, you can become an Argentine citizen the day after you get married.
But to have a Swiss passport, you must officially live together for at least six years. In the EU countries, there is a strict policy to prevent fictitious marriages. In Germany, couples must live together for at least three years to apply for citizenship.
Naturalisation. Another possible option to become a citizen of another country is to live there for a long time.
Obtaining citizenship by naturalisation is a long-term process. And you should have a strong reason to live in a foreign country. It is not eligible to get a tourist visa and stay abroad for 10 years. But studying or working abroad allows you to obtain citizenship in the future if you meet the following conditions:
- Long-term residence. It is necessary to reside in the country for a long period of time. For example, in Argentina for about two years, in Portugal - for five years, in Germany - for eight years. Some countries, such as the Vatican or San Marino, grant citizenship to those who have lived in the country for at least 30 years.
- No criminal record. You must have a clean police record in your home country and other countries where you have a residence permit or citizenship. This condition is mandatory for any citizenship options.
- Knowledge of the state language and history. Some countries, for example, Greece, require passing a language proficiency test and confirming knowledge of Greek history. The questions may be about Alexander the Great, the history of Athens, and much more.
Depending on the state, there may be other conditions. Germany, for example, requires official employment. To get citizenship in the Netherlands, you must come to the country to take the oath of allegiance.
Investing. Some countries give the possibility to become their citizen by making investments, such as St Lucia, Dominica, Turkey, and others. Foreigners and their families can apply for participation in the investment program and get a second passport.
There can be several investment options:
- buy a property;
- make a non-refundable investment to a state fund;
- purchase government bonds;
- invest in a local business.
This path is simple and suitable for wealthy people. Investors usually receive passports within 6 months after the submission of documents. Most of the programs allow returning the investment after a while. For example, St Lucia enables selling the purchased property or getting a bond redemption five years after receiving citizenship.
In the case of obtaining citizenship by investment, investors must confirm during a Due Diligence check that the source of income is legitimate.
Which countries grant citizenship by investment
|Country||Minimum investment amount||Period of citizenship obtaining|
|Turkey||$400,000||6 to 8 months|
|Antigua and Barbuda||$100,000||3 to 6 months|
|Dominica||$100,000||2 to 6 months|
|Grenada||$150,000||4 to 6 months|
|St Lucia||$100,000||2 to 6 months|
|St Kitts and Nevis||$150,000||3 to 6 months|
|Vanuatu||$130,000||From 1 month|
|$450,000||4 to 6 months|
Countries such as Portugal allow obtaining a residence permit by investments of at least €250,000. Foreigners can buy real estate, purchase fund shares, open a bank deposit, or make business investments. Portuguese residents can apply for citizenship after 5 years of having a residence permit. They can obtain it without moving to Portugal.
Greece also provides a residence permit by investment with the possibility of obtaining citizenship several years later. The total period for obtaining Greek citizenship will take 7 years. Applicants must prove their knowledge of the Greek language and the country’s history and geography.
Benefits of having multiple citizenships
Ample opportunities for business development. Entrepreneurs can open new sales channels abroad and expand their business. It is possible to open accounts in reliable banks and work with partners without currency control. In the Caribbean, such as St Lucia, there is an opportunity to invest in a local business, obtain citizenship, and have a good return on investment.
Visa-free travel. The second passport of Caribbean countries, for example, Grenada, allows visa-free entry to more than 140 states. European citizenship opens visa-free entry to more than 170 countries, such as Germany, France, Italy and others.
Countries that open up visa-free travel with a second citizenship
|Second citizenship||Number of visa-free destinations||Possible destinations|
|Antigua and Barbuda||150||UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, European countries|
|Dominica||144||United Kingdom, European area, Singapore, Hong Kong, China|
|Grenada||144||European states, UK, China, Singapore|
|Greece||185||European, Asian, and African countries. Caribbean states and Oceania|
|Malta||185||European, Asian, and African countries. Caribbean states and Oceania|
|Montenegro||123||European, Asian, and African countries. 24 American countries such as Cuba, Dominica, Haiti|
|Portugal||187||European, Asian, and African countries|
|Spain||189||European, Asian, and African countries|
|St Lucia||146||European countries, Singapore, Hong Kong|
|St Kitts and Nevis||156||European countries, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong|
|Turkey||110||Countries of South America, one‑third of Africa, Middle Asia|
|Vanuatu||95||Ireland, UK, Singapore, Hong Kong|
Better education. Second citizenship allows studying at the best universities without a student visa or extending the job search time abroad. International students have limited time to find a job; for example, they only have four months in the UK. With a second passport, you have more time to get a better offer.
More choice and freedom. Multiple citizenships allow one to live in a country with a better ecology, a pleasant climate, and a better health care system. Having a passport in the Caribbean, for example, in Saint Kitts and Nevis, citizens can spend the winter in a warmer place with attractive views. With access to European countries, for example, it will be easier to travel to the best attractions like the Eiffel Tower or the Colosseum.
Places to visit in countries that allow multiple citizenships
Pitfalls of having multiple citizenships
Despite all the benefits of obtaining multiple citizenships, you need to be aware of possible pitfalls.
Difficulties of working in public positions. People with public positions and access to state secrets may encounter problems gaining multiple citizenships. Having a second passport may be prohibited for military officers, employees with access to state secrets, ministers, deputies, or judges.
Unstable situation during conflicts. Having multiple citizenships during conflicts between two states can be risky. People have to define which country to choose to carry out military service. In the second country, such a choice may lead to a tribunal.
This disadvantage does not apply to participants of investment programs. As a rule, neither investors nor their families are subject to serve in the armed forces of the country of second citizenship.
Potential increased taxation. There is a risk of double taxation or an increase in the rate of some taxes. For example, foreigners with dual citizenship in the UK must file US taxes.
Frequently asked questions
The number of passports depends on the legislation of the states. For example, Austria obliges foreigners to give up their previous passports.
Yes, if the legislation of your home country and other states whose citizenship you would like to obtain allows multiple citizenships. For example, Austria obliges foreigners to give up their previous passports. Suppose you live, for instance, in Finland and would like to obtain Dominica citizenship, a Caribbean country. In that case, you will not lose your original passport since both countries allow multiple citizenships.
Yes, if the legislation of your home country and other states whose citizenship you would like to obtain allows multiple citizenships.
No. Some countries do not allow multiple citizenships, and some even consider having dual citizenship a criminal offence. These are some Asian states, African countries, and others. Some European countries, for example, Austria, the Netherlands, and Germany oblige to give up the previous passport.
Yes. The United Kingdom allows triple citizenship. To obtain British citizenship, you do need to give up your previous passports