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Why you should not buy a fake passport on the black market and how to get it the legal way avoiding scams

Obtaining citizenship is divided into legal and "working" ways. Fraudsters offer to buy a passport in violation of the laws of several states at once. This is fraught with trouble from large fines and a ban on entry into the EU countries to criminal liability and compromising evidence, which is at their disposal.

We will tell you how to get a passport without consequences and how not to accidentally entrust your money and reputation to scammers.

How to get a second passport legally

What ways to get a second passport are offered by scammers

Scammers offer to become citizens of another country quickly and bypass the law. Most often they promise to help obtain a passport of Romania, Hungary, Czech Republic and Greece. If the standard procedure for obtaining citizenship takes months or years, scammers guarantee that their client will receive status in just a few months. 

Fraudsters hint at connections with influential people, promise to bribe officials or forge records in the archives. These methods do not work and can bring about big trouble.

States are tightening the rules and more carefully monitoring the procedure for obtaining citizenship every year. For example, 370 criminal cases were opened in Hungary due to falsification of documents when applying for citizenship in 2020. 

Typically, scammers use one of three schemes: identity falsification with a fake passport or fake ID, non-existent relatives, or a fictitious marriage with a fake marriage certificate. We will explain how activities like making fake passports are dangerous.

Black scheme for obtaining a second passport
The Slovenian public services website warns of increased cases of fraud

Identity falsification. The company finds local residents who are ready to “sell their identity”. A figurehead submits documents for a passport. But a client of the company comes instead to submit biometrics or fingerprints and photographs. 

Deception is revealed when checking or when a person begins to use the document. This leads to administrative or criminal liability. 

Fictitious relatives. In some countries, you can obtain citizenship under a simplified scheme if you prove that you or your immediate family was born in the country. This is a legitimate way that scammers are trying to use. 

The client is promised to “find” his Romanian or Bulgarian roots. After the money has been paid and the process of collecting documents has begun, the “lawyers” stop communicating.

Sometimes foreigners are immediately offered to forge a birth certificate in order to confirm non-existent family ties with a citizen of the country. This method is unreliable: all documents are carefully checked, and fake certificates and certificates are easy to spot. 

Consequences for customers of such companies are serious: deportation from the country, a ban on visiting EU countries, fines and criminal liability.

Fictitious marriage. Each country establishes its own procedure for obtaining a passport for those who marry its citizen. Most often, obtaining citizenship will not work right away: you will need to live together in the country from one to several years, pass an exam on knowledge of the language and history, and confirm integration into society.

For example, in order to apply for citizenship in Germany, you need to be married for three years. Officials check whether the spouses really live together and lead a common life. If the deception is revealed, the marriage is annulled and the violator can be deported from the country.

In most cases, detours to citizenship lead to loss of time and money, and in the worst case, to criminal liability and the loss of the ability to travel to the European Union. For example, in Romania, falsification of documents can result in up to three years in prison. 

Legal ways to get a second passport

Citizenship can only be obtained in a legal way: for example, by confirming kinship with EU citizens, going through the naturalization process after obtaining a residence permit, or investing in the country’s economy.

Minimum investment for citizenship

The required package of documents, cost and terms depend on the legislation of a particular country.

Second passport by ancestry. In many countries, it is possible to acquire citizenship by descent: if the applicant’s parents or grandparents have the citizenship of the country. To do this, you must confirm the relationship. Most often, you will need the original birth certificate and a copy of the relative's passport.

Each country has its own conditions: some states allow citizenship only to children and grandchildren, while others allow great-grandchildren and more distant relatives. 

Countries that allow citizenship by descent

CountryWho can get citizenship
BulgariaGrandchildren and great-grandchildren 
GreeceGrandchildren and great-grandchildren
HungaryGrandchildren, great-grandchildren and other generations
LatviaGrandchildren, great-grandchildren and other generations
PolandGrandchildren, great-grandchildren and other generations

Second passport by marriage. You can get a country's passport after marriage with a citizen of the country. Terms and conditions vary from state to state. 

For example, the spouse of a Portuguese citizen can acquire Portuguese citizenship after only three years of marriage. To do this, you need to confirm cohabitation, connection with Portuguese society through work, property or study and demonstrate basic knowledge of the Portuguese language. 

Second passport by naturalization. If you live in the country officially for a long time, for example, going to work or for study, you can obtain citizenship by naturalization.

Naturalization usually occurs in several stages. First, the applicant receives a visa, then a temporary residence permit. After that, they can get permanent residence, and then citizenship. 

The grounds for obtaining a residence permit are different:

  • study at a local university;
  • working for a company or volunteering for charitable organizations;
  • marriage to a citizen of the country;
  • investment in real estate, the economy or business in a European country.

Second passport by investment. In some countries, there are government programs for obtaining a residence permit or citizenship for investors. To participate in such a program, it is necessary to invest in real estate, funds, the preservation of cultural heritage or open a business in the country and create jobs.

Maltese citizenship can be obtained for exceptional services by direct investment. The minimum investment amount is €690,000.

Citizenship in the Caribbean allows you to enter the Schengen countries and the UK without a visa, while Dominica and Grenada passports also give you visa-free entry into China.

It is possible to get a second passport in the Caribbean countries within 3 to 6 months under the investment program. You can get a Vanuatu passport even faster: on average, the procedure takes a month.

The minimum investment amount is $100,000 to $200,000. In some cases, investments can be returned after 4 or 5 years.

Depending on the specific country, the parents, spouses, children and in some cases brothers or sisters can also acquire citizenship with the applicant. 

The most popular investment programs in the Caribbean and Vanuatu

CountryInvestment amountTime to obtain a passportWho can obtain citizenship
St. Kitts and Nevis$150,000+2 to 6 monthsSpouses, children under 30, siblings under 30, parents
Grenada$150,000+4 to 6 monthsSpouses, children under 30, siblings under 18, parents
St. Lucia$100,000+3 to 4 monthsSpouses, children under 30, siblings under 18, parents
Antigua and Barbuda$100,000+3 to 6 monthsSpouses, children under 30, siblings, parents
Dominica$100,000+2 to 6 monthsSpouses, children under 30, siblings under 25, parents 
Vanuatu$130,000+1 to 2 monthsSpouses, children under 25, parents over 50

In most cases, citizenship in a Caribbean country does not require permanent residence there, which means that it is not necessary to move. however, you can freely travel and go to the country at any time. 

All documents for citizenship can be submitted online, there is no need to personally go to the country.

Second passport in the European Union. In most EU countries, it will not be possible to make an investment and immediately become a citizen. First you can get a “golden visa” which is a residence permit for investors. It is easier for an investor to obtain such a status than a standard residence permit as in most cases it is faster and does not require permanent residence in the country.

The terms of obtaining a residence permit in the EU and the amount of investment depend on the conditions of a particular country. 

Where in Europe you can get a residence permit by investment

CountryInvestment amountTime to obtain a residence permit
Austria€100,000+ 3 months
Portugal€250,000+2 to 6 months
Greece€250,000+ 3 months
Spain€500,000+ 2 to 3 months

After obtaining a residence permit, the applicant can apply for permanent residence, and then for citizenship. The terms and conditions for submitting documents for permanent residence and citizenship depend on the specific country. For example, in Portugal and Austria, you can apply for permanent residence after 5 years of living in a country with a residence permit. 

A second passport can be obtained by investment
A second passport allows you to travel to EU countries without a visa

A second passport allows you to freely travel around the Schengen countries, take your business to the international arena, study at European universities and move to live in a country with a warm climate. 

Applying for a second passport on the black market can lead to fines, a ban on entry into the European Union, and even criminal liability. 

You can get a second passport in the EU and the Caribbean in legal ways by going through the naturalization process from a residence permit to citizenship or by participating in investment programs. 

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the EU and the Caribbean. We will help you choose the right program for obtaining a second passport.

Frequently asked questions

Why get a second passport?

A second passport allows you to freely travel around the Schengen countries and enjoy the rights that citizens of these countries have. With a passport of an EU or Caribbean country, you can:

  • move to another country to study or work;
  • move freely within the Schengen countries without the need to obtain a visa;
  • register a company abroad;
  • open accounts in international banks;
  • change tax residence.
Can family members get a second citizenship?

All investment programs allow the spouses and minor children of the investor to apply for citizenship. The participation of other relatives is limited and depends on the conditions of a particular program.  Vanuatu citizenship can be obtained by the investor’s children under the age of 25 and parents over the age of 50. All adult relatives must be financially dependent on the applicant. Montenegrin citizenship can be obtained by children even over 18 years old, provided that the parent is financially responsible.  Citizenship of Malta after 3 years of holding a residence permit can be obtained by children under 29 years old, parents, as well as grandparents over 55 years old, subject to financial dependence on the investor.  Caribbean citizenship can be obtained by the entire investor’s family, including brothers and sisters.

How much do you need to invest to get a second passport?

The minimum investment in Caribbean countries is $100,000. In some cases, the funds spent can be returned after 4 years or 5 years. In most EU countries, you can get a passport only after obtaining a residence permit and permanent residence. The average investment amount for obtaining a residence permit in European countries is €250,000. You can invest in real estate, government funds, business or scientific activities. Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the EU and the Caribbean. Our lawyers will help you collect the necessary package of documents, pass a Due Diligence check and provide legal support at all stages of obtaining a second passport.

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Why you should not buy a fake passport on the black market and how to get it the legal way avoiding scams