When it comes to obtaining a second citizenship and the coveted second passport that comes with it, many would prefer the process to be fast, cheap and easy. Normally, however, you can only get two out of the three options at the same time.
If you’re willing to spend a lot of money, the process can be easy and fast, but obviously not cheap.
For example, if you are willing to spend €5 million, you can get second citizenship in Cyprus in as little as three months. Or, for a little less (currently about $3.5 million USD) and twelves months resident status, you can get citizenship in Malta.
On the flip side, if you want the process to be cheap, it may be relatively easy, but not as fast.
Dominica has one of the cheapest economic citizenship programs in the world, offering a second passport in exchange for a non-refundable $100,000 donation, plus government fees. The price tag will be going up to $175,000 in August, but the program still remains one of the cheapest. The process can take up to fourteen months.
There is one country, however, that’s offering an economic citizenship program that seems to check all the boxes: fast, cheap and easy.
The Comoros Islands are located in the Indian Ocean at the northern end of the Mozambique Channel (near Seychelles) between the northeastern coast of Mozambique and the northwestern coast of Madagascar. The official languages spoken on the islands are Comorian, French and Arabic. And while French is the official language for all administrative and educational purposes, over 96% of the people speak Comorian.
Apparently, the Comoros government is in need of a little investment, which has lead to the fastest, cheapest, and possibly easiest economic citizenship in the world.
For just $45,000 (up from $40,000 about a month ago) and very few government fees or hurdles, you can buy yourself a second citizenship in the Comoros Islands in a matter of two to three months.
Sounds nice, right?
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What does a cheap second passport offer?
Here’s a program that’s faster than all the rest (except maybe for Cyprus); a program that offers you citizenship faster than any of the countries in the Caribbean — where it takes at least four, six, nine months or more.
Here’s a country where they are so desperate, they are willing to make the process fast with very little paperwork. And they’ve made it so easy, you don’t even have to go there, you can go to Dubai to get your passport.
But what does it get you?
With a Comoros passport you can travel visa-free to a total of . . . 12 countries: Ecuador, Dominica, Haiti, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Micronesia, Panama, the Philippines, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Singapore, Tunisia, and Uganda. Granted, some of the countries on the list, like Singapore and Hong Kong, are actually really good.
But twelve countries?
Once you add in visa on arrival and e-visas, the number of countries goes up to 44, ranking the Comorian passport at 94th in the world (tied with Cameroon, Central African Republic, Jordan and Nigeria). The map looks a little sparse. Of those 44, most of the countries are located in Africa and grant anywhere from 7 to 90 days (180 in Panama) within the country.
So, for $45,000 you can buy yourself a passport that allows you to go almost nowhere. Plus, it’s not good for renouncing US citizenship if you want to do that. It’s not really good for anything.
But that’s not all.
I was recently talking to a lawyer from Europe who works with clients from Africa on a regular basis. He knows about every country on the continent, so I decided to ask him what he knew about the Comoros Islands.
His answer was more than telling. In Europe, anyone from the Comoros Islands, even someone with a second citizenship, is generally considered to be a terrorist.
So, the fastest, cheapest, easiest economic citizenship gets you branded as a terrorist.
Lessons learned from a cheap second passport
Now, not every country is going to believe that all Comorian citizens are terrorists. As we’ve seen, you can go a few places. But the bottom line is that it’s not a very good passport.
Before you make a decision about any passport, ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” Do you want a second passport just to say you have one? Then fine, go out and become a citizen of the Comoros Islands. You can frame your passport and hang it on your mantle.
But if you’re trying to do this for a reason, you’ve got to realize that this is where the rubber meets the road. Why do you want to go offshore? What are you trying to accomplish? What does Passport X,Y,Z achieve in your overall plan? What will any given passport give you?
In the case of the Comoros Islands’ cheap second passport, nothing.
The moral of the story is that fast, cheap and easy still comes with a price. As I said at the beginning, you can usually only get two of the three. You have to pick what you want. You can’t have it all.
An even better lesson to learn from this, is that you shouldn’t always look for the cheapest option. Be willing to invest in something better.
Maybe you will want to invest more and get the best second citizenship available. If it’s really important to you, it’s likely worth the cost to get the best one you can get.
Maybe it means looking at Europe. It may be worth the few extra years of waiting to have a quality EU passport. You can even look into your ancestry to see if you can obtain citizenship by descent and speed up the process.
Or maybe it means spending that $45,000 on something entirely different that will move your business forward and enhance your freedom in a different way.
In the end, it is your choice; just be sure you know why you’re making it.
If you are ready to invest a little more to find quality solutions to your offshore needs, apply here to see if you qualify for a consultation.
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