Citizenship by Descent Discover how you can leverage your ancestry to obtain a second passport. For most folks, health and family are likely some of the most important things in life. Sure, citizenship by descent (CBD) can be a great way to delve deep into your family history and unravel all of its mysteries, but the true power of pursuing citizenship via your ancestry is in the second passport that could help you legally reduce your taxes, diversify your personal life, find new investment markets, and increase your freedom. If you\u2019re a seven- or eight-figure entrepreneur or investor, this is an especially enticing opportunity. But if you\u2019re not thrilled by the thought of spending your valuable time digging around in archives to get that second passport, keep reading. After all, how can you pass up a second passport that is practically free thanks to your family tree? But if you\u2019re unfamiliar with CBD in general, stick around to learn more about how it works. Up ahead, we\u2019ll tell you all there is to know about CBD and its benefits, as well as how and where you can obtain your second passport through your family \u2013 and all without paying millions of dollars. WHY GET CBD? 1. IT'S CHEAP Out of all the ways to obtain a second passport, CBD is the cheapest option available. 2. IT'S EASY Easier and faster than you could ever imagine. @ 3. IT'S REVERSIBLE If your new passport starts working against you rather than for you, you can always choose to renounce. ALERT! There are numerous ways to get a second passport. If you prefer faster, more expensive options, click here. WHAT IS CBD? Simply put, CBD is bestowed by request upon an individual who can demonstrate a bloodline that they can trace to a particular country. Any country that has the nationality law of jus sanguinis \u2013 the right of blood \u2013 can give someone its citizenship if they can prove their bloodline. The applicant must provide the birth certificates and other documents that prove his or her connection to the country via ancestry. For example, if your parents, grandparents, or (in rare cases) great grandparents hail from a country, you could be eligible to get that country\u2019s citizenship yourself. You can skip the naturalization timeline and directly work on acquiring citizenship, and all for a few administrative fees. So, are you part of the exclusive club of people who can potentially claim CBD saving yourself a lot of money? If you\u2019re a passport holder in countries such as the United States, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, your chances of qualifying for CBD are high. Pretty much everyone in those places will have a bloodline running to somewhere in Europe where CBD programs are common. That said, citizens of other countries may find that they are also eligible to apply for a passport of another country. People have been moving all around the globe for centuries now, but thanks to CBD, some may have good reason to return to their roots. IS IT WORTH IT? The answer to this question depends; it depends on how much time you\u2019ve got and how immune you are to byzantine bureaucracy. The two factors to consider here are money and time. Both factors are relative to each other, so the answer to the question of whether CBD is worth it for you will depend on how you value each one. Time. Should you take the time out of your life to pursue CBD? Perhaps it\u2019s a yes. If it will help you achieve some personal goals like reconnecting with your family or give you a chance to finally live in the European Union area, then an Italian passport might absolutely be worth it for you. However, do keep in mind that it can take years for a citizenship by descent application to get processed and approved \u2013 you\u2019ll need to sit very tight. The alternative would be to pursue citizenship by investment in European countries, which would yield a passport in less than half a year, but those programs are very pricey. Which brings us to our next point\u2026 Money. For someone low on time but with enough cash lining the pockets, a citizenship by investment will be the way to go. This would get you citizenship fast, but you will have to spend a lot of money. In the end, it\u2019s all a delicate balance of time and money. You must get it just right for your own individual situation to be happy with the outcome. You shouldn\u2019t spend more money than you can afford just to get a second passport. If that leaves you with no cash to make investments or if it worsens your quality of life, for example, what\u2019s the point? A second passport should give you MORE options, not less. Same with time. If you have short-term goals that only a second passport will enable you to achieve, sitting around and waiting for a passport by descent to come in the mail will be counterproductive. Could a legal residence by investment help you achieve some or all of those goals? The key is to think creatively here. THE BENEFITS OF CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT PLAN B You\u2019ll have more options when it comes to your personal and financial life. IT'S LOW-COST It\u2019s the cheapest way to obtain a second passport. A PASS IT ON Future generations will benefit from your citizenship too. TAX OPTIMIZATION You\u2019ll increase your options for tax planning with a second passport. RENOUNCE CITIZENSHIP Ditch your high-tax citizenship with your ancestral passport. WHERE CAN YOU ACQUIRE CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT? Let\u2019s get down to business. If you\u2019re convinced that you want to obtain a second passport by descent, you will need to know exactly which countries offer this path to citizenship. It\u2019s not a free-for-all; if your ancestry is in a country that doesn\u2019t offer CBD, you won\u2019t be able to get an ancestral passport \u2013 simple as that. There is not a best CBD program either as you can\u2019t choose where your ancestry is from. That said, here is a list of countries that offer citizenship to people who have ancestors hailing from their shores. It\u2019s not an exhaustive list by any means. GET POLISH CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT Time to Polish Citizenship: 1-2 years Polish citizenship applications Costs: Approximately \u20ac300 Eligibility: Polish great-grandparent, grandparent, or at least one parent Visa-Free Access to 180+ Countries Acquiring Dual Citizenship Allowed: Yes Learn More BECOME AN IRISH CITIZEN BY DESCENT Time to Irish Citizenship: 1 year Irish citizenship application Cost: \u20ac287 Irish Citizenship Eligibility: An Irish citizen grandparent (great-grandparent Irish citizen in some cases) Irish passport Visa-free access: 186 countries Dual citizenship allowed: Yes Learn More BECOME A MEXICAN CITIZEN BY DESCENT Time to Citizenship: 6-12 months Application costs: Less than $100 Eligibility: At least one parent who is Mexican Visa-free access: 159 countries Dual citizenship allowed: Yes Learn More BECOME AN ISRAELI BY DESCENT Time to Israeli Citizenship: 3-6 months Application costs: $50 Eligibility: At least one parent who is an Israeli citizen Visa-free access: 161 countries Dual citizenship allowed: Yes Learn More GET HUNGARIAN CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT Time to Citizenship: 6-12 months Application costs: Under $100 Eligibility: At least one parent who is Hungarian Visa-free access: 182 countries Dual citizenship allowed: Yes Learn More BECOME AN ARMENIAN CITIZEN BY DESCENT Time to Citizenship: 5-6 months Application costs: $5 Eligibility: An Armenian grandparent or at least one parent Visa-free access: 62 countries Dual citizenship allowed: Yes Learn More GET LITHUANIAN CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT Time to Citizenship: 6-15 months Application costs: $60 Eligibility: A Lithuanian great-grandparent, grandparent, or at least one parent Visa-free access: 157 countries Dual citizenship allowed: Yes Learn More BECOME A UKRAINIAN CITIZEN BY DESCENT Time to Citizenship: 1-2 years Application costs: Under $50 Eligibility: A Ukrainian grandparent or at least one parent parent Visa-free access: 129 countries Dual citizenship allowed: No Learn More GET ITALIAN CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT Time to Italian Citizenship: 6-12 months Application costs: $340 Eligibility: A great-grandparent, grandparent, or at least one parent who is an Italian citizen Visa-free access: 186 countries Dual citizenship allowed: Yes Learn More BECOME A LATVIAN CITIZEN BY DESCENT Time to Citizenship: 4-6 months Application costs: $50 Eligibility: A Latvian great-grandparent, grandparent, or at least one parent Visa-free access: 180 countries Dual citizenship allowed: Yes Learn More \u201cThe most time-consuming part of obtaining CBD is determining if you\u2019re eligible to apply and then gathering all the documents to lodge your application.\u201d HOW TO APPLY FOR CBD Usually, applying for CBD is a pretty straightforward process. However, if you see getting CBD as a fun exercise that you would like to do with your immediate family, you will soon find yourself wishing that you left the dirty bureaucratic work to someone else. You see, the most time-consuming part of CBD is determining if you\u2019re eligible to apply and then gathering all the documents to lodge your application. Sure, the first part of it all might be fun \u2013 you\u2019ll talk with your parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles to figure out what your bloodline actually is. You will share fun moments and sad ones, have countless drinks and cups of tea while peeling the layers of history back. However, do you really want to be stuck in government archives for days on end looking for an obscure piece of paper? We didn\u2019t think so. STEP 1: FIND OUT IF YOU\u2019RE ELIGIBLE Let us stop you right there. Taking a DNA kit that you bought online and presenting the answers of said test to your nearest French embassy is not how you prove your eligibility. There is a long and winding road that governments want you to take and it\u2019s called documentation. So, doing your own research and speaking with your aunt Mary, cousin Josh, and everyone in between won\u2019t be enough either. Unless they have been holding on to the birth and marriage certificates of your ancestors, that is. We\u2019re sure you\u2019ll be thrilled to find out that your great-grandfather was a gentleman from the United Kingdom \u2013 just think about all of the things you could do as a British citizen after getting British citizenship by descent. But if you don\u2019t have his birth certificate or an ID, your citizenship claim will be no good. There are certain questions that you\u2019ll be trying to answer in this step: \u2905 Can I apply on the basis of my grandparents being citizens? Great-grandparents? Great-great-grandparents? In other words, how many generations can you go back and still be eligible to apply? \u2905 Is it necessary for both the maternal and the paternal side of your family to have been citizens, or just one side suffices? \u2905 What sort of documents will you need to provide? You need to make sure that there is a reasonable chance you\u2019ll be able to get those documents. Otherwise, you won\u2019t be eligible to apply. \u2905 Are Many countries will require that you prove your ancestor didn\u2019t renounce or lose their citizenship before passing it on. For example, they will want to see that your grandmother Maria didn\u2019t renounce her Estonian citizenship to become an American before birthing your mother. Your mother would have, therefore, inherited the citizenship and made you eligible for CBD. STEP 2: PREPARE YOUR APPLICATION If you\u2019ve determined that you\u2019re eligible for a second nationality by descent \u2013 congrats. That\u2019s one of the bigger hurdles when it comes to getting a passport this way. Next, you must find out what documents you\u2019ll need to process your application. This information will normally be located on the consular website of a country if it offers a CBD program. It can also be available just in the local language on some obscure governmental website, which will require some digging and a fair amount of time spent on Google Translate. Usually, the required documents are the following: Your birth certificate A copy of your passport The birth certificates of your ancestors (those relevant to your claim citizenship) Related marriage, divorce, naturalization, and death certificates Each of the documents will need to be in the country\u2019s official language and have an apostille. Preparing your application document pack must be meticulously done because your successful outcome depends on it. No cutting corners. If they\u2019ve asked you for a birth certificate of your great-grandmother Elizabeth, you must provide it to them. It isn't always as easy as proving that your mother is a German citizen for example, in German citizenship by descent cases. Fail to produce the required documents? You risk delaying or extending your application processing. You could also be setting yourself up for a rejection of your citizenship application. STEP 3: WAIT FOR A DECISION Once you submit your application, you will have to play the waiting game. Whereas with citizenship by investment, the timeline is written out in black and white and is normally 4-6 months, the CBD processing times tend to vary wildly. From start to finish, a CBD case could take weeks, months or even years to come to a close. That\u2019s because \u2013 let\u2019s face it \u2013 the country isn\u2019t making any immediate profit from you. You\u2019re probably only paying them some measly government fee and not a penny more. They will process your claim, but they will process it on THEIR terms. The CBD cases are often highly bureaucratic too and can appear totally random. Since it\u2019s usually the Ministry of the Interior (or an equivalent governing apparatus) that deals with naturalization requests and not a specialized unit as is the case with citizenship by investment, you\u2019ll be at the mercy of local bureaucrats. The officials could come back six months later and ask for a document that probably doesn\u2019t exist, whereas someone else in your situation might not be asked for that document at all. It could end up being quite messy. READ MORE OUR BEST CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT ARTICLES THE CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT YOUTUBE PLAYLIST WHAT ARE SECOND PASSPORTS? FIVE WAYS TO OBTAIN A SECOND CITIZENSHIP SHOULD I GET ALL THE PASSPORTS I\u2019M ELIGIBLE FOR? This is the question on everyone\u2019s lips. Let\u2019s say you\u2019re an Australian citizen and your mother is a British citizen \u2013 should you go ahead and get a passport in the UK because you have a British parent. Generally, the answer is yes. There will be government filing fees, lawyer fees. What\u2019s for sure is that you won\u2019t need to invest $2 million in real estate to get your passport \u2013 great news. However, there are two factors that you should consider before you accept any passport that might be on your figurative table: 1. Weigh up the risks. There is always the chance that one country or another will introduce the kind of citizenship-based taxation that exists in the United States and tax your worldwide income no matter where you live. You should also consider whether you would have any travel restrictions if you take on a passport. For example, Israelis will find it difficult, if not impossible, to enter some countries. The risks of most passports aren\u2019t huge, but you should still consider them beforehand. 2. Consider how easy it is to renounce. You always need to be aware of what the terms of renouncing a citizenship are. Stay in control and if risks to your personal freedoms or your wealth become greater in the future, it will be great to have an escape plan ready. If you can walk back on a citizenship easily, then there should be no harm in taking it on (if the benefits also outweigh the risks, of course). Some countries, like Argentina for example, don\u2019t let you renounce your citizenship \u2013 just a little something to keep in mind. HOW MANY CITIZENSHIPS CAN SOMEONE HAVE? Dual citizenship is allowed in many of the world\u2019s countries when it comes to citizenship by descent. Meanwhile, others prohibit it. What this means is that if you obtain citizenship by marriage, for example, some countries will make you renounce your original citizenship to obtain theirs instead. Other countries don\u2019t explicitly allow dual citizenship but tolerate it. They have no laws prohibiting it, but they will only recognize their own citizenship as your sole citizenship as far as your affairs are concerned. For example, if you\u2019re American and Polish, the government officials in Poland will consider you a Pole. All in all, most of the world\u2019s countries are slowly coming to terms with the fact that more and more people have multiple passports and citizenships right now. With people traveling, living, and working all over the place, mixed nationality families are pretty much the norm. Imagine a Dutch-Lithuanian man marrying a British citizen-Chinese woman; how many passports could their child born have? ALTERNATIVES TO CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT Citizenship by descent won\u2019t be for everyone. Perhaps you aren\u2019t really interested in digging around in your family\u2019s history, there are no records of your ancestry, or you don\u2019t meet the eligibility criteria for one reason or another. Luckily, there are multiple other ways to get a second nationality or work towards it over time. Here are four alternative paths that will lead you to citizenship: 1. Citizenship by investment. This option will take money, and quite a lot of it depending on which country you go for. But if you\u2019ve got little time or patience for bureaucracy, this could be the best path to citizenship for you, provided you\u2019ve got cash to throw at it. In many cases, your investment can actually be recovered (and sometimes even at a profit), so if you can pay a bigger sum upfront to get your passport quickly and without producing stacks of paperwork, citizenship by investment could be it. 2. Citizenship by naturalization. This is another way of saying that you can obtain citizenship by being a resident of a country for a set period of time. For example, Bulgaria will let you apply for its passport in just two years of being a resident and Portugal will make you wait for five years. While most of the countries won\u2019t require you to spend actual time in the country, the naturalization laws normally require that you know the country\u2019s history, culture, and speak its language to be eligible to apply for citizenship. 3. Citizenship by\u2026 life. Ok, so that\u2019s not the technical term but there is no better umbrella word that we can think of. Marriage, adoption, bearing children born abroad, or even changing one\u2019s religion are all potential ways of obtaining citizenship in today\u2019s world. We\u2019re not saying that you should marry someone or adopt a child just because you want citizenship of some country, but if you happen to naturally \u2018run into\u2019 these life events, you might as well claim the citizenship that you become eligible for. CITIZENSHIP BY DESCENT \u2013 FAQS What is CBD? Citizenship by descent is a means whereby an individual is eligible to claim citizenship if his\/her parents, grandparents, or sometimes even great-grandparents hail from a given country. The person who\u2019s applying for CBD will have to provide proof of his\/her bloodline to the government to qualify. How much does it cost to get CBD? CBD is the cheapest way to obtain citizenship in the world. While other ways involve investing a huge sum of money \u2013 six or seven figures \u2013 or living in a country for five or even ten years before qualifying for naturalization, CBD is the most cost-effective solution. How do I get CBD? The process consists of a few steps. First, you will need to find out as much about your family and bloodline as possible. Then, you will need to gather all the documents that would prove your eligibility to apply for a country\u2019s citizenship due to your ancestry. Finally, you will wait to hear whether you\u2019ve been granted citizenship, if additional documents have been requested, or if your application has been rejected. How can an American apply for CBD? Many Americans are in quite a favorable situation as CBD applicants because they have varied bloodlines that can usually be traced back to a European country (or two). The application process is the same as for all other nationals: trace your bloodline to make sure you\u2019re eligible to apply, then put the documents together and actually apply. After that, it\u2019s a waiting game to see if your citizenship application has been approved. How to prove CBD? To prove that you\u2019re eligible to apply for CBD, you must demonstrate to the government officials that you meet their citizenship eligibility requirements. Each nation will have its own, specifying how far back your ancestry must go, what proof is required, if you must speak the language, and so on. Who can apply for Irish citizenship by descent? People with proven Irish descent can become Irish citizens. Anyone who has a grandparent who is an Irish citizen and can prove that connection can apply for Irish citizenship. In some cases, a great-grandparent who is an Irish citizen could also make one eligible to apply for Irish citizenship, but additional documentation will be needed to qualify for being an Irish citizen. How long does CBD take to process? CBD timelines are all over the place. In countries that have a more straightforward system, such as the Irish citizenship by descent program, its Irish citizenship application process will take 6-12 months. In different countries that are more prone to bureaucratic tangles or are strict in enforcing their eligibility criteria, it can take up to two years. Can I take a DNA test to get citizenship? No. No country in the world will accept a DNA test, much less an at-home DNA test, as proof of your ancestry when it comes to issuing citizenship. You will have to provide a document trail that clearly demonstrates how you\u2019re related to your ancestors and where their bloodline can be traced back to. Can I still get a second citizenship if I don\u2019t qualify for CBD? Yes. There are many different ways to get citizenship, and ancestry is not the only one. You can also get citizenship by investment, naturalization (living in a country long enough to become eligible for its passport), or by circumstance (birth, adoption, marriage, and adoption of religion). Each of these methods will take different amounts of time and money, but the final result will be the same \u2013 a second passport. CONCLUSION Now that you know pretty much everything about CBD, you can benefit from its advantages. We can tell you from experience \u2013 as soon as you get that passport, you\u2019ll get an instant feeling of being in control of your life. Not only will a second passport that you obtain due to your ancestry give you more options as to where you can live, work, and travel, it will also help you optimize your taxes, diversify your personal life, and find new booming markets to invest in.