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Global Citizen • Second Passport

8 Fast Latin America and Caribbean Citizenships by Marriage

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One of the least discussed ways to get second citizenship is through marriage. 

Whether you’re already married or planning to tie the knot, you may be able to get a passport relatively quickly without spending a lot of money and not necessarily much time in the country. 

In this article, we explore eight countries in Latin America and the Caribbean where you can do just that. 

Nomad Capitalist is a turnkey solution for offshore tax planning, dual citizenship, asset protection, and global diversification. Find out more here

Why Citizenship Through Marriage has a Bad Rep

There are various ways of getting a second passport, and despite being one of the quickest ways, citizenship through marriage is not always considered. This is partly because of the concept. After all, who marries anyone for a passport? The idea might sound a little strange but it is perfectly legal, in most cases. The laws around sham marriages for purposes of immigration have been tightened up. 

Some countries have made residency compulsory on granting citizenship through marriage for a period of time, others require you to stay married for a certain period. Some require “proof” that your marriage is real before giving you their passport.

There are still, however, many countries where you can qualify for citizenship by marriage without much hassle, as long as your partner is a citizen, of course. While some countries take time to give you their passport, others give you one quickly. As long as you have your affairs in order, everything should work out perfectly.

Options in Latin America and The Caribbean 

While there are several options available to you globally, we’re going to focus specifically on Latin American and Caribbean countries. The following countries offer fast citizenship if your spouse has one of these passports.

1. The Bahamas 

The Bahamas is a very strong passport, and because you have access to countries like China, it’s somewhat unique. You also have proximity to the US. 

Getting the passport is quite simple if you’re a woman married to, or getting married to a Bahamianman. It’s also a very tax-friendly passport – citizens of the Bahamas do not pay taxes on income, inheritance, gifts, or capital gains. 

Applicants must be married to a Bahamian national for less than five years and be living together as husband and wife. There is a non-refundable processing fee of BS$100.00, and once the application has been approved, an additional BS$250.00 is charged. The turnaround time can be as little as three to four  weeks.

The Bahamas also offers citizenship by investment. Permanent residency status is given to investors who either buy a home for at least $750,000 or invest an amount in a local business that employs Bahamians. So Bahamian citizenship by marriage is a quick and much less expensive option.

2. Barbados 

With good travel and historical access to Canada, this is one of the better passports in the Caribbean. If you’re a woman married to a local man, you can apply for citizenship by registration.  

If your spouse is a citizen or permanent resident, you are eligible for residency. To apply, a Marriage Certificate must be produced along with a personal statement giving information about where you have lived over the course of your life. 

With visa-free access to countries such as Singapore, the UK, China and all of the European Union, it’s a good passport to have. It’s a commonwealth country with historic ties to the United Kingdom. Also, being part of the commonwealth opens up a world of opportunities. So, if you’re an investor or a businessperson, this might be a smart dual citizenship for you. 

3. Belize 

Both Belize citizens and permanent residents can file immigrant petitions for their foreign born spouses who qualify for citizenship after living in Belize for one year.

To qualify you must be married to a Belizean National for a minimum of one year, whether the spouse was born in Belize or acquired citizenship before the time of marriage.

An English-speaking country, with a Belize passport, you can enjoy hassle-free travel to the United Kingdom, Ireland, and even Singapore. Be aware that documents in languages other than English must be translated and signed by a proper authority.  

It’s not the worst complimentary passport and there are some tax incentives to living there. It’s a small, peaceful country that’s a good retirement option. 

4. Bolivia 

Apart from citizenship through marriage, there aren’t many citizenship options in Bolivia. Note that if you’re looking for a tax haven, Bolivia isn’t one. It’s also not as competitive as its Central American neighbors when it comes to citizenship programs. Without the marriage program, you’ll have to be a resident in Bolivia for three years before getting the passport. This gets reduced to two years if you’re married to a citizen. 

There aren’t many economic benefits with a Bolivian passport, but it’s an interesting option nonetheless. Historical ties with Russia may be of interest to some. 

5. Brazil

Up next on our list is Brazil, one of the biggest economies in South America. Brazil is also one of those countries that allow citizenship by birth. So, if your child is born in Brazil, you can apply for residence before applying for citizenship a year later. 

The issue with this is that you’ll have to stay in Brazil for quite some time, and you’ll end up becoming a taxpayer. But if you choose the citizenship through marriage route, by getting a passport after a single year, you’ll have a chance to explore and learn more about your partner’s country. 

Most people who end up going this route often end up staying in Brazil. It is a quick way of getting another passport if you plan on settling somewhere new.

6. Colombia 

If you’re interested in Colombian citizenship, it’ll take you five years to get it on your own. However, if you’re married to a Colombian citizen, this process gets fast-tracked to two years. Colombia gives you access to South America. Better yet, you also have visa-free access to Europe now. So if you’re willing to commit to staying in Colombia for a couple of years, it’s a pretty good passport to have.

7. Costa Rica 

If you’re interested in getting a Costa Rican passport, then you’ll have to stay there for an extended time before you are eligible. Of course, most people enjoy being in Costa Rica and don’t mind spending time there. However, this might not be for everyone. 

As someone married to a Costa Rican, the citizenship through marriage program is far more streamlined. Not only can you get your passport in two years, but they also bypass the language test. The passport itself is excellent. Even though it doesn’t have visa-free access to the United States, it does provide easy access to the United Kingdom, Russia, and almost all of Europe.

8. Mexico 

With a Mexican passport you can travel to almost all the countries you would as a United States citizen. So, there’s few travel restrictions for those who like to travel. 

Mexico has quite a few citizenship programs available. The most well-known way of obtaining a Mexican passport is by having a child in the country. It sets you on a faster track to citizenship – the same as citizenship by marriage.

Of course, obtaining a passport requires commitment. You’ll have to learn the language. You’ll have to study its history and constitution. But by the time you’re done with all of this, you can easily apply for citizenship in two years.

Out of all the countries on this list, Mexico offers you the most opportunities. Of course, it has a complex tax system, but you can take advantage of what the country offers if you do it correctly. You’ll get access to Canada, New Zealand, and Europe, and while there are a few countries that restrict travel, overall, it’s definitely a good second passport to have.


To conclude, most of the countries on this list have strong passports. The only disadvantage is that they don’t have visa-free access to the United States. But let’s be honest- most countries in the world don’t. 

So, if you’re looking for a strong passport, Latin American and Caribbean countries are a good option. Citizenship through marriage isn’t a route most people take when looking for a second passport, but it can still be a quick, complimentary route to second citizenship.

If you’re interested in learning about more personalized options for you, then feel free to get in touch with our team today. 


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