Here at Nomad Capitalist, we always encourage people to go where they’re treated best. This is something that we advocate for quite hard, and we’ve helped hundreds of people get second residence or second citizenship using a variety of different immigration schemes.

As exciting as starting your journey to claiming your second passport might be, this is still a process that each applicant needs to be well prepared for.

Let’s face it, applying for a second residence or second citizenship can be quite exciting. After all, this is the first step to going where you’re treated best. However, there are a few things that you need to prepare yourselves for. First thing’s first, think about the factors to consider when going for a residency.

Going through countless immigration schemes isn’t a walk in the park – as a matter of fact, it can be quite exhausting, especially if you’re doing the process by yourself. This is when you’ll realize how slow governments can be when it comes to processing another person’s immigration applications.

Before we get started on how you can prepare yourself, let’s understand the difference between a visa, a second residency, and a second citizenship.

What’s A Visa?

To understand the difference between a visa, a residency, and a citizenship it’s imperative to perceive the visa as a key that allows you to legally unlock the bordering doors of a country and to walk in. A visa’s validity varies, depending on the country or the territory you’ll be arriving in. For some, there are 30-day, 60-day, and even 90-day visas – while other countries might give off a more generous 180-day visa.

Depending on the nature of your visa, you can remain there for the allotted period of time and not engage in any form of work nor business activity. If you want just to get a lay of the land you’re considering to obtain a second residency or citizenship for, then a visa will serve this purpose well. You can visit the local sights and sample the cuisine to see if it suits your taste buds. 

What’s a Second Residence and a Second Citizenship?

Highlighting the discrepancies between a second residency and a second citizenship will be a challenging task as the lines blur.

With similar benefits, here’s what you’ll have access to under both umbrellas:

  • You get to travel without a visa.
  • You get to live in the country without any schedule restrictions.
  • You can open bank accounts as a local.
  • You can work and do business in that particular country.
  • You can add in any dependents under certain conditions.

Keep in mind that if you just opt to become a second residence holder, you may not enjoy the right to vote or receive proper national insurance. 

While these may be true, having a second residence or second citizenship can be quite beneficial to those who want to have a “backup” if things go wrong in their birth country.

Here are five ways to prepare for a second residency or citizenship. Shall we dive in?

Change your mindset

When you go through the process of applying for second residence or citizenship, you may feel that as you originate from a developed country, you may be given preferential treatment. 

If you’re someone applying for a second residence or second citizenship in Latin America or Eastern Europe, then great because these are some of the easiest and cheapest citizenships and passports to get. However, most people from the West give out a sense of entitlement when they go to these places.

If for instance, you’re an American, you may think that you’ll be asked to walk on the red carpet. As fun as it may sound, it’s not the case in reality. You will be treated the same just as any other person applying for second residence or citizenship.

Be ready to pay exorbitant fees

Naturally, if you’re applying for a second residence or second citizenship, you will be aware that there will be administrative and processing costs involved. 

Just because you make a one-time donation to a government fund does not let you off the hook. Programs such as citizenship by investment provide a detailed breakup of what expenses are to come. Now, depending on the country you’re going for – there may be clear information available whilst other nations are a bit more mysterious about it.

Just to give you an idea: there will be lawyer fees, application fees, and other miscellaneous expenses that may occur such as medical bills for biometrics or even getting a driver’s license.

Think Like A Bureaucrat

There are always two sides to a story. Now when you go to apply for a second citizenship or second residency and to ease this process, it may help if you view things from the other side of the looking glass. Think of the bureaucrat at the table who will process your paperwork, verify all your data, and pass on the baton to the next stage.

By tapping into this bureaucrat’s mindset, you’ll be well-equipped to handle the different demands that will come your way during your second residency or second citizenship process. 

Set money aside in the bank

Apart from all the costs that you’ll incur whilst applying and receiving your second residence or second citizenship, it’s auspicious to show a healthy bank balance. Keeping it under your name and clean is key here. 

Take note that banking is such a vital part of the process. This is how you’ll be able to prove that you’ve got ample money to sustain yourself in their respective country and that you won’t be a financial burden on their society.

Update your medical and criminal records

Depending on the stringency of the country’s procedures where you’re applying for a second passport, you may need records dating back a decade. Ensure that all your paperwork is up to date and verified.

The governments in question just want to ensure that you’re in the best health and that you won’t spread any kind of sickness or disease in their country. There are some countries that require HIV Tests, while others simply need you to present mandatory biometrics.

When it comes to your criminal records – this can be a bit of a complicated matter especially if you have a criminal background or a conviction. This isn’t something that’ll make or break your application, though, because, for some jurisdictions, you simply need to present a pardon from someone of authority or clearance from the FBI or their counterpart if you aren’t from the United States.

These are our top tips on how you can start preparing for a second residence or citizenship. 

It all comes down to going where you’re treated best and knowing where that place is.

Nowadays, there are so many options and so many different immigration schemes to choose from. It doesn’t matter if you’re doing a simple second residence application or if you’re going through a citizenship scheme like citizenship by investment or a Golden Visa Program.

The thing that you have to make sure of is that you’re well prepared to take matters into your own hands and that you’re prepared to go through this whole process. You should know what you’re getting yourselves into, and that you’ve considered every single possibility on the table. It’s not easy and if you’d like some help, we’re always here for you.

This will ensure that you’re not putting your eggs in the same basket and that you have a backup plan when things go wrong in your birth country. As we say time and time again, it’s probably high time that you go where you’re treated best.

Andrew Henderson
Last updated: Dec 17, 2021 at 1:28PM