At Nomad Capitalist, we’ve helped hundreds of people get second residence or citizenship using various immigration schemes.
As exciting as the journey to claiming your second passport may be, it’s a process that you need to be prepared for.
Going through these immigration schemes isn’t a walk in the park; it can be exhausting, especially if you’re doing the process yourself.
So, in this article, we explore the essential factors to consider and share tips on how to succeed in going where you are treated best.
Nomad Capitalist is a turnkey solution for offshore tax planning, dual citizenship, asset protection, and global diversification. You can find out more here.
Before we get to preparing for a second residence or citizenship, let’s cover the basics.
What Exactly is a Visa?
To understand the difference between a visa, a residency, and citizenship, it’s imperative to perceive the visa as a key that allows you to unlock the door of a country and walk in legally.
A visa will only be valid for so long, depending on the country or territory in which you’ll be arriving. 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 time and not engage in any form of work or business activity.
If you want to familiarize yourself with the country where you’re considering obtaining a second residency or citizenship, a visa will serve this purpose well. You can visit the local sights and sample the cuisine to see if it suits your taste.
What is Second Residence and Second Citizenship?
As the lines blur, highlighting the discrepancies between a second residency and second citizenship can be challenging.
With similar benefits, here’s what you’ll have access to under both:
- Travel without a visa.
- Live in the country without any schedule restrictions.
- Open bank accounts as a local.
- Work and do business in that particular country.
- Add in any dependents under certain conditions.
Remember that if you opt to become a second residence holder, you may not enjoy the right to vote or receive proper national insurance.
Even so, having a second residence or second citizenship can benefit those who want a “backup” if things go wrong in their birth country.
Here are our five ways to prepare for a second residence or citizenship.
1. Change Your Mindset
When you apply for a second residence or citizenship, you may feel that as you originate from a developed country, you may be given preferential treatment.
If you’re applying for a second residence or second citizenship in Latin America or Eastern Europe, these are some of the easiest and cheapest citizenships and passports. However, some people from the West feel entitled when they go to these places.
You may think you’ll be shown the red carpet if you’re an American. It’s usually not the case. You will be treated the same as any other person applying for second residence or citizenship.
2. Be Ready For Exorbitant Fees
Naturally, if you’re applying for a second residence or second citizenship, you will know that administrative and processing costs will be 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, while other nations are a bit more mysterious about it.
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.
3. Think Like a Bureaucrat
When you go to apply for a second citizenship or second residency, to ease the process, it helps if you view things from the other side of the equation.
Think of the bureaucrat at the table who will process your paperwork. You need to have your documents in order and be able to counter possible objections with up-to-date and fully verifiable data. People who work in these roles can be impatient if they feel you’re not prepared, or worse still, adopt a combative attitude. You need to get them onside, and it will pay to remember that each country has a different culture and way of doing things.
By tapping into this bureaucrat’s mindset, you’ll be well-equipped to handle the demands that come your way during your second residency or second citizenship process.
4. Set Money Aside in the Bank
Apart from all the costs you’ll incur while applying for and receiving your second residence or citizenship, showing a healthy bank balance is essential. So, as you know, banking is a vital part of the process. This is how you’ll be able to prove you’ve got ample funds to sustain yourself in your new country and that you won’t be a financial burden.
5. Medical and Criminal Records
Depending on the stringency of the country’s procedures where you’re applying for a second residence or citizenship, you may need records dating back a decade. So, ensuring that all your paperwork is up to date and verified is vital.
The governments want to ensure you’re in the best health and won’t spread any sickness or disease in their country. Some countries require HIV Tests, while others require you to present mandatory biometrics.
Regarding your criminal record – this can be a bit of a complicated matter, especially if you have a criminal conviction. This doesn’t make or break your application, though, because, for some jurisdictions, you 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.
Nowadays, there are so many options and different immigration schemes. It doesn’t matter if you’re making a simple second residence application or going through a citizenship scheme like citizenship by investment or a Golden Visa Program.
You have to make sure that you’re well prepared to take matters into your own hands and ready to go through this entire process. You should know what you’re getting into and that you’ve considered every possibility.
If you need help, why not put our years of real-world experience to work for you? If you would like to get started, you can visit us here.