Even our founder, Andrew Henderson, while traveling with his US passport, has had some interesting experiences at airport security. On one particular incident, while flying through Switzerland on his way to Spain, after spending a lot of time in Eastern Europe, he was pulled out for questioning.
Even citizens of an EU member country, like Romanians, have said that airport officials will hold them back for questioning when they see their passport origin.
You can imagine that it can be much harder for people from places like Moldova or Serbia (countries with visa-free access but aren’t EU members).
While citizens of non-EU countries in Europe have received visa-free access and are technically supposed to be let in (and most of the time, they are), the process is not always as open or as easy as “visa-free” promises to be.
We talk all the time about getting second residencies, citizenships, and passports — and there are real benefits to doing so — but not every second passport is made equal. You have to be aware of that.
We are all about giving you the option to renounce your citizenship — if that’s what you want — but you’ll need to be prepared for everything else that comes with that choice.
You don’t want to get stuck just being Paraguayan alone.
While the US, UK, and other countries allow dual citizenship, ensuring that you’re ready to accept another citizenship means you’ll have to put yourself in the shoes of someone in that position.
We are not saying you should be overly concerned or not consider it, but simply to help you understand that things will change. If you’re a US citizen, for example, things will change dramatically once you renounce your US citizenship, especially if you’re doing business overseas.
In many ways, your life is going to be a lot easier, but in others, it may be more complicated.
At Nomad Capitalist, we have helped our clients obtain citizenship in 28 different countries, coordinating numerous professionals and working as architects and general contractors to create and implement their holistic strategy.
Will Your Second Passport Cause You Visa Issues?
Chances are that your second passport will not grant you visa-free access to all the countries you are accustomed to traveling to without issues.
You may even run into issues despite having visa-free access. The reality is, if you are traveling on lower quality or ranked passports, you’re going to have to get a visa to go somewhere. However, as we always tell people, you can be a citizen of the worst country on earth and still get a visa to visit the US. Just because you don’t have visa-free access doesn’t mean you can’t visit a country.
The challenge for someone living the nomad lifestyle is that getting a visa often depends on having a stable residence.
Bitcoin advocate Roger Ver, ran into this issue when he renounced his US citizenship to become a citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis. When he tried getting a visa to go back to the United States for a conference, he was denied because he couldn’t provide information on where he lived.
So be aware that if you are going to make a lesser-quality passport work in combination with visas, you may not be able to achieve a nomad lifestyle to the extent that you might hope or to which you are accustomed.
To everything, there is a trade-off.
The Second Passport Trade-Off
There are, of course, perks to being a US citizen, and it’s important to stop and think for a minute about the trade-offs before giving up your passport.
Not everybody is going to know where Paraguay is located. That may be a good thing, but it’s probably not a factor that will work in your favor. At least when you show up with a US, UK, or Australian passport, everyone knows that country and most everyone will figure that you’re wealthy and let you in.
So keep that in mind.
From our experience working with clients over the years, most people won’t need to worry about renouncing their citizenship. If you have your company in one country, bank in another, live overseas, and are happy to live off the Foreign Earned Income Exclusion. Your offshore strategy can be relatively simple.
If you’re looking for multiple bank accounts, foreign investments, and passive income, your life will be harder as a US citizen. At that point, it becomes an issue of getting your second passport so you can remain a US citizen while running your business offshore and still following the rules.
If you are doing complicated stuff, you might want to ask yourself, Am I willing to be a citizen of only one country? Am I willing to just be Paraguayan? Panamanian? Georgian?
Be sure you understand the thought process and the consequences of a decision of that magnitude.
Having a second passport is a great Plan B. And most people we talk to just want the Plan B because they want to be protected. For those who eventually want to renounce, however, just keep in mind that the world is changing.
If you are an American, you are going to want to have not only dual citizenship but triple citizenship.
But where do you start? One of the most straightforward approaches is looking at your family tree.
If you do have the potential for citizenship by descent (CBD), it’s not always as easy as it seems, with plenty of people having a broken chain. With our CBD eligibility checker, you can find out in seconds how likely you are to qualify.
If you do qualify for Irish or Italian citizenship by descent, for example, this would give you access to a European passport and is better than a US passport in terms of ranking and a great place to start.
What about my third passport? There are plenty of options where you can become naturalized in as short as five years.
Or you may choose to make a donation to get citizenship by investing in the Caribbean. Or let’s say you want to get Malta citizenship, which is the Creme De La Creme, through which you make a sizeable donation and can get citizenship in just 15 months.
When you become a Nomad Capitalist client, we create a holistic plan that covers hundreds of questions that actually matter, rather than just selling one-size-fits-all options. Our founder, Andrew Henderson, has personally given up US citizenship and knows what your thought process is and helps you benefit from his 17 years of experience.
At Nomad Capitalist, we help wealthy and ultra-high-net-worth individuals legally reduce their taxes overseas and increase their freedom and options with dual citizenship and other strategies.