When you have as many passports as I do, people get curious. Most think having multiple passports is just for the “James Bonds” and super wealthy of this world.
But nothing could be further from the truth… In fact, It’s possible for ANYONEto obtain dual citizenship and a valuable second passport.
The most frequent questions I get are “Where are the easiest countries to get citizenship?” And, “What are the fastest and easiest passports to get?”.
In this article we’ll cover both questions and even include the easiest European citizenship & passport option.
The Four Ways To Get A Second Citizenship & Passport
Before we get into the countries themselves, the first thing you should know about how to get an easy foreign citizenship is that there are four different ways. They’re based on:
By far, the easiest way to get a passport is via the ancestry option. It’s a little-known shortcut that could give you an excellent European passport and oftentimes costs next to nothing…
Here’s how it works: If you’ve got parents, grandparents (and in some cases even great-grandparents) from Italy, Ireland, Hungary or several other countries, you might already qualify for citizenship and get your second passport quickly, cheaply and hassle-free.
This an excellent option that we recommend EVERYONE considers first.
But what if you don’t have the “right” grandparents?
Don’t worry, there are still a few fast tracks to citizenship that don’t involve having bloodlines tied to a country. In fact, the second easiest way to get a passport simply requires you to have a little patience and put in a little time.
The time option usually involves residency. You first obtain what’s called permanent residency, which then leads to full citizenship after a few years. Countries that give citizenship easily generally offer a residency option.
Does this mean you have to live there full-time?
Not necessarily. One of the easiest European passports to obtain does require at least some on-the-ground residency, to prove commitment to that nation. And the fastest passport in South America requires you to live in that country for a total of about a year.
But “residency” doesn’t always mean you have to live there the whole time.
Here’s a perfect example of a more lenient country offering possibly the easiest way to get a passport if you don’t have the ancestry option:
1. Panama – The Easiest Place In The World To Establish Residency
Panama is one of the easiest places to get citizenship because of its simple, fast track to residency there. And residency, in this case, is the first step towards that second passport.
The process works like this: You go to Panama and use one of 50+ options to apply for residency. (Yes. More than 50. They really want people to come to Panama. And the country has also easy citizenship requirements.)
Panama’s Friendly Nations and Retirement Visas are the easiest and allow the majority of people to become a permanent resident very quickly.
Once you submit your residency application, you can leave.
Then, you come back a few months later to pick up your documents and ID card. Boom. You’re a resident. You can live in Panama if you want to – and it’s a great, modern, beautiful place with a thriving economy — but you don’t have to.
After two years, you apply (in Panama) to renew your residency.
Then, after a total of five years of residency, you can apply for naturalization (full citizenship).
It helps if you can speak at least some Spanish, and if you can show some social and/or business ties to Panama, but we know people who have obtained Panamanian citizenship without those things.
This strategy makes Panama possibly the easiest country to become a citizen (without using the ancestry option).
Yes, it takes some time – about 5 years – but the process is generally simple and hassle-free. And five years is actually not a lot of time to wait when it comes to non-ancestry-based second citizenships.
The only major drawback about Panamanian citizenship is that the passport itself is not considered a Tier 1 document. In other words, you don’t get into as many countries, visa-free and hassle-free, with a Panamanian passport as you would with, say, Belgian or German passport.
Which leads us to: Which EU country is the easiest to get citizenship?
I get this question a lot, too. The answer is a tiny nation you don’t hear about a lot, unless you’re a fan of watching EU parliamentary debates. Or chocolate.
We’re talking about Belgium, which offers a fairly easy way to get European citizenship.
2. Belgium – The Easiest Country To Immigrate to in the European Union
Belgium is a great choice, because it offers a fantastic, Tier 1 passport with visa-free access to 172 countries. What’s more, as part of the European Union, and with Brussels the de facto capital of the EU, a Belgian passport offers its holders unfettered access to much of Europe.
In other words, with a Belgian passport, you could live in Spain, or Italy, or France. You could work in Germany. You’ve got free access to the EU, no nightmarish red tape involved.
Lots of European countries make it difficult for those who weren’t born there to get citizenship. In contrast, Belgium offers a fairly easy second citizenship route. In fact, it’s the easiest EU citizenship option for those without the “right” grandparents.
But how do you get it?
You’ll need some time. That’s the drawback. But if you don’t have grandparents from Ireland or Italy or a German father, then Belgium is currently the European country where it is easiest to get citizenship.
Now, in this case, “easy” does not mean “Panama easy”. You have to do a bit more to establish Belgian residency, and you do need to spend time there on the ground than you do in Panama.
But keep in mind, again, that Belgium offers more possibilities to foreigners than, say, Sweden, France, or Austria, etc.
So, what’s involved?
First of all, you’ll need to establish economic ties in Belgium through one of three options…
1. Set up a company in Belgium
You set up a company, run it for a few months to prove it’s an actual operating business, and then apply for a Professional Card, which grants you residency in Belgium.
You’ll increase your chances of success going this route if you employ others as well, although there will be “social contributions” and possibly higher tax burdens. The good news is that there are, especially in Wallonia (the southern, French-speaking part of Belgium), subsidies as well, so you might be able to render those burdens moot.
2. Work for a Belgian Company
This track requires you to obtain a position with a Belgian company before entering the country. Your employer will need to sponsor a work permit for you.
3. Use an hybrid option
If you are already a member of our flagship service, Sovereign Man: Confidential, you have access to our step-by-step intelligence report on how to get Belgium residency & citizenship. Inside we cover a third, little-known option that our vetted, highly respected Belgian law firm has figured out.
This option is quicker than setting up a company in Belgium and more tax efficient.
Plus, our premium members get a large discount with our recommended law firm.
Once you’ve established your economic ties, you’ll need a legitimate home address in Belgium to qualify for residency.
Then you’ll need to register at your local city hall and stay put for a few weeks. During that time, the police come by to make sure you actually do live there, even if it’s temporary.
Done. You’re now a resident of Belgium.
You can stay or leave, although you’ll need to keep your eye on the prize: If you want full citizenship, you’ll eventually need to establish strong ties to Belgium.
What does that mean?
Keep your business that you registered open and active. Don’t commit any crimes. Learn a little French or Flemish (Dutch) or German. Put your kids in Belgian schools. Join a few organizations and attend meetings. Show that this is more than just a residency on paper.
You can renew your residency (first after 2 years, then every 5 years) so long as you keep a clean record and fulfill your business obligations.
After 5 years, you can apply for naturalization (full citizenship).
Belgium offers an incredible passport and, currently, the easiest way to get EU residency (without ancestry). But even though it’s possibly the easiest European passport to obtain, the Belgian residency-to-full-citizenship takes at least 5 years.
What if you’re in more of a hurry? Which country gives the fastest citizenship?
3. Argentina – The Fastest Country To Get Citizenship In
South America offers many excellent easy second passport options.
One of them is Argentina, which offers the fastest way to get citizenship in the region, and possibly in the whole world. After obtaining residency in Argentina, you can qualify for full citizenship after only TWO years of living there (plus processing time of several additional months).
Two years is incredibly fast in the second passport world.
Argentina’s passport is also a pretty solid travel document, with visa-free access to more than 150 countries– all of Europe including Russia (but excluding tiny Moldova), southeast Asia, South America. And the big negative: No visa-free access to the US or Canada.
(The best passport, and the most valuable second citizenship in South America, is offered by Chile. Chile is also an easy country to get permanent residence in, and is an easy and fast immigration country. We detail how to get Chilean citizenship in our .)
Getting residency in Argentina is pretty easy, so long as you can show a minimum of $1,000/month in passive income.
What kind of income qualifies?
- Income derived from financial investments: dividends, annuities, receipts from a trust, interest payments from Certificates of Deposit, etc.
- Regular distributions from a business you own outside of Argentina
- Rental income from outside Argentina
If you have that sort of steady, passive income, that could qualify you for what’s called a rentista visa, which is a one-year visa that can be extended in one-year increments. (You’d also need to set up an Argentine bank account and have the money deposited there monthly.)
If this option appeals to you, it’s best to start the process on the ground in Argentina, not at a consulate, which can create a bureaucratic mess. Once you’ve got your temporary visa/residency, then you’ll need to start spending time in Argentina.
You will need to spend at least six months per year there over the course of those two years.
At that point, you may apply for naturalization. You will need a bit of Spanish language proficiency, but the exam currently is easy enough to pass without full fluency.
Investing time to get a citizenship is not the only way… Let’s look at a more unorthodox method that requires a little flexibility.
4. Brazil – The Easiest Passport To Get For Those Who Are Flexible
There are two great things about having Brazilian citizenship:
One, they refuse to extradite their citizens to answer for foreign crimes. It just doesn’t happen.
And not just crimes, but activity foreign governments don’t like: Glenn Greenwald, who helped break the Edward Snowden story, lives in Brazil. He might have moved there to be with his Brazilian partner, but he likely stays there for the protection the country offers.
Two, ANYONE can be Brazilian, whatever their ethnicity– black, white, brown, asian… it doesn’t matter. Brazil is a huge melting pot. If you become a citizen of Nicaragua, you’re going to stand out if you’re a green-eyed redhead. But not in Brazil. Gisele Bündchen, the blonde, blue-eyed model, is Brazilian. So is Pele, who is black. Both types blend in there.
Brazil’s is such an easy passport to get because it is the KING of ‘flexible’ citizenship options– getting married, adopting a child, hell… even adopting a rain forest, in some cases.
And it can happen in as little as one to three years.
For one thing, you can get married to a Brazilian and apply for permanent residency immediately after that. After one year of permanent residency it’s possible to apply for naturalization and a Brazilian passport. Talk about how to get passport easily!
Another option is having a baby in Brazil. The baby automatically became Brazilian. Ten months later, the parents gained permanent residency. A year later – and yes, they lived in Brazil the whole time – the couple qualified to apply for naturalization (full citizenship).
What’s more, the “family reunification visa” could allow the couple to bring their parents in as well.
You do need to speak basic Portuguese to become a citizen, but you don’t need to be fluent. You’ll likely learn the language quickly, though: Brazilians love to talk. I always tell people that you can show up in Brazil naked, and not knowing a soul, and you’ll immediately have 20 new best friends giving you the shirts off their backs. It’s a hard place to not like.
But Brazil is not the only country that gives citizenship by birth. We have included a complete list of countries in our .
5. The Best Value BONUS Option
Yes, we’ve promised four easy citizenship and passport options in this article, but we have one more option up our sleeve: Chile.
It is the best passport, and the most valuable second citizenship in South America. With it you can travel to 150 countries visa-free, ranking it 18th in the world.
It’s not overly difficult to obtain either, because Chile is an easy country to get permanent residence in.