Published
January 27, 2024
Category
Citizenship by investment programs

How Many Citizenships Can You Have From Different Countries?

Imagine having the rights and privileges of not just one, but multiple countries at your fingertips. This is the reality for people with multiple citizenship. This unique status, a clear indication of our increasingly globalized world, allows them to call more than one place “home.”

But how many citizenships can you have? This article will discuss this question, highlighting the benefits of multiple citizenships and exploring the various types of obtaining them.

Key Takeaways

  • It is possible to have citizenship in more than two countries, but the rules and implications vary significantly across nations.
  • Multiple citizenships can provide increased global mobility, educational and business opportunities, personal safety, and tax efficiency.
  • There are different ways to acquire citizenship, such as birthright, parentage, marriage, naturalization, and investment citizenship.
  • If you're looking to expand your personal and economic freedoms through investment-driven citizenship or residency, Mirabello Consultancy is a trusted advisor. They offer various Citizenship by Investment (CBI) and golden visa programs to assist clients in obtaining second citizenship or residency in numerous countries.

Can you have citizenship in more than 2 countries?

Yes, it is possible to have citizenship in more than two countries, though the rules and implications vary significantly across nations. This concept, known as multiple or dual citizenship, is subject to the laws of each specific country involved.

One of the most compelling examples of the complexities surrounding multiple citizenships is the 2017–18 Australian parliamentary eligibility crisis. During this period, 15 members of the Australian Parliament were deemed ineligible for election because they unknowingly held dual citizenship, a status prohibited for elected federal parliamentarians. 

Similarly, in some countries, dual citizenship can impact one’s eligibility for high-ranking government positions. For instance, in Egypt and Armenia, dual citizens are barred from being elected to Parliament, and in Colombia, they cannot serve as Ministers of Defense or Foreign Affairs. 

Germany presents another interesting case. Typically, it allows dual citizenship only for those who obtained another citizenship by birth. Otherwise, their citizens need to apply for special permission to keep their citizenship. However recently it has relaxed its rules somewhat, recognizing dual citizenship for EU and Swiss nationals without requiring special permission. Germany is currently in the process to further relax their citizenship law, reducing the total legal residence requirement for all applicants from seven, down to five years in order to be eligible to apply for their citizenship. An additional exception to only 3 years eligibility can be granted if an applicant is exceptionally well integrated. 

Additionally, Spain allows its citizens to hold dual citizenship with several specific countries, particularly those with historical or linguistic ties, without losing their Spanish nationality. These countries include Iberoamerican countries, Andorra, the Philippines, Equatorial Guinea, and Portugal. Nonetheless, these countries don’t grant their citizens similar treatment. 

Expanding our view to other influential countries like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada, we see different approaches to dual citizenship. The United States and the United Kingdom allow their citizens to hold dual or multiple citizenship without any special requirements or repercussions. In Canada, dual citizenship is also widely accepted, reflecting the country's commitment to multiculturalism. Each of these countries, however, has its specific regulations and processes regarding naturalization and citizenship, illustrating once again the diversity of policies regarding dual citizenship globally.

For a comprehensive understanding, the following two tables detail the countries that allow multiple citizenships and those that do not.

Countries that allow multiple citizenship

Countries Table

Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
Albania Armenia Belize
Costa Rica Finland Hungary
Kosovo Malawi Nigeria

Why should you get more than one citizenship?

Simply put, obtaining multiple citizenships means unlocking a new level of global access, opportunity, and security that is nearly unattainable with a single nationality. In an era of globalization, the value of having more than one citizenship cannot be understated.

At the heart of the advantages is increased global mobility. A second passport, especially from countries with strong visa-free agreements, opens up a world previously constrained by visa limitations. This is particularly beneficial for people from countries facing stringent travel restrictions. With an additional passport, the world-traveling entrepreneur or the spontaneous traveler can bypass time-consuming visa applications, gaining the flexibility to travel on short notice. 

For instance, a citizen of Pakistan, a country with limited visa-free travel, could benefit significantly from a second passport from a country like Germany, known for its powerful passport with extensive visa-free travel options. 

From an educational perspective, securing a second citizenship, such as one from a European Union member state, can provide access to world-class educational institutions at local tuition rates as well as no limits to a capped number of allowed foreign students. This can result in substantial cost savings and open doors to prestigious academic opportunities that might otherwise be financially out of reach and limited to many foreigners.

Business development is yet another compelling reason to hold multiple citizenships. It facilitates the opening of new sales channels and the expansion of business operations. It also allows the opening of accounts in local banks and eliminates concerns over currency fluctuations.

When it comes to personal safety and political stability, second citizenship stands as a shield in times of unrest. It offers a plan B, allowing the option to relocate swiftly and legally to a more stable environment. This level of security is priceless, assuring a safe place if it's ever needed.

For a citizen of a politically unstable country like Venezuela, obtaining a second citizenship in a stable country like Australia can provide a secure plan B during times of domestic turmoil.

Moreover, the notion of tax efficiency and wealth preservation is a significant draw. A second citizenship can mean the difference between burdensome taxation and a more favorable fiscal environment, thereby helping in the conservation and growth of family wealth across generations.

Consider a high-net-worth individual from Italy, facing high tax liabilities. They might find it advantageous to also become a citizen of a country with a more favorable tax regime, such as Singapore, to optimize their tax situation.

Lastly, imagine the liberty to choose a home based on climate, family safety, business opportunity, culture, or quality of life. Multiple citizenships can provide the ability to reside in countries with better healthcare, pleasant climates, and an overall higher quality of life. In essence, it's about crafting the lifestyle you desire, with the freedom to relocate to places where you feel most fulfilled.

5 types of getting multiple citizenships 

Now that we have addressed the question of how many citizenships you can have, let's discuss the ways to obtain them.

Birthright Citizenship: the right of the soil (Jus soli)

This is obtained when a person is born in a country that offers citizenship to anyone born on its soil, regardless of the nationality of the parents. Most countries in the American continent, with the exceptions of Cuba and Colombia, grant unconditional citizenship to people born within their borders.

However, it’s important to note that while this is a seemingly straightforward path to citizenship, many countries have exceptions or additional requirements. 

For instance, in Germany, a child born in the country can acquire German citizenship if at least one parent has been a legal and habitual resident for a minimum of eight years. In Spain, a child born there is considered Spanish if one of the parents was also born in Spain, or if neither parent passes on their nationality to the child.

Parentage or Descent: the right of blood (Jus sanguinis)

Many countries grant citizenship based on the nationality of one's parents. This means if your parents are citizens of a country, you might also be eligible for citizenship there, regardless of where you were born. Notable examples include Malta, where citizenship can be passed down even if a child is born abroad, and Ireland, which extends citizenship to children with Irish parents or even grandparents under certain conditions. Japan adheres strictly to this principle, offering citizenship to children with at least one Japanese parent. Spain and Greece also follow this model, granting citizenship based on lineage, often extending beyond immediate parents.

Marriage

Marriage as a path to citizenship is often seen as a direct and personal connection to a country through a citizen spouse, thereby facilitating the naturalization process. However, in response to concerns over sham or fraudulent marriages, countries have implemented more strict regulations. Consequently, citizenship through marriage, while available in various countries, is subject to differing requirements and conditions. For instance, in Portugal, one can apply for citizenship after being married to a Portuguese citizen for three years, or two years if they have a Portuguese child. France allows spouses of French citizens to apply for citizenship after four years of marriage, provided the couple has been living together.

Naturalization

Naturalization is another common method to acquire citizenship. This process usually involves residing in a country for a specific period, demonstrating integration into the society, and often passing language and civics tests. Integral to this process is the requirement to have a clean criminal record, which serves as a testament to the applicant's good moral character and respect for the laws of the host nation.

For example, in the United States, eligibility for naturalization demands a minimum of five years of lawful residence, or three if married to a U.S. citizen. Applicants must also pass English and U.S. civics tests, showcasing their language skills and understanding of American government and history.

Similarly, Canada requires a physical presence of 3 years within the 5 years immediately before applying for citizenship, as well as language proficiency, and knowledge of the country, including Canadian rights and responsibilities.

Investment Citizenship

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs offer individuals and their families a way to acquire citizenship in a different country through substantial investment in the target country and in many cases without a physical presence requirement, making the investment itself the most important requirement. This can include real estate investments, business investments, or significant financial contributions to government funds.

Other than obtaining a second passport, CBI programs also extend a variety of advantages. Participants may enjoy tax advantages, access to a range of government services, and an enhancement of citizenship rights, including voting and property ownership, enriching their global standing and personal freedoms.

In considering CBI programs, apart from the investment itself, there are several other requirements to be met. Applicants must choose from approved investment options, clear security checks, and verify the legal source of their investment funds. Additionally, a clean criminal record and maintaining good health are essential prerequisites.

Golden visa programs are another appealing option for those looking for expanded personal and economic liberties. These programs grant legal residency in exchange for investment, allowing individuals to gain permanent residency in a host country. They are found across the globe, including the USA EB-5, Greece Golden Visa, UAE Golden Visa, Malta, Austria Residency by Independent means, Saudi Arabia Premium Residency, Australia, and many others, providing investors with the legal right to reside in the target country as well as greater mobility and a possibility of future citizenship. Like Citizenship by Investment programs, golden visas also offer additional advantages such as tax benefits and improved access to government services.

If these opportunities align with your aspirations, Mirabello Consultancy is your trusted advisor for your investment-driven citizenship or residency goals. It offers various Citizenship by Investment programs and Golden Visa options, to assist clients in expediting their second citizenship or residency in various countries. Mirabello Consultancy aims to offer a tailored experience to each client, focusing on their specific needs and ensuring a smooth and efficient process. So fill out the contact form to request your free initial consultation with Mirabello Consultancy.

FAQ

How many citizenships can you have in the United States of America?

There is no limit on the number. US citizens can also hold citizenship in other countries, subject to the laws of those countries.

How many citizenships can you have as a Canadian?

Canadian law allows for dual or multiple citizenship. This means that you can be a citizen of Canada and also a citizen of one or more other countries, as long as the other countries also permit dual or multiple citizenship. 

Can you get four (4) citizenships?

Theoretically yes, as long as it is lawful to have more than one citizenship in all the countries involved.

Who holds the record for the most citizenships?

There is no widely recognized record for the person holding the most citizenship. The information about citizenship statuses is usually private and not typically disclosed publicly, which makes it difficult to determine the accurate number.

Ultimately, acquiring multiple citizenships is much more than a mere travel convenience. Clearly, it’s a proactive step towards personal freedom, safety, and economic opportunity. It grants a strategic advantage in a world where mobility, education, and stability are increasingly important for success. So, how many citizenships can you have? The answer varies, but the possibilities extend far beyond the number, impacting one's life significantly in today's globalized society.

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