It Might Be Too Late for Trump to Get a Second Passport … but not for You

It’s no secret that here at Nestmann, we’re huge advocates of second citizenships and the second passports that come with them. Indeed, we’ve helped dozen of clients acquire citizenship by investment over the last two decades.

A second citizenship and passport simply means more freedom. Freedom to explore new business and investment opportunities overseas. Freedom to expand your travel possibilities and reside in a new country.

More importantly, if the government confiscates or fails to renew your primary passport, a second passport gives you the freedom to travel internationally regardless. It also offers you fast-track access to live in another country or countries. And if your primary passport is issued by a government viewed abroad as having an intrusive foreign policy, you may receive a warmer welcome using one from a country with a more neutral foreign policy.

Following the federal indictment of former president Donald Trump last month on violations of the Espionage Act and other criminal charges that could land him in prison for decades, we wondered if he had a second citizenship and passport. Certainly, some of his associates do – former advisor Peter Thiel, for instance, is a dual US-New Zealand citizen. And Republican mega-donor Harlan Crow is a dual US- St. Kitts & Nevis citizen.

We don’t know if Trump has followed their lead. But certainly, it might be comforting for him if he could wait out the statute of limitations for the various crimes for which he’s been accused in a country that would be reluctant to extradite him to the United States to stand trial.

Great Britain is the most obvious country from which Trump could obtain citizenship. His mother was born in Scotland, which would make him a British citizen by ancestry, should he wish to claim it. But there’s an extradition treaty in effect with the United Kingdom – one that his administration (and that of Joe Biden) used to try to bring back Wikileaks founder Julian Assange to the United States to face espionage charges.  

Beyond Great Britain, Trump might try to acquire a second passport through a qualifying investment from one of the dozen or so countries with citizenship by investment programs. The problem is that if he hasn’t already acted, it might be too late. Not only is Trump highly politically exposed – a negative factor in virtually any citizenship application – he’s now been formally charged with dozens of felonies.

On the other hand, if Trump does have a second citizenship from a country with more stringent conditions for extradition to the United States than Great Britain – or no extradition treaty at all – he could be in a much stronger position.

Most extradition treaties give countries asked to extradite a fugitive the authority to deny that request for political offences or for offenses of a political character. Examples include treason, espionage, and sanctions violations.

Uncle Sam has been trying to weaken the political offense exception in extradition treaties for decades, and succeeded in watering it down in the latest version of the UK-US treaty. But in countries with older treaties, Trump could make a strong case that this exception should apply in an extradition effort, especially since the federal indictment alleges more than 30 violations of the Espionage Act.

Even if it may be too late for Trump to consider a second passport, if you have a clean criminal record and haven’t been charged with a crime, it’s not too late for you to do so. The most economical way to obtain a second passport is to take advantage of your ancestry, your spouse’s ancestry, or your religious affiliation.

Almost every country has a program offering citizenship or passports to individuals with a family history in that nation. In most countries, like Great Britain, it’s just one generation; one of your parents would need to have been born there for you to qualify. But it’s two generations or sometimes even longer in other countries, such as Italy and Ireland.

Many countries allow spouses of citizens to apply for citizenship and a passport, usually after a specified period of residence. In Austria, for instance, the ordinary 10-year period of residency necessary to qualify for citizenship is reduced to six years if you’re married to an Austrian citizen.

Your religion may also be a viable route to alternative citizenship. For instance, Jews who immigrate to Israel are entitled to Israeli citizenship and passport. But since Israel has compulsory military service, taking out Israeli citizenship may not be prudent for parents of young children.

If you don’t qualify based on these factors, in most countries, you can acquire citizenship following a period of prolonged residency. But it can take 10 years or longer to qualify, although a shorter residency period is more typical – most often five to seven years.

That leaves citizenship by investment. If you aren’t highly politically exposed, have no criminal record, and can demonstrate that the funds you plan to donate or invest to obtain citizenship come from a legitimate source, you should qualify.

Here at Nestmann, we’ve long associated ourselves with the two oldest citizenship by investment programs in the world – the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis and the Commonwealth of Dominica.

St. Kitts & Nevis (officially, the Federation of St. Christopher & Nevis), which we wrote about when we visited there earlier this year, is comprised of two tropical islands in the West Indies. It’s located about 1,300 miles southeast of Miami.

The country has the world’s oldest continuously operational economic citizenship program, dating from 1984. It also has a limited time offer valid through January 2024. Until then, the total costs for the “Sustainable Growth Fund” (SGF) option come to around $156,000 for a single applicant; $186,000 for a married couple. Most of the money need not be paid until you’ve been approved for citizenship.

A St. Kitts & Nevis passport gives you the right to travel to nearly 160 countries visa-free, or with minimal visa formalities. This group includes all 27 countries in the European Union, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, Cuba, and even Russia. It also lets you live and work in other members of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). Besides Saint Kitts & Nevis, this group of countries includes Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, and Saint Vincent & the Grenadines.

Dominica, which we most recently discussed when we visited there earlier this year, is a 300-square-mile tropical island located about 1,400 miles southeast of Miami. In 1995, the country launched what is now the world’s second-oldest citizenship by investment program. The total costs come to around $132,000 for a single applicant; $189,000 for a married couple.

A Dominica passport isn’t quite as high quality a travel document as one from St. Kitts & Nevis, but it still gives you the right to travel to more than 140 countries visa-free, or with minimal visa formalities. And since Dominica is an OECS member, once you receive citizenship there, you can live and work in most other OECS member states. We mainly recommend Dominica for solo applicants since it’s less expensive than St. Kitts & Nevis.

Over the last two decades, we’ve helped dozens of clients obtain second citizenships and passports in these countries. We’re very selective in the clients we work with and are proud to say we’ve never had an application we’ve submitted formally rejected.

To get started, contact From start to finish, the process generally takes about four to six months after you submit your application. We do anticipate possible delays in St. Kitts & Nevis due to the extension of the limited time offer, so if you’re interested in taking advantage of it, we suggest you get in touch without delay.

On another note, many clients first get to know us by accessing some of our well-researched courses and reports on important topics that affect you.

Like How to Go Offshore in 2023, for example. It tells the story of John and Kathy, a couple we helped from the heartland of America. You’ll learn how we helped them go offshore and protect their nestegg from ambulance chasers, government fiat and the decline of the US Dollar… and access a whole new world of opportunities not available in the US. Simply click the button below to register for this free program.

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