You Could Be Eligible for an EU Passport (and not Know It)

In this age of passport confiscations, stricter border enforcement, and compulsory denaturalization, it’s more important than ever to obtain a second citizenship and passport  –  “just in case.”

Take a look at the fine print in your passport. If you have a US passport, you’ll find this message under the heading “IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT YOUR PASSPORT.”

US GOVERNMENT PROPERTY. This passport is the property of the US government…It must be surrendered upon demand by an authorized representative of the United States Government.

If you’re a citizen of any other country, chances are your passport contains a similar statement. If your government decides it doesn’t want you to travel internationally, it can simply revoke your passport, leaving you trapped in that country.

In the United States, the State Department can revoke, refuse to renew, or decline to issue a passport for several reasons:

  • If a federal or state court has ordered you to stay in the United States.

  • If another country has requested your extradition.

  • If you owe more than $2,500 in delinquent child support payments.

  • If doubts arise as to the legitimacy of your claim to US citizenship.

  • If you have a “seriously delinquent” tax debt.

The consequences of having your passport revoked are serious. If you don’t have an alternative travel document, you can’t travel internationally.

If you live in a country other than the one you’re a citizen of, it’s even worse. Whatever visa you hold that gives you permission to live in another country will no longer be valid since you no longer have a valid passport associated with it. You’ll lose the right to live in your adopted country and could be deported. If you have a spouse, children, or business in that country, you’ll need to leave all that behind.

Fortunately, it’s relatively easy to acquire a second citizenship and passport. And there are numerous benefits in doing so. You’ll gain new travel and investment possibilities, automatic permission to live and work in at least one other country, and much easier access to a banking system outside your own country. That’s an important consideration as banks worldwide continue to “de-risk” and close accounts held by “undesirable” customers.

In the last two decades, we’ve helped hundreds of clients acquire citizenship by investment in the Federation of St. Kitts & Nevis and the Commonwealth of Dominica. These two Caribbean island nations have, respectively, the world’s oldest and second-oldest citizenship by investment programs.

Still, as the term “citizenship by investment” implies, to qualify for a second citizenship and passport in these countries, you need to make a substantial financial commitment. For instance, in Dominica, the total costs, including all government fees, for a single applicant is around $130,000. For a married couple, it’s about $185,000.

The total costs in St. Kitts & Nevis are about $155,000 for a single applicant; $185,000 for a married couple. But that’s only until June 30, 2023 – after that total costs will increase to $180,000 (single applicants) and $205,000 (married couples).

But what if you could acquire a second citizenship and passport for a small fraction of that cost? If you have direct ancestors who were once citizens of another country, you might be able to qualify for second citizenship on that basis.

What’s more, a number of countries have substantially liberalized the eligibility for citizenship through ancestry, especially in Europe. Even if you looked into citizenship through ancestry a few years ago and concluded you weren’t eligible, you might want to look again.

Consider Italy, which offers one of the world’s best passports, with visa-free access to nearly 189 countries. And Italian citizens can live not only in Italy, but in any of the other 26 members of the European Union.

An individual born outside Italy may acquire Italian citizenship if they had an ancestor who was an Italian citizen, with no limit on the number of generations under the legal principle of jus sanguinis. There is no requirement to live in Italy or to demonstrate fluency in Italian to qualify for citizenship in this manner.

For instance, we have a client whose maternal grandparents migrated from Italy to the United States in the 1930s. About a decade ago, after seeing an article which explained that grandchildren of Italian citizens who left Italy could be eligible for Italian citizenship, he contacted an Italian consulate to find out if he might be eligible.

“Sorry,” he was told. “You can only claim Italian citizenship through your father, not your mother.”

So he gave up on the idea of obtaining Italian citizenship, until he signed up for our Private Wealth program a few months ago. As part of the report we prepared for him, we investigated his possible eligibility for Italian citizenship.

It turns out that several Italian courts have concluded that it’s discriminatory to prohibit someone who traces their Italian ancestry through a maternal ancestor from claiming Italian citizenship. Thus, our client would need to apply for Italian citizenship through the Italian courts – not through an Italian consulate.

There are a few other hurdles to overcome, most notably retrieving the various family documents necessary to establish that the client was in fact entitled to Italian citizenship. But the payoff – one of the world’s best passports – is well worth the time, effort, and (relatively small) expense.

And if you don’t qualify for ancestral citizenship? You can still make a qualifying investment or donation in a country with a bona-fide citizenship by investment program. Again, you’ll need to spend a minimum of around $130,000 if you choose this option. Contact us at if you’d like to know more.

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 2024, 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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