US Immigration News

The Second Passport Program: How It Works

3 minute read
"Do you know about the most powerful passport in the world? Yes, passports are ranked by the Mobility Score (MS) system based on how many countries the passport will allow the holder to travel to without requiring a visa."
Written by My Visa Source Team
Published on:  Aug 3, 2021
two passports with the one on top saying second passport my visa source
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Do you know about the most powerful passport in the world? Yes, passports are ranked by the Mobility Score (MS) system based on how many countries the passport will allow the holder to travel to without requiring a visa. 

The Second Passports, also known as the “Golden Visas” and sometimes referenced by this term, “Permanent Residency by Investment” is essentially a pathway for international investors and high-net-worth individuals to immigrate to a foreign country by investing in that country. This way they are issued the passport of that country.

Many foreign nationals use this program to acquire powerful passports that will allow global mobility, allowing them to travel to the maximum number of countries, visa-free that the passport has access to. 

Currently, the Japanese passport is the most powerful in the world. A passport issued by Japan will allow the holder to travel to 193 different countries and territories without having to get a visa in advance. Unfortunately, one of the requirements is that it be your only passport, so this cannot become your Second Passport.

Which Countries Offer Second Passports Through Investment?

Many countries in the world offer Second Passports such as: 

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada (Quebec)
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Montenegro
  • Portugal
  • Saint Lucia
  • St. Kitts & Nevis
  • United Kingdom
  • United States

All these countries have different specifications and requirements for the investors, therefore you must consider your options carefully to make an informed decision.

Who Is Eligible for the Second Passport Programs?

Anyone with sufficient financial resources to make the minimum required investment for the program is eligible. Sometimes, the applicant may be asked to make a donation or acquire real estate in the country to get a second passport.

The applicant must be at least 21 years of age. The principal applicant can also include his/her spouse, dependent children, and in some cases, their parents in their immigration application.

The applicant must be able to demonstrate that the funds for the investment were acquired lawfully. The countries will carry out background checks to ensure that the applicant is not money laundering or financing terrorist activities. This process will differ based on every country.

What Is the General Investment to Acquire a Second Passport?

The general cost of acquisition includes the required investment which can be in the form of donation, investment in real estate, or acquisition of shares in an approved corporation.

In addition to this, the cost will include an administrative fee for background checks, passport fee, etc. The minimum required investment ranges between $150,000 to up to $2 million based on the country.

What Are the Benefits of Second Passports?

Most countries allow their citizens to hold dual or multiple passports. This allows them to be an international city as they can have access to different countries without needing to wait for a visa.

Many investors and high net worth individuals also invest in Second Passport for tax sheltering which can be passed down through generations. Second Passports also provide financial security and help people keep their options open for the future.

What Is the Process to Apply for a Second Passport?

Most countries have appointed accredited agencies to assist with the process of applying for a Second Passport. These agencies work with lawyers and other professionals in business immigration law to set the procedure of applying for each country.

Initially, your documents will be reviewed by the professionals and the process of application gets underway. Once the background checks are complete, the investment will be made directly by the investor. Investment funds are not paid to any intermediaries or agents but directly to the National treasury of the country of investment.

Once this is completed, you will be issued a passport, couriered to your agency who will then arrange the delivery of the passport to you. This process can take anywhere from 3 to 7 months.

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