The Eight Easiest And Fastest
Citizenships & Passports To Get In 2019

Most people 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 ANYONE to obtain dual citizenship and a valuable second passport.

The most frequent questions we 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 options.

View ALL the Easiest and Fastest Citizenship & Passport Options At A Glance...

Download our free Easiest Citizenship & Passport Comparison Sheet and see all the options you have at a glance.

Easiest Citizenship & Second Passport Options Comparison Table

Inside you’ll find…

  • The 5 easiest options to obtain EU citizenship & passport and 9 options outside the EU
  • How and where to obtain a valuable citizenship and passport after just two years of residency (while paying next to nothing)
  • The best instant citizenship options for singles, families and those who want EU citizenship
  • Which options allow you to obtain a second passport while spending the least amount of time in the country
  • The 14 countries that might give you FREE citizenship & passport if you have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from there

This sheet could save you tens of thousands of dollars and YEARS of time.

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:

  1.     Ancestry
  2.     Time
  3.     Money
  4.     Flexibility

By far, the easiest way to get a passport is through ancestry. It’s a little-known shortcut that could give you an excellent European passport and oftentimes costs next to nothing to obtain.

Here’s how it works: if you’ve got parents, grandparents (and in some cases great-grandparents) from Italy, Ireland, Hungary or several other countries, you might already qualify for citizenship. That means you could get your second passport quickly, cheaply and hassle-free.  

It’s called citizenship by descent.

And it’s an excellent option that we recommend EVERYONE considers first. 

To get a better idea of how this process works, you can download a free in-depth intelligence report on How To Get an Italian Passport & Citizenship By Descent here.

Even if you don’t have Italian ancestors this report will give you a better idea of how citizenship by descent works.

Italian Citizenship By Descent
Further ReadingCitizenship By Descent Example: How To Get an Italian Passport

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 blood ties to a country. In fact, the second easiest way to get a passport simply requires you to have a little patience and to put in a little time.  

The time option usually involves obtaining residency in a foreign country. You first obtain legal residency, which then leads to full citizenship after a few years. Countries that give citizenship easily generally offer it after several years of  residency in the country.

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.

The Easiest EU Countries To Get Citizenship And a Passport

How to get a passport in the European Union?” is the most common question from our readers. So let’s start here...

  • Portugal is the easiest overall option for EU citizenship
  • Belgium offers the easiest EU citizenship if you move your business there
  • Spain offers the fastest way to get EU citizenship if you come from one of the former Spanish colonies
  • Malta is the easiest EU passport to obtain if you have the money for a citizenship-by-investment program

1. Portugal
The Easiest OVERALL Option for EU Citizenship.

Portugal is a great country to get citizenship from. Its passport is first-class, with visa-free access to 159 countries, which includes the ability to live, work and travel freely in all 28 member-states of the EU (27, if you discount the UK).

Getting a Portuguese passport is relatively easy. It requires becoming a resident of Portugal, and after five years, applying for citizenship.

Portugal’s Retirement and Online Worker Visa is the best way to obtain residency in Portugal. It requires you to have sufficient means to support yourself. 

What qualifies as “sufficient means” will vary from consulate to consulate. Some will require that you show savings equivalent to €40 per day that you’re going to be in Portugal to support yourself, while others will require you to show at least €50,000 in any combination of income or savings.

That’s extremely low for a passport with that level of quality. 

Lots of European countries make it difficult for those who weren’t born there to get citizenship. In contrast, Portugal 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 will need to apply for your initial visa to stay in Portugal from your local consulate. We encourage you to apply roughly 3 months within your expected departure date for Portugal.

Once you have your visa, you must travel to Portugal to obtain your temporary residence permit, which you will receive after a visit with the local authorities.

During the first year of the residence permit you will be required to spend a minimum of four months in the country and can’t leave for more than 6 consecutive months at a time. 

After the first year, your temporary residence permit renews in two-year intervals.

During each two year period you have to spend at least 16 months in the country and can’t  can’t leave for more than 6 consecutive months.

After five years of temporary residency in Portugal, you will be eligible for permanent residency and citizenship (the naturalization period was reduced from six to five years in mid-2018). 

So if you have a few years, and don’t have grandparents from Ireland, Italy or a German father, then Portugal is currently the European country where it is easiest to get citizenship.

Now, in this case, “easy” does not mean “Panama easy”. The financial requirements are higher to establish Portuguese residency, and you do need to spend more time on the ground than you do in Panama. 

But Portugal offers an incredible passport. And given the low barriers to entry, the lax residency requirements and the short-time to naturalization, Portugal is by far the easiest way to get EU citizenship (without ancestry).

Keep in mind however, that even though it’s possibly the easiest European passport to obtain, the path from Portuguese residency to full citizenship takes at least five years of residency.

2. Belgium
The Easiest Option For EU Citizenship for Business People.

If you’re looking to relocate an existing or willing to start a new business, Belgium is a great choice because it offers a fantastic, Tier 1 passport with visa-free access to 158 countries. 

Just like Portugal, with a Belgian passport, you could live and work anywhere in the EU. You’ve got free access to the European continent, no nightmarish red tape involved.

Unlike Portugal however, which requires only financial means, Belgium is the easiest European passport to obtain for those looking to start a business.

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 you might be eligible for government subsidies, especially in Wallonia (the southern, French-speaking part of Belgium). So you might be able to reduce your contribution significantly.

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 a 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 Belgian 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 will come by your home to make sure you actually do live there, even if it’s temporary.

And that’s it. You’re now a resident of Belgium.

You can stay or leave the country as you please, but if you want full citizenship, you’ll eventually need to establish strong ties to Belgium.

What does that mean?

Keep the 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 just five years, you can apply for naturalization (full citizenship).

If you’re looking to start or relocate a business, Belgium might be the easiest EU citizenship to get.

Easily Compare
The Easiest and Fastest Citizenship & Passport Options

Download our free Easiest Citizenship & Passport Comparison Sheet and see all the options you have at a glance.
Easiest Citizenship & Second Passport Options Comparison Table

Inside you’ll find…

  • The 5 easiest options to obtain EU citizenship & passport and 9 options outside the EU
  • How and where to obtain a valuable citizenship and passport after just two years of residency (while paying next to nothing)
  • The best instant citizenship options for singles, families and those who want EU citizenship
  • Which options allow you to obtain a second passport while spending the least amount of time in the country
  • The 14 countries that might give you FREE citizenship & passport if you have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from there

This sheet could save you tens of thousands of dollars and YEARS of time.

3. Spain
The Best Option OVERALL for EU Citizenship for Those of Latin Descent

Spain is by far the best (meaning fastest and cheapest) option for citizens of countries that used to be Spanish colonies.  

That’s because Spain cuts the residency requirement from ten years to just two years for citizens of any Spanish-speaking country in the Americas, but also Brasil and the Philippines.

And Spain does not require you to renounce your original citizenship – which is the case if you come from other countries.

A Spanish passport is a fantastic asset to own. In fact, it’s one of the best in the world and ranks in the top 10 in our international passport ranking.

Spanish citizenship gives you visa-free access to 161 countries, including all of the European Union.

If you are not a citizen of a former Spanish colony (or the Philippines), we’d encourage you to reconsider Spanish residency if your ultimate goal is to get a passport. Spain will require that you reside in the country for ten years, and give up your original citizenship.

(In that case, we suggest you check out obtaining residency and citizenship in Portugal instead)

But if you are of Latin descent, Spain will not require you to give up your first citizenship, and cuts down the residency requirement to just two years.

Gaining residency in Spain is relatively straightforward. You can qualify for residency under the residencia no lucrativa program if:

  • You can show a bank balance with more than four times the annual IPREM (a total of €25,816 in 2019) or 
  • You receive monthly passive income of at least 4 times the monthly IPREM (a total of €2,151 in 2019) 

You will need to apply for your initial entry visa into Spain from your local consulate at home. Once in Spain, you will be able to pick up your residence permit on the ground. 

After two years, you will become eligible for a Spanish passport.

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4. Malta
The Easiest Option for EU Citizenship if Money Is No Issue.

A Maltese passport is the easiest option for anyone to pursue if they wish to get EU citizenship AND money isn’t an issue (if money is an issue, we suggest you check out Portugal instead).

Malta will grant foreigners citizenship in less than 15 months in exchange for a combination of donation and investment into the country.

The requirements are broken down like this: 

  1. You will need to make a one-time €650,000 donation to the government that you will not get back
  2. You will need to invest €150,000 in government-approved financial instruments like stocks or bonds.
  3. You will need to buy real estate worth at least 350,000 euro OR rent a property for at least €16,000 for five years (meaning you will end up paying €80,000 in rent)

If these requirements scare you, then a passport from Malta likely isn’t for you. 

But if you have no problem meeting the requirements, a Maltese passport is an excellent travel document that gives you visa-free access to 158 countries including all of the European Union (Malta is part of both the European Union and the Schengen Area).

In fact, Malta is by far the best citizenship you can acquire by investment anywhere in the world (it also comes with a steep price tag).

Once you’ve met the requirements, you will need to maintain residency in Malta for twelve months before you can qualify for a passport.

That doesn’t mean, however, that you will need to be in Malta for the entire time. In fact, there is no strict time requirements for you to spend a lot of time there – you just have to come fill out the paperwork in person. 

Malta is a great place to spend time. But once you are a Maltese citizen, you have unfettered access to all of Europe, and you can choose to live anywhere you like in the EU.

Save Tens of Thousands Of Dollars On Your
Citizenship-By-Investment Passport

Malta is just one of 13 citizenship-by-investment programs around the world.

Download our Citizenship By Investment Comparison Table to see all available programs at a glance.

Citizenship By Investment Program Comparison

Inside you’ll learn…

  • The differences between the programs (number of visa-free countries, price, investment options, taxation, …)
  • Which countries you can enter without a visa with each passport (and the differences between them)

It could potentially help you save tens or even hundreds of thousands of Dollars by picking the best passport for your personal situation at the lowest price…

The easiest passports & citizenships outside of the EU

Once you look outside of the EU things get even easier:

  • Panama is the easiest place in the world to establish residency and get citizenship after five years
  • Argentina is by far the fastest country to get citizenship in (only around three years in total)
  • Brazil is the easiest passport to get for those who are flexible
  • And the Caribbean offers the cheapest citizenship-by-investment programs if you have the money

5. Panama
The Easiest Place In The World To Establish Residency

Panama is one of the easiest places to get citizenship in the world because of its simple, fast track residency process. And residency, in this case, is the first step towards a 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 also has 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. You’re now a legal resident of Panama. 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.

This strategy makes Panama possibly the easiest country to become a citizen (without using the ancestry option)

Yes, it takes some time – five years of residency – 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 of 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, a Belgian or German passport.

6. 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. 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 by all international standards.

Argentina’s passport is also a pretty solid travel document, with visa-free access to more than 150 countries– including all of Europe and Russia, Southeast Asia, South America. The only major drawback is that an Argentinian passport does not give you 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 free report – The Four Passports ANYONE Can Obtain.)

Getting residency in Argentina is pretty easy. The official requirement is that you show a minimum of $1,000/month in passive income to be eligible, but our lawyers recommend showing $2,000 or more.

What kind of income qualifies?

  • Income derived from financial investments: dividends, annuities, receipts from a trust, interest payments from Certificates of Deposit, etc.
  • Retirement payments, such as Social Security
  • Regular distributions from a business you own outside of Argentina
  • Rental income from outside Argentina

If you have steady, passive income, you could qualify for a rentista visa, which is a one-year visa that can be extended in one-year increments. You’d 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, and not at a consulate in your home country, which could quickly become 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 is easy enough to pass without full fluency.

But investing time is not the only way to get foreign citizenship. There’s a more orthodox way that requires a little flexibility.

7. 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.

This doesn’t just apply to crimes, but also to any activity foreign governments may not like. For example, 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 from Brazil… 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.

One option is to marry a Brazilian citizen and apply for permanent residency immediately after that. After one year of permanent residency, you can apply for naturalization and a Brazilian passport. Talk about how to get a passport easily!

Another option is having a baby in Brazil. In our Sovereign Man: Confidential member library, we profiled a couple who moved to Brazil and had their baby there.

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, not knowing a soul, and you’ll immediately have 20 new friends willing to give you the shirts off their backs. It’s a hard place to not like.

Brazil is also not the only country that gives citizenship by birth. If you want to give your future child the invaluable gift of a second citizenship and passport, download our free report “The Four Passports ANYONE Can Obtain”

Four Passports Anyone Can Obtain eBook
Further ReadingA full list of countries that give citizenship by birth inside our free report The Four Passports ANYONE Can Obtain

8. Caribbean
Cheapest Citizenship-By-Investment Option For Wealthy Individuals

If money isn’t an issue, then you could look into acquiring citizenship by investment from one of a number of Caribbean nations. 

The region is home to five citizenship-by-investment programs and is responsible for making the sale of citizenship in exchange for donations mainstream around the world.

The most famous of these programs is that of St Kitts and Nevis. 

But after Hurricane Maria ravaged the region in 2017, several Caribbean nations made their programs even more attractive by literally halving their prices to attract capital.

Today, the most attractive option for single applicants is St. Lucia. For a $109,600 (inclusive of fees) one-time donation to the government, you can get a passport from St. Lucia, which gives you visa-free access to 123 countries, including the EU (but excluding the US and Canada). 

For families, we suggest looking at Antigua & Barbuda, where a family of 4 can get citizenship on the island for just $141,200.

An Antiguan passport is similar to that of St. Lucia in that it gives you access to 129 countries visa-free, including the EU, but excluding the US and Canada. 

In both cases, there are no residency requirements, meaning you will simply have to show up to collect your passport, but are not required to spend any time at all in the country after that. 

The processing time for the entire process is around 3-5 months – so if you are looking for an expedited passport in a tax haven and you have the means, then a Caribbean passport could make a lot of sense.

You can learn more about this option in our in-depth article about citizenship-by-investment.

9. The Best Value BONUS Option

We promised you eight 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. A Chilean passport gives you visa-free access to 150 countries and ranks in 18th place on our Sovereign Man Passport Ranking Index

It’s not very difficult to obtain either, because Chile is an easy country to get permanent residence in.

To learn more about this option, download our free report “Four Passports ANYONE can Obtain”.

Inside you’ll also learn…

  • Four second passports ANYONE can obtain
  • Which country will give you a second passport without you having to spend hardly any time there.
  • How to get an excellent second passport from Europe.
  • Which second passport option is the most affordable and best value.
  • Where you can get a valuable second passport in less than HALF the time compared to other countries.
Four Passports Anyone Can Obtain eBook

Why Getting a Second Passport Could be one of the Smartest Things You Ever Do

There are many ways to acquire a second passport– many more than we’re able to list in this article. (Luckily, we’ve written dozens more pieces detailing, step-by-step, how to acquire easy second citizenships. Check them out in the Sovereign Man archives.)

We encourage you to research your options – and then TAKE ACTION.

If you have one nationality, then one, single government has total control over your life, your finances, your business, and your personal affairs.

It means that you’re chained to the consequences of that single government’s decisions, no matter how destructive, no matter whether you agree.

If they decide to provoke another war and impose a draft… or levy debilitating taxes… or print so much money that the consequent inflation causes social unrest… then you have little recourse.

A second passport is an insurance policy.

Hopefully you’ll never need it. And hopefully, you’ll never need the fire insurance policy that protects your home, either.

But if that day ever comes when you smell smoke, you’ll thank your lucky stars you’re covered.

Getting a second passport also means expanding your work, leisure and investment options – both for yourself and for your kids. Many universities in Europe, for example, are low-cost or free to EU nationals. And another passport can also be great for protecting your assets and even yourself: as far as I can tell, terrorists aren’t going after Chileans.

Having a second passport just makes sense. In this article, we’ve covered just a few of the many easy second citizenships out there.

Free Resources

Download Our Free
Easiest Citizenship & Passport Comparison Sheet

Easiest Citizenship & Second Passport Options Comparison Table

Inside you’ll see all the options you have at a glance and find…

  • The 5 easiest options to obtain EU citizenship & passport and 9 options outside the EU ​
  • How and where to obtain a valuable citizenship and passport after just two years of residency (while paying next to nothing)
  • The best instant citizenship options for singles, families and those who want EU citizenship
  • Which options allow you to obtain a second passport while spending the least amount of time in the country
  • The 14 countries that might give you FREE citizenship & passport if you have parents, grandparents or even great-grandparents from there

Download Our Free Report
The Four Passports ANYONE Can Obtain

Get our free intelligence report, with detailed instructions on how ANYONE can obtain an Excellent Second Passport through residency and discover …

  • Four second passports ANYONE can obtain
  • Which country will give you a second passport while spending barely any time there.
  • How to get an excellent second passport from Europe.
  • Which second passport option is the most affordable and best value.
  • Where you can get a valuable second passport in less than HALF the time compared to other countries.
Four Passports Anyone Can Obtain eBook

Download Our Free
Citizenship-By-Investment Comparison Sheet

In this article we covered three citizenship-by-investment programs, but there are 10 more programs around the world.

Download our Citizenship By Investment Comparison Table to see all available programs at a glance.

Citizenship By Investment Program Comparison

Inside you’ll learn…

  • The differences between the programs (number of visa-free countries, price, investment options, taxation, …)
  • Which countries you can enter without a visa with each passport (and the differences between them)

It could potentially help you save tens or even hundreds of thousands of Dollars by picking the best passport for your personal situation at the lowest price…

Download Our Free Report
Italian Passport & Citizenship By Descent

The very first option that EVERYONE should consider is citizenship by descent…

Inside this free premium intelligence you’ll see how to get an excellent European passport if you have Italian ancestors.

And even if you don’t have Italian ancestors, this report is still useful to get a better idea of how the process works.

  • Step-by-step instructions on how to get an Italian passport & citizenship if you have Italian ancestors.
  • The little-known fast-track shortcut that will cut the process down from years to just a few months!
  • And much more…
Italian Citizenship By Descent

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Sovereign Man: Confidential is our flagship intelligence  service informing you about the best places on Earth to safely protect your life, your liberty and your assets.

Our intelligence reports cover all four ways to get a second passport & citizenship in detail.

Additionally we also have intelligence on everything from new residency, foreign banking, options to reduce, defer, or even eliminate your taxes, to incredible investment picks outside the mainstream.

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