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How many citizenships can one have?

The desire for a multinational identity is becoming more and more relevant in the modern world, and the question of the number of citizenships a person can have at the same time is becoming a key issue. However, the laws of your home country may not allow you to obtain a passport of another country – your first passport may be recognised as invalid. We tell you more about the pitfalls of obtaining a second citizenship and more in the article.

Which countries allow multiple citizenship and which do not?

The number of passports you can hold at the same time depends directly on the laws of your home country and the other state whose citizenship you wish to acquire. Not everywhere it is allowed to have more than one citizenship.

Let’s say you live in Finland and are interested in obtaining a Monaco passport. In this case, you must renounce your original citizenship and become a Monaco citizen only, as dual citizenship is strictly forbidden in Monaco.

However, if you live in Finland and you are seeking to acquire citizenship of Dominica, which is in the Caribbean, in this case you will not lose your original passport, as both countries do not limit the number of citizenships you can hold. As a result, you will have two valid passports.

There are countries where multiple nationalities are not allowed and in some cases dual nationality is a criminal offence. This is the case for certain Asian and African States, as well as other regions.

For example, people who acquire Dutch citizenship automatically forfeit their previous passports. The Austrian Nationality Act does not allow dual nationality, except in cases where persons acquire two nationalities at birth. For example, a child born to an Austrian family living in the United States acquires both Austrian and American citizenship at birth.

Peculiarities of having multiple citizenship

However, some countries that do not prevent their citizens from holding more than one passport may impose legal restrictions in various areas.

When traveling, United States citizens who possess a second document issued by another country must present a United States passport when entering and leaving the United States. The same rules apply in Canada, Australia, Turkey, and other countries.

In the sphere of legal jurisdiction, most states that allow multiple nationality in fact do not recognise it from a legal point of view. This means that on the territory of a country a person is considered solely as a citizen of that particular country.

While in your own country as a citizen, you will not be able to seek consular assistance from the country in which you are also a citizen, as you are in the first country legally.

In times of conflict between states, citizens holding passports from both countries may have to choose which country to serve in the military. Such a choice may lead to legal proceedings in the second country.

In many countries, persons with multiple passports may be excluded from elections to public bodies such as parliament, ministries and local administrative offices. This applies to Mexico, Australia, Colombia, Egypt and other countries.

In certain cases, such as in Israel, dual nationals are required to renounce all other citizenships before taking up employment as public officials, including diplomatic service and parliamentary work.

Individuals with dual citizenship may face double taxation or higher tax rates. For example, Americans with dual citizenship living in the UK must file tax returns in the US.

How do you get multiple citizenship?

The procedure for acquiring citizenship of another country can vary from simple to complex depending on the particular circumstances. There are several ways that can be used to acquire a second citizenship.

Family ties

This method makes it easier to obtain citizenship if you have a family relationship with a person living in another country and can prove it. The “citizenship by descent” laws allow you to obtain a second passport in the country of your ancestors. Greece, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Greece, Italy and some other countries offer this option.


Applying for a second passport becomes possible after marriage to a citizen of another country. The timeframe for acquiring citizenship depends on the specific rules of each state. For example, it is possible to acquire Argentine citizenship the day after marriage.


Another option for obtaining citizenship of another country is long-term residence there. The naturalisation process is a long-term one, and successful completion requires good reasons for living in another country. If you study or work abroad, you can count on the possibility of obtaining citizenship in the future.


In some countries it is possible to obtain a second passport by depositing a certain amount of money into a government account or by purchasing real estate. This method provides a relatively easy path to citizenship for wealthy individuals. Investors usually receive their passports within 6 months of submitting their documents. Most programmes offer the opportunity to repay the investment after a certain period of time. For example, in Grenada it is possible to sell property or get a refund on bonds five years after citizenship.

When using the investment approach, applicants are required to undergo a Due Diligence review to confirm the legitimacy of the source of income.

Which countries grant citizenship through investment?

Some states do not grant citizenship directly to investors, but offer this method of obtaining a residence permit, which can be a quicker way to obtain a national passport.

Italy is an example of this approach. Under the “Golden Visa to Italy”, foreigners who have invested €250,000 or more in the country’s economy can apply for citizenship after 5 years of residence in Italy.

Greece also implements a similar programme for residence permits. The minimum investment amount is the same as in Italy, but participants can apply for Greek citizenship after 7 years of permanent residence. At the same time, they must prove proficiency in the Greek language, knowledge of the country’s history and geography.

In the USA, the first step to a national passport may be participation in the EB-5 programme. This visa is available for investments of $800,000 or more in the US economy and opens the way to citizenship after 5 years.

Portugal, for example, offers visas for Digital Nomads (Digital Nomad Visa) and for passive income earners (D7). These require proof of a monthly income of at least €3040 per month.

Advantages of holding multiple citizenships

Broad prospects for business development

Entrepreneurs have opportunities to establish new international sales channels and expand the scope of their business. By opening accounts with trusted banks and working with partners without exposure to currency controls, businesspeople can strengthen their position. In some regions, such as the Caribbean like St Kitts and Nevis, there are opportunities to invest in local businesses, obtain citizenship and realize profitable results from their own investments.

Visa-free regime

Owning a second passport for some countries allows you to visit other countries without visas. This opens new doors in traveling and allows you to choose more destinations to live in.

Getting quality education

Second citizenship simplifies the process of studying at top universities, bypassing the hassle of obtaining a student visa, and provides additional time to find a job abroad.

More choices and freedom

Having more than one nationality gives you the choice of living in a country with a favorable environment, pleasant climate and efficient health care system. Those with a Caribbean passport, such as those St Kitts and Nevis, can spend the winter in a warmer region with beautiful scenery. With access to European countries, traveling to famous landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Coliseum becomes much easier.

Imperial & Legal operates on the global market, offering advice and assistance in obtaining citizenship and residence permits of various countries. We assist in obtaining a second passport and residence permit for your chosen country. Contact us today to discuss the options available.

Frequently asked questions on citizenship

How many citizenships can I have?

How many passports you can have is determined by the laws of specific countries. For example, some countries, such as Austria and India, require foreigners to give up their previous passports. In contrast, the United States and Italy allow multiple citizenships.

When choosing a country for citizenship, it is advisable to contact local immigration lawyers to find out if a particular state allows multiple citizenship.

Can I have three citizenships at once?

Yes, provided that the laws of your home country and the countries you are interested in do not prevent multiple citizenship, you are entitled to hold triple citizenship. For example, if you live in Finland and decide to acquire the citizenship of Dominica, a Caribbean country, you do not have to give up your original passport, as both countries allow multiple citizenships.

Which countries allow triple citizenship?

Having two or more passports from other countries is allowed in the USA, Great Britain, Israel, Switzerland and some other countries. You can familiarize yourself with the full list and choose the most suitable options for yourself by contacting our company’s lawyers for advice.

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