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Second passport programs come and go. At any one time, there may be any number of programs to choose from worldwide. Naturally, they vary greatly in both quality and cost.
There are many questions you should ask yourself before you make a commitment to a particular second passport program. Here are but a few:
It is clear that no single passport scheme can ever fit the needs of all prospective applicants.
What's more, many soon find out that there is no program available that can meet all of their particular criteria!
(Some first mistakenly assume that having sufficient funds at their disposal guarantees success. This type of thinking, so typical of clients from the many new democracies in Europe and further east, may well apply in other areas of life; it does not always apply in the second passport business, however.)
There can never be such thing as a "perfect" second passport, despite what others might tell you. Be prepared to compromise.
Given that individual priorities vary, how does one sort out the good, the bad, and the ugly and judge what's best at any given time? With great difficulty, I'm afraid.
If you have followed my writings, you will be aware that I attempt to apply some common (and common-sense) criteria that define a good second passport:
The choice of these criteria is based on years of experience of what the vast majority of applicants demand.
In my opinion, there are only only four schemes available today that fulfil the above criteria. Of these, only two allow legal name change, and one -- costing just under US$ 120,000 (plus legal fees depending on provider) -- is considered too expensive by some.
Nevertheless, your options may well be wider as some of the above criteria may not apply to you, depending on your circumstances and your agreement (or otherwise) to what I say.
Good passport programs have always been in limited supply, more so now than ever. As of the time of writing, there were only a handful of professionals able to deliver truly useful documents.
As might be expected, the Internet or the classified ads section of international press are probably not the best places to go passport-shopping.
In fact, passports are never "sold" as a commodity. Genuine consultants in the field of citizenship merely act as intermediaries to authorities in those jurisdictions where legislation or other circumstances permit qualified candidates to obtain second citizenship and the desired passport.
Arranging second citizenship is a sensitive occupation and the providers who have remained in the business to this day now almost exclusively rely on introductions from past clients. Those who find it necessary to openly advertise their services are sometimes not what they seem.
Keeping the second passport arena closed to the unscrupulous is an ongoing concern for any genuine provider, and all reserve the right to refuse their services to anyone. Nobody wants to see the ever-diminishing number of schemes reduced yet faster -- and serving all clients without discrimination, including those who might wish to abuse the advantages of their second passport, is a sure way of doing just that. Be prepared to explain your reasons for wishing to acquire a second passport.
Do not expect a "menu" of countries to choose from. Virtually all genuine providers are contractually obliged not to release details of the programs they manage until they are in receipt of either a substantial monetary deposit or other evidence of the serious nature of any enquiry.
The reason for this is human nature itself: the world is full of people who like the idea of having a second passport, but who have no intention or means of obtaining one. Indeed, a common complaint amongst professionals in this business is the never-ending flow of non-committal enquiries. You should be clear about your priorities and the criteria, and communicate the same to your provider upfront.
The levels of investment required vary. On occasions, citizenship and a passport of a decent second- or third-world country may be available for as little as US$ 30,000 to 35,000 excluding legal fees and commissions. That is the minimum -- pay less and you are unlikely to get you what you have bargained for.
Expect to to meet a number of documentary requirements. Whilst they may vary in format and detail depending on the program, you should be able to provide:
Other documents may be needed depending on the program.
But persevere and you will be well rewarded. Be aware that the storm clouds of future fiscal and personal oppression are already appearing on the political and legal landscapes of many formerly civilised nations. Getting a second passport now might prove to be one of the best insurance policies you ever buy.
Just don't leave it too late. Good luck!
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