Reasons to consider a 2nd passport

“Why do I need a second passport?”

A second citizenship can offer an exceptional number of benefits as well which might fit well within your overall internationalization plan. Here are a few of the reasons to consider:

Certain passports do attract more negative attention abroad than others
The US, UK and Israel at least in certain areas of the world comes to mind. Any time one country decides to apply military pressure against another, it will create local anger and frustration that is then projected onto the general citizenry of the oppressive nation. It doesn’t matter if that particular citizen was against the conflict, the passport alone makes him a target. The terror attacks of 2008 in Mumbai specifically targeted US and British citizens, for example.

On the other hand, there are certain nationalities that are either relatively well respected as peacemakers (Canada, Costa Rica, Norway, Sweden), or ones that have tended to mind their own business rather than attempting to project influence outside their borders (Switzerland, Uruguay, Singapore).

In other words, having a “neutral” passport can act as a useful insurance policy in case of trouble.

Bypass potential travel restrictions / visas
Having a second passport allows you to avoid potential travel restrictions or the need to get entry visas to certain countries.

Much of the value of any passport is the number of countries it will let you access without requiring the often expensive and time-consuming visa application process. Denmark, Sweden and Finland top the list in that regards with access to 173 different jurisdictions. Perhaps not surprisingly, a country like Afghanistan offers one of the least useful travel documents.

The state revoke your passport
This is because, ultimately, when push comes to shove, any government has the ability to revoke the passport and/or citizenship of any of its citizens at anytime for any real or made up reason. This is especially true when the political winds shift and the government finds a new enemy du jour.

Germany stripped Jews of their citizenship in the 1930s, and the Soviet Union did the same to its perceived internal enemies.

For a recent example, look at how the Dominican Republic stripped tens of thousands of people of their citizenship with no due process in September 2013, or how the US government revoked Edward Snowden’s passport at the drop of a hat.

Emergency escape
A second passport acts as an emergency insurance policy in case you need to get out of dodge quickly but are limited by your home country’s useless passport. (South Africans during Apartheid, for example).

If you want to eventually expatriate
If you do decide to officially renounce your primary citizenship, you will need to have established a second citizenship before you do so. To renounce without a new home will make you a person without a state, which will make it difficult to travel in the future.

Easier to open bank accounts overseas
In this day and age, some citizenship are better than others when it comes to accessing financial resources abroad, particularly if you are a citizen of the US. In fact, it’s relatively common now for Americans to be actively excluded from access to services simply because they carry a US passport. Gaining a second citizenship potentially allows one to gain access to these services by registering with that other travel document.

Access additional opportunities
Having the right passport can potentially allow one access to live and work overseas with no additional documentation required. An EU passport, for example, allows one to live and work within any of the other members of the union.

Choosing a Country
Choosing a country / passport depends on your objectives and your time perspective. If you want another passport as an insurance policy and you want it relatively quickly and you are willing to pay for it, then the economic citizenship programs of St. Kitts and Nevis or Dominica might be a good option. If you plan and prepare your move you can obtain a passport by naturalization with very little cost.