Tuesday, August 13, 2013

If You Have the Right Grandparents: Five Places Where You Can Become a Citizen

By Simon Black

I awoke this morning to an excited email from a longtime friend who wrote, "Guess who is going to be officially confirmed as a Polish citizen next month? Yours truly! Now, it's just matter of waiting to be assigned the Polish version of a social security number and pick up the physical passport. "

No doubt, if you're part of the lucky bloodline club because your grandparents happen to have been a certain nationality at birth, it's possible that their citizenship might pass on to you.

This is, by far, the fastest, easiest, and most cost effective way to obtaining a second citizenship.
Let's pause for a moment, though, and explore why one would want second citizenship.

When you have all of your eggs in one basket, i.e. you live, work, bank, invest, buy real estate, store your gold, structure your company, operate your business, surf the web, etc. all within the same country of your citizenship, you're taking on a lot of 'sovereign' risk.

If one thing goes wrong in that country, whether you end up on some 3-letter agency's list, or you get sued because your neighbor's stupid kid fell in your swimming pool, suddenly all of those assets and interests are at risk.

With the click of a mouse button, a single phone call, or the whisk of a fountain pen, any judge or bureaucrat can shut you out. They can put a lien on your home, freeze your bank account, confiscate your personal property, shut you out of your email, shutter your business, seize your gold, etc.

This is the whole point of international diversification... what I call 'planting multiple flags'. If you use the system against itself and spread those assets and interests around the globe-- banking in Hong Kong, structuring a company in Nevis, basing an email account in Norway, storing gold in Singapore, etc.

With this level of diversification, suddenly those assets no longer fall under the control of a single government.

The ultimate in this international diversification is obtaining second citizenship; aside from being a fantastic insurance policy, it's a ticket to a whole new world of opportunity and freedom.

To give you an example, buried deep within Senate Bill 1813 are provisions that would allow the US government to rescind the passports of US citizens if they are deemed to be seriously delinquent in their tax obligations.

As tax matters are typically administrative issues, however, there would be no court hearing to see if there has actually been any wrongdoing, no judicial appeal. Just punishment.

Such provisions hardly seem appropriate in the Land of the Free, yet the bill is a testament to how far the basic liberties of the American people have been eroded over the years.

In this capacity, a second passport would provide instant options. For someone who has been wrongfully impugned, a second passport is like a get out of jail free card.

Moreover, it gives you the right to live and work in another country (or perhaps several), increasing your options and potential new experiences around the world. You'll find that you can do business in more places, travel more freely, and have greater comfort and security in your life.

As I'm fond of saying, nobody ever hijacks an airplane and threatens to kill all the Lithuanians. There are no evil men in caves plotting to blow up buildings in Uruguay. There are no angry crowds in Karachi protesting civilian casualties from Panama's unmanned drone fleet.

And perhaps most importantly, there are no banks or brokerages around the world closing their doors to Slovenians simply because nobody wants to do business with their government.

Now, there are a number of ways to obtain a second citizenship... but again, the quickest and cheapest route is if you happen to be part of the lucky bloodline club.

Certain countries observe what's called 'jus sanguinis', or right of blood, which means that citizenship is determined by lineage rather than place of birth. Some countries even extend the right of citizenship to grandchildren of nationals... meaning that if you have a grandparent from one of these countries, you could be entitled to citizenship as well.

Some of these countries are:

1) Poland. The rules for receiving Polish citizenship from a grandparent are a bit convoluted, but if you have Polish ancestors in your bloodline, it may be worth contacting a firm like CK Law Office (cklawoffice.eu) in Warsaw; they've helped a number of Sovereign Man readers obtain Polish passports.

2) Italy. Not quite as complicated as the Polish nationality law, Italy also confers citizenship to descendants of certain Italian nationals going back two generations. You can find out more atMyItalianCitizenship.com

3) Ireland. As we have discussed before, Ireland has perhaps the most clear laws in conferring citizenship to descendants of Irish nationals. You have to do the legwork in finding the right documents, check out www.AnClanGael.com for assistance.

4) Germany. It's not exactly a cheery subject, but Germany confers citizenship for children and grandchildren of former Germans who were deprived of their citizenship status between January 30, 1933 and May 8, 1945 on racial, political, or ethnic grounds. You can read more about it here.

5) India. While not quite full citizenship, individuals with Indian ancestors as far as three generations back (great grandparents) can apply for a Person of Indian Origin (PIO) Card. A PIO Cardentitles the holder to live, work, attend school, own property, etc. on parity with an Indian citizen. The only restrictions are voting or holding public office.

Simon Black writes and is Senor Editor  at SovereignMan.com. Follow Sovereign Man on Facebook, Twitter, Google+


  1. Common sense advice. My mother is Irish (I'm British), so I once took advantage and got an Irish passport also. I usually travel on the British passport, but the Irish one goes with me also.

  2. Spain also has various programs if your ancestors left during the Franco era or if your grandparents were born there.

  3. I like Italy among these 5 countries, because my grandmother lives in there.