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  #1  
Old 03-25-2008, 03:33 PM
T_SQUARE T_SQUARE is offline
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Can I get a passport from another country?

I have heard of some Americans who have a second passport issued by another country who don't really have a relationship with that country. That is, I'm not talking about someone who was born in France, or something of that nature.

Supposedly, an old boss of mine had an Italian passport, I think his grandmother was from Italy, but he certainly wasn't, I'm not sure he had even ever been to Italy. His wife was Venezuelan, and I think he had the passport in case his kids were in Venezuela, and Chavez said no Americans, he could go down there and get his kids out.

Can I get a second passport? I am not a citizen of another country, nor is any living member of my family.

Mods, I'm pretty sure it's legal for Americans to hold multiple passports, but if not, please lock the thread with my apologies.
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  #2  
Old 03-25-2008, 03:50 PM
Giles Giles is online now
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Generally, you can only have a country's passport if you are a citizen of that country. However, in many cases you can be a citizen without having been born there, through your parent(s) or even grandparent(s).

And yes, US citizens can be citizens of other countries, and thus hold foreign passports. They are just required to use their US passports when entering the US.
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  #3  
Old 03-25-2008, 03:50 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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It depends, but probably not. Passports follow citizenship, and countries have different rules on handing out their citizenship. Some countries, you're born there, and you're a citizen and can get a passport. Others, you have to be related to existing citizens to be a citizen yourself.

Ancestry passports are highly dependent on the ancestry involved: people with Irish grandparents can claim Irish citizenship and thus an Irish passport; people with UK grandparents can not.
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  #4  
Old 03-25-2008, 06:00 PM
Will Repair Will Repair is offline
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Legally?

Quote:
Originally Posted by http://www.worldpress.org/Africa/359.cfm
...foreigners buy Kenyan passports over-the-counter at the Immigration Ministry,
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  #5  
Old 03-25-2008, 08:06 PM
Canadjun Canadjun is offline
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No cites, but I thought I heard somewhere that a few of the smaller countries had a deal where you could "buy" citizenship - invest enough money in the country and you became a citizen with no residency requirement (or any other requirements besides the $). So, you could effectively buy a passport, but it would be very expensive.
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2008, 08:44 PM
Kyrie Eleison Kyrie Eleison is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_SQUARE
Supposedly, an old boss of mine had an Italian passport, I think his grandmother was from Italy, but he certainly wasn't, I'm not sure he had even ever been to Italy.
I'm hesitant to post this in GQ, as my experience is indirect, but my wife's step-cousin related to me that he was looking into obtaining Italian citizenship. According to him, if you can establish that a grand-parent was born in Italy, you are entitled to claim Italian citizenship, and presumably, then able to obtain an Italian passport. My (whatever-the-hell-you-call-that-relation -- step-cousin-in-law?) gave up on his quest to become certified to work in the EU after it became too difficult to document the relationship to the satisfaction of the Italian authorities.
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  #7  
Old 03-26-2008, 10:26 AM
Schnitte Schnitte is offline
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There are countries which issue passports to non-citizens, but only under exceptional circumstances. During WW2, for example, neutral countries such as Sweden sometimes issued passports to Jews from the areas occupied by Germany, because German authorities were reluctant to persecute people with such passports, fearing it might deteriorate German relationships with countries whose neutrality was considered desirable. Some nations are known to issue passports to stateless people in order to make it possible for them to travel, but being stateless is really, really rare and not at all recommendable.
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  #8  
Old 03-26-2008, 11:07 AM
Caffeine.addict Caffeine.addict is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kyrie Eleison
I'm hesitant to post this in GQ, as my experience is indirect, but my wife's step-cousin related to me that he was looking into obtaining Italian citizenship. According to him, if you can establish that a grand-parent was born in Italy, you are entitled to claim Italian citizenship, and presumably, then able to obtain an Italian passport. My (whatever-the-hell-you-call-that-relation -- step-cousin-in-law?) gave up on his quest to become certified to work in the EU after it became too difficult to document the relationship to the satisfaction of the Italian authorities.
My dad and uncles actually succeeded in getting it and it wasn't their grandparents who had immigrated, it was their great grandfather who had immigrated sometime in the 1870s. They were able to get documentation that satisfied the authorities. My mother through her marriage to dad was able to get Italian citizenship as well.

The reason they did it is that neither of them are US Citizens and they don't reside in the states. This makes it easier for them to come visit since they aren't required to get Tourist Visas which are expensive and may not be granted.
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  #9  
Old 03-26-2008, 08:59 PM
Moirai Moirai is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canadjun
No cites, but I thought I heard somewhere that a few of the smaller countries had a deal where you could "buy" citizenship - invest enough money in the country and you became a citizen with no residency requirement (or any other requirements besides the $). So, you could effectively buy a passport, but it would be very expensive.

Yes- several of them are island nations or located in Central America. We looked into it at one point, actually, but never went ahead. Still might someday, though.
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2008, 09:42 PM
elbows elbows is offline
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I looked into this once and discovered I could get a British Passport because my father was born (entirely by a fluke) in England. I didn't do it in the end, but it's sure not easy to do.

I sent away for a powerful amount of documentation, and the British Passport application is a daunting form, let me tell you. Makes sense when you consider that just a couple of generations ago a big chunk of the world were British Subjects.

But getting a passport from a nation you have no ancestral connection to would seem really unlikely to me. Now I have heard of imitation passports for those in dangerous parts of the world
where maybe you don't want to be caught with say an American or Israeli passport on you.
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  #11  
Old 03-27-2008, 02:17 AM
T_SQUARE T_SQUARE is offline
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Well, unless the Cherokee Nation starts issuing passports, my ancestors have been here too long for that route.

That's interesting about Kenya, in 2007, I saw a middle aged business jerk on a plane back to the US who was apparently going on to Africa (per an overheard cell phone conversation) He was talking about going to Africa on his Kenyan passport, which I saw. This guy was as white as they come, and had an East Coast accent. For all I know, the guy's grandfather might have been the governor of Kenya, but I wondered if he didn't buy it.

Somalia will sell passports, I think, but I don't think a Somali passport would hold much water, other than as a funny souvenir to show at parties.
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  #12  
Old 03-27-2008, 02:19 AM
T_SQUARE T_SQUARE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJsGirl
Yes- several of them are island nations or located in Central America. We looked into it at one point, actually, but never went ahead. Still might someday, though.
If you don't mind me asking, how much are we talking? Can you open up a jet ski rental place, or do you have to build a power plant?
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  #13  
Old 03-27-2008, 04:47 AM
calm kiwi calm kiwi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elbows
I looked into this once and discovered I could get a British Passport because my father was born (entirely by a fluke) in England. I didn't do it in the end, but it's sure not easy to do.

I sent away for a powerful amount of documentation, and the British Passport application is a daunting form, let me tell you. Makes sense when you consider that just a couple of generations ago a big chunk of the world were British Subjects.
If you have a parent born in almost any country you are entitled to citizenship to that country. My child's father was Scottish and his British passport was not hard to obtain. I know a child with an American mother and a Kiwi father and he has a passport from both countries (born in NZ)...and he's 3!
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  #14  
Old 03-27-2008, 04:57 AM
Giles Giles is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by calm kiwi
If you have a parent born in almost any country you are entitled to citizenship to that country. My child's father was Scottish and his British passport was not hard to obtain. I know a child with an American mother and a Kiwi father and he has a passport from both countries (born in NZ)...and he's 3!
That's not always true. My mother was a UK citizen born in the UK, but I'm not a UK citizen, due to a gender bias in UK law at the time. (If my mother had been my father, I would be a UK citizen, although born in Australia). But my younger brother, born in the UK with a Australian father, is a dual citizen.
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  #15  
Old 03-27-2008, 05:13 AM
sandra_nz sandra_nz is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Giles
That's not always true. My mother was a UK citizen born in the UK, but I'm not a UK citizen, due to a gender bias in UK law at the time. (If my mother had been my father, I would be a UK citizen, although born in Australia). But my younger brother, born in the UK with a Australian father, is a dual citizen.
You may want to check to see if that law has changed in Australia - my NZ-born husband was able to gain British citizenship due to his mother being a British citizen.
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  #16  
Old 03-27-2008, 05:18 AM
calm kiwi calm kiwi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra_nz
You may want to check to see if that law has changed in Australia - my NZ-born husband was able to gain British citizenship due to his mother being a British citizen.

Giles is right about the gender bias though. Fathers count mothers not so much (when it comes to the UK), but that seems to be about grandparents mostly.

Last edited by calm kiwi; 03-27-2008 at 05:19 AM..
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  #17  
Old 03-27-2008, 05:31 AM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by T_SQUARE
If you don't mind me asking, how much are we talking? Can you open up a jet ski rental place, or do you have to build a power plant?
I've seen various figures quoted, depending on the country and type of passport. For example, PTShamrock quotes a figure of €75,000 for a diplomatic passport from either of two UN-recognized southern African countries. That's probably much less than it costs to even open a jet ski rental place. Another page on the same site claims:
Quote:
[A]ny serious legitimate citizenship offer today (excluding a banking passport,) will start from US$30,000 and up and would be from a Central or South American country. Thirdly to the best of our knowledge, there are only two legitimate diplomatic appointment/passport programs in the world. Both are from stable third world countries located in Africa and the cost is Eur 75,000.

Last edited by psychonaut; 03-27-2008 at 05:35 AM..
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  #18  
Old 03-27-2008, 09:37 AM
bump bump is offline
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Serve 3 years in the French Foreign Legion or get wounded while in, and you can get French citizenship and a French passport.

That's about the only way without close enough relatives for the country in question.
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  #19  
Old 03-27-2008, 09:51 AM
Giles Giles is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sandra_nz
You may want to check to see if that law has changed in Australia - my NZ-born husband was able to gain British citizenship due to his mother being a British citizen.
It's changed, but the change is not retrospective back to the distant era when I was born. (And it's a change in UK law, not in Australian law, since it's a question of UK citizenship).
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  #20  
Old 03-27-2008, 12:33 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
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psychonaut, what's a "banking passport"?

:: reads link ::

Wow, that reads like an advance-fee fraud scam. "We can't tell you which countries they're for, but send us the money anyways and they might issue you one." I wouldn't want to end up with a Zimbabwean diplomatic passport, for example.
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  #21  
Old 03-27-2008, 12:48 PM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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dr_mom_mcl volunteers with Médecins sans frontières, where she met a doctor from Sri Lanka who resides in (but is not a citizen of) Germany. Now, Sri Lankans apparently require visas to get into many countries, which would have badly impeded his ability to be deployed in an emergency, so MSF was able to persuade the German government to issue him a passport so that he'd be able to travel more easily.

I note parenthetically that my passport has a field for nationality ("CANADIAN/CANADIENNE") on the page with my photo, so presumably something else can go there if need be.
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  #22  
Old 03-27-2008, 01:04 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bump
Serve 3 years in the French Foreign Legion or get wounded while in, and you can get French citizenship and a French passport.

That's about the only way without close enough relatives for the country in question.
You can get french citizenship if you've been a legal resident for a number of years. Or sometimes if you were born in France, but this has become increasingly difficult.
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  #23  
Old 03-27-2008, 02:22 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matt_mcl
I note parenthetically that my passport has a field for nationality ("CANADIAN/CANADIENNE") on the page with my photo, so presumably something else can go there if need be.


Hmmm. Interesting, indeed. There's a field for citizenship on my passport too, and I didn't paid attention to this until now. That's weird.
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  #24  
Old 03-27-2008, 02:49 PM
GilaB GilaB is offline
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My American passport also has a field for nationality, but 'United States of America' is printed in that space in the same blue ink as the title heading. In contrast, every other bit of personal information on the page, like my name, birth date, passport number, etc, is typed in black, in a different font and ink. To me, this implies that the only possible nationality on a US passport is American, as it comes preprinted that way, before they fill in anything else. (My passport was last renewed in 2000, before the most recent updates with RFID chips, so they may do things differently now.) Perhaps passports have to say the nationality of the issuing country on them?
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  #25  
Old 03-27-2008, 02:58 PM
Schnitte Schnitte is offline
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It's up to the state to decide whether they give someone a passport or not. There's nothing in international law which obliges a state to issue passports to non-citizens, but there's nothing which prohibits this either. Maybe the U.S. will not issue a passport to someone who is not a U.S. citizen; in this case, it makes sense to pre-print "United States of America" in the nationality field. OTOH, on my German passport, the nationality is not pre-printed; it has been filled in using the same black ink as all the other personalized data, so it's conceivable that something else could come in there. After a short bout of googling, I came across this page of some Latvian government agency addressing the requirements of getting a Latvian passport as a non-citizen, so itseems to be done at least somewhere.
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  #26  
Old 03-27-2008, 03:15 PM
bryanmaguire bryanmaguire is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJsGirl
Yes- several of them are island nations or located in Central America. We looked into it at one point, actually, but never went ahead. Still might someday, though.
This was also possible in the Republic of Ireland up until 10 years ago under a Passports for Investment scheme.
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Old 03-27-2008, 03:42 PM
matt_mcl matt_mcl is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaB
My American passport also has a field for nationality, but 'United States of America' is printed in that space in the same blue ink as the title heading.
I should specify that the nationality field on my passport has CANADIAN/CANADIENNE printed the same way as the other data (name, etc.) on the page.

However, the first page of the passport says "The bearer of this passport is a Canadian citizen" (printed on the page with the rest of the text).

Oh, here's something interesting, from Passport Canada:

Quote:
Travel documents are issued to residents of Canada who are:

* Convention Refugees
* Protected Persons
* Stateless Persons
* Permanent Residents for less than 3 years who are unable to obtain a national passport for a valid reason
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  #28  
Old 03-27-2008, 04:02 PM
clairobscur clairobscur is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GilaB
My American passport also has a field for nationality, but 'United States of America' is printed in that space in the same blue ink as the title heading. In contrast, every other bit of personal information on the page, like my name, birth date, passport number, etc, is typed in black, in a different font and ink.
I looked again, it's exactly the same for me, actually. Didn't notice it, again. I would make a poor detective.
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  #29  
Old 03-27-2008, 07:01 PM
psychonaut psychonaut is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sunspace
psychonaut, what's a "banking passport"?
I have no idea.
Quote:
:: reads link ::

Wow, that reads like an advance-fee fraud scam. "We can't tell you which countries they're for, but send us the money anyways and they might issue you one."
Well, it's not like they can just print the names of the countries, and guarantee money in exchange for a diplomatic passport. A country found out that some country was essentially selling diplomatic passports, they would take a very dim view of this and probably refuse to honour any further diplomatic passports from that country.
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  #30  
Old 03-27-2008, 08:19 PM
Stringer Stringer is offline
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This is as good a thread as any to ask: If my parents obtain foreign citizenship due to their grandparent's citizenship (Ireland, Greece, Denmark), can I receive the same citizenship? Anyone else have experience with this?
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  #31  
Old 03-27-2008, 09:59 PM
GilaB GilaB is offline
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I would think that it would vary by country. For example, in the US, until fairly recently, you could get US citizenship even if you'd never lived in the US as long as one of your parents had lived in the US for a certain number of years, a subset of which had to be above the age of 14. Now, that's still true if you want to get a passport overseas, but if you come to the US, you can get American citizenship if your grandparents met those requirements. The fact that they could change the rules on this implies that it's up to the individual country to legislate however it wants.
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  #32  
Old 03-28-2008, 12:59 AM
Chotii Chotii is offline
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Spouso is working on getting both an Irish and a British passport, based on his mother's citizenship. Our children can allegedly also have these, if he has them (though our potential grandchildren won't qualify). I'm dubious about the value, but anything is possible. The EU is changing rapidly, after all.
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