Are you looking for a New Identity and Second Passport?
Before the coronavirus pandemic, holding a US passport granted visa-free access to 185 countries around the world. The American passport wasn’t the most powerful on earth (that honor belongs to Japan), but it still got most of us where we needed to go. Until now, with current EU restrictions and other pandemic-related travel bans, there are currently far fewer places Americans can go. Frustrated by this newly impeded mobility, some seek dual nationality, often as an opportunity to reconnect with their parents’ or grandparents’ country of origin, or to reassess their careers and potential business opportunities abroad. Whatever the reason someone is applying for a second passport and a New Identity the process of obtaining it can be long and complicated. We spoke to travelers exploring their options, from buying property abroad to researching their family tree.
Your grandparents could help you with dual nationality and a possible new identity
The list of countries offering ancestral citizenship to foreign nationals who can prove family ties is enticing – with Canada, Ireland, the UK, New Zealand, Italy, Lithuania, Poland, Mexico, Vietnam, Israel, Brazil, Austria, Hungary, and Spain among them.
Tammy O’Hara, the owner of the Million Miles travel agency in Brooklyn, has spent part of her quarantine gathering the birth certificates, photos, and affidavits she needs to apply for dual citizenship in Jamaica. His reasons are both professional and personal. “It will be more convenient to move around the different islands as a [Caribbean] citizen, with shorter lines and expedited customs,” says O’Hara. She also wants to diversify her income through overseas investments, have the ability to work remotely and retire outside of the United States, and be “more in tune” with her Jamaican ancestry. “I was born in the United States, but I grew up surrounded by Jamaican culture because of my family,” says O’Hara. “But sometimes I still felt different, like I wasn’t a ‘real’ Jamaican.”
Alissa Musto, an American cruise performer who has been out of work since March, started looking for second passports before the pandemic for career reasons. Mediterranean and European cruises are starting to pick up, and jobs are popping up at global theme parks and resorts. Yet, with only a US passport, she cannot apply.
Having dual nationality is not unusual in the cruise industry.
“Most countries don’t require seafarers to pay income tax, but the United States and the Netherlands still do,” Musto says. “It makes sense that American and Dutch ship workers have their permanent addresses elsewhere: Aruba, England, Sweden.” Musto, who has Italian and Czech ancestry, is now working with an immigration lawyer to apply for ancestral citizenship in the Czech Republic.
Los Angeles-based immigration attorney Parviz Malakouti is seeking both simplified Hungarian naturalization and a “Slovak Living Abroad” certificate, which confers a certificate of nationality to persons of Slovak descent born abroad. The first involved hiring an amateur genealogist in Hungary to search for supporting documents, including baptismal records from a 19th-century church. Malakouti also learns Hungarian on his own, another condition for naturalization. “I go through this to have ‘citizenship insurance’ and be able to live, work and open a business throughout the European Union,” he says. “It’s about having more options.”
Amicus International Consulting can help.