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Reviewed July 2023

The Emirati passport is ranked as the most powerful passport in the Arab world and is included in the top 15 passports worldwide.

UAE passport holders could easily travel to hundreds of countries; some even offer visa-free entry, eVisa or visa on arrival at the airport for UAE passport holders.

Following the pandemic, there has been a rise in the number of UAE citizens applying for a secondary passport to receive dual citizenship for easier mobility and better financial incentives. We have laid down everything you need to know to apply for a second passport in the UAE. 

Benefits of having a second passport 

The perks of owning dual citizenship are many and may include the following:

  • Being eligible for visa-free travel (depending on the citizenship you own)
  • Better lifestyle, education, and healthcare access 
  • More foreign investment opportunities 
  • Freedom to freely enter countries 
  • Benefit from more tax incentives and interest rates 
  • Ensures safety and security, as you can always travel to your country of secondary citizenship at times of crisis
  • Ability to renounce current citizenship, if required 

How to apply for a second passport from the UAE?

To receive a second passport, you need to apply for citizenship in a foreign country that is not the UAE. When obtaining a second passport, you will need to ensure that your country and the second country allow dual citizenship. UAE allows dual citizenship, so UAE passport holders can obtain additional citizenship and passport.

Citizenship by investment 

Several countries worldwide have launched investment programs for foreign nationals who are willing to invest in order to receive citizenship.

We have listed some countries offering citizenship via investment and the conditions required to be eligible for an investment scheme. 

Investment Citizenship 2023: Which Countries Grant Citizenship by Investment?

Cyprus

To obtain citizenship by investment in Cyprus, you must:

  • Purchase real estate worth at least EUR 2 million, excluding VAT (AED 8.9 million). It can be a single property or several properties, which jointly amount to up to EUR 2 million. 
  • If you want to include your parents or spouse’s parents: You must invest an additional EUR 500,000 (AED 2.2 million) into your property purchase.
  • Make a EUR 100,000 (AED 4 million) donation to the Cypriot Government Research and Development Fund and another EUR 100,000 donation to the Cypriot Land Development Organisation. In total, the entire investment must be EUR 2.2 million (AED 9 million)
  • Have clear criminal records.
  • Commit to the investment before applying for the Golden Visa.
  • Transfer the money for the investment from abroad.
  • Have the necessary documents required for the application (i.e. property purchase documents, proof of available and legal funds, police records, etc.)

There are no obligations to live in Cyprus before applying for citizenship, and no language proficiency test is needed. If you fulfil the criteria, then you will be a citizen of Cyprus within six months.

You have to apply for Cyprus citizenship at the Ministry of Interior after finalizing your investment. You can apply yourself or hire a legal representative. An outline of the application process for Cyprus citizenship by investment is as follows:

  • Enter the country using a regular entry visa.
  • Submit the application to the Cypriot Ministry of Interior, which will work with the Ministry of Finance to reach a resolution on your application.
  • Your application will be forwarded for approval to the Council of Ministers.
  • You will receive a six-month residence permit, which you can use to stay in Cyprus or travel in and out of the country while the application finalizes.
  • Once the application is finalized, you will receive the Naturalization Certificate.
  • Then, you can apply for a Cypriot passport and an ID card at a local office where you are settled.

Saint Lucia

Investing in Saint Lucia’s National Economic Fund is a straightforward way to apply for citizenship while enhancing the infrastructure and utilities of the island nation. Once your application has been approved, you will need to make the minimum qualifying investment for yourself and, if applicable, your family.

  • Individual applicant: USD 100,000 (AED 367,000)
  • Applicant with spouse: USD 140,000 (AED 514,000)
  • Applicant with spouse and up to two other qualifying dependents:  USD150,000 (AED 550,000)
  • Each additional qualifying dependent, of any age: USD 25,000 (AED 92,000)
  • Each qualifying dependent in addition to a family of four (family includes a spouse): USD 15,000 (AED 55,000)

You can easily apply for citizenship via investment in Saint Lucia online here.

Dominica

To qualify for Dominican citizenship through the Citizenship by Investment program, applicants must make a non-refundable contribution to the Economic Diversification Fund (EDF).

The cost of your contribution will be determined by the number of dependents included in the application—this refers to anyone who relies on you as a primary source of income, including children. Spouses, parents or other family members may also qualify.

  • USD 100,000 (AED 367,000) for the main applicant;
  • USD 150,000 (AED 550,000) for the main applicant and spouse;
  • USD 175,000 (AED 642,000) for the main applicant and up to three dependants;
  • USD 25,000 (AED 92,000) for any additional dependant under the age of eighteen;
  • USD 50,000 (AED 184,000) for any additional dependant eighteen years of age or older.

Antigua and Barbuda

There are several investment options in Antigua and Barbuda that lead to citizenship. One such manner is to donate to the National Development Fund (NDF).

For a single applicant, or a family of 4 or less

  • USD100,000 (AED 367,000) contribution
  • Processing fees: USD30,000 (AED 110,000)       

Family of 5 or more:-

  • USD125,000 (AED 459,000) contribution
  • Processing fees: USD 30,000 (AED 110,000) plus an incremental amount of USD15,000 (AED 55,000) from the 5th dependent onwards.

Upon submission of your application you will be asked to pay the full due diligence fees and 10% of the government processing fee. Upon receipt of a letter of approval, you will be asked to pay the balance of the government processing fees, passport fees and your contribution. The fees are paid directly to the Unit and your contribution must be made to the Government Special Fund within a 30 day period.

Once received, a certificate of registration of citizenship will be issued for both the primary applicant and their family members, which then will be submitted to the passport office with their passport application and any accompanying documentation.

Turkey

Natural persons of foreign origin are granted the right to acquire Turkish citizenship by means of exceptional procedures upon purchase of real estate worth USD 250,000 (AED 920,000) and more.
For this purpose, foreigners:
  • Shall purchase real estate worth at least USD 250,000 (AED 920,000)
  • Shall state, in the application for acquisition, that they purchased the real estate for this purpose, the title deed should state this purpose, and the foreigner shall declare that they shall not sell the real estate for three years in the section of the form where declarations are made.
Once the land registry procedures are complete, the foreign national may apply to the relevant administrations to claim the right of residence or citizenship by submitting the certificate of eligibility to be issued for the owner.

Bulgaria

Your investor visa in Bulgaria will enable you to apply for citizenship after you’ve maintained your investment for five years in Bulgaria. However, you can choose the option for fast-tracked citizenship, which allows you to become a Bulgarian citizen after 18 months.

To qualify for fast-tracked citizenship, you have to invest an additional EUR 512,000 (AED 2.4 million) which brings your total investment to EUR 1 million (AED 4.4 million). You must complete the second part of the investment once your permanent residence card is issued.

For the Bulgarian investment program, you need to prepare the following documents:

  • Application form. You have to fill out the visa application form for your D visa, and you may also be required to submit a request for your permanent residence card.
  • You must provide a copy of your passport pages. Some embassies/consulates may ask for the original passport- so make sure you check with the embassy beforehand.
  • Certificate of investment. After you submit your investment, the Bulgarian Immigration Office will issue you a certificate confirming your investment. You must provide the certificate will the rest of the required documents.
  • Proof of paid visa fees. You need to provide a receipt showing that you paid for your application and processing fees.
  • Passport photo. You will need a recent passport photo or more, depending on the embassy requirements. The photos have to follow specific guidelines, i.e., your face has to be seen, no sunglasses, no editing, and there must be a plain white background. To make sure the photos are in regulation, you have the option to take the photos professionally at your country of residence.
  • Civil status documents. You’re required to provide certified copies of your civil status documents which include:
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
    • Divorce papers (if applicable)
    • Adoption documents (if applicable)
    • Name change documents (if applicable)
  • Police certificate. You have to provide a police clearance certificate from your residence country proving that you have no criminal record.
  • Proof of funds. Submit your bank statements showing that you have enough financial funds to make the investment and support yourself and any dependents that apply with you. Also, proof that the funds you have are from a legitimate source.
  • Travel health insurance. You need to purchase travel health insurance when you apply for your investor visa. The insurance must be valid for your duration and cover any emergencies.

Citizenship by naturalization

Citizenship by naturalization is the process by which citizenship is granted to a lawful permanent UAE resident after meeting the requirements of the country.

Brazil

Applicants to the naturalization in Brazil must meet the following conditions:

  • Legal capacity, according to the Brazilian law.
  • Proof of uninterrupted residence in Brazil for at least 4 (four) years immediately prior to lodging the application.
  • the required period of residence is not considered interrupted by trips abroad, provided that the total sum of the periods of absence from Brazil does not exceed 12 (twelve) months.
  • the possession or ownership of property in Brazil is not considered sufficient proof of effective residence.
  • Ability to communicate in Portuguese considering his/her condition of naturalizing candidate (in a manner commensurate with his/her possibilities).
  • Lack of criminal conviction or proof of rehabilitation, in accordance with current legislation.

The required four-year period of residence may be shortened to:

  • 1 (one) year, if the applicant:

– has a child who is Brazilian by birth or naturalization, except in the case of provisional naturalization; or
– has a Brazilian spouse or partner from whom is not legally or de facto separated at the time that the naturalization is granted.

  • 2 (two) years, at the discretion of the Minister of Justice, and if the applicant:

– has rendered or is in a position to render relevant services to Brazil; or
– has a relevant professional, scientific or artistic ability.

Panama

Panamanian citizenship (naturalization) is granted to permanent residents who have fulfilled the minimum residence requirement (3 to 5 years) from the moment the Panama Immigration Office issues the resolution to certify permanent residence.

Furthermore, Panamanian permanent residence does not guarantee a path to obtain Panamanian citizenship. If you intend to eventually become a citizen (e.g. hold dual citizenship) and obtain a Panamanian passport, you must verify that the visa granting your permanent residence gives you also the right to apply for citizenship.

An eligible permanent resident of Panama has three alternatives to become naturalized:

  • To have lived for five (5) years as a permanent resident
  • To have lived for three years (3) as a permanent resident, married to a Panamanian or having Panamanian children with a Panamanian parent

Canada

Regardless of your age, if you’re applying for citizenship, you must have permanent resident (PR) status in Canada.

This means you must not:

  • be under review for immigration or fraud reasons
  • be asked by Canadian officials to leave Canada (removal order)
  • have unfulfilled conditions related to your PR status, for example: medical screening

Before applying for citizenship, you should review the documents you received when you became a permanent resident to make sure you’re eligible.

Citizenship by descent

UAE residents are eligible for dual citizenship if they can prove descent or lineage to certain countries.

Brazil

The following category of people of Brazilian descent in the UAE are eligible for a citizenship:

  • those born in the Federative Republic of Brazil, even to foreign parents, provided that they are not in the service of their country;
  • those born abroad, to a Brazilian father or Brazilian mother, provided that either of them is in the service of the Federative Republic of Brazil;
  • those born abroad to a Brazilian father or a Brazilian mother, provided that they are registered in a competent Brazilian consular office or come to reside in the Federative Republic of Brazil and choose, at any time, after reaching age of majority (18 years), wether they want the Brazilian nationality.

Ireland

You are eligible for citizenship via descent in Ireland if:

  • your grandparent was born on the island of Ireland
  • parent is an Irish citizen who was not born on the island of Ireland

 

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