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Second passport for Australians – great unless you are a Member of Parliament.

second passport for Australians dual citizen

Second passport for Australians, great unless you are a Member of Parliament.

This is a guest post from Alison Johnson – wherecani.live

With seven of our elected representatives fronting the High Court this week to find out if having dual citizenships will ruin their careers it seems an odd time to be singing the praise of second citizenships. But for once the pollies’ hardship is our gain as it has really shone the spot light on the fact that an incredible percentage of Australians are eligible for a second passport, some without even knowing it!

The 2016 census showed that 49% of Australians were either born overseas or had one or more parents born overseas. A generation or two back and this percentage is even higher. Australia’s population has grown from 7 million people in 1940 to 24 million people today and a large part of the driver for that growth has been immigration.

The key takeaway from this is that as an Australian there is an excellent chance you and your family may well be eligible for a second passport directly through descent. Australians are also generally eligible, if they meet the thresholds, of the multiple global citizenship through investment (CTI) and residency through investment (RTI) schemes globally. While this is a distinct disadvantage if you are running for parliament, in every other way it is a massive win for you and your family.

So, why would you want a second passport when the Aussie is such a well received passport? The answers range from the trivial, like standing in the short queues at airport terminals to the profound, as evidenced by the rush of British expats desperately trying to access European Union citizenships in the wake of Brexit. A second passport opens options for travel, education, relocation, career, business and financial investment and is something that you can use when you need it. Obtaining a second passport for your children is a profound gift that could well change their lives allowing them to make a wide range of choices.

With all these options, it is time to go out and get started on the investigation, unless you are heading to your local electorate preselection meeting! We recommend hitting our website at www.wherecani.live and in 5 minutes we’ll help you to see where in the world you could live.

Some options that may be open to you that you may not know about include:


If a parent, grandparent or even, in some cases, great-grandparent was born in Ireland you may be eligible for citizenship and a passport.


United Kingdom

If one of your grandparents was born in the UK, you are over 17 and a citizen of a Commonwealth country, you can apply for British residency.


If one of your parents is a British citizen, and you were not born in the UK, you need to apply before the age of 18 to be eligible to become a British citizen.


If you, one of your parents or grandparents was born, registered or naturalised in a British overseas territory you may be eligible for British citizenship.


If you were an ordinary resident in Hong Kong on 3 February 1997, you may be eligible for British citizenship.



You can get Italian citizenship without limitation of generation if none of your ancestors in the Italian lineage has ever renounced their citizenship. (http://www.esteri.it/mae/en/italiani_nel_mondo/serviziconsolari/cittadinanza.html)

Italy is one of the few countries that give you a passport through matrimony even if you have never lived in Italy.  If you live abroad you can apply after being married for three years.  The timeframes are reduced by half in the presence of children born or adopted by you and your spouse.  http://www.esteri.it/mae/en/italiani_nel_mondo/serviziconsolari/cittadinanza.html

second passports for Australians


If one of your ancestors was forced to leave Germany under the Nazis (this mainly includes German Jews and members of the Communist or Social Democratic Parties) you may be eligible to claim German citizenship.



Sephardic ancestry law was introduced in 2015.  This opens the doors for thousands of people across the globe to obtain Spanish nationality if they can prove they are descendants of the Jewish community expelled from Spain in 1492.


Investment and income visas.

There are many countries around the world who offer a variety of residency options and paths to citizenship directly linked to your ability to invest into the local economy, whether that be through buying a home, starting a business, buying government bonds or in some cases just having your pension paid into that country. You may think that it is only the wealthy that have this option open to them but residency visas start for as low as proving an annual income of USD$9,000!

Youth Mobility Visas:

Many countries are happy to extend a short term visa to Aussies under 30 years of age (the cut off limit does vary by country.) While this visa doesn’t give you the right to remain permanently in the country in certainly can give you the time and contacts to find something more permanent!

About the author

Australian Expat Investor Contributor

These articles have been written by an Australian Expat Investor Contributor. Please see their details in the relevant post. The views expressed in the article are his or her own and may not reflect the views of The Australian Expat Investor. If you are interested in contributing an article or story to The Australian Expat Investor please visit our contact page.

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