Is dual citizenship a necessity or a luxury?

According to Fragomen, having more than one passport is a strategic investment. Picture: Unsplash

According to Fragomen, having more than one passport is a strategic investment. Picture: Unsplash

Published Jul 25, 2023


According to Ziphozihle Ntlanganiso, Fragomen’s senior private client consultant, travel restrictions emanating from the Covid-19 pandemic and geopolitical tensions witnessed recently in countries like Ukraine and Russia have shown the importance of dual citizenship.

She said that when it comes to having dual citizenship, the benefits are not just for Africans, but for anyone looking to leverage on the benefits of holding a second passport.

“The list of visa-free countries that you can travel to using the Antigua & Barbuda passport has increased over the years, giving visa-free travel to the Schengen Area for up to 90 days in most instances.

“In light of this, ease of travel and maximising on opportunities whether career or lifestyle related ranks at the top of the reasons for considering alternative residency,” she said.

She said when it comes to choosing a country to apply for dual citizenship, there is no golden rule on where to look as this is always dependent on the objectives of investors.

“In some cases, the decision to invest in citizenship by investment programmes is purely a wealth management strategy, depending on which countries the applicant will have visa-free access to,” said Ntlanganiso.

What are the benefits of dual citizenship?

Ntlanganiso noted that being a citizen of more than one country means that you get to leverage on the benefits of both countries.

“It is considered as a great ‘insurance policy’ for investors and their families in a world filled with so much uncertainty. In addition to this, some passports have limited global mobility options in terms of visa-free travel,” she said.

Ntlanganiso highlighted that a second passport offers increased flexibility, and investors can enjoy flexibility and maximise on their options for work, education, quality of life and health care.

How does applying for dual citizenship affect your standing with your home country?

Ntlanganiso revealed that there are various issues to consider when making the decision to have dual citizenship, including complying with applicable income and wealth tax laws.

“Clients are advised to consult with tax specialists and financial advisers in relation to financial emigration where applicable.

“In addition to this, for countries like South Africa, applicants over the age of 18 need to first get approval from the DHA prior to acquiring second citizenship. Failure to do this will result to loss of SA citizenship,” she said.