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Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

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  • Writer's pictureParviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq.

Second Citizenship Privacy (Mobility Concepts)

Updated: Jan 23

By Parviz Malakouti-Fitzgerald, Esq. 

Do you mind if the news of you naturalizing is published in a newspaper?

This article is part of our series on mobility concept & strategy explainers.

Second citizenship privacy is the extent to which a country allows you to naturalize without publicizing the fact, to the general public or to other countries.

Privacy in obtaining a second citizenship is underrated and under discussed, in my experience. That’s because privacy and security are inextricably intertwined. This holds especially for the wealthy, publicly visible and people who thumb their nose at the powerful - whether in business, media or government. 

If you’re thinking about getting a second or third citizenship, you may want to add one more factor to consider - how private the second citizenship is. 

Citizenship Provides Life Clues

Knowing a person’s country of citizenship can provide some telling clues about their life. 

It can tell you where they are likely to spend time, have businesses or assets. It can give a hint to where they bank, or where they have a home, or keep their family.

This is the kind of knowledge that can cause big problems if they fall in the hands of bad actors. 

This information can expose someone to kidnapping, physical attack, service of a frivolous lawsuit, unjust seizure of assets, or even state-sponsored violence or assassination. 

That’s why these are details that many security-minded people want to keep private. 

Five Privacy Questions to Consider

The citizenship you were born with is likely not very private. After all, you probably weren’t thinking about privacy considerations when you came out of the womb. You may have lived all your life, referencing the fact that you're a U.S. citizen or a Canadian citizen, or a Frenchman, or an Argentine.

Discretion is a value that's largely been lost in today's sea of social media

But, if you’re pursuing a second or third citizenship, you can plan ahead.

You can possibly exercise some control on how public the knowledge of that future citizenship of yours becomes. To that end, here are five questions to consider:

  1. Does the country publicly announce (on a website, newspaper, etc.) when you naturalize there?

  2. Does the country contact any other country of your citizenship or residency to inform them that you naturalized? 

  3. Does the country make you disclose all other citizenships on the naturalization form(s), especially under penalty of denaturalization? 

  4. Does the country publicly announce (on website, newspaper, etc.) when you renounce citizenship? 

  5. Are you going to tell others about your citizenship, or post about it publicly on blogs, videos or social media (picture an instagram selfie proudly smiling with your new passport)? 

If these questions are a concern for you, you can incorporate them into your decision making process when you’re looking to improve your mobility asset portfolio by naturalizing in another country. 

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