There is no greater commodity than freedom. The ability to open one door when another one closes, without restriction or impediment, is the ultimate dream for the internationally-minded. For this reason, diversification has always been crucial – so as to never limit opportunity. While diversification is often spoken of in financial terms (investments, bank accounts, property, etc.), it also applies to personal freedom…the physical ability to move about the world freely.
Perhaps the most liberating way to achieve this kind of personal freedom is by obtaining dual citizenship, or a second passport. Some who are new to the concept may think that obtaining a second passport is only necessary for reasons of secrecy or deception…but in reality, the act is embraced openly by public figures all over the world. By achieving second passports, people can capitalize on the strengths of different countries and tailor a global diversification plan that works with their needs.
Below, we’ve compiled a brief list of some well-known figures across various industries who have sought the benefits of second citizenship in order to further their personal freedoms abroad:
- Ali Rowghani (Pixar/Twitter)
- Mr. Rowghani served for years as the Chief Financial Officers of Pixar before going to Twitter under the same role and eventually becoming the Chief Operating Officer of the company.
- As an Iranian national, Mr. Rowghani felt restricted with the strength of his home country’s passport (ranked 190th in the world in terms of visa-free travel). In response, he has since obtained naturalized U.S. citizenship, granting him significantly easier international business travel.
- Adam Bilzerian (Author, Professional Poker)
- Author of the popular book, America: Love it or Leave it – So I Left, Bilzerian was so disillusioned with the state of U.S. politics that he felt compelled to emigrate to St. Kitts and Nevis, obtaining a second citizenship through investment. He has since relinquished his U.S. citizenship, freeing him from regulations that he felt were unjust.
- Robert Chandran (Chemoil)
- Born in India, Robert Chandran emigrated to the U.S. where he became a naturalized citizen and founded (and served as Chief Executive Officer) of Chemoil, a large chemical and oil trading company.
- As his business ventures matured, however, Chandran saw that the Asian markets held the future of his endeavors, so he obtained a Singaporean passport to better operate from that part of the world. While Singapore has a very strong passport, they are a single-nationality state, so Mr. Chandran was forced to relinquish his U.S. citizenship in the process.
- Angelina Jolie (Actress)
- The famous actress was granted Cambodian citizenship by the king for her many environmental and conservation endeavors in the country.
- While the Cambodian passport certainly isn’t as strong as others in the region, it does offer something that the other Asian countries typically don’t…dual citizenship. Most countries in Asia require you to surrender your home nationality in order to receive a passport, whereas Cambodia allows you the access into the Asian markets while maintaining other citizenships.
- Vince Cate (Encryption Expert)
- As a cryptography software developer based in Anguilla, Cate renounced his U.S. citizenship in favor of a $5,000 citizenship through naturalization program in Mozambique.
- This switch in jurisdictions served as a protest to what Cate felt were unjust cryptography laws in the States, freeing him to continue his work without restriction.
- The prominent English actor was recently granted honorary citizenship from President Aleksandar Vučić of Serbia. This was a result of Fiennes’ many production and directorial works undertaken in the country.
- While the Serbian passport currently offers little perks compared to Fiennes’ UK passport, in a post-Brexit world where British citizenship may incur certain restrictions in the EU, this will grant him freedom on the continent.
- Steven Seagal is also a past recipient of honorary Serbian citizenship.
- Colin Firth (Actor)
- The British actor, famous for such films as The King’s Speech, had his application successfully granted for Italian dual citizenship in 2017. Firth received citizenship through marriage because of his wife, an Italian national.
- Firth has spoken out strongly against Brexit, and his decision to apply for dual citizenship was a result of wanting to ensure that he had the same passport as his wife and children in the future.
Tyler Sorce is an American writer and digital nomad currently living in Lisbon, Portugal. In a past life he was a chef in Manhattan and Paris, follow his travels and favorite dishes on Instagram.