Traveling With Two Passports to USA and Worlwide

Traveling the world is highly affected by your citizenship.

Which means that your passport matters!

In fact, it matters so much that a second passport might be your getaway to countries you would not be able to visit any other way. So should you get a second passport? And if so, which are the best passports to have if you want to visit the USA?

To answer these questions we have to dive into the specifics of having a dual citizenship and holding two passports simultaneously.

Best Passports to Have

There’s a popular opinion about the value of a USA passport when it comes to traveling.

Of course, if your goal is living your life the US, it’s the best option. But gaining a US passport is not that easy. And if you are looking for a better travel experience, you might want to look at some European passports.


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Here’s why!

The value of a passport is set by the Quality of Nationality Index which is updated every year by Henley & Partners.

Different variables are taken into account to determine which countries and therefore which citizenships are the most respected on an international level. This also allows us to understand the effects specific citizenships have on travel freedom. And this is exactly what we are looking at. The Travel Freedom Ranking which includes almost 160 countries from all over the world.

And the top 10 Travel Freedom countries are:

  1. Germany
  2. Sweden
  3. Finland
  4. Spain
  5. Italy
  6. France
  7. United Kingdom
  8. Belgium
  9. Netherlands
  10. Denmark

Obtaining a citizenship in one of these countries will give you greater freedom to travel worldwide. Making it a lot easier to visit countries that could be out of reach for citizens of so many other countries.

But what if we get more specific about your traveling plans?

And what if you have already set the desired destination for yourself?

In most cases, all questions related to obtaining a Visa or other form of travel authorization are related to traveling to the USA. And this is exactly what we should dive into next.

Best Passports to Have When Traveling to USA

Remember the top 10 countries listed above?

Know this, the same list and principle will also be applied to those of you who are looking for a more convenient way to travel to USA.

But why is that?

You have to remember that a Visa is only one type of travel authorization that provides a chance to visit the USA. A more convenient type of authorization is an ESTA, but these only apply to citizens of the VWP countries.

And guess what?

All of the top 10 ranking travel freedom countries are part of the VWP.

And this is exactly why earlier in the article we mentioned the need to look for a dual citizenship in one of the European countries. 

Keep in mind that a second passport from one of the VWP countries could be the only way to take, even if you’re a one-time traveler. Simply because for citizens of some specific countries, obtaining a Visa is just too difficult.

But whatever country you choose to have a dual citizenship with, there is always the process of actually obtaining a second passport, which is easier said than done.

How to Get a Second Passport

Your success with obtaining a dual citizenship and a second passport depends mostly on the country that you are looking to become a citizen of. In other words, different countries have a absolutely different attitude towards foreigners obtaining their citizenship.

Also, your current citizenship plays an important role!

However, in most cases, it is all about being able to prove that you indeed should be allowed to gain a dual citizenship. Which can only be proved by your dedication towards becoming a part of another state and its society!

So what are the common ways to obtain a second passport?


If you have relatives who are citizens of a specific country (in most cases these will have to be your parents) you too have the chance to apply for the citizenship of this country even if you were born elsewhere and have lived your life in a different country where you currently hold citizenship.

There is no doubt that this is the easiest way to obtain a second citizenship, but only a few of those who are looking to obtain one, will be lucky enough to have parents or grandparents who come from the exactly the right place in the world.


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So the best thing to do first is this!

Do some research on your family. If you happen to be one of those lucky few who has relatives from another country you would like to become a citizen of, go into details about the specifics of obtaining a citizenship this way in that exact country.


This is the one way anyone can obtain a second passport if the specific country provides for such possibility.

However, this process varies significantly in different countries and it also affects the time it actually takes to naturalize and obtain the citizenship.

Some countries make it very easy for you to pass the bar and it doesn’t take very long, but could cost you a reasonable amount of money.

Then there are countries which make it a lot harder to go thru this process and it could include living in the country for up to 4 or 5 years, learning the language at a basic level and even passing a special naturalization test.

This means you should explore the specific rules of the country you have turned your attention to and understand if you have the time and money to put into this process.


This is something we couldn’t really call an investment. It’s more of a way to simply buy yourself a second citizenship.

The term for this option is Citizenship by Investment and there are many countries which approve of this option.

Keep in mind, that the price to pay is relatively big.

What is more, in many cases, what you actually get is a permanent residency, which is not the same as citizenship! So be careful before making this move and make sure you know what you are signing up for.

A variety of other options

Among these, there are several many other options that allow for obtaining a second citizenship and therefore acquiring a second passport.

From all other possibilities, the most popular are:

  1. Marriage with someone from another country
  2. Adopting child or giving birth to a child in another country
  3. Changing your religion

Keep in mind, that these and other options vary depending on the specifics of each country. So do some in-depth research about the country you wish to obtain a citizenship in, before making your next move.

However, we can clearly see that obtaining a second passport is not an impossible mission and if you out in the work, almost anyone can do that.

But how much travel freedom does this actually give you?

Traveling With Visa or ESTA

A second passport does not mean you will be allowed to travel everywhere without any restrictions.

In most cases, you will have to obtain a Visa or other form of travel authorization, for example, an ESTA which applies to people traveling to USA from VWP countries. Different travel restrictions and forms of authorization needed to travel are two of the most important factors you have to keep in mind when looking for a dual citizenship.

But how to know which form of travel authorization is better for you and which already applies to you?

Start with taking a look at the differences between a Visa and an ESTA.

Visa vs ESTA

ESTA is arguably the most popular form of travel authorization all around the world. It allows for residents different countries to visit a specific place for travel or other purposes based on set rules.

Visas are sometimes hard to obtain and it does take some time to do so. And this is exactly why under VWP, the USA gives travelers another option known as ESTA.

You have to keep in mind that ESTA is not a Visa!

It is a different type of travel authorization only citizens of certain countries can obtain.

Obtaining an ESTA is without a doubt the most convenient way to travel to USA if your travel plans meet the regulations of this program.

ESTAs are the Visa substitute for citizens of VWP countries! This means that having a passport of one of the VWP countries is highly valuable. Therefore, as mentioned earlier, you should be looking at some of the European countries.


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This Is Not a Guarantee

There is still no guarantee for obtaining an authorization to travel to USA even if you have the chance to apply for an ESTA.

At the end of the day, no matter your citizenship, authorities pay most attention to your background, criminal history and similar factors.

A highly valuable passport still gives you some advantages. Simply because authorities view you as a person differently if you are a citizen of a country that is friendly to them and with good reputation internationally.

What we can say is that obtaining a second passport is definitely a smart step to take and it will make traveling easier. However, just the passport itself won’t guarantee you what you might hope for.