Money may not buy love or manners or morals or self-respect or any other cliche you’d find on a Pinterest board. But money, apparently, can buy you citizenship, and, since this year’s Presidential candidates include a megalomaniac, half-failed, misogynistic, racist businessman and a woman who people trust less than expired milk, maybe it’s time to consider a second passport — a European passport.
For starters, obtaining a European passport can be fairly easy if your parents hail from Europe. Congrats, you probably have citizenship from their birth country. If your grandparents are from Europe, you’re probably eligible for citizenship if they’re Irish, Greek, Polish, or from one of the Baltic states — e.g. Lithuania. Italian and Hungarian laws extend to the great-grandparents, so if a great-grandfather (yes, it has to be a male) comes from either of these countries, you have the option to claim citizenship.
Those without the luxury of a parent, grandparent or great-grandparent from one of the above countries can obtain a second passport with some investments, notably to any of these EU countries.
Austria: $3 million to $10 million “investment”
Cyprus: $2.7 million
Malta: $1.5 million
Svalbard (that little Norwegian island at the North Pole): $0, visa-free travel
Remember, EU citizenship lets you live freely anywhere within the EU — Bulgarian citizenship doesn’t exclude you from working in Germany. Think of it like living in Florida but being born in California. If you do decide to relocate abroad, just know that you’re still liable to pay U.S. taxes. The only way out of that is to renounce your citizenship.
Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.