A Passport is the only internationally accepted travel document worldwide. The fundamental difference between passport and visa is – Passport is issued by your birth country or current country of residence. A visa is a permission issued by an Embassy/Consulate representing a foreign country to enter its territory.
A good second passport is more powerful proving a citizen status than just a visa, packed with visa free access to 190 plus world countries. You can just board the plane with just your passport and fly. More the passports in your collection more travel freedom. Having a passport from a stable and respected country can provide a sense of security. A rule of thumb is investing in a second passport is a must set it as your long term goal for the future. Many wealthy investors have already invested in second passports abroad, rather than time consuming process, applying for visas to each and every country. Remember there are 196 countries in the world and 60 colonies or territories. When dependent territories are included, the United Nations recognizes a total of 241 countries and territories.
Limitation – A Schengen visa only allows you to travel within the 27 European countries that are part of the Schengen Agreement. A Strong Passport grants you the freedom to travel internationally beyond the 27 schengen Area countries eg. UK, South America, Caribbean etc. A Visa is a temporary travel permission, not valid to travel without a valid passport accompanying it. All visas are tied to the passport holder.
Visa hurdles – The Schengen visa application process can be more of a unjust nightmare, starting with producing exhaustive list of documents, high refusal rates and months of waiting can be extremely stressful waiting for an outcome. For example nationals from high risk countries – Nigeria, Pakistan, Turkey, India, Russia etc. face a high visa rejection by schengen countries (Spain, France, Germany). This process can be time-consuming and may require significant effort, travel and expense.
Passport holders, on the other hand, typically have the advantage of ease of travel and reduced bureaucratic procedures. If you apply for citizenship by making an investment (eg. St.Kitts) by $150,000 the processing times can only take 3 months. Once your citizenship application is approved, you will be issued a SKN passport which can be used to travel to 156 countries worldwide including Schengen, United Kingdom etc. without applying for any schengen visa. You can visit these countries for maximum 90 days for tourism, business or meeting family or friends.
Unrestricted Rights – Citizens (who hold a valid passport) are given unrestricted entry and exit rights to travel abroad. We have seen during covid times, only citizens were allowed to cross borders while visa holders were barred from entering. The Citizenship status is more powerful than any visa status.
Validity – A short stay schengen visa is valid only for 90 days for tourists whereas and long stay visas have validity of more than six months. Once the visa expires you must exit the country and can only be renewed at embassy in your home country. Unlike visas a passport is granted 10 year validity and can be renewed later at any consulates worldwide.
Restricted rights – Visa holders have restricted rights with healthcare, education, opening bank account, paying taxes, buying property, voting, employment in a foreign country.
Residency – Holding a passport from a particular country may open doors to extended long term permanent residence opportunities in other countries. Some countries have bilateral agreements or special programs that grant longer stays or even the ability to work or study without requiring a specific visa. These options are typically available to passport holders but may not be accessible with a Schengen visa alone. For example US passport holders have a different set of incountry immigration rights, compared to those who are from Pakistan or Bangladesh.
The last question comes boiling down to how fast i can get a passport with visa free entry capabilities. Well, the answer is 3-4 months, if you have $100,000 to invest, have clean criminal history and not refused of a schengen/UK visa previously (unless you reapplied and received).