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Doug Casey On Second Passports

Tyler Durden's picture




 

Doug Casey on Second Passports,

Submitted by Doug Casey with Louis James of Casey Research

Louis James: Doug, a lot of our readers have asked about getting a second passport. I realize this is a large and complex issue – several issues, actually – but would you care to go over the basics of where to go and what to do? And for those not already thinking about this, why?

Doug Casey: Sure. We've talked quite a bit about the increasing urgency of getting some of your assets out of your home country, especially if it's the United States. We've talked about having stores of precious metals in safe places abroad, and setting up bank and brokerage accounts abroad as well. I've said that safest way to store wealth abroad is to buy property, which can't be seized by your home country without an act of war. The purchase of real estate solves several issues all at once.

But that's all about protecting assets; to protect yourself, getting a second passport is unfortunately very important.

LJ: Why unfortunately?

DC: Because you shouldn't have to need government papers to live as you please. It used to be that a passport was a document that a ruler of one country would give to a traveler to ask the rulers of other countries to assist him in his travels. Now, instead of a convenience, it's become a required permit for travel. It's degrading and actually runs counter to the whole idea of the thing. The original purpose of a passport has been turned upside down.

LJ: Passports are becoming a world ID card – and they will be, once the governments all link up their databases.

DC: That's exactly what they are, and I'm sure it's going to get worse. It's funny the way people treat these things like some sort of holy relic, or magical object – they are nothing but another government ID. But since they are necessary in today's world, you ought to have several of them, for your own convenience. If nothing else, it prevents any one government from basically placing you under house arrest by taking your passport away from you.

LJ: Do you really think of it mostly in terms of convenience? Or do you sometimes think about the potential for physical danger, should you find yourself in an Achille Lauro-type situation in which violent people who hate Americans select US passport holders for abuse?

DC: That's definitely a good reason for Americans to have a second passport, and increasingly for others, now that the war with Islam is under way. If you ever get caught in harm's way, it helps that nobody starts by shooting all the people from countries they've never heard of.

LJ: Round up all the Uruguayans!

DC: Right – that just doesn't happen. Another reason – certainly if you're an American – is that nobody anywhere in the world wants to open a bank account or a brokerage account for you. It ranges from impossible to hard and inconvenient. It's a subtle and indirect form of exchange control that the US has already imposed. I have no doubt controls will become much more formal and serious in the near future.

LJ: Are you saying that if I go to Switzerland, and I look and sound like an American, but have a Mexican passport, they'll open a bank account for me?

DC: It depends. Here in Uruguay, where I'm still hanging out on the beach, I went with a friend from South Africa to open a bank account, using her South African passport. I didn't say a word, so I could have been a South African too, for all they knew. Still, the bank officer asked her: "Are you also a US citizen?" and "Are you resident in the US?"

LJ: The long arm of Uncle Sam keeps getting longer.

DC: It really is getting harder and harder. Banks really don't want the aggravations that come with dealing with "US persons" and their bullying government. Of course, it's all going to eventually backfire on the US, but in the meantime it's going to get worse.

LJ: Yes – I don't like it when they ask for my passport at hotels, and I hate it when they say they have to keep it.

DC: As well you should, for all kinds of reasons. You never know how good the security at the hotel is, and the inconvenience of a lost or stolen passport is substantial. I'd say a second one is a good thing to have, just on principle. An alternative would be to get documents from some of those people trying to set up new countries, like Sealand, the WWII gun platform off the coast of England taken over by Roy Bates. I spent an afternoon with him once, but foolishly never signed up as a citizen. Oh well… Other outfits sell reproduction passports of defunct or renamed countries like Rhodesia and British Honduras.

LJ: I shudder to think of what "inconvenience" means to a man who finds it amusing to argue with immigration officials in back rooms in flyspeck countries… But at any rate, mentioning purveyors of passports from defunct countries underscores the importance of telling our readers that there are a lot of scams out there, and that it pays to be very skeptical of websites that claim to be able to set you up with documents, corporations, and bank accounts overseas. There are freelance thieves to worry about, and worse – governments trying to entrap so-called tax evaders and money launderers. There's no need to take such risks when you can go to any of the many countries that encourage immigration and permanent residency, and acquire government-issued documents legally.

DC: Yes, these are indeed shark-infested waters. You really have to do things in a totally correct and proper way. For instance, there always seem to be people running around who have passports stolen from the issuing agency, and some fools buy them, not realizing they'll not only lose their money, but might wind up in jail besides. But, even among perfectly legitimate documents, not all passports are created equal.

LJ: Why would that be?

DC: The defining characteristic of a "good" passport is how much visa-free travel it allows. And by that I really mean visas that have to be applied for, and approved, before the trip begins, as opposed to those issued at the border. Avoiding those is the real key value.

In spite of its reputation, a US passport is by no means the best one to have. First, if you have one, you're a US taxpayer, which is very inconvenient, but it also means you need visas for a lot more countries than you would with some other passport. Argentina, Chile, and Brazil, for instance, all charge Americans about $150 to issue a visa. It's a perverse form of reciprocity, as that's what the US government charges their citizens. It's the same kind of thinking that starts trade wars, and I expect more of it in the years to come – but that's another subject.

Speaking of South America, two passports that are relatively quick and easy to get are those from Uruguay and Paraguay. Both countries are members of the Mercosur group of South American countries, which offers some additional advantages to their nationals.

One of the best, I'm given to understand – and this is constantly changing – is a Singapore passport. I also understand that Singapore has a number of ways to become a citizen in a relatively short period of time.

LJ: What are some of the shortcuts to second citizenship?

DC: One of the best is if you have parents or grandparents from a country that will give you citizenship on that basis. Ireland and Italy are known for this. It's true, under some circumstances, for the UK as well. Saint Kitts is a relatively easy place to get a passport quite quickly, but it involves a significant investment that adds up to a couple hundred thousand dollars. Selling IDs is a significant source of income for the island.

And of course, in a number of countries you can obtain citizenship, and hence documents, relatively easily by marrying a national. Brazil is one, and a Brazilian passport is not a bad one to have.

There's information on this out there, but there have been scam reports done on this subject and many other sources that are simply unreliable, so watch out. I don't think there's ever been a truly definitive study done on all the ways, in all the 200 or so countries in the world. I believe my book The International Man was the first to really explore the ground – but it's long out of date. Even if there were a current book, it would have to be updated monthly to be of real value – governments are always changing their rules. And when it comes down to the particulars of a given situation, you'll want to hire a tax attorney and maybe an immigration one as well, to make sure everything is done correctly.

It's generally better not to try for shortcuts, but to move to a place you like living in, at least part of the year. Operating through the established, legally recognized channels, you can get a passport in two to five years.

LJ: Okay. And, to be clear, the US allows second citizenships?

DC: Yes. Many countries don't, and are strict about it. Others don't, but look the other way. You may feel you want to keep your US documents for various practical reasons, but remember that keeping your US citizenship means remaining a US taxpayer, which is most undesirable.

LJ: I read that if your income is less than $100,000 per year and you live abroad, it's not taxed, so maybe the tax issue is less important to people who earn less than you?

DC: That's true, but that exemption only applies only on income earned outside the US You still pay capital gains taxes, and taxes on US-sourced income. I also understand that under current law, until 2013, there's a $5 million exemption on appreciated expatriated assets. That means there's a window closing soon on some of the benefits of getting rid of your US citizenship.

LJ: Any reasons other than taxes you'd want to get rid of your US citizenship? If I were young enough, I'd worry about conscription, for example.

DC: That's a very good reason. More generally, as long as you're a citizen of a country, that country's government is going to treat you like its property. So, if you are going to be a citizen of any place, which is unfortunately necessary, it's better to be a citizen of a small and backward country, or one that just doesn't have the ability or interest to monitor all of its citizens like prison inmates, as the US does.

LJ: I hear that. It's such a pity that America the beautiful has turned into the United State and is rapidly marching down the road to serfdom… I really loved America.

DC: Nothing lasts forever, Lobo. It's suicidal to let sentimentality blind you to reality. But, eternal optimist that I am, it's always good to look at one of the major bright sides of the ongoing financial and economic collapse. Namely that the governments of most advanced nation-states are bankrupt. There's a chance that some of them will be forced to cut back on their most noisome activities. There's even a chance that one or two will be completely hollowed out and will exist mostly in theory, like Rome in the late 5th century.

It's very hard to predict what will happen, so it's best to have a Plan B. And a Plan C. Unfortunately, most people have a medieval serf mentality – although they don't know it, and probably wouldn't admit it even if they did – and have no plan at all, because they think everything is fine.

LJ: I agree. And you know I'm diversifying out of the US as well. Any other essential points?

DC: Yes, remember that getting a second passport is just part of a larger "permanent traveler" strategy. The ideal is to live in one place, have your citizenship in another, your banks and brokers in other jurisdictions, and your business dealings in yet others. That makes it very inconvenient for any one government to control you. You don't want all your eggs in one basket – that just makes it easier for them to grab them all. I understand it may not be easy for most people to structure their affairs that way. That's exactly why most serfs stayed serfs; it was hard and scary to think of anything other than what they were told they should do.

LJ: Understood. Thanks for the guidance.

The more of your wealth you have in your home country, the greater the risks to your capital. That's why it's critical to start protecting your assets by moving them abroad as soon as possible. To help you do just that, Casey Research is hosting a web video event at 2 p.m. EDT on Tuesday, April 30. Internationalize Your Assets features investment experts Doug Casey, Peter Schiff, Mike Maloney, and more. This must-see webinar will reveal offshore strategies you can easily implement to protect what's rightfully yours. Click here for details and to register.

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Sat, 04/13/2013 - 20:45 | 3445567 world_debt_slave
world_debt_slave's picture

Let's see, Japan?

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:18 | 3445666 prains
prains's picture

I think the minimum standard to get a second passport is to be able to spell the country's name and point it out on a map. FAIL

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 22:18 | 3445773 jbvtme
jbvtme's picture

 i thought of another passport after 9/11.  but the usa was the only place you could own a gun.  so i stayed

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 22:38 | 3445802 NoDebt
NoDebt's picture

Do you hold more than one passport?  You're on the "possible terrorist" list.  That's why not.

If you don't know what you're doing with stuff like this I suspect you will get yourself into a lot more trouble because of it than you will ever avoid or get yourself out of.

 

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 23:21 | 3445878 BigDuke6
BigDuke6's picture

Foreign real estate!

Lol
Cyprus, Spain and Bulgaria are a bargain just now.

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 08:21 | 3446238 malikai
malikai's picture

Reykjavik.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 23:56 | 3445943 cristo
cristo's picture

Come to Canada we have lots of gun owners .But first you have to pass a firearms safety course and get your firarms licence wich you'll have to renew every five years , pass a background check where they call your character references , you'll also need a transportation permit to get your handgun and retricted long guns to the range and back , you'll also need to abided by the storage regulationsand and don't forget the 10 round mag capacity for handguns and 5 round for rifles .Besides that it's almost the same . 

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 06:52 | 3446185 AvoidingTaxation
AvoidingTaxation's picture

Wrong: Switzerland and Finnland are places where you can also easily purchase guns and machine guns.

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 08:05 | 3446215 Zeroexperience2010
Zeroexperience2010's picture

Don't forget Czech Republic which also permits CCW, at least to Czech citizens, rather liberaly when compared to the rest of Europe.

Full auto in CH: forget it if you don't hold a swiss passport, normal waiting time for the red booklet with white corss: 12 years, forget also CCW in CH (except if you start a security company, then maybe for work you might get a CCW)

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 20:52 | 3445589 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

I stopped reading at "now that war with Islam is under way"-if I want to hear this bullshit I'll go to an AIPAC convention with my congressman. also-is Tel Aviv a good place to stash my precious metals?

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:01 | 3445628 Ignatius
Ignatius's picture

Once the cold war ended (he-he, don't believe it) was when the 'war on Islam' really got going.  Funny how it sprung up right after the dissolution of the Soviet empire and defense budgets started coming under pressure....

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:08 | 3445645 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Hollywood transitioned brilliantly from portraying the Soviets as the enemy to the towel heads........They didnt miss a beat..........

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:13 | 3445655 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

argo, zero dark thirty, ad nauseum.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:14 | 3445657 icanhasbailout
icanhasbailout's picture

The attempt to start the war in 1993 didn't quite work out as planned.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:19 | 3445668 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

The USSR was over by Dec 1991.........'True Lies' came out in 1993 same yr as the world trade center bombing........These guys are good

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:37 | 3445701 Pure Evil
Pure Evil's picture

Actually, the war on Islam started long ago. Anyone remember the Crusades?

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 23:30 | 3445894 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

They were before my time.  Do you remember them?

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 06:22 | 3446167 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

How about the bombings and hijackings that picked up in the 80's (from the already alarming volume of the 70's)?

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 10:15 | 3446327 FeralSerf
FeralSerf's picture

Most of the hijackings were to Cuba in the 70s and 80s.  Nobody got hurt, just inconvenienced.  I remember those days well -- the Good Old Days when there wasn't any airport security and the traveler could be greeted, or sent off with a kiss, at the gate by her friends.

Then Mossad, the CIA and MI5/6 got involved and they began killing people and blowing up airplanes.  Pan Am 103 was an example.  We have all paid the price of our freedom so the Zionists could steal the land of and kill the Palestinians instead of remain in Europe where they belonged.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 23:43 | 3445915 hivekiller
hivekiller's picture

We want those burkas.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:09 | 3445647 localsavage
localsavage's picture

I think that was a reference to the fact that the U.S. government has used that nonsense as justification for turning the country into an Orwellian nightmare.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:24 | 3445679 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Otto, in your case I'd recommend stashing your AU in a SD box near Dimona, Israel. The safest place on the planet. You won't be the only one by a longshot.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 22:00 | 3445741 piceridu
piceridu's picture

That war has been raging for over a 1000 years. It's just fought differently today.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 20:52 | 3445590 kito
kito's picture

Here in Uruguay, where I'm still hanging out on the beach......

 

umm doug, werent you in argentina, building a self sufficient community in preparation for the end of the world, away from the socialist u.s.??? or did you conveniently slip over the border to uruguay after cristina kirchner came for everything you have???????? 

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 20:51 | 3445601 ekm
ekm's picture

LOL

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 20:54 | 3445605 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

I am sure our founding fathers are so proud of Doug.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 20:55 | 3445610 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

when the going gets tough the tough flee to shithole S America.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 20:59 | 3445618 ekm
ekm's picture

Doug Casey has the 'superiority bug'. He loves to tell anybody how smarter and brighter he is

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:00 | 3445630 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

at least simon black has a little whiff of mystery about his bullshit

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:04 | 3445636 ekm
ekm's picture

It's all about attracting money.

Doug and Simon have a created a niche..........a whisper.....INTERNATIONAL INVESTOR....Uruguay......wow.

Anybody who could be wowed would invest money with Doug Casey....he knooooooows stuff.

 

It's all marketing, at the very end.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:22 | 3445672 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

"a promise of adventure...a hint of danger"

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9WRf6Q1o7PE

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:05 | 3445633 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

Doug Casey has the 'superiority bug'. He loves to tell anybody how smarter and brighter he is

Yeah, anyone who says a US passport is bad = nuts.

And advocating the necessity of a fake passport? Really brilliant advice. "Hey look I'm from Rhodeisa, brokerage account please!!"

Having some experience with Swiss banking I'm sure they really prioritize Mexican passports over American lol

 

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:08 | 3445642 ekm
ekm's picture

I never put down my birth country, albania, born and raised there, but, canadian passport is way better than that. There's a higher level of respect of US and Canadian passports in the airports and borders around the world.

Only people who had 'lower quality' passports would know this.

 

As I said, it's all marketing from Doug Casey.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:10 | 3445649 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

As I said, it's all marketing from Doug Casey.\

Stupid marketing.. A sentence which has never been said by a broker:

"Rhodesia? Thank God! For a minute there I was worried you were an AMERICAN!"

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:14 | 3445653 ekm
ekm's picture

Obviously, some people fall for it and invest money with him.

 

What people in USA and Canada do not know, is that to do BIG business in those countries, there is no other way but to BRIBE THE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS.

 

If Doug is making money, that's how he is making it.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:20 | 3445669 James_Cole
James_Cole's picture

If Doug is making money, that's how he is making it.

I'm guessing he makes it off his newsletter subscriptions, those newsletter writers are a cabal of scam artists. 

I've always been curious what the $ deal is between all the newsletter guest posters and zh. 

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:46 | 3445714 ekm
ekm's picture

You'd be surprised how many local politicians would dream of having outside SHADOW financiers to screw their own country.

That's how Glencore makes money.

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 06:41 | 3446179 Urban Redneck
Urban Redneck's picture

Glencore used to make its money by running into countries that the bankers were running (for their life) away from as fast as possible, they still operate in few shitholes that I won't even set foot in.  However, they have become a bit stale and the marriage to China and the IPO have sort morphed them into a freakish TBTF in their own right.  As long as the rest of the world is importing inflation due to dollar hegemony, and in addition to their domestic money supply mismanagement, then FDI and access to credit is needed in those markets, and those countries options start with the likes of Glencore and the World Bank and go downhill from there.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:30 | 3445692 gwar5
gwar5's picture

In the context of the interview question, I think the fake passports were for hotel clerks demanding guest passports despite possible dodgy clerks and lack of security. I don't think it was for opening a bank or brokerage account.

 

Hotels have always just made a copy of my real passport, but I also carry a lamenated copy for foreign cops, bureaucrats, and hotel clerks who like to take official documents and 'forget' to give them back.

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 02:05 | 3446054 Parrotile
Parrotile's picture

Make numerous colour copies of the back page of your Passport (approx A6 is just right)

Laminate, and place in many locations when travelling.

Also have JPEG copies on your 'phone, and all the other electronic media you travel with.

Makes it a LOT easier to get a replacement passport quickly. Passport offices do prefer you to be at least slightly prepared when travelling abroad!

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 22:59 | 3445831 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

ekm: "Doug Casey has the 'superiority bug'..."

Watching his interviews, however safe or smug he might feel, I get the impression that Doug has BS-fatigue.  I think has has good company with that at ZH.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:02 | 3445629 Stanley Lord
Stanley Lord's picture

Exactly right!

Instead of running like a coward why don't we stand a fight and take back the country.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 22:38 | 3445799 syntaxterror
syntaxterror's picture

Fight with whom? The medieval serf Free Shit Army? You're fucked dude.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 20:57 | 3445613 ekm
ekm's picture

I have two, since the first one was not of much use.

But this is a bad as it gets. US passport was supposed to be the most covetted one.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:21 | 3445673 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Luckily my father was Swiss,my mother American and I was born in the UK.

My grandfather was also born in Lake Como in Italy when his mother(who was English)

got caught short, and birthed before crossing the Swiss frontier.Take your pick.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:27 | 3445684 otto skorzeny
otto skorzeny's picture

nice- I looked into luxembourg dual citizenship based on my paternal grandmother's side but the cutoff was 1900.

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:36 | 3445700 gwar5
gwar5's picture

How well do you know George Clooney? 

Sat, 04/13/2013 - 21:55 | 3445729 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

It no longer is the most coveted, as you now have 2 bullseyes on you. The one on the front is for the IRS. The one on your back is for every pirate, kidnapper or terrorist on the planet.

You and your US passport are highly sought by all. /s

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 02:49 | 3446068 Kirk2NCC1701
Kirk2NCC1701's picture

Fonz', you DO realize that the Founding Fathers were even more anti-establishment than Doug? And that all these millions of Anglos who left 'jolly' (?) old England, did EXACTLY what Doug advocates: Get the hell out, and live in a better place?

Sun, 04/14/2013 - 08:12 | 3446229 Ace Ventura
Ace Ventura's picture

Errrr.....that depends. How many Founding Fathers were born in England? If you're referring to the immigrant pilgrims that's one thing, but the actual Founders (e.g. James Madison) were born right here.

So if you refer to the James Madison type of founder, then they DID choose to stay and fight. Ultimately, to stay or go is an individual choice. Most of us don't have the option of becoming global trotters acquiring property and assets in various other countries. So for us, the choice is simple....stay and fight.

The guy who mentioned the home-spawned Free Shit Army is right though....that will be one hell of a nasty wrinkle to deal with in the coming chaos. The important thing is to always keep focus on the real culprits, the asshat parasitic slime-dwelling globalist bankster creatures who intentionally grew that sector of society.

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