Guest Post: Are There Any Disadvantages To A Second Passport?

Tyler Durden's picture

Submitted by Simon Black of Sovereign Man

Are There Any Disadvantages To A Second Passport?

I can’t even begin to describe how happy I am to be back in the land of the free… and yes, I’m talking about Chile.

I arrived a few days ago to beautiful summertime weather (remember, the seasons are flipped down here in the southern hemisphere). As usual, the customs officials at the airport were speedy, courteous, and efficient. From plane to cab I was out of there in 20-minutes– with luggage. This is par for the course in Chile.

It’s so nice to be in a place where you’re treated like a human being and agents of the government don’t go around robbing, molesting, and pepper-spraying peaceful citizens.

This is one of the many, many reasons why we’ve selected Chile as the home for our resilient community, and I’m happy to be back in-country so that I can dedicate myself to furthering this effort over the next several months.

When you step back and think about it, it’s extraordinary that we’re even talking about such a thing. Just five years ago, anyone who talked about a global economic slowdown was laughed out of the room. Today we are facing an all-out collapse of the fiat system. How quickly things change.

One of the best books on the subject that I’ve read lately is John Mauldin’s appropriately titled Endgame; John is one of the most accomplished and knowledgable financial writers on the planet, and he clearly explains why the end of the global debt supercycle is a foregone conclusion.

(FYI, the book is an easy read and I highly recommend picking up a few copies to give as gifts to all of your friends who still don’t get it…)

Last weekend, John and I had the chance to share a bowl of chips and salsa in an uptown Dallas bar and trade views about which governments might collapse and which have a shot at survival.

It was simultaneously depressing and hilarious… and I was certainly glad to be heading off to our farm in Chile afterwards. More on that next week– first, a few questions:

Trisha asks, “Simon- you probably heard that the Anonymous group posted the pepper-spraying policeman’s personal contact information on their website. What do you think of that approach?”

Hey, you know what they tell criminals– if you do the crime, you do the time. In this case, if you spray a peaceful crowd with a ‘less-than-lethal’ lachrymatory agent at point blank range, you get publicly shamed.

Police generally go unpunished for such actions. Whenever a cop is caught on tape tormenting peaceful protestors, the politicians and administrative officials always say that they’ll conduct a ‘full investigation’.

And then nothing happens. Months go by and the incident is forgotten. This is the unwritten rule between police thugs and the state– you protect my interests, and I’ll let you get away with brutalizing citizens to your heart’s content.

Assault is assault. We go to jail. They go on paid administrative leave. It’s a broken system, and Anonymous simply circumvented it. Outing the guy online to billions of people isn’t exactly Hammurabi’s code, but it’s a good start.

Next, Doug asks, “Simon, what’s the downside to obtaining a second citizenship? Obviously there’s some cost and time involved, but what else should I be concerned about?”

The advantages of having a second passport are extraordinary– more freedom, more opportunity, more options; most of all, it’s a great insurance policy against sovereign calamity.

Most North Americans and Western Europeans are blind to these advantages. They don’t understand why they’d ever need another passport because they already live in the pinnacle of civilization… or so they think.

Russians, Chinese, Argentines… these sorts of folks have personally experienced the ramrod fist of government. And they’re not taking chances.

Slowly, the developed West will begin to understand that their home government is their greatest threat. Unfortunately most of the second passport opportunities will be closed by then.

To address ‘disadvantages’, there may be some depending on the country. For example, if you obtain US citizenship as your second passport, you’re signing up for taxation on your worldwide income. Congratulations.

If you obtain Israeli citizenship, you (and/or your kids) may be obligated to military service. If you obtain Dutch citizenship, you may have to renounce your other one.

Taxes, conscription, and dual nationality limitations are generally the three big categories to watch out for, though most issues can be sidestepped with some planning.

Last, Neil asks, “Hello Simon, since you travel everywhere, I thought you could help me with this question: where in Latin America has the most potential to support an upscale (U.S. quality) veterinary hospital / dog kennel? I’d like to start such a business abroad.”

Candidly, the best market right now for upscale pet care is in Asia, specifically mainland China and Taiwan. I was just recently in both Shanghai and Taipei, and the streets are lined with luxury stores selling high priced pet accessories, poodle perms, and gourmet doggy biscuits.

The level to which the Chinese and Taiwanese are spoiling their pets is mind-boggling… so there’s serious opportunity there.

If Latin America is where you’d like to end up, though, I’d focus on Panama, Brazil, and Chile. The pet culture is not as extreme in these countries, however the growing middle class and disposable income levels certainly warrant higher quality services.

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jellydonut's picture

How's their English? How necessary is it to know Spanish?

My only qualm with latin america presently.

wanklord's picture

Americans are just a bunch of stupid animals easy to manipulate and subdue. The sooner the US economy collapses the better, so the ignorant populace will finally learn NOT to live beyond their means – and stop blaming the government, since they don’t give a crap about people’s grievances.

Broken_Trades's picture

This is such a crock of sh*t.


I was just in Chile, it is not 20 minutes, to get your bags and go through customs and be in a cab - Unless of course you flew in on a private jet, had your bags chauferred to you, and were the only person in the customs line.


It took 1:45 of waiting in line in Chile, plus you have to pay a fee if you are from certain countries - ie Canada.  Its 150$ to get a visa there.  That takes some time especially if there are 200 other goons in front of you.  Don't forget waiting for your bags like at any other airport.

Get off the plane in Santiago, wait in line to pay fee.  Go through customs get a stamp and receipt.  (good for multiple entry though).  Then you have to go into the normal line for everyone who has visas, and chile passports and wait in line there.  Once you are through you can collect your bags.  This was the longest part.  It was at least an hour *after I got my bags of standing in line before to go through the final customs check - Then I walked out into the terminal and then got harassed by 600 cab drivers.

Just sayin...




@ Jelldonut

How's their English? How necessary is it to know Spanish?

My only qualm with latin america presently.

You'll be fine.



RE:  Social Unrest.


All i saw was every single school draped with giant banners protesting against fees for education. All of the students are on strike and have been for some time.  This is only public universities though.  All the private schools are still going hard.  Theres some great forums for Expats in Chile.  They speak of constant marches and riots in downtown Santiago.  I am not convinced things are as peachy as Simon Black says they are.  Although for a country to visit, it has all the ammenities.  The food in Bella Vista and the Night life is pretty good.  The skiing up at Farrelones was pretty shite this year.  Down south from Santiago it's pretty slummy, although you can still find all the ammenities just at a much higher price.  Argentina seemed much more friendly and developed to me, although I was only in Bariloche.


Interesting read none the less.

Manthong's picture

There are, indeed, advantages to living in other countries. 

Probably could get extra utility from a vet clinic, too.

trav7777's picture

yeah, move to a poor country and open an upscale fucking PET CARE clinic?  Nobody has the money to waste on fucking pets in most of these places; they shoot them.  They're animals, not a fucking imitation kid because the adults have a child's mentality and couldn't take adequate care of a real human.

nickt1y's picture

Right on! This over the top pet indulgence is a symtom of our impending demise, the froth at the top of the bubble.

sqz's picture

Poor post. Not up to ZH's usual standards, even going into a weekend.

Maybe keep this stuff in "Zero Hedge Reads" or running posts at the top of the page, but not in main article flow.

(looking at some of the heated posts about the article below: I'm not American, so I really don't care one way or other about the subject, only its informative value)

derek_vineyard's picture

and i thought i was ordering kung pao kitty

monoloco's picture

Simon's just pimping the Sovereign Society so we'll help bankroll his tavels.

Oh regional Indian's picture

Just felt like jumping in above ball-sack below. Surely a brave man (or woman?).

A totally weird sight. Interesting social sub-current data-mine in ZH avaatars.




Milestones's picture

Great play with a word!!    Milestones

americanspirit's picture

Upscale pet care in China? They have dogs on the menu in that absurd country. More like open a hot dog stand. With real dogs.

PiranhaEatingGoldfish's picture



Stop talking out of your ass. I've lived in China for 3 years and the only places you see dog restaurants in large numbers are in the Korean minority areas of China, like Shandong province. I was in Shenyang, where a lot of Korean minorities live, and there are streets lined with dog restaurants. Elsewhere, not so much and I have been all over China.

And FYI, Simon has called it right on the money. People here are getting lots more money and they are spending it on the dogs like they are living in the 90210. Seriously, the growing class of affluence in China would shock most people. Now to be fair, a lot of that wealth is garnered through not so legal channels, but it is still there nonetheless.

These people are pampering the dogs like crazy. I see people walking the streets with dogs that have had dye jobs at salons that charge 500RMB. When you convert to US it might not sound so silly, but here 500RMB can do a lot. Like dinner buffet for 4 at a 5 star hotel restaurant. These people are driving Range Rovers and Porsche's the way Americans are driving Ford Escorts. They are everywhere.

Move to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Beijing or Ordos and open a dog salon (don't call it a kennel because it just isn't posh enough) and you are gonna make bank quick fast in a hurry.

Is that a bit ridiculous? Sure. But honestly you just show your ignorance when call an ENTIRE COUNTRY absurd.


Get out and see the world. It would do you some good!

ZeroPower's picture

I visited China and HK last year for pleasure with one of my best friends who happens to be (well, her family back in CN) in the 1%. He owns some factories in Guangdong...

Now, fortunately having toured the rest of the country with a guide, and not just the upscale tourist areas one would normally visit like Shanghai and Beijing... i have to say, most of the Chinese population is NOT as you describe.

Im happy for the people and everything, the more middle class the better off right? But if you go out towards central and (God forbid, Eastern!) China, the scenery is completely different. I couldnt walk around the town (Urumqi comes to mind) without having old-timers point and stare while the local young people were slightly more subtle about their inquisitive ways. 
All in all, amazing trip and lovely people and culture - but dont for one second try and play off that China > WEstern World.  These people out in the East only have 'pets' as farm animals and anything short of explaining to them what a dog salon (saloon?) is would most probably get them to ridicule you while they sit squatted over a 10RMB pack of cigarettes.

I did it by Occident's picture

if the SHTF, won't most folks be eating their pets?  Not the best line of business to go into before the end of the world as we know it.

boattrash's picture

Pot-Bellied Pigs make greatpets. Perfect size to roast in the ground for a family feast!

slvrizgold's picture

Trav, you've never owned a pair of Rottweilers.

el Gallinazo's picture

Of all the countries I have been in Latin America, Chile is the most like the USA.  If it weren't for the Spanish signs, walking along in uptown Santiago could be Denver.  The people in Argentina are much friendlier and human (outside of Buenos Aires where they tend to be arrogant), but have a tendency to be incredibly incompetent.  We once had a conversation on a sidewalk with about 7 concerned people about what to do with a homeless old golden retreiver on a cold winters night. (He wound up with a warm bed).   They feel your pain.  But I had to wait months to repair my Cannon camera until I was going to spend a few days in Santiago.  Guess there is no free lunch.  The import duties in Chile are much, much lower than AR.  The Chileans say that the Argentines are teenagers that never grew up and the Argentines say that the Chileans are soulless robots.

I was told that the average Chilean was in debt to his eyeballs, and despite being a conservative RC country, there is a lot of suicide by people swirling about the debt drain.  I was also told that the debts were passed on to the children upon death, but I don't know if this is true.  My ex-novia was a Chilena living in AR from one of the "families" which had fallen on hard times.

Simon Black has a particular life style and his travelogues have little use for low budget me.  OTOH, having a second passport is really useful but it usually takes years of planning.

Dirtt's picture

I dunno...if you are in an exodus mode why in the hell do you have so much baggage?  It doesn't sound like you are prepared or even willing to embark on what Simon writes about.

And you finish your post with a 'shoutout' to Argentina. Again.  COnfirmation that you are clearly not the person in the situation to embark on what Simon writes about.  Someone very close to me is eastern European living in the USA forever with strong ties in Argentina. VISIT Argentina. Otherwise STFO. Who can be trusted? Certainly not Argentina.

Read Conde Naste not Simon Black.  Thx for the intel though.

Popo's picture

Simon's articles (this one included) are beyond inane.

Where to open a high end pet shop?

Good lord. ZH needs higher standards.

ResFam's picture

Have lived overseas in Panama for over 5 years.  I quit a lucrative partnership in the U.S., sold the house, sold the car, sold most of what we owned and moved down here with wife, a 4 year old and a 2 year old.  We just had our third -- who will have automatic dual citizenship.  We've opened a school for expat kids, my wife has a lucrative property rental business, and we just purchased an organic farm.  I still do consulting in the U.S. but do it from here with a great Skype connection and good Internet service.

A family health insurance policy here costs $250 per month (as opposed to the more than $800 I paid in the U.S.) Some things are cheaper, some are more expensive -- e.g. electricity.

While some of what Simon says may be "talking his book", I can tell you from personal experience that much of what he says is absolutely accurate. I breeze through the airport here... Customs is always friendly and I'm usually through baggage claim and immigration in no more than 10 minutes.  Contrast that with the U.S., where ICE treats me like a criminal almost every time I return, has accused me of being a drug dealer, questions me about my job, where I live, where I'm staying in the U.S. (my own country).

Are there things that are challenging here? Of course... Speed traps with police shaking you down for baksheesh. A "manana" culture that is way laid back and takes getting used to.  Government corruption (although the U.S. government is just as corrupt -- see the 60 Minutes segment on Boehner, Pelosi and many other members of Congress' insider trading escapades).  Infrastructure not as reliable -- we lose power on average once a week for an hour or so... Internet service sometimes out.

But here's the thing... Paradoxically, the country is WAY more free than the U.S. in many ways... Here you're free to be as stupid as you want to be because the size and scope of the state is just much, much smaller. This means that if you get in a serious car accident, you're basically screwed...It means if someone wrongs you, don't even think of litigation...

On the other hand, here folks take personal responsilbility for their actions -- novel concept huh?. You can do triple back flip gainers off the waterfalls all over the country and there's no Ranger Rick saying you can't. You can drive your car down miles of empty beaches, but if you get stuck in the sand, and the tide comes in you're screwed (I see it happen often). If you can identify an unserved niche, it's much easier to open a business because there simply aren't as many government mandarins to harass you and eat out your substance.

Is it dangerous? Far less so than the U.S which really, if we're being honest, only gives the illusion of safety/secruity (and by the way, constantly tries to scare the population about how dangerous the rest of the world is).

Bottom line - pace of life is much slower, much more focused on family, spending time with friends, being outdoors... Far less focus on "things" - no hyperconsumerism, Black Fridays, etc.  Best place in the world to raise kids. 

It's not all roses, but 5 years later, best decision our family ever made.

end da fed's picture

i just checked out your site and i'll be visiting more often- wow. i recently spent time in Puerto Viejo, CR and i think that's where i want to "get away from the rat-race". the only hold up is how to get my 2 dogs there for my 11 year old!

ResFam's picture

Brilliant!  There is no special secret to doing this.  You don't have to be particularly smart, rich, or talented.  I have no particular talents... I'm not particularly smart, and I've failed in numerous hare-brained ventures in my life. I'm about as average as they come.  if a knucklehead like me can do it anyone can. All you really need is the willpower to actually do it. There are expats down here from every station in life... Middle class families, recent college grads... I even have a friend from the inner-city of Chicago who set up a highly lucrative personal concierge business and has more business than he can handle.  I have another friend who's about as middle class as they come... auto mechanic from Florida... He and his wife set up an auto shop 5 minutes from a beach community and his lot is overflowing with customers 6 days a week.

I'd be lying if I said it's all a bed of roses... It's not.  There are real frustrations and setbacks. Not everyone likes it, and some return home. But on balance, the lives of the expats I know here are exponentially more fulfilling and rewarding.  I'm not selling Panama... It really doesn't matter if it's Panama, Chile, or some other country -- Simon is right about one thing... If you have any entrepreneurial bones in your body and want out of the rat race, the best opportunities in the world right now are outside the U.S. Just be sure to fully understand the good, bad and ugly before you make the move.

end da fed's picture

yes, ive found that the hardest part of any enterprise is the first step in actually DOING it. while ive gotten past the "analysis of paralysis" before and taken the "sink or swim" approach, my family is another matter... i hope my other half learns how suffocated we are in Ohio soon because im tired of being a slave to work, regulations, pension system, health insurance, state education standards, commuting, etc. we both have several hobbies that bring in cashflow aside from jobs that i know we could make a go at and i want my son to have a real taste of freedom: we don't need big brother to take care of us!

falun bong's picture

I moved to Sydney Australia with the family after Bush was reappointed the second time...and i can echo exactly what ResFam says. It's better. But I think it takes one thing, first and foremost: imagination. You have to be able to imagine yourself doing this. Once you've figured that out, the rest is pretty easy. Next thing you need is sone courage. Just do it! Especially if you have kids, because preparing them to deal with the world is the best gift you can give them. They might learn a new language along the way. Or they might just learn how to adapt to any kind of new situation, which is equally valuable.

A year ago we bought land on an unspoiled South Pacific island called Vanuatu (three hour flight from Sydney), mangoes, coconuts, fish in the lagoons...paradise. Anyone who wants to see my blog, have a look:

Just do it! Your kids will thank you.

Broken_Trades's picture

You can do triple back flip gainers off the waterfalls all over the country and there's no Ranger Rick saying you can't.


I'm in.

FeralSerf's picture

You can do that in Mexico as well.  They don't care.  It's your body.

malek's picture

Thank you for your thoughts and info!

monkeyboy's picture

I think Simon Sov. Man is in some sort of Chilean Fantasy Land

Taint Boil's picture



I go to Mexico all the time - everyone speaks good enough English. Latino women are hot and easily had. All the bad guys are near the border towns.

GFKjunior's picture

"All the bad guys are near the border towns."


Wrong, they are near the border towns, all along the east coast, in the norhtern deserts, in the gulf of california area, and in the central farming area as well.

Landrew's picture

I spend three weeks every other months in Chile. I speak very little spanish and have no problems anywhere I go. Money taks in every country.

LeZinc's picture

How can you consider immigrating somewhere and not learn the language? It doesn't take long to learn any language and if you're immersed in it, it's even easier. But not speaking the language of the country you live in? You're in for a lot of (unecessary, easily avoidable) trouble.

FWIW, some country won't allow you to come and live there if you don't speak their official language, unless they're desperate to have you (i.e. you're in the top 6% and you immigrate as an investor or you have a very special, highly desirable profession).

And FWIW, for anybody seeking a second passport, it takes years to obtain. We have 3 passports from 3 countries in 3 different continents (America, Europe and Africa). The second passport took us 5 years to obtain and for the third one, it took 3 years. In both cases, we lived, worked and paid taxes in the countries we seeked citizenship from during the entire legal time required before requesting the passport. which you can't have if you don't have citizenship, sounds obvious but I'll go ahead and spell it out anyway.

I'm amazed to read this post and these comments about a second passport. It sounds like "eh, get a second passport, you never know" as if it were as simple as to apply to a credit card. A second passport is not a second credit card or something you just apply for and voila, they send it to you by mail without you ever stepping out of your home.

Before even thinking about the passport, you need apply for immigration in the country you decide you'll live in. That, alone, is very far from being a walk in the park. You need to fit in some criteria (they are different from a country to an other) and among them there might be age, education and/or skills, health, clean criminal record, number of dependants (kids) and their age and health and criminal record... And most of all, you need money. Nobody will welcome you in their country if they suspect you'll end up peddling their government or become a criminal because you're broke in the first place. As an exemple, we got our bank accounts checked during a 2 years prior obtaining a permanent visa to the last country we eventually got a passport from. They wanted to be sure the money we claimed we had (to fit the pre-requisite of net-worth they required for any new resident) wasn't just borrowed for the time the paper work was taking place and then we'd reimbuse it prior flying to the country we wanted to go to.

Then, most importantly, don't think other countries are just super eager to welcome an american just because he's american. There has to be some value to your going and living there, or they won't give you more than a tourist visa or stay. Either you are an investment-immigrant or you're a skilled immigrant. If you're not almost a millionaire or an actual millionaire, you must have a skill they need. Given the state of the education in the US and the drive young people in developping countries have re: their education, you'd better be shaped-up education wise if you do not fit in the "trust-fund" or "investor" type. We were contacted by the first country we emigrated to. We didn't just decide one day to collect passports. They were carefully watching Universities' graduation, cherry picking people based on their PhD subjects or Master's performances. That's how it began for us. We know people who came and were welcomed because they were bringing a minimum of 500K in their luggages, painstakingly saved, to invest in a new life.

There's an other way to flee one's country. It's called seeking a refugee status. But you won't get a passport, and that's a very different endeavour.

midtowng's picture

I would love to have another passport or two, simply for backup reasons. But I've looked into it - it's a pain in the ass. It's not something you want to do unless you have a good reason for doing it.

I have a problem with that. Capital can move across borders without a problem, but people can't. I would think it should be equal.

Arkadaba's picture

In a bitchy mood - how many born and bred american citiizenss can parse a sentence. Mostly none.

i-dog's picture

Sentences are soooo last century and soooo elitist. Americans communicate by shouting and waving guns.

Terminus C's picture

I thought it was communicate by shooting and wagging tongues.

Oquities's picture

no, americans communicate thru farcebook, sexting, and tweetie.

RMolineaux's picture

It is true that Chile currently enjoys relative prosperity.  I use the term relative by intention to contrast it with conditions in the same country in the late 70's.  At that time, Santiago was surrounded by shantytowns and prostitutes swarmed through the streets.  (Many were married women with children desperate for income)  Anyone wearing a uniform could arrest any citizen and anyone expressing opposition to the government ran the risk of being disappeared.  There was a curfew at 9 PM, so any social event became a sleep-over. The economy was controlled by a group of Chicago Boys, and members of the Opus Dei held key positions in the government.

I mention all this to suggest that such conditions can return to any developing world country where the economy accidentally or intentionally is disrupted.  Such disruption can be expected if the government attempts to change its course from participation in the US-centered "free trade" paradigm to one of protecting and enhancing the lives of its own citizens.  Witness Cuba, Libya, Iraq, Venezuela.

Chle has a large number of English speakers as well as lots of beautiful women.   But in the typical Chilean family the woman wears the pants, and the man becomes a contented drone.  The Chilean women have learned to run the show without losing their femenimity.  (Something US women have not yet learned.)





Peter K's picture

You write:

"The economy was controlled by a group of Chicago Boys, and members of the Opus Dei held key positions in the government."

Have you ever concidered that this is the reason that Chile is enjoying such popularity these days? Just sayin........

JOYFUL's picture related to "ted K?"(the one of ZH infamy...not the bridge thang!)

Terminus C's picture

You sir, are an idiot. Read some history.

midtowng's picture

You're going to wanna learn Spanish. But that's a good thing. Take a few night classes for starters

e2thex's picture

I'm confused.

When people are in flight what do they take?

Honey, did you pack the Gold?

Do I pack it separately? Do I pay an extra fee for their weight? The author has figured it all out, has he. Do you think he's ever been South of Newark?



"In theory, theory and practice work. In practice they do not."

Yogi understood.



What happens?

ninja247's picture

Learn Spanish.


It's easier to learn than english.

HamyWanger's picture

Simon Black is a traitor to the country. On a more general scale, every American living abroad, for whatsoever reason, should be identified, court-martialed and executed with the utmost care and intransigeance. 

In difficult times, where the Nation needs the work and dedication of everyone to go back on track, where the President needs any skilled hand for our Great Infrastructure Works, it is NOT acceptable to go hiding in some thrid-world country. 

billybobtx's picture

Most "founding fathers" of the US and A were leaving a repressive regime.

Manthong's picture

The youngsters are going to get to understand the founders perspective.

A lot of us do even now.