Press "Enter" to skip to content

About those second passports …

Offshore types are always advising us USians to get a second passport as a precaution against tyranny.

I sympathize with this. As I’ve said before, if I were rich, I’d definitely have an offshore hidey-hole lined up, with all the real estate, bank accounts, and tricks of citizenship that that entails.

But of course, that’s just the problem. Nearly all advice from the “get out while you can” crowd is directed at people who consider $500,000 to be spare change, not people who consider $500,000 to be some incomprehensible figure that can’t be totaled using any reasonable number of fingers and toes.

Then, leaping from link to link last week, I stumbled upon this: an offshore residency and passport plan that costs less than a late-model used car. And otherwise requires no more resources than a working-class person should be able to marshal, given a bit of time. And it’s in someplace warm, to boot.

So tell me — how much use do you think alt citizenship in the Dominican Republic would be?


  1. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal February 5, 2012 1:55 pm

    Still have to get the US’ permission. Including an all-clear from the FBI. Who’s inventing our Fireflies?

  2. jed
    jed February 5, 2012 2:37 pm

    Still the same question I have in re. anywhere else. Can I bring my guns? And, how will I earn a living? I suppose if TSHTF, the latter question will apply regardless, but at least I’ll be armed.

  3. EN
    EN February 5, 2012 3:47 pm

    No, you can’t bring your guns, although they are all over the Island, particularly amongst those who have money. But in the end it’s owned lock, stock and barrel by the US government. They can lift anyone they want, no matter what their nationality, and I’m guessing it would be twice as easy if you’re still a US citizen. It’s an untalked about rendition stop. The only way you could do it is to give up your US passport. Might well be worth it when you look at what’s coming (congress has officially authorized drone swarms), but then FedGov can do anything she likes there. In all seriousness, if you want to stick to the gulf region, Cuba would be your best bet.

    ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ February 5, 2012 4:34 pm

    I usually stopped off at various places in the Dominican Republic on multiple cruises aboard my sailboat between Florida and the eastern Caribbean. It is a beautiful but poor country with the usual multi level bureaucratic corruption so common in most Spanish speaking “republics”. On one such port of call in Samana on the East coast, I met a US expat retiree from the military who had sailed in, married a local woman and purchased a house with his nest egg. After less than a year the “lady” had him evicted, his house seized and had him ordered to pay her what amounted to his entire income. He was reduced to moving back aboard his sailboat with the port captain refusing to issue him a “despacho” (permission to sail). He was plotting to make his escape by hauling anchor during a weekend night and sailing to Puerto Rico. It turned out that his “wife” was “granting favors” to the comandante’s cousin.

  5. Claire
    Claire February 5, 2012 5:21 pm

    EN and ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ, you really sound as if you know whereof you speak. For me, all you have to do is say “Trujillo” (from whom I know the Dominican Republic has never completely recovered) to make me doubt the haven value of the DR. But you two clearly know more than that.

    EN, I’d never heard that the DR was an unacknowledged stop for the utterly evil “rendition” program. Sad, sad, sad. So evil that the U.S. government is involved in such an outrage.

    As to Cuba … I’ve often wondered whether there will be tremendous opportunity there, once the Castros are gone and assuming something more hopeful takes their place.

  6. Ellendra
    Ellendra February 5, 2012 7:02 pm

    My parents used to go down to the DR every summer to help with sanitation projects in some of the poorer communities. My mom still does. Personally, as much as I hate the cold, I think I’d prefer Alaska over the DR if it ever got bad enough to run.

    ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ February 5, 2012 8:24 pm

    Cuba is a beautiful and formerly prosperous island. The Cuban people are among the finest of anywhere I cruised during the 23 years of living and cruising aboard the sloop Leonidas. The 5 weeks gunk holing the north coast from Havana to Puerto Samá were the most interesting of our cruising life. Anyone interested in our account of that cruise can read a partial account here

  8. Richard
    Richard February 6, 2012 11:11 am

    My second wife if seven years is from the DR (Dominican Republic). Be forewarned the tigerasos (tigers) would bleed you dry within a week if you’re not careful. Luckily I never had that issue since generally speaking I don’t trust anyone and I don’t go unprepared. Other than the banana republics shady past (Trujillo, Mirabal Sisters) if you keep your wits about you the place is fine. Property ownership without citizenship is ill advised. But if you consider the expense rent then you shouldn’t feel too bad when it’s “legally” taken from you. The people are generally very warm. The bartering, haggling, scamming is just part of life. Gun ownership is not exactly legal so you will be breaking that law. But this place has a lot in common with Firefly/Serenity so the rules are negotiable. For example when you first drive on thes treets

  9. Richard
    Richard February 6, 2012 11:14 am

    …. when you first drive on the streets you learn that there are only two laws. 1. If you are in front you have the right of way. 2. Whoever’s ibehind you can see you have the right of way. Cheers, check out the offer properly before putting money down.

  10. Claire
    Claire February 6, 2012 11:56 am

    Richard, thank you. I’m surprised at the depth of knowledge readers of this blog have about the Dominican Republic (though perhaps I shouldn’t be).

    LOL on those traffic laws — and not so LOL on the perils of property ownership in the DR.

    Amen about not putting money down without thorough investigation. The promoters of this particular second-passport plan may be telling the truth about its direct costs; that I don’t know. But sounds as if they’re not addressing 1,000 indirect costs — and definitely not answering the big question: “How much benefit would a DR passport or residency likely bring you?”

  11. EN
    EN February 6, 2012 12:13 pm

    Fernando Acquire has written a bit about the property scams in Argentina that are regularly shown on such shows House Hunters International. The problem comes down to the idea that property rights are important, and that “legalities”, or the legal system, will trump illegalities within a particular system. Unless you know it thoroughly I wouldn’t think of buying property in any third world country.

    ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ February 6, 2012 7:30 pm

    As a former LEO and Spanish speaker, I was selected as the designated driver of a rented van by several cruising sailors on a round trip from Puerto Plata to Santo Domingo. I disagree that there are ANY traffic laws in the DR. We survived the trip but just barely. The only place with worse drivers I have experienced is Haiti.

  13. LibertyNews
    LibertyNews February 6, 2012 10:24 pm

    I just can’t see bugging out to a foreign country. If things *really* go to hell I expect we’ll see some of our more independent minded states divorcing themselves from the union. I’d much rather head to the Republic of Texas than some 3rd world country with a government less stable and more corrupt than ours.

Leave a Reply