Why You Need a Second Passport

By: Jeff Berwick | Thu, Oct 4, 2012
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Passport, Please ...

"Thus, far and wide, they migrate either to the Goths or to the Bagaudae, or to other barbarians everywhere in power; yet they do not repent of having migrated. They prefer to live as freemen under an outward form of captivity, than as captives under the appearance of liberty. Therefore, the name of Roman citizens, at one time not only greatly valued, but dearly bought, is now repudiated and fled from, and it is almost considered not only base, but even deserving of abhorrence." - Salvian the Presbyter

We often get asked why we think a second passport is so important. There are several reasons involving convenience, freedom, costs and political risk management. Let's start with the more mundane and practical reasons...

First there is convenience. Have you ever lost a passport while traveling? If you have, you know what an incredible nightmare it is. And it's not just filing a police report, contacting the embassy and applying for a new passport. It's the time during which you have no passport that's hard to endure. Without a passport, your trip could get complicated, to say the least, and even after you get back to your home base, your international travel options are limited while you wait for a new document. With a second passport, however, at least you have another document which will allow you to travel. Just as with the tires on your car, it's always nice to have a spare.

Then there are savings. Some countries require American, Canadians and other nationalities to have to pay a fee to enter. This is the case with Argentina, Bolivia and Chile, for example. It's a pretty good feeling to bypass the Americans lining up and pulling out their cash for entry and head instead to a line for those with non-US passports. And there are plenty of countries, like Brazil and Paraguay, that require US citizens to get costly and time consuming visas for entry. Having another passport can also compliment your US passport as a travel document, vastly increasing the number of countries you'd be able to visit without the hassle and cost of getting a visa.

Having at least two passports also serves to spread your political risks. That is to say that you aren't just the property and plaything of one government. And these days, it's becoming increasingly risky to be a subject of countless governments. Another government having claim on you actually provides some protection from the government who purports to own you. In fact, you may at some point want to renounce your other citizenship entirely if your own government is so egregious with how it treats you. If you don't have another citizenship ready, however, your own government will not allow you to renounce. The world is covered in governments, and while these states may allow you to switch which tax farmer can own you, they will not allow you to opt for actual freedom. You are not allowed to be stateless. They won't let you wander around without one of the tax farmers (governments) having a claim on you. But some states are better to belong to than others.

Having a second, passport from a peaceful, unindebted country could act as a get-out-being-executed-by-terrorist card. Note that no one has ever hijacked a plane and threatened to kill all the Paraguayan citizens aboard. Yes, you may be "obviously" American, but any potential American-killer may respect your good sense in getting another passport and likely no longer funding the US government with your tax dollars. But, as I've said, the more imminent terrorist danger is from the US government itself and having a second citizenship and passport gives you an out from obligations and ties to the US government. The US government is such an intrusive monster that other country's banking systems are turning away US citizens as customers because those banks simply don't want to deal with the meddlesome IRS. American expats have to get a second citizenship and passport just to be able to do business outside of the US. Those that don't, risk economic ostracization as non-US banks in many parts of the world simply refuse to do business with them.

It's not just the US that is guilty in this regard, however. As the world sinks deeper into economic and political crisis, expect more forms of capital controls to spring up. For example, a Canadian bank just closed the accounts of all customers who are citizens of Iran. The Netherlands forced GoldMoney.com to refuse Dutch customers. And Argentina and Italy are outright forbidding citizens to move money out of the country. Expect much, much more of this in all the western countries as they look to lock the doors on capital in a last ditch attempt to keep their fasco-communist systems afloat. A second passport in this type of situation could literally mean the difference between keeping all your assets and losing them all.

In the wake of very wealthy and high profile people renouncing US citizenship, grubby US politicians are already looking for ways to discourage or to block outright renunciation of US citizenship to keep the income tax money flowing to DC. As if that wasn't enough, the US government is also one of the very few countries on the planet that demands income tax from citizens who live abroad. And the rest of the Western world is following the US and becoming the sort of states you would not want citizenship with. More and more Western nations (Canada, Australia and New Zealand and the countries of Europe) will likely be taking a page from the US and trying to extract tax money from their citizens living abroad. Hungary has already started by announcing recently that it will impose taxes on its citizens worldwide, just as the US does. We have no idea how quickly the other Western nation-states will follow suit, but we're sure that they will all indeed follow.

One of the biggest economic benefits of a second passport, depending on your own situation, residency and original citizenship is that you could end up avoiding a lot of money in extortion (taxes) being stolen from you. As one example, if a Canadian leaves Canada and has a residency or passport in a country without extortion (taxation) - like Paraguay - they could find themselves in a situation where they go from losing 40% of their income every year to theft to 0%. Or, if an American were to get a Paraguayan passport and renounce their US passport they also could find themselves never being extorted for the rest of their life. Finding out how to legally avoid armed robbery each year is a tricky thing though and we recommend speaking to a tax specialist where you live for more.

Run, Americans Run ...

So while the mundane reasons are compelling enough on their own, it is the management of political risk and extortion-avoidance that makes a second citizenship and passport truly appealing these days. But choose your second citizenship carefully. Citizenship in Latin America is much easier to acquire and represents actual geopolitical risk management. Trying to get away from the US with another nation-state in the Western world is to leave one sinking ship for another. The entire Western world is in economic collapse mode and Western governments will get increasingly brazen in trying to bail themselves out at the expense of their citizens. It's already getting very ugly and bound to get a lot worse before it's over.


Keep in mind that TDV Passports doesn't just get you a passport. You can't have a legitimate passport without first getting citizenship. TDV Passports can help get you both a second citizenship and the passport to go with it. We've outlined the benefits of both in these increasingly uncertain times. To learn more, click here.



Jeff Berwick

Author: Jeff Berwick

Jeff Berwick
Chief Editor
The Dollar Vigilante

Jeff Berwick

Anarcho-Capitalist. Libertarian. Freedom fighter against mankind's two biggest enemies, the State and the Central Banks. Jeff Berwick is the founder of The Dollar Vigilante, CEO of TDV Media & Services and host of the popular video podcast, Anarchast. Jeff is a prominent speaker at many of the world's freedom, investment and gold conferences as well as regularly in the media including CNBC, CNN and Fox Business.

Jeff's background in the financial markets dates back to his founding of Canada's largest financial website, Stockhouse.com, in 1994. In the late '90s the company expanded worldwide into 8 different countries and had 250 employees and a market capitalization of $240 million USD at the peak of the "tech bubble". To this day more than a million investors use Stockhouse.com for investment information every month.

Jeff was the CEO from 1994 until 2002 when he sold the company and still continued on as a director afterwards until 2007. Afterwards, Berwick went forth to live on and travel the world by sailboat but after one year of sailing his boat sank in a storm off the coast of El Salvador. After being saved clinging to his surfboard with nothing but a pair of surfing shorts left of all his material possessions he decided to "live nowhere" and travel the world as spontaneously as possible with one overarching goal: See and understand the world with his own eyes, not through the lens of the media.

He went on to visit nearly 100 countries over four years and did and saw things that no education could ever teach. He met and spoke with a plethora of amazing people, from self-made billionaires to some of the brightest minds in finance - as well as entrepreneurs from a broad range of backgrounds and locations from tech companies in southern China to resource developers in Mongolia, Thailand, Russia and Chile. He also read everything he could find on how the world really works... politically and financially. A pursuit he continues to this day.

He expatriated, long ago from his country of birth, Canada, and considers himself a citizen of the world. He has lived in numerous locales since including Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Bangkok and currently lives in Acapulco, Mexico and is building a home in Cafayate, Argentina. In essence, everything he writes about here for TDV he has done or is doing.

As well, during his travels, both real and virtual (through the internet), he met some amazing people who have a similar shared vision of what is currently going on in the world and enticed them to come aboard TDV and provide their own brand of analysis.

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