Our clients have a variety of reasons why they choose a Dominican citizenship to acquire their second passport. However, the major three reasons most often mentioned are safety, cost and quick turnaround.
Safety – Dominican Republic passport holder are relatively safe worldwide. These passport holders can travel on any continent without the fear of being kidnapped or worse. That’s not the case for US or European passport holders.
Cost – The procurement cost of the Dominican Republic passport can be as low as $19,900. This compares favorably with Dominica at $150,000 or St. Kitts at $395,000.
Wait time – A second passport from the Dominican Republic can be acquired in as little as 6 – 8 months.
Other reasons sited for acquiring a Dominican Republic – Buy and rent out property wherever you choose without punitive taxation; Avoid electronic logging of your existing passport; Take greater advantage of offshore business opportunities; Obtain employment worldwide and invest in offshore mutual funds and other vehicles closed to US passport holders.
The very fact that a second passport opens up the additional options already mentioned is actually reason enough to obtain one, but in case you need a little more convincing … Your passport is in fact the property of your government – and for US citizens, government which claims, and increasingly exercises, the right to confiscate it at any time. Even if you have sensibly removed the bulk of your assets to an offshore haven, they are no good to you here if you are trapped in your home country because your passport is no longer valid or has been confiscated. Most countries have laws which allow them to restrict not only entry but also exit from the territory. Exchange controls can be imposed overnight and the necessary legislation is already in place in the US.
U.S. citizens are subject to tax wherever they work and live in the world. But a Dominican Republic passport can open opportunities for sheltering income and protecting assets. If your citizenship demands fulfillment of military service contrary to your beliefs, it would pay you to a Dominican Republic passport that does not. If your passport allows your government to supervise your movements, monitor or control your travel in any way, or restricts your liberty to invest, borrow, or participate in any currency transactions, you are at a disadvantage.
If you wish to keep a low profile, for reasons of nationality, religion, race etc., a second passport can give you the necessary mobility you require. It could even save your life. As an insurance policy against future economic stability, political strife or war, you should think about a second passport. When catastrophe is imminent you’ve left it too late. A second passport in these circumstances would be worth its weight in diamonds.
True case histories of people who would have benefited from possessing a Dominican Republic Passport:
- The happily married couple (or so they thought) whose spouse after fifteen years of marriage is now attempting to take him/her to the cleaners, and grab ninety per cent of their joint assets.
- The American mistakenly accused of being an alimony and tax dodger who has had his passport confiscated, so he cannot leave the country even though he has ample assets stashed away in an offshore nest egg.
- The law abiding Scandinavian who has been told he risks having his application for a new passport refused for alleged tax offences – even though he has paid more than fifty per cent of his income over to the state over the past five years.
- An Israeli woman still haunted by memories of the time when she genuinely feared she was facing summary execution during the hijacking of a plane. (This could also happen to US or UK citizens).
- A Dutch citizen who took a routine business trip to a fundamentalist Islamic Republic that turned into a nightmare when his passport was confiscated until his company agreed to outrageous economic and other demands.
- A French investor who established a factory providing employment in an African country, only for corrupt politicians and officials to force him to sell; the company he had worked years to establish, and at a giveaway price. He was illegally stripped of his passport until he agreed to sign the sales contract, virtually giving away a life’s work.
Anyone who reads much about international tax law knows that the USA is the only country on earth that taxes its citizens on their worldwide income, even if they choose not to live there. This situation, though the US government doesn’t want to admit it, has led to long waiting lines at US consulates abroad as America’s brightest and most productive citizens queue up to renounce their citizenship.
British citizens still have the freedom to leave the UK, and as long as they don’t have any UK income they don’t even have to file British tax returns any more, never mind pay taxes.
This, however, may be changing soon. France may not be a country we normally expect to follow the US example, but French politicians are increasingly stating: “We’re going to apply what the Americans apply… a tax based on citizenship.”
French politicians wants to tax “tax exiles” but not French expat workers. Good luck drafting laws that make that distinction work! We somehow doubt this proposition will come to fruition too quickly.
What advantages really are there to having French citizenship, if one does not live in France?
Granted, it’s a pretty good passport to travel on. And if you get into a spot of bother in Colombia or Afghanistan they might send some commandos from Paris to help you out. But is that worth paying more than half your income for?
France was also in the news recently due to a lone Al Qaeda gunman who went on the rampage in Toulouse, killing seven people including two children. A very, very sad case, but it shows again the probability that terrorists will single out French citizens just as they will single out American (or British) citizens.
You probably don’t need the implications of this news spelt out. Other countries have crazy politicians too. Will the UK, Australia, or Canada be the next country to propose worldwide taxation for its citizens? Or will it be Brazil or Russia or China? We don’t know, but it is highly on the cards that this will happen.
WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT A SECOND PASSPORT?
That is a question we are frequently asked. Our standard response is: “You either get it or you don’t.” Unless you are a US citizen about to renounce, the numbers might not stack up. You might not find more profits on your balance sheet the year you acquire a second passport.
“But,” said a US lawyer friend during a conversation this week, “everyone I know who got a second passport is REALLY glad they got it.”
WHY NOW IS THE TIME TO GET A SECOND PASSPORT
Why should you get a second passport now? Simply, because if you don’t get the process started now, it may be too late. The trend is undoubtedly that things will become more difficult and more expensive.
We would say there is at least a 50% chance that some European nations, Canada or Australia will move to worldwide taxation of citizens in the next five years. Some might argue the chance is much higher.
One significant reason this might happen is simply that it is getting more possible to track international assets. Before there was not much point in worldwide taxation because it was unenforceable from a practical point of view. With information exchange on assets and bank accounts becoming the norm rather than the exception, this has changed. The US is blazing the trail with FATCA and will likely share the FATCA information with other friendly governments, who will thus have even more incentive to introduce worldwide taxation for their citizens.
We are not here to preach doom and gloom. We hope we’re wrong and that taxation of worldwide income for expats does not become the norm. But having a second passport up your sleeve would definitely seem like a smart strategy.
How to get one? We procure passports from the Dominican Republic. Please call our office at (809) 712-4412 or email BankerTrust@gmail.com. One of our qualified professionals will contact you within 24 hours.