Dateline: Baku, Azerbaijan
In previous weeks, we’ve talked about how the paperwork and overall process to obtain economic citizenship in Dominica was too slow for me and how I eventually gave up on it because of the reasons I’ve mentioned before, such as not being in my home country. However, this is not a challenge unique to Dominica. Any economic citizenship program will require quite a bit of paperwork.
In fact, if you have a phobia of paperwork, don’t even consider bothering with economic citizenship. Whether you mind it or not, the paperwork involved with getting citizenship by investment is one area where receiving some help is better than going it alone. If you hate paperwork, consider getting a residence and going through the naturalization process because economic citizenship and mounds of paperwork almost always go hand in hand.
Well, economic citizenship is kind of like opening a bank account. Banks have “Know Your Customer” policies and anti-money laundering provisions to protect themselves from doing business with unsavory folk. Countries are just the same. Imagine that you’re a country and you’re issuing someone a passport and granting them citizenship. There’s a lot on the line.
For many countries, they are putting their very reputation on the line when they decide to let someone become a citizen. St. Kitts and Nevis passport holders, for example, lost visa-free access to Canada because the country screwed up and issued one Iranian guy a passport and didn’t put his place of birth on it.
So economic citizenship programs have to use the mentality of an offshore bank. All these countries have is their reputation. If Sweden lets some Iranians in, nobody is really going to care. If Antigua lets a few Iranians naturalize, people are going to freak out and the passport could be devalued. There’s not a lot of Antiguans and they don’t have much say in the world — there’s nobody else fighting for them — so they have to be very careful.
Low Profile, More Benefits
That’s part of why the Comoros passport works because it’s not on such a high level as the Caribbean programs. The Comoros does not have visa-free access to the EU and is probably not going to in the near future. This is why I’ve said that the Comoros is an excellent second passport when you plan to keep your current passport. It can also make a good second “second passport” if you’re planning on renouncing citizenship and not keeping it.
You won’t find any Americans giving up their US citizenship to become Comorian. They’d be very hamstrung unless they wanted to get a residence permit and then not travel a lot. It would be a difficult thing to do. But one of the benefits you get — since there’s always a pro and a con — is that the lower status of the Comoros means that there aren’t as many provisions and regulations in place. They can’t go many places, so even if they naturalize people from some shady countries, what are they going to lose?
The other benefit of the Comoros passport is that it allows you to go to other Muslim countries. Many of the countries on the list, such as Malaysia for instance, are pretty open and they’re not going to care the same way Canada does about the Comoros issuing passports to someone from country XYZ.
The other benefit? While there is still some paperwork, it’s not as demanding as the other programs out there.
Comoros Economic Citizenship Paperwork
The paperwork to apply for Comorian citizenship is eleven pages long. Because the Comoros is a poor country without many resources, the paperwork doesn’t look that official. The first page is a basic one that says “Citizenship Application” and then requests name, date and place of birth, parent’s names, height, weight, what you do for a living, etc. They do ask for a birth certificate number so you will need a birth certificate like we talked about earlier. Then, if you’re married, it asks for your spouse’s name, wedding date and place of marriage. After that you provide your phone number and sign it.
The next page is a more formal looking form. This is the “Request for Economic Citizenship”. It asks for personal details, which includes much of the same information from the first page, plus your driver’s license, place of permanent residence and your current address.
The third page requires, again, some of the same information: height, weight, hair color, eye color, occupation and whether or not you are self-employed. You’ll also be asked the nature of your business and the address of your business or name of your employer. That can be an actual employer or the name of your company. You’ll need to list the date you started working there, your main source of income and your business’s phone number.
Help me get my economic citizenship!
The Comoros will also want to know about your current passports. You’ll need to list your passport numbers, when they were issued and when they expire. So if you have two citizenships and this is your third, you’ve got to fill them both in. I’m not too worried about that, quite frankly. I’m not worried about them knowing where I’m at. I’m confidant this information will be confidential because, in all honesty, it’s difficult to get a hold of anybody over there.
The fourth page requests the details of the family. Once again you will be asked the names of your parents, but this time they also ask where they’re living, their address and when and where they were born. Then, it’s any siblings you have, including half, step and adopted siblings. My sisters are all three adopted so I wrote that in there.
Pages five and six are two long pages for you to list all of your children and what grade they’re in. I have no children so this didn’t apply to me, but the two full pages has me wondering if most applicants have somewhere around seventeen children!
Page eight has you list all addresses where you’ve lived for the past ten years. I’ve always thought that’s a silly question, but it’s a pretty standard one. The ninth page asks “Where did you go to school?” I don’t remember all of the schools I went to over the years so I just listed my high school diploma. Then I listed my one year in college before I dropped out (link to /about/Andrew Henderson).
The Declaration and Application for Citizenship
At the bottom of that page there is a place to list all the jobs that you’ve had for the last ten years, including companies that you have run. That takes up two pages.
At the bottom of the next page there is a “Declaration and Application for Citizenship” that includes various questions. For instance, they want to know:
- Have you been in the military?
- Have you been arrested or convicted? (Even they have to ask that question. They don’t want total criminals. )
- Have you been sentenced to time in prison?
- Have you been involved in financing terrorism?
- Have you sold drugs or been a drug addict, prostitute or pimp?
- Have you ever participated in genocide?
- Have you ever been investigated by any law enforcement agency or tax authority?
- Have you ever been personally bankrupt? AND Have you ever owned a company that was bankrupt?
- Have you ever engaged in human trafficking?
- Have you ever been deported from any country?
- Have you ever been refused a residence permit in any country?
- Have you ever applied for citizenship and the citizenship was not granted?
While there is quite a range of questions, answering yes to any of these questions does not automatically disqualify your application.
Once you’ve made it through those questions, the next step is to confirm that the funds that you are using to pay for the citizenship are from legitimate sources and were not the result of criminal activities. Then they ask if you have any serious health problems such as tuberculosis, hepatitis or any communicable diseases. Their biggest concern is if you have HIV, but they also ask if you suffer from nervous or mental disorders?
And that’s it.
The process is pretty straight forward. It’s a simple format. You don’t even need recommendation letters. The other day I found all the recommendations from friends and attorneys from all over the world who had written letters for my Dominica application and now I don’t even need them! I just filled out an eleven page form and then made a trip to Dubai to finalize the process. More on that trip later.
Get your economic citizenship & second passport
My goal in doing this series is to help as many people as possible become global citizens by obtaining second citizenship. I live this stuff, in part, so that I can better help individuals like you reduce taxes, obtain a second passport and experience more freedom.
If you’d like to work with me directly to create a wholistic global citizenship strategy, then click here. We’ll go through an entire deep dive process to determine exactly what you need — from passports to residency to where you’re going to live — all so we can get you to your end goals.
If you’re just interested in getting a passport and already know which passport is the right choice for you, then you can go directly to Peter MacFarlane & Associates’ website and contact them by clicking here.
If you’re still determining which approach you should take, feel free to keep reading this series to garner all the knowledge you need to form a vision and actionable plan for the future.
Help me get my economic citizenship!
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