This is Week TwentyTwo of the 26 week series #MyEconomicCitizenship. Each week I give you a glimpse into my life as I share the ups and downs experienced in pursuit of a second passport through economic citizenship. Each feature includes my weekly journal walking you through the process of obtaining economic citizenship, followed by an in-depth look at some of the most important topics people considering economic citizenship should understand. The series is presented by Nomad Capitalist in partnership with Peter Macfarlane & Associates, whom I worked with to obtain my passport. To read the entire series, just click here.
Dateline: Tbilisi, Georgia
Becoming an economic citizen has been an interesting process for me. If you take a look back at this 26 week journey, it’s easy to see the development and learning that happened as I actually went through the citizenship by investment process myself.
When I started out, the idea was to work with Peter McFarland and Associates to get an economic citizenship in order to increase my flexibility. Right now, having US citizenship is serving me in some ways with what I’m doing with Nomad Capitalist, despite the fact that I do have to file tax returns. However, I want the flexibility and the clarity of knowing that that citizenship is always serving me and that, if one day it doesn’t, I have the option to opt out.
That was one of the big things that I thought about at the beginning of the process.
Now that I’m at the end of the process, it’s been a good experience. As I always talk about, the end goal is what’s most important. Did I accomplish the end goal? Yes. I’ve worked with Peter McFarland and they got me through it all. The whole team, and especially Nick and Yuri have been very helpful.
But if you take a look at the 26 weeks and the entire journey, the beginning articles were more blog posts. There was a little bit of diary from my own experience, but it was more information than anything else. There were the how-to and info articles on how to get Dominica citizenship by investment, how to use the Belt and Suspenders Strategy, or comparing visa-free travel for economic citizens. There were also the articles addressing concerns about losing government benefits or being able to use US banks if you were to renounce your citizenship.
As the 26 weeks have gone on, however, it’s been more of a journal recording my experiences, feelings and the results from what I’m doing. And with those actions and feelings I’ve gained more clarity.
Clarity comes in doing
This is an interesting experience and an interesting reminder of what I tell everybody — because I’ve experienced this before — that when you do something you start off with questions, you start off thinking strategically and thinking about the hard (vs. soft) topics. Can I renounce my citizenship? What are the tax consequences? etc. Those questions are important, strategy is important, but it’s interesting that when you dive in and do something and the result is in or on its way, that there is a great clarity that comes with that.
Throughout these 26 weeks as I’ve gone through the process, I’ve been talking less and less about what you and I can do, and less about the opportunities, and more about what’s happening and what I’ve actually been doing.
And I think this is what a lot of people face — especially when they’re looking at getting a second passport, but really with anything related to going offshore and the subjects we talk about at Nomad Capitalist — but everyone talks about Well, if I get a second passport I could do this, I could do that. Okay, great. Go do it and then you’ll have more clarity. And that’s where I’m at right now.
Flexibility is best when you have it
I’ve been doing this stuff for a long time, but there is still a clarity that I’ve had from getting this passport. I started out saying that, for me, being a US citizen is still serving me for a couple reasons, but I’d still like the flexibility. For people who want that flexibility, let me tell you that the flexibility is best when you actually have it.
It’s easy to sit and think that if you get a Dominica passport, then you’d have the ability to go and renounce your US citizenship. Well, guess what, you feel differently about it — in my experience — when you actually have that passport. It causes you to reevaluate your choices in a way that you can only really do when you actually have the thing that gives you the flexibility. Just imagining Hey, if I pay $100,000 and I get that flexibility… is very different from the conversation you would have if you already had that second passport.
Those who already have the flexibility, knowing that they’re okay, knowing that they have the option is important. Options are important; that’s been a lesson that I’ve relearned throughout this process.
Help me get my economic citizenship!
Lessons learned obtaining economic citizenship
I’ve learned that I can go to countries in Asia and the Caribbean and a few different places. There aren’t a lot of countries, but there are some that I can legitimately travel to visa-free as a Comorian citizen.
I’ve learned that as much as we want to think that our passport is the only good one and that any other passport we have won’t cut it, sometimes it’s actually better to have a “bad passport”. I’ve learned that we often consider normal whatever we have by birth, or at least whatever we have right now.
It’s like how, after age 30, we consider any kind of technological innovation to go against the grain of society. Once we get older, any new kind of advance is just wrong. “Artificial intelligence? That’s horrible! It’s the end of humankind!” Meanwhile 12 year olds are saying That’s cool! because they’re used to it. We’re used to the passport we were born with. We never question it. And yet we question the other passport that we get. If we get an economic citizenship, we question it more than others do. I questioned my ability to travel to Malaysia more than Malaysians questioned me.
So I learned that process. First you have to do it, then you have to settle in and accept it. I’ve learned that the process can be is easy, but you have to do it. You have to find the process that works for you. I’ve learned that it is doable. I’ve learned that economic citizenship is a different process than other citizenships in that it’s more of a business transaction. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s easier, it can be easier, but it’s just different.
I’ve also learned that it is more than just a business deal. I’ve got to be honest, if there’s ever a Comoros-Madagascar war, I’ll probably side with the Comoros. There’s a feeling of being welcomed.
The theme here at Nomad Capitalist this year is “Home” and there’s a feeling of home in this process. Even though the Comoros will not be my physical home, in some small way there’s a feeling of home knowing that you’ve been welcomed somewhere. Plus, knowing that your plan and overall strategy are more complete gives you a feeling of warmth and reassurance.
Now that I’ve learned those lessons, I’m just going to go out and live my life. And that’s the last point I’d like to drive home before this whole series is over: some people think that once they have a second passport they’re going to be a whole different person or something. You’re not a different person. You’re the same person. If you didn’t want to renounce your citizenship before, you’re not going to want to do it afterwards. For me, this is just a different kind of passport — the economic passport.
And, quite frankly, it’s actually more likely that it goes the other way around. Once you have your economic passport you might change your mind and say that now that you have the flexibility you’re not ready yet. You’re just going to keep that flexibility forever. And maybe you’ll never renounce even though you thought you were at the beginning because now you know you can. Knowing that you can is important. Knowing that you’re able to and that you have options is important, even if you don’t use those options.
For me, the 26 weeks are over and I’m done with the process. I thank Peter McFarland. And now I’m going back to my life. I’m thankful for the lessons learned and I will most certainly apply them in other things that I do going forward.
Get your economic citizenship and 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!
Latest posts by Andrew Henderson (see all)
- What is Citizenship by Investment? How to Buy Citizenship Fast - June 23, 2018
- Dominica Citizenship by Investment: the Ultimate Guide - June 19, 2018
- The Tax Consequences of Renouncing US Citizenship - June 16, 2018