Frustration on the path to economic citizenship

This is Week Ten 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: Kazbegi, Georgia

Thanks to all the paperwork requirements for Dominica citizenship that we talked about a few weeks ago, I’ve decided to revisit my reasons for getting an economic citizenship. As a result, today’s post is much more on the journal side of things. I’m going to let you see into my raw thought process as I prepare to make an important decision in my economic citizenship journey.

To be honest, I’m getting a little frustrated. I’m here in Valencia, Spain for a month which, unfortunately, is not the capital of Madrid where they have many embassies. While embassies in Spain are already slow to start with, it’s better to have access to a slow embassy than no embassy at all… which is my current situation.

As I explained in previous weeks, actually living in your home country while going through this process is a good idea. Sure, you can get economic citizenship while living overseas, but it can be much more difficult. Trust me, I’m speaking from experience. Quite frankly, if you’re doing the nomad thing, I’d suggest you just go back. If you’re from the US, it’s better to base yourself from there. I personally don’t want to spend time in the United States (I’m a bit more finicky than most people in that regard). So my advice to someone else would probably be just to go to the US and work towards Dominican citizenship.

Just be aware that the challenge (which I’m currently running into) is that everything has to be 90 days old or less when you submit your application. This means that as I’m going through all the required documents I have to do this little dance. The dance is the toughest part of the whole application process.

The Dominica citizenship dance

My dance began when I realized that I needed to get the FBI report. I ordered it and then I had my team call the FBI to see if they had received my request. They had and they informed us that the report was going to ship out in three weeks. From there, I needed to get it to my current location.

Everything good there.

Now, my strategy is to hold all the documents that are received in one place until I have everything that I need. In this case, I’m using my girlfriend’s family member’s house. It’s a central address in a country with a decent postal system and her family members aren’t traveling all over the place like I am, so it’s a good fit.

Even so, here I am, trying to consolidate all my documents. I have an FBI report coming and it will be in the EU in two or three weeks by mail. So now I’m thinking about getting a bank statement. I called my bank in Singapore to see how this would work. I am very happy with my bank and they give very good service, but they informed me that they could only send the letter to the address they had on file. I’m not at that address (since I only spend three or four months out of the year there), so it would be rather inconvenient to have the letter sent to the address on file.

My bank explained that I could change the address and have the letter sent to the address in the EU, but I would need to log in to my account and personally change it. That was easy enough. BUT, it would take a week to register the new address, meaning the bank would have to wait another week to send the letter. So now I’m kind of behind on that and things are beginning to get a little frustrating.

And, again, I’m realizing why you should just do this stuff in the US.

The importance of having a good offshore bank

The other lesson I’m learning is that you want to have a good bank. My bank in Singapore is actually great. It’s my fault that I used an address that I’m not at all the time, but it’s important to get everything on the same page before you start the process, especially if you’re a nomad.

You also want to make sure you have a good bank because you’re going to need a good bank letter. We talked about this in an earlier post, but essentially a lot of banks (especially in the US) are very difficult about this particular documentation that you’re going to need. Because of this, it’s good to have a relationship with an offshore bank. This is another reason why remote offshore bank account opening is a bad idea these days. If you open remotely, those banks never get to know you and it makes it much harder to have a good relationship with your bank.

If you don’t have the right bank or the right kind of relationship with your bank, they’ll likely issue some kind of reference letter, but it might not be as good as the Dominican officials are going to want. Some of these offshore banks issue very generic reference letters that don’t meet the standards.

Ease and frustration

The easy part of this process is getting my friends and professional contacts to write letters. I often talk about the benefits of having personal contacts with lawyers around the world and I think that having a diverse group of professional and personal contacts across the globe is good to have — especially people credentials. So that was the easier part. I’m starting to get my letters from my friends and my contacts who mailed them by hand.

The frustrating part for me, like I said, is getting all this stuff done within 90 days of each other and getting it all in one place at the same time. Again, it’s difficult if you’re not in the US to just receive all your documents at your mailbox. The end goal is to put it all in one envelope and ship it to Dominica. That’s why I’m trying to consolidate it all into one place so that I can ship it all together to Dominica. After that, I just have to wait for the response that everything cleared.

The frustration is the process of making that all happen.

The dilemma

At this point, my question is whether, as a nomad who travels to 30 countries a year, is Dominica going to be for me? Most of these programs in places like Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis and others have similar requirements. I’ll likely run into the same challenges with many other programs. They’re not insurmountable problems for the average person, but if you’re traveling to a different country every seven days and you don’t know where the notary or the post office is, it can get a little frustrating.

So my story is somewhat unique to me.

If you just live in Spain half the year you can probably get this done no problem. For me, the constant traveling adds some stress to it. If you can, go back to your home country and settle down somewhere for a while. That’s not really an option for me, but I imagine it is for many of my readers.

So do I go forward with Dominica? My mantra is to “go where you’re treated best” and that includes reducing stress. And right now, Dominica is stressing me out. When I help people myself, my team fills out the forms for them and does all the heavy lifting because I know I hate doing that part. I hate having to get forms and order certificates. I hate having to do that stuff because it’s stressful. I’m at a decision point right now. I’ll have to let you know what my decision is next week.

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.

Andrew Henderson
Last updated: Dec 26, 2019 at 7:43PM

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  1. Michael

    Sorry to hear about the Dominica frustrations.. If the need arises again for the FBI report, I definitely recommend going with an FBI-approved channeler. I needed timely docs for a similar process and the channeler processed my FBI report immediately upon receipt of my fingerprints for $50, returned 1st-class mail, had the report in 3 days. They’ll Fedex internationally for added fees of course.

    On a related note, have you looked into the Dominican Republic’s citizenship program? (related to business investment/residency) If so, curious what your thoughts are of it.

    “I personally don’t want to spend time in the United States (I’m a bit more finicky than most people in that regard).”

    Well you’ve piqued my curiosity.. Due to FEIE qualification, politics, something else?

    As a fellow American nomad like yourself, I cherish what time I can spend in the US these days (FEIE).

    “(in fact, it made it into my book on the best offshore banks)”

    Thank goodness! I was a bit worried for a moment there.. 😉

  2. Andy

    Great Article! I really enjoy the fact that you give first hand experiences. I appreciate that you are doing all the foot work for all of us. 🙂

    I know you don’t have a family yet, but do you have plan to do so in the near future? I was wondering if you have any Flag Theory strategies for a family of 5 (My wife, 3 baby boys, and myself)?


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