This is Week Twenty 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
A couple weeks ago we talked about the application process for the Comoros passport and how, in general, the process for economic citizenship often necessitates a lot of work. The big takeaway was that if you’re going to get economic citizenship, you should work with an expert. More importantly, you should not only work with someone who knows what they’re doing, but someone who’s gone through the process themselves so they actually understand what it’s like to be on the receiving end, not just on the doing end.
If you want an instant citizenship, understand that just like opening a bank account remotely, getting an economic citizenship remotely requires more due diligence and more forms. For the most part, however, the Comoros is pretty easy. At least in comparison. A couple of weeks ago I told you about the process and the questions included in the application. Today, I’ll let you in on what happened next.
Quick approval and a last-minute trip
Within about a week of submitting my application, I got the call saying that everything looked good and an invitation to go to Dubai to finish up the process. The Comoros program is based in Dubai because getting to the Comoros is a very challenging thing to do. Kenya flies to the Comoros occasionally, but it’s a challenging thing to get to the Comoros. So they said, “Our program is in Dubai, come on down.”
I said that I was busy, but I wanted to get it done right away, so what were my options? Could they come to me? They said that for $6,000 the person could come to me. They’d fly business class and come directly to my location. That seemed a little too expensive for what the trip would actually cost. I live in Tbilisi and I like five star hotels, but even the best five star hotel in Tbilisi might cost $300 a night. So $600 for two nights, plus a business class ticket for a two hour flight isn’t going to add up to those $6,000.
Instead, I said that if the guy was available on the weekend then I would come on down. They said that he was available on Sunday because Sunday in Dubai is not the weekend, it’s their Monday because they take Friday off for prayers. So I said, great, I’ll get a ticket. Which I did. I got a FlyDubai ticket — an airline I do not recommend, it’s atrocious — but that’s the fastest way to get there.
It was the end of the summer season, where it’s still a million degrees in Dubai, so I went on American Express and booked a room with The Four Seasons at the Dubai International Financial Center for $150 a night. Then, I basically just had Peter McFarland’s people (who were helping me with the process) arrange it all so that they guy would come and meet me in Dubai on Sunday after breakfast and we’d go through the process. It was all very easy.
The BIG difference
The ease and efficiency of the entire process is what I liked most about the Comoros economic citizenship program. In that way, a country that is a bit off the radar and has a bit less to lose was good for me because it didn’t have as much bureaucracy as a Dominica program, for example. I could fill out the form quickly, the questions were simple, I didn’t have to go back through and look up a bunch of things from my past.
Everything on the form I could answer off the top of my head. I knew my parents’ names, I knew where I had worked. I have always been an entrepreneur so I did have to wrack my brain for a moment to figure out “What month did I start that company?” But everything for the Comoros application you know off the top of your head. There’s not a lot of nonsense.
Then, when you submit it they move very quickly. That’s partially because it’s done, basically, by a private company. The Comoros and it’s citizenship by investment program are so small compared to the programs in places like Dominica that have been around for a long, long time, since the late 80s, early 90s. Dominica has a whole branch of the government that deals with economic citizenship — the Citizenship by Investment Unit (or CBIU).
There have been stories of how people go down to Dominica and they don’t get treated very nicely by the CBIU folks because the people that work there don’t like the program. They think that it’s offensive that they’re selling away their “birthright” that is their citizenship. They don’t care about the money.
I think Dominica is a great country, but a lot of people who work there don’t understand how their bread is buttered, just like a lot of other employees. Anyone who is a business owner who runs a big company knows that some people don’t get what you have to do to pay the bills and pay everyone. Sometimes it’s just not that easy.
The Comoros program, on the other hand, is run by business people. It’s overseen by the Comoros government, but they have outsourced it. So if you’re a libertarian type person, this program may just be for you. There’s minimal bureaucracy, they respond quickly, it’s run by a private company and you’re on your way to Dubai. And that’s what happened with me.
Who could benefit from the Comoros CBI?
I like the lack of bureaucracy and I like the fact that it’s straightforward. If you’re an American looking for the ultimate Plan B passport and you don’t want to waste a lot of time on a second passport, the Comoros may be the right fit for you. I understand that if you’re a Chinese person, every day you don’t have a great passport, you’re not able to travel to Europe for business and you’re losing money.
If you’re an American just looking to protect yourself and you don’t want to go through the nonsense of having to go live somewhere, then this is a great program because it is run by a private business and they understand that you’re not looking to waste time. That’s what I like about it.
Next week I’m going to share an excerpt from my new book where I’ll tell you about how the process went down in person. But, basically, a week after submitting my application I got the message that everything looked fine and an invitation to go to Dubai with my passport and a copy of my birth certificate to go through the process. I got the message and four days later I was on a plane and the day after that I was meeting the guy. Pretty straightforward and efficient if you ask me.
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.