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Inexpensive second passport in Paraguay

March 18, 2011
Denver, Colorado, USA

There are a few rules that I rarely break.

One rule is that once I travel to the United States and go through the pain and scare tactics of US Border Protection, I stick around for a couple of weeks visiting family and friends in order to maximize my return on that hassle.

I’m skiing in Colorado now (I think I left half of my patella on the slopes the other day), and we’ve scheduled a meet-up on Tuesday evening for SMC members who live in the area. Check the SMC website for details.

To kick off this week’s questions, Jim asks, “Simon– All things considered, would you recommend for or against retiring to a non-border area of Mexico today?”

I like Mexico. It’s pretty. It’s cheap. It’s fun. The people are great. It’s close to home if you’re North American. It can feel a lot like home if you’re North American.

My issue with Mexico is that the US government has showered the country with so much money, specifically for the purpose of bolstering the Mexican military and police forces, that you can’t go anywhere without seeing some sort of police presence anymore.

Two images stand out in my mind from my most recent trip. First was waking up at our beach house in Tulum to a squad of Mexican infantry soldiers patrolling the beach. The other was on the drive from Merida to Cancun (in the middle of nowhere), I saw a convoy of lightly armored vehicles with manned gun turrets.

Mind boggling.

Mexico’s government doesn’t have enough organization to be a real police state… but they’re trying like hell to give people that impression. If you can get past the security culture issue, I’d recommend it. Just steer clear of the border areas, as you suggest. And the vapid tourist havens.

Next, anonymous counters, “Anybody considering on moving to Mexico is out of their minds. Mexicans are afraid of being kidnapped.”

Of course many Mexicans are afraid. And many North Americans think that Osama bin Ladin is coming out of his cave to bomb Des Moines or Saskatoon. That’s what happens when governments cultivate fear and force-feed security propaganda all the time.

Obviously there are pockets of crime and violence, but politicians blow the issues out of proportion in order to instill blind obedience in government and to make people afraid of their police forces.

Next, Kevin James Johore writes, “Simon, you have been reading mainstream media about how great Singapore is. Are they really financially secure? The state’s finances are kept secret. Can we trust their bank secrecy provisions? Yes, but only until the US wants to have a peek at your transactions. In other words, Singapore is a total 100% client state of Uncle Sam.”

You nailed it. My problem is that I have been reading too much mainstream media about Singapore. Nevermind that I travel there frequently. Nevermind that I have friends and professional colleagues there. Nevermind that I base some of my businesses and finances there. I get all my Singapore data from CNN.

I’m stupefied at how you can assert that Singapore keeps its finances private. They put everything online, just go to SingaporeBudget.gov.sg and read for yourself. It’s incredibly transparent.

Regarding bank secrecy, Singapore has very clear provisions about secrecy with specific cases for when, how, and to whom information can be disclosed. It’s all in section 47 of Singapore’s Banking Act (also conveniently posted online at the Monetary Authority of Singapore’s website).

Bankers who violate these provisions (e.g. like the banker in Liechtenstein who sold account information to the German government) face imprisonment and steep fines.

Bottom line, Singapore is not some cloak and dagger tax haven, but a legitimate, modern, wealthy global financial center. This is the place where the US government goes with hat in hand to ask for a loan… not the other way around. To suggest it is some stooge of Uncle Sam is intellectually dishonest.

I’m not here to tell you that Singapore is the greatest place in the world… any place has its challenges; but the assertions you’re making are completely devoid of fact, and if you had performed even the most cursory research, I doubt you would have wasted your time posting that note.

Lastly, Jaf writes, “Simon, I am investigating a second passport in Paraguay; what I have found out is that you can get a permanent resident card in a few months and that you can get credit for a passport without living in the country after 5 years. How come you don’t mention this option more often?”

Paraguay is a pretty good passport: you can travel visa-free to Europe and several places in Asia, and it can be obtained fairly inexpensively.

With the right contacts, you can get a residency card in just a few weeks… and you’re correct, you don’t need to live in the country. Also, naturalization can be applied for after 3-years, not 5.

I wrote a detailed article about this, with trusted contact information, in the February edition of Sovereign Man: Confidential. We’re having a limited time, $50 off special, that of course comes with our rock solid, 60-day unconditional guarantee.

Our goal is simple: To help you achieve personal liberty and financial prosperity no matter what happens.

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About the author: Simon Black is an international investor, entrepreneur, permanent traveler, free man, and founder of Sovereign Man. His free daily e-letter and crash course is about using the experiences from his life and travels to help you achieve more freedom.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Steve

    Although I usually agree with Simon but on several issues about Mexico I must disagree. You said it was “mind boggling” to see military in convoys? I have seen the same in the USA in Colorado many times. Yes Mexico does use their Military as a police force but surely just because the USA doesnt you cant assume many other countries do not.
    The military sweeping the beaches in Mexico is a long standing tradition, they were there 30 years ago. The massive area of beaches in Mexico makes it impossible for city or state governments to cope with patrolling them so you should have been glad to see them. I guess Mexico could follow in the USA tradition and send their young soldiers to kill and be killed in forieng lands but it seems so much more logical to have them actually help Mexico. To say that; “politicians blow the issues out of proportion in order to instill blind obedience in government and to make people afraid of their police forces,” Is flat out wrong in this situation-your confusing Mexico with the USA. The politicians here don’t talk about narco violence they dont print anything about the narco violence here-it is a subject that politicians avoid literally with their life—when exactly did you hear a municipal or state government official talk about the violence, thats right, never! Speaking as an expat in Mexico for the last 20 years I feel much more spied upon and controlled in the USA then in Mexico. You really dont realize all the petty regulations and restrictions put on you in the USA intill you escape, here you are free. Mexico is a beautiful cheap place to live.. Mexico is like an oyster with a pearl in it-to get the pearl you must open it-come to Mexico and see for yourself but dont go to tourist areas see the real Mexico.

  • http://BrophyWorld.com BrophyWorld

    I agree with Simon. Mexico is becoming a police state surrogate of the USA. It’s no longer an independent country. I lived in Baja California Sur for 3 winters and there are 5-7 military checkpoints between La Paz and San Diego. The biggest problem with Mexico, though, is that the economy is dependent on the USA, and they don’t want foreigners to work there. It’s still a good country for retirees, though, because food, housing, and medical care are bargains.

    If you’re a small business owner or working person, Chile is the best destination. Imagine living with a responsible government like Hong Kong, in a Mediterranean climate like California. Chile offers a combination of pleasant climate and fewer government burdens than many others. If you’re ready to shed the debt your government has imposed upon you, it is a good destination to consider:

    • Yomo

      “Chile is the best destination.”

      Enjoy your new socialist paradise with 25-30% estate tax too.

      If you want a better idea try Guatemala or Papua New Guinea.

  • Elai

    The caveat with a Paraguay passport is that it can expire quickly (every 2 years) and if you weren’t born in paraguay and keep on renewing your passport/citizenship outside of the country, you could loose the citizenship.

    Also simon, with your travels all around the world, do you just rent cars constantly, take taxis everywhere or something else? When you plan to live and work in two separate countries, the woes and the utter lack of information of bringing a car back and forth between them is very headache inducing. Any tips

    • Cade

      When I travel, I stay in city centers and walk almost everywhere. Larger cities have subway systems. There are always trains and buses to connect cities, usually for dirt cheap. There’s no need to rent a car.

  • Andrew

    Every source I have checked – admittedly via internet – says that Paraguay does not allow dual citizenship. Presumably Paraguay would require a U.S. citizen upon Paraguayan naturalization to surrender his U.S. passport and renounce his U.S. citizenship. Is this correct?

    • Kiwi

      That’s correct!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/More-Liberty/100003578184547 More Liberty

      The USA doesn’t allow dual citizenship either

      • Renato


  • Peter Macfarlane

    If I may comment briefly on Singapore, most of what Simon says is correct and I do recommend Singapore to clients as a banking jurisdiction.

    However, the tax information exchange protocols signed by Singapore as part of their DTA network do override the secrecy provisions of the Singapore banking act (on the legal principle that international treaties take precedence over national law where there is a conflict).

    I’ve recently written an article on this subject for Q Wealth, and a preview/summary is available here: http://www.qwealthreport.com/blog/singapore-tax-information-exchange-treaties/

    I should also point out that the USA and Singapore have NOT signed any such information exchange agreement, yet, however Singapore has signed with many other countries.

  • Never44

    Inexpensive is not using a high priced “contact” to do this.
    If you speak Spanish and have some time and patience you can do it yourself, the procedure is simple enough.
    Or you can find a local student who speaks some English and accompany you at government offices for $100 or pay a local Paraguayan lawyer $1,000 to help you. No need to throw away $30K.
    Just like you can get a drink of water for free at a water fountain, pay a buck for a bottle of water at 7-11, or offer someone $40,000 to go buy the bottled water for you.
    The 5K in the bank account is yours and in your name, you can withdraw it once the procedure is completed.
    Air ticket and hotel you must pay for.

    • Hmd3000

      Never44, do you have any reference (prefrably) a lawyer that i can confirm from him the facts of the naturalization for Paraguay and the steps i need to take ? will very much appreciate if you can help me, my mail is hmd3000@gmail.com

    • I Tariq1

      HI Never44 , same question as HMD , if you pls refer any lawyer inside panama for the said purpose, u can send me an email at dime06@gmail.com

  • drew

    As a Us Citizen ccan you have more then 2 passports?

    • NNJ

      Yes you can. As far as I know if you have a second nationality through, for example, birth it is no problem. If, however, you apply for a second citizenship and it can be demonstrated that you intended to give up your US citizenship, you can lose your US passport. I’ve never heard of this happening. Also, the are limitations about working for foreign governments and intelligence services and serving I foreign military. Generally it should not be a problem, but check the other nation to see if there are limitations about a second citizenship – e.g. PR China and India.

      I am a naturalized US citizen and also have citizenship of two European (EU) countries through my parents.

    • Anon

      Sort of.  If you do get a second passport, the US Tax authorities will hound you like nobody’s business.  In ***their*** eyes, a second passport means you are trying to evade US tax laws.  Expect to be audited every year, with implied jail time if you don’t “confess” (cough up what the jack boots want in terms of “voluntary taxes”).  Y’all been warned…

      • Kiwi

        That’s NOT True!!!!!!

      • http://www.anamericaninbangkok.com/ Scott Mallon

        You can actually get two American passports as well as getting a passport from a different country.

  • Bobbyjo388

    Always descriptive…I call it Oratory….worthless

  • Yomo

    Yes you can get residency in Paraguay, but a passport after 3-5 years?? I don’t know ANY GRINGOS who have ever been able to acquire one, EVER, and I have asked hundreds. Don’t go there thinking you are going to get citizenship, I don’t think it ever happens.

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