Questions: Dominican Republic citizenship, offshore web hosting, GOOOH

August 27, 2010
Vilnius, Lithuania

I’m really excited about something.

While I have no Polish ancestry, I thought it might be useful to you if I found and published a reliable immigration resource while I was in Poland a few weeks ago.

After spending a lot of time interviewing various attorneys and testing their qualifications, I found one who 1) had solid English skills, 2) would be willing to do all the administrative legwork, and 3) charge our subscribers less than $1,000.

Great news. The attorney I selected just sent me a nice email saying that he will be confirming Polish citizenship for at least 10 of our subscribers who contacted him.  In just a few months time, these members of our community will have Polish passports.

I’m really happy about this and am gratified to have played a role in the process. Most of all, though, it’s great to see people taking action and getting prepared.

As you can see from this success story, it doesn’t have to be hard, and it doesn’t have to be expensive… all you need is the will to act and to make these preparations a priority.

Taking these steps– acquiring a second passport, planting an offshore banking flag, learning valuable skills, developing alternative sources of income, etc.– are all of tremendous importance in this turbulent world.

Each represents a way to reduce your risk on any single government or system, and to increase your level of self-reliance. This leads me to our first question this week:

Ron asks, “Hi Simon- a friend of mine has just gone to the Dominican Republic for economic citizenship and a passport. I bought the Going Global report that you co-authored, and I see that you put DR on a list of countries to avoid for economic citizenship. Can you provide some details?”

Yes, it’s simple. There is no economic citizenship program in the Dominican Republic. Anyone who tells you otherwise is scamming you. Be sure that you don’t confuse ‘Dominican Republic’ with ‘Dominica,’ which has a legitimate economic citizenship program.

If you want to obtain citizenship in the Dominican Republic, it is possible through long-term naturalization. You first have to declare residency there, which can be accomplished through an investment in the country.

After several years of residency in the Dominican Republic, you can apply for naturalization.  Given the amount of capital, time involved, and value of the passport, however, I don’t think that this is a good option for most people unless they intend on living in the country.

Much better options exist, including Ecuador and Paraguay.  I will be detailing these soon in our forthcoming premium service.

Next, JB asks, “Hi Simon. I was wondering if you could recommend a reliable offshore web hosting company for a simple business website with PayPal functionality.”

If you have an online business, it’s pretty easy to plant multiple flags; you can own the intellectual property in one jurisdiction, host the website in another, and process the payments in another.

For places to base the company, look at common law jurisdictions with strong intellectual property protection that do not tax profits earned overseas. Hong Kong and Singapore are great examples.

For hosting, I won’t comment on specific providers, but you should consider jurisdictions with top quality Internet architecture and English-speaking support. Canada and the US are great examples (though not if you’re from there). Norway and the Baltics are also good choices.

Finally, your payment processor should ideally be in another jurisdiction. In a jam, you -could- use PayPal because they have subsidiaries worldwide. You can establish, for example, a PayPal Singapore account to receive payments, and none of the income would ever touch your home country.

Lastly, Wayne asks, “Simon, what are your thoughts on the organization called GOOOH, or organizations like it that aim to clean out the political system and replace all sitting politicians with fresh blood?”

Look, I agree with their goals, and I think it’s admirable that such organizations really want to make a positive difference. I truly despise politicians and bureaucrats– I think they’re power-hungry sociopaths who enrich themselves by bankrupting the middle class and stealing from the productive.

In theory, replacing all of them sounds like a good idea; I would rather have a team of well-trained monkeys in our capitols than the folks who are there now.

Here’s the thing, though: while the goals of these organizations are admirable, it’s futile to try convincing the preponderance of 300 million Americans / 60 million Brits / 30 million Canadians / etc. that less government is the answer.

“We the people” around the world are getting exactly the sort of leadership and solutions that we’ve demanded– more regulation, more stimulus, lower interest rates, more bailouts, etc.

It’s nearly impossible to win over the people’s hearts and minds to the ideals of limited government when an average Brit believes that taxes should pay for free swim lessons… or when an average American thinks that Obama’s stimulus spending comes from ‘his stash.’

We all have a finite amount of resources– time, money, and energy. Trying to change people’s minds about the political establishment may be morally fulfilling, but it will likely be a waste of these precious resources.

As I travel around the world and I see such a massive transformation underway, I honestly believe that much of what we know today will be virtually unrecognizable in just a few years’ time.

Think of how much the world has changed in the last 10-years… and understand that things are changing even more quickly now.

The fundamental question is– should we be investing our time, capital, and energy to affect a fractured and corrupt political system, and to change people’s minds who frankly don’t want our help? Or should we invest our resources to prepare and safeguard our families, our assets, and ourselves?

I’m curious what you think.