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Second Passports - How, Where and Why

Introduction - Our Law Firm gets numerous inquiries from clients around the world for second passports and second citizenships. Generally these programs require one to have a substantial sum of money that can be invested. The Panama Instant Passport program requires one to place about $175,000 in the bank in Panama for five years in return for $750.00 a month in bank interest paid monthly and a five-year passport, which includes a five-year residency. Not everyone has this much money to invest, even though they can decline to renew the program after five years and just take their money back making the program practically free. The concerns with this program are what if the program is not available in five years? What if the program requires more money at the end of five years to renew? Will I need to present another passport to renew this passport at the end of five years or can I renew based on the Panama Passport? We do not know what the renewal requirements will be in five years.

This has caused us to come up with alternative measures for those wanting to leave their home country and start all over with a new residency, citizenship, passport, driver license, bank account and Visa card. This is essentially a new start. South American Passport Free Travel - In the European Union one can travel around the various countries based on a National Citizenship or Permanent Residency Identity Card. This eliminates the need for a passport unless one is going to travel on an airplane or out of the EU. Some air travel may be possible without a passport in the EU.

What most do not know if that South America is also operating this way. Why South America - A number of reasons. The real estate is most affordable. The medical is great and cheap with insurance available for most. Hospitals may be better than what you are used to. Doctors make house calls. Dentistry is affordable for almost all. Food is basically pure as in organic and cheap. Cars cost about the same. Governments are stable, some more than others but homeless people; people living in cars, etc are absent for the most part.

A live in maid runs $120 to $250 a month. A full time driver runs $150 to $325 a month. Crime is lower than North America or Europe. Gun ownership is real easy in some countries. Prescriptions can generally be bought without a prescription with few exceptions like heavy pain and sleeping pills. Most of these countries we deal with will not tax money coming in from outside of their country. Some have some form of bank secrecy. Freedom is high; taxes are for most of you going to non-existent in the new country. These countries have criminalized businesses and the governments tend to focus on real crimes. South America by and large has poor relations with many of the high tax, privacy invasive countries.

South America is even starting its own IMF and World Bank called Bank Sur, Bank of the South. Actually it is already open. South America is the place to go for a fresh start. It has everything you have now and then some. You will probably live calmer and better. Differences between The European Union and South America - Some of you may think well why don?t I go to the EU for a residency. Most of what the client is trying to get away from is going to be present in the EU and even more so. There is a severe loss of privacy. Bank secrecy and corporate secrecy is generally just a memory. Taxes have reached the 80% mark in some of the European countries, admittedly there are some social services available but for you in the high-income brackets this sort of taxation would be torturous.

Plan on offshore income being taxed and at high rates. Plan on really invasive filing requirements. Plan on paying high VAT rates in addition to other taxes, think 25%. Real estate prices are going to be at least four times higher than South America and in some cases much more than that. Lawyers can run wild there since actions concerning events in one country can be collected in any of the EU countries. Forget asset protection in the EU. The cost of living is generally higher than from where you came from. Weather conditions are generally not tropical or even semi-tropical but they are good for snow skiing and ice-skating. Crime is present in significant levels.


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