We Americans tend to ignore how much control the US government has over us. We forget how important a passport is in our daily lives… a travel document that is not a right but a privilege bestowed upon us by our masters. We bury our heads in the sand at our own peril. In this post I will tell you how a second passport can save your life and your freedom.
Let’s start with the fact that a US citizen does not have an inalienable right to a passport. We’re allowed a passport by the US State Department (assuming your application did not get lost on Hillary’s email server). That passport may be revoked at any time with absolutely no notice or right to appeal.
Your US passport may be revoked if you are charged with a felony, including tax evasion, money laundering (the government catchall these days), fraud, etc. You don’t need to be convicted of a crime… just charged.
And you need not be charged with a crime to have your passport taken away. If you are summoned to appear in court, your right to travel can be revoked until you appear to the government’s satisfaction. Don’t want to testify against your friend or get involved in his mess? To bad… you will be held in the US until you perform as instructed.
Your passport can also be taken away if you owe more than $50,000 to the IRS. This might sound like a large amount of money, but it’s not. A tax debt of this size can easily arise from an unfiled return from a few years back where you owed about $15,000. Add on interest and penalties, and you’re up to $50k right quick.
Note that the IRS need only allege that you owe $50,000. There’s no requirement of an audit or other formal process to prove the amount owed… if the computer says you owe, your passport can be seized immediately and without your having the opportunity to dispute the claim.
Think a $50,000 tax debt can’t happen to you? See my article, The IRS Can Cancel Your Passport.
Then there’s child support. Your US passport can be revoked if you owe $2,500 in child support. And, again, there is no way to dispute the amount owing and hold on to your passport. If the computer says you owe $2,500+, your state notifies the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement (OCSE). OCSE will in turn notify the U.S. Department of State, who revokes your passport via the Passport Denial Program.
The revocation of your passport is automatic and automated. There is no room for appeal or dispute. Your ONLY option is to pay the amount alleged.
The $50,000 amount for taxes seems right generous compared to child support! If you are divorced, or could be divorced, you must get a second passport to protect yourself.
Let me talk for a minute about what happens when your passport is revoked.
If you’re in the US when the government shuts off your passport, the answer is obvious – you can’t leave the country. There is no airline that will allow you to fly and no country that will let you in without a passport.
- Ok, you could walk across the border to Mexico. But, then you’d be stuck in Tijuana and local police constantly ask to see your passport. As someone who lives in San Diego, I can tell you that this would open up a can of major trouble.
If you’re abroad, things become more interesting.
When you’re living outside of the US, and the US government wants to get their hands on you, they don’t like to waste time and effort going through an extradition process. All of that “following international law and protocol” really puts a damper on the American way.
Luckily, the US Justice Department has figured out a workaround.
They leave your passport active and flag you in the computer system. When you travel from your home base, they revoke your passport while you are in the air. When you land at your destination, you are prohibited from entering that country because you don’t have a valid passport!
The country where you landed has only one option – to return you to the country on whose passport you are traveling. They will not return you to the country you are flying in from… and you would now be prohibited from entering that country anyway. They fly you to your true country of origin, the country on whose passport you are traveling.
You will be put on the very next flight back to the USA. Because you never entered the country, you have no right to dispute the return and can’t file a claim to fight extradition. The US has absolute control over your “right” to travel so long as you have a US passport.
There is one and only one exception to the above. If you have a second passport in hand, you can enter the country on that travel document instead of your US passport. If they refuse you entry, you then have the right to chose where the airline sends you. You can determine which is your country of origin, the US or the country where you bought your second passport.
Let’s say you have a US passport and a St. Lucia second passport (one of the best, by the way), and you are traveling from the UK to Austria when the US shuts off your passport. You may enter Austria using your St. Lucia passport because no visa is required.
If Austria refuses you entry, you can chose to be flown to the US or St. Lucia. Once in St. Lucia, you can restart your travel or fight the US from there.
I will say it again, a US passport is not a right, it’s a privilege. If you want to control your right to travel, you must have a second passport.
The cost for a second passport will start at about $150,000 and can go up to $8 million. The cost for a high quality second passport from St. Lucia is $250,000 for a single person, or can be had with a 5 year investment of $500,000 plus fees.
The best deal for a European Union passport is Bulgaria. This travel document can be negotiated with an investment of $1.2 million. For more on Bulgaria, see The Cost for a Second Passport from Bulgaria will Double Next Year.
For a list of the best second passports for purchase and investment, see: 10 Best Second Passport Programs For 2016
If a second passport is out of your price range, consider getting residency in a country first. If you select the right country, you will be eligible to apply for citizenship after a few years then and get a second passport.
In my opinion, the best residency program is offered by Panama. If you are from a “friendly nation,” you can buy residency for as little as $8,750. Alternatively, you can invest $20,000 in teak and get residency for free… and your money back in 7 years, guaranteed.
For more on residency in Panama from a friendly nation, see: Best Panama Residency Program.
I hope you have found this article on how a second passport can save your life to be helpful. For more information on any of these passport or residency options, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (619) 550-2743.