Planting Residency Flags

Planting one or more residency flags is a key aspect in deploying one's multiple flags strategy. Doing so allows you to live in a jurisdiction on a permanent basis. Without official residency, you are required to leave the country periodically and stay away for some defined time before you can legally re-enter (the length of these time periods is defined by the particular immigration rules of that country). Having to do this on a regular basis is rather inconvenient but certainly doable. Obviously, offical residency has a major advantage as far as this inconvenience factor goes.

Furthermore, planting a residency flag often serves as a stepping stone to obtaining citizenship and a second passport. It is important to understand the distinction between residency and citizenship and how this difference can be used to your advantage in your multiple flags strategy.

Resisdency (also know as domicile) is a legal status, and is often the first required step in obtaining citizenship. Some countries such as "Commonwealth of Dominica" and "St. Kitts and Nevis", however, do not reuqire you to establish residency in order to obtain citizenship.

Citizenship refers to the passport you hold or travel with. Many countries (including the USA) recognize and honor dual citizenship. Technically speaking, you could become a new citizen without actually holding a passport from your new country, but obtaining a second passport is a right that comes with citizenship, and is the ultimate prize that any dual citizen would certainly want to add to his multiple flag portfolio.

It is interesting to note that although as we defined above, there is an important difference between residency and citizenship, planting a residency flag can open some doors none the less, because many banks and investment firms are not sophisticataed enough to make the distinction.

For example, where as many of these fiancial institutions might not even mail an application to a US address, they will gladly mail one to Panama, Costa Rica, Brazil the Dominican Republic and a host of other places. Thus even if you are a US citizen, it may be possible to open a foreign account . . . if you have already have a residency flag planted in one of these "non black listed countries" and only refer to that flag when inquiring about or applyiing for such accounts.

Additionally, when setting up your account, US banks will either code your account with a social security number, or without . . . meaning that you are considered a US citizen or legal US resident (foreign passport holder with a green card) if you have a social security number. If you do not, then you are consisdered a foreigner. The same may be true in Ecuador, Panama, Hong Kong and a whole lot of other places. So, perhaps when opening your account as a resident, this will get you coded the same way as a local citizen in the computer system. As a result, your account does not appear on the computer-generated list when the foreign government comes a calling to check up on it's own citizens that have accounts.

Obtaining Residency in the Dominican Republic and Panama

The Dominican Republic (not to be confused with Commonwealth of Dominica) has a fairly simple and straight-forward process for obtaining residency, and the requirement is that an applicant demonstrate assets or investments equal to RD$500,000 Pesos, which is about US$16,000 under current exchange rates. So qualifying for residency is as easy as establishing a US Dollar Bank Certificate of Deposit in this modest amount (with a local bank). In addition, one can become a naturalized citizen within a fairly short period of time (in comparison to other countries) after having achieved Permanent Resident status.

Likewise, Panama also has a fairly simple process for obtaining residency, which requires establishing a bank deposit in the amount of US$200,000. However, the naturalization process in Panama is much slower than that of the Dominican Republic.