Step One Achieved

Well, Last week, after 13 months of effort, I received my Argentinian residency. I will be going there within about 30 days to start meeting my residency requirements. What a relief that was. I had, I think, resigned myself to not getting it. But ... there I go ... "catastrophizing" :-)

As I have told my close friends about my news, I have been asked, almost every time, “Why would you want to give up your American passport. It’s a really good passport.”.

And I have to repeat my arguments. A passport, for me, is a necessary evil that you need in order to be able to do two things; travel and bank. I am not an anarchist. I appreciate the rule of law, and I appreciate an ordered society. But it is my strong belief that in today’s world, governments are making more and more efforts to control and track everything that people do. And America is one of the the most egregious offenders in this regard. I, and I wish I had done this 15 years ago, look at a passport as nothing more than a tool. Buy the one that suits you best. And my criteria are simple; how many countries can I travel to without a visa, and what are their taxation regulations.

Just in the last day or two I found an absolutely remarkable website that allows you to compare passports.

You can actually even compare passports against each other.

Funnily enough, just recently, I think within the last week, Singapore just became ranked as the number one passport in the world to have. I’m not surprised actually. I had been thinking that myself for some years. The cost to get it is high. I think it’s somewhere in the region of $5 million (USD) or so that you have to bring into the country and invest in some manner or other. But I tell you, if I had that kind of money to spare, there would be absolutely no doubt in my mind. I would land at Changi airport, and make a beeline to the immigration department. An Argentinian passport, however is nothing to sneeze at either. It allows visa free travel to 152 countries, (and most of the countries that require a visa for Argentinian citizens are not places that I would want to go anyway), and they don’t tax on worldwide income.

So anyway, just a brief post on this issue. Now I have to reapply myself to Spanish, and prepare for longer stays in Buenos Aires. I think during my residency that I will take the opportunity to travel a little bit inside of Argentina. It is a vast country, and why not explore while I am there? That and spend a lot of time meditating, writing, and working on my fitness.

I'm really looking forward to it.