Black Market Passports

Black Market PassportThere are several sites on the internet where so-called “agencies” advertise the sale of instant second passport and second citizenship programs for countries such as Nicaragua, Suriname, Guyana, Lithuania, Ireland and some other countries and they often blame each other of scamming clients.

In almost every country it is possible to obtain citizenship documents and 2nd passports by paying bribes to government, police or immigration officials and couple of years ago was a big such scandal in UK. These are called black market passports.

Unfortunate for anyone who entertains this process of obtaining 2nd passports, for there are no lawfully endorsed programs for 2nd passports in any of these countries, in most cases these passports are stolen or acquired by bribing of public servants within the immigration and consular offices. Whatever way the second passports are acquired, is not issued under a legitimate government program and they are “high risk” passports; cannot be renewed; are not registered in the countries immigration systems, and can lead to difficulties during travel. More common and most probably, the client will not get any passport at all and his money swindled from him.

There are in fact only two countries in the world currently offering legislative economic citizenship programs - Commonwealth of Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis, which offer a 2nd passport with citizenship.

All other so-called “programs” for 2nd passports are fundamentally scams or involve illegally purchased or stolen passports. Acquiring a 2nd passport by this method may be costly and perilous. The passport can be revoked at any given time, a substantial amount of money would have been spent on a dud passport and the recipient is subject to deportation or imprisonment. In the UK, under law entering a country on a fake or stolen passport carries a 10 year imprisonment penalty.

In recent years, valid Finnish, French, Mexican, and Russian passports have been stolen or reported missing. These passports and the fake ones are the passports being sold over the internet and advertised as instant 2nd passports.

There are passports being sold for geographically non-existent countries such as British Honduras, which is now Belize. These passports are called camouflage passports (Cps) and are available legally on internet. The camouflage passport was adopted as a form of additional security, when Americans became prime targets of terrorism and hijacking, and required hiding their identity. Although legal, for they are sold as novelty items and in theory can be used in lawful purposes too, to avoid terrorist or in suspicious hotels in third world countries, realistically– such second passports are unlikely to fool terrorist or someone else and may attract even unnecessary additional attention. In the event that someone is tempted enough to buy into such a scheme, surely the fraud will be found out (if at all they receive a passport) once the passport is scrutinized closely, and the consequences to the bearer will be great.

The increase in passport scams leads countries to improve measures on cracking down on this fraud. The penalty for passport fraud extends to legal passport holders, as the scams devalue a valid passport and the legitimacy of the document. In some cases where visas were not required to enter a country, visas then become necessary. This then makes it more difficult for legal travelers to access some countries.

A few tips on black-market passports and how not to get them… Remember only two countries worldwide have legal 2nd passport or economic citizenship programs that are “instant’ or without residency requirements - The Commonwealth of Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis. 2nd Passports from these states are issued after a relatively short process of approximately 90 days, and are not issued instantly with payment. Beware of:

— Anyone offering 2nd passports from Bahamas, Belize, Dominican Republic, Guyana, Lithuania, Switzerland, or any other country except Dominica or St. Kitts and Nevis. — These phony agents are selling falsified paperwork, and should be avoided at all cost. — Anyone who claimed to be an agent for Economic citizenship Program and does not have an office in Dominica or St. Kitts and Nevis — Anyone one offering passports cheaply. — Anyone offering instant 2nd passports with new birth certificates or on different names.

Do:

—Solicit the services of government registered and licensed agents that are long established, have a history of successful applications, and a sound legal and business background, and have office in Dominica or St. Kitts and Nevis; this is the only sure way to ensure that you are not a victim to one of these black markets for second passports scams. — If you are interested in some other programs that are described to be new and unknown as yet, than look for legislative support of such program. — If you are in doubt that some particular program exist (and you should be), you can contact the immigration department or an embassy for country in which you have interest.

If you are not wealthy enough to apply for second citizenship and 2nd passport through St. Kitts and Nevis or Dominica economic citizenship programs then consider residency programs in the country of your interest and in 2-10 years, depending on the country, you may apply for a citizenship there.

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