To Get A
By Mark Tier
This report started an industry.
When I wrote it, it was impossible to find
information in this topic in one handy volume.
Pretty quickly, that changed — in significant
part because this report was shamelessly plagiarized and copied
all over the world. And my ads caused people in the passport business
to realize that it definitely “pays to advertise.”
How To Get A Second Passport went
through three editions and seven printings from the time it was
first published in September 1984 to its last edition in July, 1990.
Today of course you can find information on
this topic just about anywhere (though, especially since 9/11, most
of the easiest options have been firmly blocked).
What led me to write it was the 1997...
Crisis in Hong Kong
In 1984 the then-British Prime Minister, Margaret
Thatcher, signed an agreement with Beijing that would pass the sovereignty
of Hong Kong to China on July 1, 1997.
The reaction in Hong Kong was, to put it midly,
one of panic.
The Hong Kong dollar collapsed; and people, especially the wealthy,
began hunting for the exits.
It was in this environment that I wrote How
To Get A Second Passport, which I published in September 1984.
As you can imagine, in Hong Kong it sold like hotcakes.
The Sincerest Form
If plagiarism is any
indicator, How To Get A Second Passport is the most
successful thing I’ve ever written.
It was shamelessly stolen and published in
Britain, Canada, and Greece (I even went to court in Athens
and won — not that that made any difference).
An American had it translated into Chinese
and tried to sell it in Hong Kong!
I was told that was it was on sale at the
Manila Hotel in the Philippines — as a photocopy.
While I was sitting in his chair, my dentist
in Hong Kong shamelessly told me he had a photocopy
It’s amazing what lengths people will
go to to get something for nothing. The first time I ran an
ad for How To Get A Second Passport in the local
Hong Kong paper, the very first phone call that morning was
from an Indian gentleman who wanted to know whether there
was really a money back guarantee.
Sure enough, a couple
of days later the copy he bought was returned for a refund
— after, no doubt, he had photocopied it.
What really surprised me, though, is that
when I ran an insert in my investment newsletter, World Money
Analyst, about 10% of my subscribers bought it — even
in countries like Australia and the United States. In large part
it was curiousity value — though I was visited by one very
wealthy American who wanted to stop paying taxes to Uncle Sam.
A Word of Caution
I’ve put this up on the internet as
several people have asked where they can get a copy. Now they —
and you — can read it with my complements.
But you need to be aware that this is the
text of the latest edition, published in 1990! So much, if not all,
of the information is out of date.
That's especially true of the centerpiece
of my report: Portugal.
Back in the 1980s, you could become a resident
of Portugal if you merely owned property there. Six years later
you could become a citizen. With no more than two or three visits
to Portugal over that time.
There was one other requirement: you had to
pass a Portuguese language test. This was laxly enforced —
but one of the first things the Portuguese government tightened.
(I was told that the wife of Portugal's Consul in Hong Kong was
doing a roaring trade giving Portuguese lessons.)
As Portugal came under pressure from British
government (who were afraid of an influx of Hong Kong Chinese moving
to Britain with their new Portuguese passports) and the EU, Portugal
changed its rules.
Given that and the other information that
is no longer current, the main reason you might want to skim through
How To Get A Second Passport (aside from curiousity) is
that the principles applied in analyzing passports, citizenships
and residence have not changed.
In addition, I have provided links
where you can find current information on some of the countries
I talked about.
Here are the chapter headings...
Begin wherever you like!