“Kathleen, I just heard of a firm called Banker Trust in the Dominican Republic. They claim their immigration attorneys use recent changes in Caribbean law to procure you legal citizenship and a passport in six to eight months for a total cost of only US$24,900. Is this a scam?
“If it is true, I would be interested just because so many things change so quickly, it would probably be good to have a second passport as insurance. I have also heard there are scams, but I don’t know how to check them out to find out if they are legitimate. Do you have any thoughts and/or suggestions?”
–Michael M., United States
We’ve heard about this program, but don’t know anyone who has tried it. I don’t see how it’s possibly legitimate, though.
The shortcut way I know to acquire citizenship in the DR is to invest a minimum of US$160,000 in a business. That allows you to cut the required residency period before becoming eligible to apply for naturalization from seven years to only three.
I wouldn’t give anyone US$25k without speaking to references, people who have successfully obtained citizenship through the program and verifying the documentation you would receive as a result of the investment. Getting a passport isn’t the full end game. You also want to receive a naturalization certificate that shows you are a citizen. A passport can be faked, and, even if it works until it expires, you wouldn’t be able to renew it if you aren’t actually naturalized.
Remember it is a crime to travel on a false passport. The kind of crime you go to jail for. Not worth the risk. Remember, too, that you have many other options for obtaining a legitimate second passport.
“Kathleen, we just completed your online 52 Days program and enjoyed every day of it. Having traveled abroad extensively over the years, we will explore three countries this spring with new perspectives, thanks to your program. I have recommended it to others. The daily assignments provided fodder for dinner conversations!”
–Bill & Bonnie B., United States