May 6, 2020

The Hero Passport Forger

With global travel almost at a standstill, caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, let us reflect on the real value of the freedom of movement and benefits of economic citizenship.

You might have heard of Schindler’s List, but below is the much more low-profile is an inspiring story of a Polish diplomat who saved the lives of hundreds of Jews from certain death by helping them get a second passport during the Holocaust.

At difficult times like now, we all depend on our ability to keep calm and take rational decisions. Lessons learned in the past and the ability to rely on expert advisers are a bedrock of survival during challenging events.

In recent months, second passports and citizenship by investment programs have helped many people find a safer place for themselves and their loved ones, and protect their assets from a deathly risk. Even those people who have maybe taken the benefits of multiple citizenships in their stride in the past, are now more keen on the freedom to move from the ‘red zones’ to the ‘green zones’ with better medical care.

If you have already decided that you do need a second passport allowing you the freedom of visa-free travel and life in a safer place, you are welcome to apply for a rapid and exhaustive consultation on economic citizenship matters by contacting us on WhatsApp or writing to [email protected].

At the timre of writing, a third of the global population is still on the coronavirus ‘lockdown.’  Many countries have sealed their borders because of the pandemic. Authorities have suspended all travel. Business trends are gloomy. The chance of another great depression now stands at its highest. However, the is a lot of evidence that timely investment made in economic citizenship, dual nationality, and multiple passports arrangements can make a big difference. 

If you are shocked by the virus lockdowns, let us remember that such mass-scale and even more dramatic border closures have happened before. Many life skills learned by the senior population during WWII have come in handy now. In those difficult years, many people survived thanks to dual citizenship. The situation with obtaining a second or third passport was dramatically different then. Archives are being opened, and only now will mankind learn the details of many stories of rescue from imminent death by means of second citizenship in those bitter years.

Unfortunately, not all people realize the importance of a healthy strategy for themselves and their loved ones at the time of trouble. Emotions, panic, and gloom often override logic when things appear to not be going our way. At the outset of quarantine, as coronavirus restrictions drag on, crowds of shoppers went crazy stocking up on flour, rice, pasta, medical masks, sanitizers, and, bizarrely, toilet paper all over the world.

Yet, the door of wisdom is never shut, it’s up to you to find a balanced strategy. The path through investment to citizenship and wellbeing is quite relevant today.  Many prudent families have long gotten second passports. Years ago they could qualify for citizenship in only a couple of countries by staying there on long holidays or business trips and filing complicated applications. Fortunately, since the 1980-es, attractive economic citizenship programs have opened in many countries, and a variety of professional agencies render citizenship by investment services.

For more information about economic citizenship and procedures, please visit.

There are many economic citizenship, residence, and second passport options available to any eligible applicant across the globe today. Anyone can arrange citizenship by investment via an online application, without leaving home!

Multiple Citizenship as a Must-Have in Times of Trouble: the Story of Aleksander Ładoś, Who Saved Hundreds of Lives During the Holocaust

Between 1941 and 1945, about six million Jews (representing about two-thirds of the Jewish population of Europe at the time) were exterminated by the Nazi regime. Before the Holocaust, the largest number of Jews lived in Poland (3 million), USSR (2.5 million), and Romania (about 1 million).

Oskar Schindler’s heroic story is well-known today all over the globe. He saved the lives of more than a thousand people (mostly Polish-Jewish refugees) by employing them at his factories during World War II. This story inspired the famous American filmmaker Steven Spielberg to create the Oscar-winning ‘Schindler’s List’, a 1993 American epic drama film. However, the German businessman Oskar Schindler was not the only rescuer of Jews from the Holocaust. Other extraordinary people also risked their own lives to save the lives of Jews and other doomed victims of the Holocaust in the death camps.

In 1942, the Second World War was raging in Europe. The Nazis intended to reduce the population of the occupied territories. The plans included a variety of means, including the ‘Hunger Plan’. It aimed at the deliberate mass starvation and extermination of the local civilian populations under Nazi occupation. Following the January 1942 Wannsee Conference of senior government officials of Nazi Germany and Schutzstaffel (SS) leaders, held in the Berlin suburb, the Holocaust slaughter mechanism was put into effect.

Violence and economic pressure by the Nazi regime forced Jews into Ghettos, denying them legal protection and access to many professions, depriving Jews of all basic rights.  At that time, there were some 340 thousand Jews in the Warsaw Ghetto alone. Extermination camps were set up in occupied areas of Poland.  Only Jews with foreign passports issued by a neutral country or the United States could hope for survival, if not security. The Nazis categorized them as a commodity to be traded in the future for some German soldiers held captive abroad.

The Swiss civil population was not quite aware of the horrors of the war, as newspaper reports did not reveal the actual truth. But the Polish embassy in Bern had access to information and exchanged news with leaders of the orthodox Jewish communities. They developed a network with a desperate plan to save Jews by helping them get foreign passports.

Honorary consuls of several Latin-American states in Switzerland agreed to issue such passports and visas, some other countries refused to help. To bypass this complication, a rescue group of enthusiasts led by the Polish ambassador to Switzerland, Alexander Ładoś, started an unprecedented operation codenamed ‘Passport Services’. They produced, delivered, and used the precious foreign passports to save people from the death camps, right under the noses of the Nazi occupation forces and Swiss authorities. The forgeries were issued on genuine blank passport pages purchased illegally from other embassies at the expense of the recipients, while the ‘Passport Services’ did not make any money off of the deal.

Alexander Ładoś and his group operated in 1942-1943 under such secrecy, that their activities remained undocumented till recent times. As it turns out, most Jews rescued through this operation had no idea where and how their passports came from, or even that they were forged.

The research of the ‘Passport Services’ story began in the 1980-es. But it was only a couple of years ago, that certain memoirs and facts were found on Facebook pages of the descendants of some survivors rescued by the Polish diplomats in Switzerland in 1942-1943. That evidence allowed researchers to start a worldwide investigation and compile a very detailed picture of the diplomats’ ‘Passport Services’ and their heroic efforts in helping hundreds of Jews avoid deportation to death camps during the Holocaust.

As a matter of fact, the question of how to save Polish citizens by helping them obtain foreign passports first appeared at the turn of 1939 and 1940 – after Germany and the Soviet Union invaded Poland. Polish diplomats soon came up with a solution. They agreed with a Swiss notary Rudolf Hügli, the Honorary Consul of Paraguay, who was eager to earn extra money in exchange for his help in the scheme of issuing forged passports. His services were initially paid for by the Polish Embassy, but later the Jewish community of the United States offered donations. The money charged by Hügli first came via Polish diplomatic mail from the Jewish community in the United States. After the United States joined World War II, all communications between the two sides of the Atlantic were censored. So, Alexander Ładoś suggested the usage of diplomatic codes in messages and money transfers across the ocean.

That idea proved to be extremely useful in 1942 when the Holocaust threatened hundreds of thousands of Jews in Poland and other regions of Europe. Among thousands of Jews who received the life-saving foreign passports were quite many Jews from Poland, the Netherlands, Germany, there were other nationals as well. The Jewish community, while compiling their main list of applicants for the passports, outlined the preference list featuring names of people capable of promoting the Jewish culture or restoring orthodox elites. Many of them delivered this mission after the War.

The recent research of hundreds of documents has shown that Polish diplomats had absolutely no profits or benefits from that secret dangerous operation. However, the motives for such an undertaking are clear, as a diplomatic telegram of 19 May 1943 sent by the Polish Foreign Ministry in exile, working in Britain, to the Embassy in Bern contained the following information:

‘The Ministry has been informed lately by Jewish organizations about the possibility of using South American passports to rescue Jewish individuals from death by German hands. Arguments of purely humanitarian nature dictate going the extra mile in that matter’.

Hardly had that instruction arrived from London in Switzerland, that the rescue scheme was promptly launched. The rumors spread like fast wildfire. Jews in the Ghetto, desperate to escape, appealed to the Embassy for salvation. Letters sent secretly via bribed Germans to the Polish mission, included personal data and photographs needed for issuing the foreign passports.

Quite often those photos were pictures from their family albums. The officers cut images of faces and glued them into passports, then sent them to the Ghetto with photocopies signed by a notary. The Swiss police kept the scheme under control, to be sure that the photocopies of the issued passports would be submitted to the German authorities in Poland.

Those passports were the only plausible grounds for sending their holders to internment camps rather than extermination camps. In other words, to save them.

The forged passports were issued to Jews of Polish, Dutch, Slovak, and Hungarian citizenship, as well as to Jews who had been deprived of German passports. Those Jews, who had passports of neutral countries, were exempt from the Nazi laws that locked down other Jews in Ghettos and obliged them to wear yellow stars on their clothes.

Such forged passports allowed to save not only bearers of the ‘Paraguayan’ passports, but also the newly ‘naturalized’ citizens of Honduras, Bolivia, and Salvador. The Polish diplomats tried formally and informally to pressure South American governments into recognizing the forged documents. Unfortunately, in most cases, their feedback took too long to arrange an escape for many ‘South Americans’. According to the Polish foreign ministry’s estimates dated 1944, only 400 out of 4000 such passports managed to save their bearers from mass extermination by the Nazis. The ‘Passport Services’ of Alexander Ładoś paid from 500 to 2000 Swiss francs for every blank passport of El Salvador, Panama, Peru, Honduras, and Haiti. Those fess were hardly affordable and difficult to raise, given that 500 Swiss francs in 1944 was a big sum (now worth about 3500 euros in current prices).

The forged documents featured certain details in different ways. For example, Paraguayan passports did not specify the owner’s place of birth, but such information was included in Honduran documents. Therefore, the population of that small Central American country quickly increased due to a surplus of citizens ‘born’ in such exotic places as Prisukha or Sosnovec. People in the Ghetto tried to learn more about the countries whose passports they obtained, in case they needed to answer Nazi officers’ questions about such distant countries.

In September 1943 Hügli was stripped of his status as a Honorary Consul of Paraguay, and the Germans commissioned their special board to Vittel to verify passports.  Soon, the majority of Jews that had already been transferred to France were sent back to the Warsaw Ghetto, with the final destination – the Auschwitz death camp. 

Apart from the ‘Passports Services’ scheme coordination, Alexander Ładoś also would offer diplomatic cover on certain occasions. His protection turned to be vitally important when South American governments learned of the illegal issuance of passports by consuls and refused to recognize documents already issued. The Polish envoy tried every possible chance to prevent this from happening: negotiated with the Swiss ministry for foreign affairs, lobbied via Americans, papal nuncio in Bern, and archbishop Filippo Bernardini. Unfortunately, many people died before their passports were ready, verified by the South American consulates, or delivered. 

Yet thousands of lives were saved during the war period, thanks to the passports granting permission to escape the death camps.

Apply for citizenship by investment right from your home

Remember that a second, third, and any of your multiple passports may save your life and save the lives of your loved ones during pandemics and wars, from which no one is safe enough. It is very smart to invest in a passport collection, or at least into second citizenship. And it is extremely smart to start such arrangements right now, since you can conveniently and securely apply for the citizenship by investment online, without leaving your home.

Those who are considering applying for a second citizenship or residence (a temporary or permanent residence permit for the naturalization application) may benefit from several remote application programs specifically designed for investors. In other words, remote filing of applications is a great advantage, as it eliminates the need to travel.

A second residence or citizenship is becoming a key component of an effective fully diversified, risk-adjusted investment approach based on the analysis of trends in the global economy. To be alert and stay afloat in business and other matters, it is more important than ever to enjoy the freedom of travel outside the borders of one country. Therefore, you should explore the key benefits of programs for migrant investors, which you can apply for without traveling to the host countries. For more information, please visit the Citizenship by Investment.

Citizenship by Investment in Saint Lucia

For single applicants, the program offers one of the cheapest options, worth a minimum donation of 100,000 USD in exchange for a second citizenship passport. The application process takes about 3-4 months. All procedures can be performed online.

Citizenship by Investment in the Commonwealth of Dominica

The Dominica Citizenship by Investment is available by making an economic contribution (donation) in the same amount of 100,000 USD. The Dominica passport allows its owner for visa-free travel to 137 countries and territories around the world, including the Schengen States and the United Kingdom. The application process is quite simple,  affordable, and flexible, and one does not have to travel to complete it.

Nationality by Investment in Antigua and Barbuda

The Antigua citizenship-by-investment option is one of the most cost-effective options for families seeking a second citizenship. No travel is required to complete the process and obtain a passport in person. But the Antiguan legislation requires successful candidates to reside in their country for a minimum of 5 days within five years following the issuance of the citizenship. The costs associated with citizenship by investment application start at USD 100,000 and depend on the chosen option.

Citizenship by Investment in Grenada

The Grenadian passport allows for visa-free travel to 143 countries and territories around the world, including China, as well as the access to the US E-2 Investor Visa program, which simplifies travel to the USA. The processing of the application takes from 3 to 6 months. Applicants can fill out all forms and apply at a distance, without leaving their countries. The costs start at USD 150,000.

Citizenship by Investment in St. Kitts and Nevis

The St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship through the investment program is one of the oldest and most established CBI programs in the world. Foreign investment is a substantial contribution to the development of the country. To qualify for citizenship in St. Kitts & Nevis, applicants must contribute approximately the same amount as charged for citizenship in Grenada. A St. Kitts and Nevis passport allows visa-free entry to 151 countries, including the Schengen States and the United Kingdom. You do not have to travel to St. Kitts and Nevis to submit the necessary documents and applications. Everything works remotely – and efficiently. Please find more details at.

Citizenship by Investment in Vanuatu

Vanuatu offers the fastest citizenship by investment program with no extra overhead. The average application processing time is from one and a half to two months. No travel is required to apply. A successful applicant can pick up his/her passport directly in Vanuatu or obtain it through a courier service. In response to the pandemic, the Vanuatu authorities have initiated a pledging of allegiance ceremony through videoconferencing. Please find more details here.

Residence by investment and EU passport through naturalization in Portugal

Portugal offers one of the most popular Golden Visa programs in Europe. After a minimum investment of €280,000 in real estate in Portugal, an investor can apply for a residence permit in Portugal.

There is no need to visit Portugal to start the application process. Property reservations can be made remotely. The applicant will then have to open an account with a Portuguese bank and complete the purchase of the property, all of which can be by proxy. The whole process from application to approval will take from 3-6 months.

Only after this stage will the applicant have to visit Portugal to submit his or her biometric data to complete the process. They will be able to obtain Portuguese citizenship after five years, visiting the country for a week each year, during this period they cannot dispose of their investment.

Residence by investment and EU passport through naturalization in Greece

To obtain a residence permit for a property in Greece, applicants can transfer their funds directly to the seller electronically by credit card. A power of attorney for the transaction can be issued through a local notary office. So you can buy property in Greece without leaving your home.

The “Golden Visa” program in Greece requires the purchase of real estate worth at least 250,000 euros, allowing buyers for a five-year residence permit and the visa-free regime when traveling to the Schengen area. They will get their citizenship through naturalization in Greece after having lived in this country legally for most of each year for seven years.  Once applicants have citizenship then they are free to dispose of their investment.

Please contact us to discuss the immigration options available to you. You can contact one of our experts by sending a request to [email protected].

What is citizenship by investment?

Citizenship through investment is a process whereby an individual can invest in the economy of a certain country by obtaining 100 percent legal citizenship and a passport in return. The process lasts from one and a half months to one year.

How much is it to qualify for economic citizenship?

To obtain citizenship-by-investment, applicants should make a nonrefundable contribution of at least 100,000 USD to the national fund of the host country. It is also possible to invest from $200,000 in (approved) real estate projects, to invest from $400,000 in a business or to buy securities worth at least half a million dollars. You can withdraw from the investment in 3-7 years.

Who will help you apply for citizenship by investment this year?

A licensed immigration agent will help you get a second passport based on nonrefundable cash donations or citizenship by investments in real estate, business, or government bonds. You can apply for economic citizenship only through an agent who will help the client to fill out forms, collect supporting documents, and fulfill financial obligations to the host country.