Get the Hell Out of Dodge
So you have really done it this time! You have gotten in over your head so badly that you have to bail out of the fight in Amerika, much like the Dalai Lama had to do in Tibet. Perhaps you just think Amerika is so rotten it's not even worth saving (wuss!). That's ok, your new job is to help fuel the freedom revolution worldwide. If you've never been out of Amerika, you'll be surprised at how good our English-speaking friends in other countries have it compared to the on-going fight here in Amerika, but you may also be surprised what liberties they also have totally given up. First, however, you have to cross that border without the pigs getting you and then set up your new life. Here is a bit of pre-planning that should help you be on your way to becoming Joe Canadian/Australian/Whatever.
- 1 Prep Work
- 2 Taking some money
- 3 Getting Across the Border
- 4 Air Travel and Stay ID Requirements
- 4.1 Mexico
- 4.2 Canada
- 4.3 Europe/UK
- 4.4 East Asia
- 4.5 Southeast Asia
- 4.6 South Asia
- 4.7 Middle East
- 4.8 Africa
- 4.9 South Pacific
- 4.10 South and Central America
- 4.11 Costa Rica
- 4.12 Guatemala
- 4.13 Other
- 4.14 Australia
- 4.15 New Zealand
- 5 Papers
- 6 Visas
- 7 Residency
- 8 Citizenship
- 9 Extradition Treaties
- 10 Making your New Home Work
- 11 LANGUAGE LEARNING SOFTWARE
Having open accounts and friends in a non-extraditing country cut both ways, it can either make setting up a new life quite easy or it can be a big finger pointing a police or bounty hunter right to your door. Many nations allow tourists and foreigners to open bank accounts, some even have strong privacy laws similar to what the Swiss used to be famous for before they broke their word. The United States knows that as its economy goes deeper into the death spiral people will be trying to get out with some cash to restart their life. Heavy pressure is being brought on those countries who allow financial freedom in the name of finding tax evaders, money launders, and drug kingpins. It is already getting harder and more expensive to do this above board with big fees to renounce US citizenship and tighter monetary controls on bank and wire transfers.
The primary thing to remember is that anyone but especially law enforcement will make moves legal and illegal against your communications including mobile phone and long distance, Internet communications, and financial transactions especially bank and credit related to gain access to those records.
One person who identifies him/herself as "a Former U.S. Citizen" wrote a 26 page booklet entitled American Expatriation Guide: How to Divorce the U.S. Government. You can download and read it for free here.
Taking some money
One of the biggest aids to setting up a new life is money: you will be able to bribe if you need to at the border, set up in a hotel, and buy your food for the first night until you can link up with or figure out the local scene. The money trail is the easiest way to track a fugitive, and huge parts of the FBI and other agencies are full of fat cops checking suspicious bank transfers. Bank employees are required to report all suspicious transactions such as large cash withdrawals, large international wire transfers and large purchases of traveler's checks. Since you may not have yet developed the street smarts for your new home, robbery and theft are a problem, so split up your stash in several places, both on your person and where you are staying. Expect many methods of getting some money to cause a loss of value of over 50%, that is still better than getting caught or having no money.
Be aware that carrying cash or anything of value is inherently suspicious to cops, if any law enforcement officer or agent should become aware of you carrying an 'unusual' amount of cash or other commodity it is up to their discretion to confiscate it by charging the cash with a crime, money has no constitutional rights and no writ of habeas corpus. We have heard that over $100 to $200 is about the limit before the cops start grabbing, hoping for a bonus new cop toys, or for a big find a nice promotion. You will need to file a lawsuit and prove that you acquired the money in a legal way. This is a popular and highly incentivized way for cops to acquire cash, homes, business, boats, aircraft, and vehicles which are sold at auction to support the seizing agencies budget. Damned if you do, damned if you don't; if you make to hide the cash you are even more suspicious, but carrying the cash is enough reason to seize it, nice eh'?
Euros and Dollars
These two currencies are the most internationally recognized CorpGov currency, with the US dollar having a bit of an edge in acceptance as of 2007. In many nations is is seen as "real" money vs. their own inflatable currency, but with the recent volatility in the dollar, Euro, and UK Pound currencies world-wide, trust is wavering.
In case you think that hiding cash the secret neck strap, bra, and in the pants wallets from travel stores are a big secret, think again, many crooks know about these extra pockets although they are still safer than your wallet in a back pocket. Zippered in the belt stashes and hiding emergency cash under a shoe insole seem the safest quick places now.
If you are going to try to mail cash or packages to general delivery/Poste Restante at a post office, wrap two or three large bills in a layer or two of newspaper, mail from a drop box, split the load into many envelopes over time if possible in case some get intercepted and stolen or confiscated. see Postage for more info
Gold and Silver
In any country in the world there will be someone buying gold and often silver as well, just have your eyes open for robbery even by the shop owner, don't bring your whole stash in at any time. The easiest and least costly way to get gold in the US at the time of this writing is to buy bullion coins, preferably from a no sales tax state. These have little if any collector value overhead and if you go with the Canadian Maple Leaf or American Eagle, they will be recognized worldwide. A small amount hidden in a change purse could be worth a few thousand dollars. Silver "rounds" are commercially minted medallions that have one troy ounce each, and are popular with the Survivalists. "Junk Silver" is the term used for old silver coins that have little if any collector value, and are bought and sold only for their silver content. Silver, at the time of this writing, is priced too low per ounce to be an efficient mobile way to carry value, but the price per ounce has been on the rise and will likely continue to become more practical as time goes on. Jewelry if bought as junk in a bin might be a good way to buy gold but there is no easy way for an amateur to know whether he or she is being ripped off with electroplate junk. Don't waste your time trying to play the gem and diamond game unless you are already a established player, it is too easy for a novice to get ripped off and the cartel overhead both buying and selling can burn you badly.
Credit cards, Checks, or Bank transfers
Don't even think of having someone wire you money, send a check, or credit/debit card unless you are under a safe false identity. This will be a big easy red arrow that authorities can follow right to you. After a few weeks or month someone far away from you, who already has a reason to visit, can bring you the money or cash a check and open a tourist account at a bank. Many fugitives are easily caught by leaving a money trail.
Many nations in the Middle East and Asia have very harsh drug laws to make the United States happy, and some even impose a death penalty. If you intend to use drugs to carry value across borders, be very careful, the drug business is cutthroat and there is as good a chance that they will rob a stupid American as pay a fair price for your stash, or you will loose your profits trying to bribe the cops out of trouble. Drugs should be a last resort for transfer of wealth.
A shaving kit full of small expensive items like computer memory, large capacity flash memory cards, and even processors carry a high value if new. It may be difficult to find a buyer who will give a fair price, but offer at several computer shoppes. Hurry to liquidate your stash after arrival before the stuff becomes obsolete.
Getting Across the Border
If you plan on getting out of the continental US you have a few options you can fly out First Class and enjoy the drinks and movie but unless you are using good fake ID you are running the risk of agents greeting you at the airport or being denied by a "no-fly-list" status. You might try taking a sailboat or ferry over the border, the ferry might work if you are a low priority and look just like everyone else on the ferry. A nice hike is the classic way to get across a border, you run a low risk of border agents catching you unless you are at a place that they patrol hard. Some border nations like Canada and even more distant ones like Australia and the UK are tightly wound into the general police cooperation culture rampant in the Anglosphere, use caution especially if you have known contacts who you may run to. See Sail Away for more ideas.
While many are looking towards keeping illegals out of Amerika from Mexico, very few worry about the Canadian border (primarily because nobody is crazy enough to move here these days). Doing so legally will mean being tracked by the American Empire using a passport or border crossing ID. But escaping to the land of socialized medicine, lax pot laws, and friendly people is easy as 1, 2, flee!
It's a pretty easy skip to make it across the border. About 95% of the US/Canadian border is either untouched wilderness, farming plains, or forest. First, pick out where you want to hike from and when. If you do go to Canada, please know where you're going. If you can only speak English, the French speaking region of Quebec isn't the best place to go. In my opinion, Toronto is the best place for English speakers to go. If you can speak French, I would suggest driving through Vermont, due to the fact that many of the border stations do not stay used all night. Just to be safe, bring a legal friend to scope out whether or not there are guards. If you're needing to flee in the winter, spending a few days hiking through Washington State into British Columbia. will be a much better option than going through the freezing plains on skis pulling a sled. Whatever you do, plan your trip as well as you can: Take into effect weather, food, clothing, shelter, water (or water sources) and orientation. See also Backpacking.
Get an idea of the climate of the area you'll be in. In a place like western BC, it can be rainy at many times, and highs usually never go above 80 or below 30. Move a wee bit up into the mountains, and the snowy season begins in September and doesn't end until May. Go out to the plains of Saskatchewan and summertime highs may easily reach 95, but winters are fierce, with lows almost always below 0. In any instance, it is best to camouflage yourself with the terrain. Avoid using white or bright-colored clothing unless you're trekking through snow.
While the average Amerikan will say "LOL, just head north!" it takes a little more effort than this. If you're planning a trip, water sources, avoiding small towns, border guards, or other obstructions must be kept in mind. If you print out contour maps of the area (and know how to use them), you can navigate just fine with a compass. You can learn how to use a compass with a map [www.learn-orienteering.org/old/ here].
If you've forgotten your compass, or it's packed away in your bag, a simple way to find your orientation in the daytime is to take a stick and poke it in the ground, with the tip pointing to the sun so there is no shadow. When the Earth moves under the sun, the stick will be casting a shadow pointing to the East.
Legal surface crossings
This requires an Amerikan passport or special border crossing ID. Since you will be going into Canada, you will not have to deal with US Border Guards, though Canadian Guards are well known for being very precise. There is a good chance your trunk/car may be searched, and they may have drug dogs (so keep the weed at home if possible). While the Canadians do have their own independent passport screening system if you're on the run from the Amerikan Gestapo, it will come up in their system. The important thing is to be friendly to the border guards, do NOT be impatient with them; this will arouse suspicion in their eyes
Air and Boat
You will meet a customs agent as you exit the air terminal or boat, just like the car crossing be ready for questions about if you have a handgun, if you brought drugs, or other contraband. Be cool and everything should be fine.
If you have to get out Mexico may not be the top choice for place to stay since it is too close and obvious to Uncle Sam. Most US law enforcement agencies operate in Mexico for the expressed purpose of getting those who flee the US. You might be able to use a trip through Mexico to get to another destination without getting caught.
Over Land Hike
Cross border walks are best made shortly after sundown, be sure to bring plenty of water. Have a map and compass and know the town you are heading for.
Legal surface crossings
Mexico welcomes your dollars, gringos have them and are allowed to visit. The border guards will want to know your business and destination know a place that you can tell them you are going.
Air and Boat
Regular airline and pleasure cruise access, California and Texas yacht owners frequently cross the border for a holiday.
It used to be that hijacking a flight to Cuba was an easy way to safely flee the US if the heat was really on. Now it is much more difficult to make residence anywhere in the Caribbean. Remember that many islands are US or UK territories with full extradition.
You could boat out of the US from Florida, not a difficult or particularly long escape, although the Coast Guard swarms this area on drug patrols, and an unusually small vessel would be suspicious. The longer voyages from Mississippi and Alabama are preferable if you want the least chance of American detection. Once you come into territorial waters the coastal patrol or police will expect at least a radio call as you enter, when you come to dock the fact that you are an American would be clear and that dock master will likely want to see your ID and passport. Often there are specific ports that must be visited before docking and egress of the crew is allowed.
Air Travel and Stay ID Requirements
Some border zones in Mexico only require a drivers license. Passport recommended, no visa required.
Passport or frequent crosser ID, no visa needed for US citizens.
The UK and Europe are easy once you clear the border, there are no border stops between EU nations now. If you are traveling between the UK and Europe, there is however passport checks and baggage searches on both sides of the ferry, and security on the Channel.
Ireland is a good choice, they are in the EU, proud of their independence from the UK and NATO, and speak English. Northern Ireland is still currently occupied by the British army and police so they will turn you over to Amerika as quickly as anywhere in that former empire.
Most East Asian nations are very ethnocentric unless you have a valuable skill getting any kind of long term visa might be difficult, one exception is teaching English. Hong Kong is a bit easier because of the significant English minority but again permanent stay is tricky. People of Asian descent often find themselves looked down by the locals upon unlike their white friends.
Thailand is one of the main destinations for US expat's. Low prices, low rent, and a government friendly to long term visitors all make Thailand an excellent destination. Thailand is not all sex, it is a beautiful, somewhat free, kingdom with nice people and a very large international tourist population. They do cooperate with law enforcement and will extradite to the US. Be careful as there is no express freedom of speech protection.
Those with high tech skill can usually find work, English speakers can also seek out a living if they can get hired training outsource call centers. However, this only works for someone with actual citizenship. While greedy CorpGov loves to import high tech and low paid Indian H1-Bs to Amerika in a messed up lottery, India does not reciprocate by allowing foreign born workers to immigrate into the work force.
A big tourist destination, unless you can afford and are accepted long term at a temple and are self supporting this is a difficult place to live.
If you bring money Dubai is happy to give you a place to live, opportunities for underground work in domestic work and slave wage construction work.
If you are Jewish or descendant of an Israeli Arab this is the easiest country in the world. Instant citizenship and about $10,000 assistance, subsidized rent, tax breaks for 3 years, and language lessons. Israel will not allow immigration and will extradite to the US or EU for most felonies especially violent or terror related.
An alternative is kibbutz living; kibbutzim (plural of kibbutz) are socialized farms numbering about 270 throughout Israel. On a kibbutz you may grow crops, work in orchards, fish and poultry farms, or even manufacture things like irrigation systems. In the old days, all property was communal, and children were raised together in children's houses. These days most kibbutzim are cooperative organizations in which there is both shared and personal property. Some kibbutzim offer Hebrew and Arabic language classes. Some kibbutzim have special programs for new immigrants to help you get settled in.
It is possible to volunteer on a kibbutz while you are in Israel on a tourist visa. While you work you will get free food and housing, usually in a dormitory style. Most volunteers stay for 2-6 months, but you may be able to stay indefinitely if you can get citizenship. To apply, you must have a valid passport and contact:
Kibbutz Program Center Volunteer Department for Takam-Artzi 18 6 Frishman Street Tel Aviv 61030 Israel Tel: 972-3-527 8874 or 972-3-524 6156 Fax: 972-3-523-9966 KPC Email: email@example.com
Turkey is easy to get into, you pay $25-30 dollars at the airport for a 3-month visa. A lot of people stay indefinitely by traveling to Greece or Bulgaria every 3 months and then returning to get their visa renewed. One of our writers found a job in Istanbul as a nanny for a Turkish family, there's several groups there who will set you up with a job as a nanny/mother's helper. You will need a few letters of recommendation from previous childcare jobs or at least from someone you babysat for. The language is completely different from English, but after a few weeks you will get along okay. Turkey uses the Roman alphabet (ABC, etc.) so you can read signs right away and learning vocabulary is easy. Be warned: Do not carry drugs into this country for any reason (Midnight Express is exaggerated, but is based on a true story). Do not accept invitations from strange men on the streets to go partying and drinking with them, they will stick you with the bill and forcibly take money from you. There is some unrest in the country with regard to the Kurds and our writer got tear-gassed when she accidentally stumbled into a riot, so keep your eyes open and be careful.
Sub-Saharan Africa is an easy destination if you want to do some sort of missionary work, otherwise scratching out a living might be tough unless you have telecom, petroleum, or water utility skills. Blacks might be disappointed to find that most Africans consider them just another foreigner to get cash from.
South Africa is a combination of first and third world. Some predominantly white areas in Johannesberg and Capetown are English speaking.
Indonesia is a good place in Southeast Asia. It has no extradition treaty with America, and the dollar can go far in the cities that are not dominated by tourism. It has over 11,000 islands.
South and Central America
Costa Rica has a large population of Amerikan expatriates and there are a lot of tourists. Many people speak English and some towns even have English-speaking bars and restaurants that cater specifically to Amerikans, it's beautiful and everything is relatively cheap. There is a Quaker school there which would be a good refuge.
For those who want to escape North Amerika, need a place almost unknown to the USA, and is a mix of Hawaii, Mexico, and Bumfuck, Nowhere, Guatemala is for you. Mayan history and culture thrives in Guatemala, a bonus for those with an open mind. Rent is cheap, and not much is expensive, 1 Quetzal (plural Quetzales) is about 12 cents. Should the situation come to it and you need to flee, sail or fly to Cuba, Amerika doesn't give a shit about that country. Bear in mind that there are many areas wracked by violence.
Australia is an amazing destination and the culture is not too different from the United States, and in some ways more similar than Canada. It is easy to find a compatible mate, get married, and gain residency.
New Zealand is not aligned to the United States in foreign policy and has a more liberal outlook on the world, it is a beautiful place to marry for fakes or real and take residency.
It's generally recommended that you avoid fake identification, but if needed see Identification Papers for ideas on getting fake travel ID.
In most places refugee status is difficult to get especially if you are a fugitive for normal criminal charges, you risk being deported in cuffs with a US marshal on both sides if you go this route. Some nations will give refugee status if you face a possible death sentence, but part of a extradition deal may be a promise from the US government not to seek the death penalty.
If the man is after you a student visa in your legal name might not be issued, the new country may also share their student visa data with US law enforcement.
Religious Worker Visa
This takes some preparation. Many nations will allow religious workers to enter as a leader or worker for an existing community. Start by creating links to worldwide religious organizations in your community by approaching sympathetic clergy and expressing interest in this kind of work in case you will ever need this out.
A tourist visa usually has a short expiration date. Sometimes this is all you have time to get and if so you need to use your time well in finding a way to integrate and get a better visa or go illegal inside your host country.
Your ultimate goal is likely permanent residency, there are several ways to get it which vary from nation to nation.
If you have family members who are citizens, or a special skill that is in demand in your new country you might be able to get sponsored for residency by a that relative or a company in that job field, having a friend with an established business will be a big help.
A real or sham marriage is a well known way to get permanent residency, in some countries a bribe is also required to get this to work, but in many places nothing happens without a bribe.
There are several ways to get instant citizenship, although it will require a bit of paperwork and research. Contact the embassies of all nations that you would consider living in. Especially concentrate on nations that your parents or grandparents may have immigrated from, some nations even accept your ethnicity as a way to claim (almost) instant citizenship.
If your family has been in the United States for too many generations or you are unable to document family immigration use the tactics in Identification Papers but with a twist, look for immigrant families, lists of names might be found from newspaper stories or biographies. Trace back and find a child living or dead near your age who has never been out of the country or expressed an interest in filing for citizenship in that foreign country. This is not uncommon for European minorities who had to run away during wartime. Using the paperwork you have ordered and being sure to get it certified with an apostille (usually about $5 from the state records agency), you have started the process of getting all of the foreign citizenship you might ever need.
Be sure you invest in a passport once you get your identity, but before you do inform the embassy that you would like to file for a name change so you will not have such an outlandish American sounding name once you move back to your ancestral homeland.
If the man figures out that you are hiding out in a nation friendly to the US they will seek an extradition hearing as allowed in the extradition treaty they have likely signed. You get a court hearing in most places to decide if the charges are too bogus to even be real, if the charges are reasonable you will be extradited. Also remember that if you are wanted for something US courts consider it legal for federal agents to enter another country and kidnap you, even if this violates that nation's laws -- so keep your head low!
The following nations have a history of not extraditing US citizens:
- People's Republic of China (Hong Kong area extradites!)
- Mexico (only if the sentence imposed in a US prison is greater than a Mexican jail term. Mexican authorities DO have the ability to kick you out for being there illegally, though.)
- Russia (Absolutely no extradition for Russian citizens, limited extradition for others)
- EU Countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand (will not extradite if the death penalty is involved)
Wikipedia has a listing of all nations who have ever signed extradition treaties with the US. Notice many nations did so long ago and the treaty predates the sitting government. In these places it may not be in force. Even if there is no treaty, a stern request along with pressure or gifts may cause that nation to give you over.
Making your New Home Work
The expat editors of Steal This Wiki have known many attempted emigrants from the United States who fail because they did not use their heads and pre-plan their exit properly. Here are some important tips to remember for when you make the jump.
- Use the worksheet/phrasebook in International Communications to help you in the first few days in your new host country, have a new friend fill out all of the words and important phrases.
- You are not a citizen of the new country, your rights are limited and you can be kicked out at any time
- You are not in America, try to learn the new culture and integrate, you are a guest
- If you do not find a support group with some political power in your new country you will have a difficult time
- Try to spend at six to eight hours a day speaking the new language without resorting to English
- Make a culture and language notebook and add to it every day review it before bed and in the morning
- Avoid anything that could lead to argument or law enforcement contact, revenge is a phone call and a deportation away
- Do not get involved in petty crime like shoplifting or drug buying and selling , this is the easiest way to show up on police computer databases or be deported and reported to US authorities
- Depending on why you left you should think about integrating with other American expats, they often know lots of tricks to get proper papers and other services, unfortunately the trick is often expensive bribery or fat fees
- If you are on the run stay away from other Americans no matter how cool they seem there may be a reward out for you
- Stick post-it notes on your stuff with the foreign nouns, say the noun when you see the item or use it
- If you are unable to do the foreign language thing choose an English speaking country, work on faking a local English accent, spend a few hours a day on speech therapy with a accent sensitive local, this will help throw off local cops
- Be watchful of depression, moving to a strange country and possibly unable to return is very hard, learn breathing and meditation exercises
- Write a daily personal journal about your feelings and review your progress
- Don't turn to alcohol or drugs for help if depressed, exercise works better, drag yourself out for exercise even when unmotivated.
- Set yourself goals to accomplish every day, write a list.
- Especially when you are new be sure to walk with confidence, a timid western foreigner invites robbery.
- Men should never wear shorts or go without a shirt until you get a good understanding of if this is acceptable and honorable.
- Women should stick to long skirts and loose long sleeve shirts covering the abdomen and neckline at until they understand what less clothing may imply about them in the new culture
- Do not flirt at all until you very clearly know when this is appropriate.
- Do not get into a situation where you will test the "No! means No!" rule, not all men worldwide understand that once they are out on a date and get turned on by making out or flirting, the partner saying the word NO! means hands off.
- Understand that in most parts of the world Americans are stereotyped as very rich, an easy source of money, lazy, impulsive, and easy to get into bed, this is what locals will think of you too.
- Never photograph police, soldiers, infrastructure, or military equipment, this is an easy way to disappear to jail.
- Never show off shiny new equipment or bags, dirty and de-label ASAP.
- Have spending money in two pockets, stash the rest, nothing makes for bad bargaining than counting a big wad on the counter.
- It is better to give nothing to a panhandler than to give too little and insult him
- If you give to a nearby panhandler you have an expectation to continue supporting him and others nearby as long as you stay
- Put away the camera, this makes you look like a tourist, tourists have money, robbers want money.
- Avoid transfusions, needles, surgery, and IV medication if possible, contaminated medical treatment in the third world is common.
- Put a lock or doorstop on your door
- Door or window alarms can be purchased at some travel stores against late night prowlers.
- Be cautious when taking a cab for kidnappers.
- When taking a room look for entry points from adjoining balconies and windows, roof access, and attic spaces into your room, robbers are known to use this access to rob tourists.
- Be vary cautious taking a drink with strangers, alcohol conceals many "date rape" type drugs used on both men and women for rape and robbery.
LANGUAGE LEARNING SOFTWARE
Anyone looking to get the hell out of the CorpGov Empire should seriously consider the idea of becoming somewhat fluent with the native language of where they are heading to. One of the main tenets of the Perpetual Tourist lifestyle is to be low profile and look like a local as much as possible. If you have the money for it, then Rosetta Stone Language Program is worth the money to invest with a couple of months time to learn a language. This is what the CorpGov Diplomats in the Imperial Military and in the Imperial Foreign Oppression Department (AKA State Department) use to learn a language with. If you don't have the money for it, pirate it, or check out this site as it seems to have some free and cheap language programs that could help you to learn the language of where you're going to. One thing is for sure, it's a hell of a lot easier to hide out somewhere if you look like you should be there, knowing the language and all, than it is to look like some sore thumb Gringo bastard who doesn't know his head from a hole in the ground. You might consider VistaWide.
Here's a link to some Open Source Translation Software.
The BBC World Service broadcasts around the world in various languages, and has thoughtfully provided the world with their own free on-line language courses.