I became a Liberland citizen this month! Let me share some information for those of you who are considering doing likewise.
First, what is Liberland?
Liberland (officially the “Free Republic of Liberland”) is a tiny, libertarian country in Europe nestled between Serbia and Croatia. The territory was claimed by Liberland since it was previously a “no man’s land” after the breakup of the former Yugoslavia.
The Danube River serves as a border mark between Serbia and Croatia. However, since all rivers tend to evolve over time, a dispute arose between the two countries over which version of the border was valid: the old river path, or the new river path. The old river path gave Croatia a net increase in territory, while the new river path gave Serbia a net increase. Since every country wants to have the maximum possible claim to territory, each side asserted that the border was on the opposite river path from what the other claimed. Since each side wanted to not undermine their own claim to their own version of the map, there ended up being pieces of land that were claimed by NEITHER country. The biggest of those unclaimed pieces was eventually claimed as the newly formed Free Republic of Liberland by President Vít Jedlička, First Lady Jana Markovicova, and Jaromír Miškovský on 13 April, 2015. That day is also the birthday of the American Revolutionary icon Thomas Jefferson.
Liberland is aspiring to become the most libertarian nation on earth.
Former U.S. Congressman Ron Paul, Bitcoin.com Founder Roger “Bitcoin Jesus” Ver, and Nomad Capitalist Founder Andrew Henderson are among the many notable people in libertarianism who are counted among Liberland’s citizens.
While the details of the Liberland Constitution are still being worked-out, some of the key features that are proposed include:
- Zero taxes (with the possible exception of a “land fee”).
- All government operations funded with voluntary crowdfunding.
- Blockchain-powered political systems.
- Merit system where those who contribute more to the country are rewarded with more influence in the political process.
- No restrictions on civilian ownership of “small arms” as defined internationally.
- No standing army, but rather a “territorial defense force” which only defends the defined borders of Liberland in the event of invasion.
- No regulations on marriage.
- Freedom of speech, the press, religion, etc.
- No government involvement in education.
- A legislative, an executive, and a judicial branch.
- No government debt obligations.
Since Liberland claimed its territory before any other country, it has rightful claim to it.
However, since the border dispute between Croatia and Serbia is ongoing, the Croatian police have been occupying Liberland’s territory (despite not claiming it as their own), refusing to allow Liberlandians to enter Liberland. However, that fact has not stopped Liberland from making progress with arranging a free trade zone with Serbia and encouraging settlement communities on the Serbian side of the Danube.
Within the first few years, there were Liberlandians who attempted to enter Liberland, but were stopped and arrested by the Croatian police. However, that seems to be happening less now.
In the meantime, President Jedlička and the many Liberland representatives in countries around the world have been working to achieve recognition and support of Liberland’s right to exist.
The Liberland Aid Foundation has also been doing humanitarian work around the globe to help show that Liberlandians are willing to help make the world around them a better place.
While Liberland has diplomatic passports, there are not yet “normal” passports for everyday Liberlandians. However, that is something that is being worked on. In the meantime, citizens can receive a certificate of citizenship.
Who should apply for Liberland citizenship?
Liberland citizenship is for people who are willing “To Live and Let Live” as the Liberland national motto goes.
This includes, but is not limited to, libertarians, capitalists, minarchists, anarchists, and classical liberals. Liberlandians come from a diverse range of professions, nations, religions, ethnicities, etc. The unifying theme, however, is that of a global community of people who want to help build the freest, most innovative nation on earth.
Who should NOT apply for Liberland citizenship?
Given the libertarian nature of Liberland, there are a number of people who should probably stay away from it. Take the following conversation I had with someone on Facebook, for example.
Simply put, collectivists would not enjoy life in Liberland. The intolerant would not enjoy life in Liberland. The envious would not enjoy life in Liberland. There are naturally going to be some individuals who are more successful than others. There are also inevitably going to be a diverse range of people who are successful. Therefore, the aforementioned groups (collectivists, intolerant, and envious) should all stay out of Liberland for their own sakes.
In addition to that, Liberland explicitly denies citizenship to Nazis and Communists.
Prerequisites for citizenship
People who are interested in Liberland citizenship can start by registering an account on the official Liberland website at liberland.org and completing the application form for e-residency.
My advice here is to BE HONEST. Regardless of your net worth or income right now, you still have a shot at being accepted.
Just like how Dale Carnegie’s iconic bestselling book “How to Win Friends and Influence People” says, you must “Talk in terms of the other person’s interests.”* Therefore, when you answer the questions on the form, focus on how you will help Liberland. While it is fine to mention what you are looking to gain from Liberland, do NOT focus on your own wants or needs. There are literally hundreds of thousands of applicants for Liberland citizenship worldwide. I am sure that many of them also “want” or “need” to get citizenship. However, Liberland is unable to accept all applicants. Can you really blame them when their territory is just seven square kilometres?
That is why you need to make your application stand-out by saying how you will help make Liberland better. You can be a software developer, an architect, a lawyer, a physician, a mechanic, a welder, an entrepreneur, a libertarian activist, a journalist, a songwriter, and more. Whatever career you have, you can be a contributor to the Liberland economy. If you are an investor, Liberland is also ready to welcome you by offering a business-friendly regulatory environment, starting with the Apatin Free Trade Zone in Serbia.
New applicants must go through KYC (Know Your Client) vetting to make sure they have a reasonably clean criminal record. After all, nobody wants to live next door to a convicted terrorist.
Contribute value to Liberland
Once you become a Liberland e-resident, you need to contribute value to the country in order to achieve citizenship.
Donate and/or volunteer for Liberland
This is the way I personally became a citizen. I wrote articles for Liberland Press and received Merits based on how much I wrote.
The Merit is Liberland’s official (crypto)currency, which is still being developed, but nonetheless is being used to quantify the contributions an individual has made. You need 5,000 Merits to become a citizen. I also made a few USD and BTC donations to Liberland, and was rewarded Merits for those as well.
As of the time of this writing, you can purchase 1 Liberland Merit for 1 USD. So, a $5,000 USD donation would be enough for citizenship. As far as citizenship by investment countries go, that is SUPER affordable. If you don’t believe me, watch some videos by Nomad Capitalist. The numbers for more widely recognized countries sell at around $100,000 USD and up.
Eventually, Merits will probably be used as a governance token for secure and verifiable elections. Therefore, you are incentivized to keep paying voluntary taxes in order to grow your Merit holdings and thus your voting power.
Invest in Liberland waterfront property
Alternatively, you can buy a property in the Liberlandian community on the Danube River through floating.ll.land and receive citizenship as part of the deal. Here are the three property types that are currently on the site.
Bitcoin Freedom cabin: €50k
Bitcoin Freedom is being renovated and has cabin(s) for sale.
Cunami houseboat: €80k
A relatively large houseboat.
Katamaran houseboat: €45k
A relatively small houseboat.
If you have done everything that you are supposed to do according to the forms on the official sites and you still have not heard back regarding your application within a week or two, then send a (respectful) follow-up email. Explain how you want to help Liberland succeed and what you are already doing to help.
Best of luck to you!
Stay free, everyone!🕊️
*Carnegie, Dale. How to Win Friends and Influence People. P. 93.
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