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Question Bank account/Prepaid card/Whatever for sanctioned country citizen

rainerllera

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Mar 16, 2021
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Hey guys! I'm new here, and I've been doing a lot of reading in some posts, so here's my situation:

I'm a Cuban software developer, and I've been working online for quite a while now, as an individual contractor. It has been impossible for me to find any service that would allow me to open a bank account, an EMI account or whatever variant, because it all comes down to, at some point, not being a citizen of a sanctioned country. Ironically, I'm able to incorporate whatever company in a lot of places (UK, Belize, Seychelles etc), but I fear that in practice it would be a waste of money, since I won't be able to open a bank account for it.

Let me get this straight: I'm not looking to evade or even optimize my taxes, hide my identity or anything like that. I'm willing to pay taxes wherever if I can be certain that I'll get a usable, not so limited debit/prepaid card (ideally a bank account as well but yeah).

I case you're wondering, I'm currently charging my clients through a 3rd person (and that person is also paying taxes on that income), because it has been the only viable solution so far.

I've just been able to apply to 1 prepaid card provider so far (BlackCatCard), and I'm still waiting for the verification process etc, but I'm not too optimistic.

So my question is, do you guys know any options for me (this might be impossible to solve I know, but I figured I might as well ask)

Thanks in advance!
 
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You don't have a lot of options then, short of migration. One potential way forward would be to work with a corporate service provider that incorporates provides directorship and nominee shareholders, thereby making you just the UBO so you are one step removed from the bank. I have seen these arrangements work with sensitive nationalities before although not Cuba. Given the huge risks the bank would be taking (essentially risking their USD access), this probably won't work but it's an avenue to explore.
 
WU is affected by OFAC sanctions just like any bank or institution under U.S jurisdiction... I've been denied their services even in other countries, just for presenting a cuban passport, so I've had to ask local friends to receive for me instead... I'm afraid I'm fucked
Western Union exists in Cuba, right? May you use it there for receiving money, any currency, in general?
 
You don't have a lot of options then, short of migration. One potential way forward would be to work with a corporate service provider that incorporates provides directorship and nominee shareholders, thereby making you just the UBO so you are one step removed from the bank. I have seen these arrangements work with sensitive nationalities before although not Cuba. Given the huge risks the bank would be taking (essentially risking their USD access), this probably won't work but it's an avenue to explore.

Thanks for your reply @Sols , yeah I thought of this kind of setup, but reading through some posts in the forum, it seems banks really want to get to the bottom of things (UBOs etc) so yeah... Don't think it's worth the effort. Like you said, the risk is too high for the bank, and I'm not a high profile client (I'm just a freaking software dev ffs :rolleyes:) Thanks again man.


Western Union exists in Cuba, right?
Yes, with a lot of restrictions. Only family/friend remittances are allowed, as per Cuban Asset Control Regulation exemptions


May you use it there for receiving money, any currency, in general?
not really, we just get paid in local currency, which is pretty much useless. Also WU not working atm since latest Trump sanctions from last year, they expect to be back soon, but not working at the moment. (source here)
 
1) Do any money services similar to WU work in Cuba? What if you do this:
* get paid in crypto
* go to a decentralized crypto exchange
* sell crypto for WU, Money Gram transfer or something similar. Currency could be whichever a sender offers
* and receive money from that

?

2) Also, are foreigners who are in Cuba allowed to receive money via WU and the like? Or withdraw money from ATMs?


3) What if you

* find foreigners who stay in Cuba, on decentralized crypto exchanges, and make a deal with them: sell them crypto and receive cash from them

?
 
At OP take a look at a highlimit crypto card, which simply gets you access by attaching it to an Emi of choice.(take note some Emi's are less finicky, than others)

you convert your crypto into Fiat and cashout through atm...

restricted countries=Unpopular options..cig-:,
 
My nationality is Syrian and we are sanctioned too.. financing and banking is hell for me.. almost all banks reject me and the one who accepted me the account is useless because they are rejecting payments when money is transferred to me or when i transfer money.. it's really bad situation
 
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