BBC: Why Citizenship Is Now a Commodity

For more than two decades, governments have dangled citizenship in exchange for investments. “As more countries tighten their borders and paths to immigration, a new industry is working to bypass those restrictions – for a hefty fee,” reports BBC News. “The specifics of different investment citizenship programmes vary by country. They allow foreigners to invest in real-estate projects and businesses, buy property, or to donate money directly to a country’s government in exchange for a visa or passport.” Lawyers advertise these services offered by 23 nations, including about half of the EU member states, targeting the wealthy with fears about populism and unpredictable governments. Other applicants seek visa-free travel and reduced taxes. Prices range from $35,000 in Latvia to $500,000 in the US and $10 million in France, with varying conditions. Such passports are the biggest export for St. Kitts and Nevis. Political events like Brexit increase applications, and interest also runs high in China, Brazil, Vietnam, Turkey and India. Proposed legislation would end the US EB-5 visa program after investigations into money laundering and fraud. – YaleGlobal

BBC: Why Citizenship Is Now a Commodity

Anti-immigration policies and tightened borders are prompting rise in sale of passports and citizenship by 23 nations that target the wealthy
Katie Beck
Monday, June 5, 2017
Copyright © 2017 BBC.

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