Did you ever know that citizenship could be bought outrightly in some parts of the world? Well if you don’t know you do and will also know why it has become the latest fantasies of the super-rich.
According to a report by Bloomberg, a second passport—or a third or fourth—has become another trophy for the ultra-wealthy and so for most of them, it is more for bragging rights.
When interviewed, Christian Kalin, chairman of Henley & Partners, a firm which provides citizenship advice and publishes rankings such as the Quality of Nationality Index opined that wealthy buyers “are looking for security”. “They want peace of mind in case of a revolution or other upheaval in their home countries”, he said.
Many nations of the world, the U.S. included, allow migrant residents the chance to apply for citizenship only after meeting certain criteria but these only 10 countries permit other nationals to acquire outright citizenship which comes with a certain price. These prices may also require payment in the form of direct investment into their economy, typically in property or the setting up of a local business.
Eight out of these ten countries are classified by the IMF as offshore financial centres, though Kalin said stability, not tax avoidance, is what influences most of the buyers. That and bragging rights. “If you have a yacht and two airplanes, the next thing to get is a Maltese passport,” he said. “It’s the latest status symbol. We’ve had clients who simply like to collect a few.”
See the list of the counties below: