Welcome to The Times in Plain English   Click to listen highlighted text! Welcome to The Times in Plain English

Tired of Your Country? Buy Citizenship in a New One

May 25, 2014
Plain English Version

PP st kittsCountries in the Caribbean and now around the world are selling citizenship. That is correct. You can buy a passport, and all that goes with it, for a couple of hundred thousand dollars.

A Russian businessperson was thrown out of his company. He vowed to leave Russia and never return. He bought citizenship in the small Caribbean country of St. Kitts and Nevis.

Citizenship there is available with a donation of $250,000, made out to its Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation. Purchasing approved real estate worth at least $400,000 can also get citizenship.  PP Dominica

Selling passports is good business. It brings revenue to economies that now depend on sales from sugar cane products.

Abuse of the program is rising. The U.S. government says St. Kitts gave passports to Iranian men who were using their citizenship documents to help Iranian banks launder millions of dollars.

Other countries are coming into the picture. Malta, Bulgaria, and other Caribbean countries such as Antigua, Barbuda, Dominica and Granada are starting or thinking about starting such programs.

The St. Lucia Prime Minister said, “I think we cannot close our eyes [to selling citizenship] because it is an option we have to consider.”

Applicants come mostly from Russia, the Middle East and Asia. A passport from St. Kitts offers visa-free travel to more than 120 countries. Most people do not want to live in their new countries. They value the passport.

Nobody knows how much revenue the sale of citizenships is generating. But it undoubtedly is in the tens of millions of dollars.

Like all good things, abuse will have an impact. Already the U.S. is telling financial companies that have clients with St. Kitts passports to look carefully at them.

Source: The Christian Science Monitor                                                 May 22, 2014

Print Friendly

In Brief

Selling Kids on Vegetables

How to get kids to eat vegetables? Marketing is the answer. You can call it tricks or just good ideas. Whatever works.

School lunchrooms are...

What Do You Call Yourself if Your Mother is White and Your Father is Black?

On the 2010 Census, President Barack Obama, identified himself as  “black.” But millions of Americans consider themselves “bi- or multi-racial.”  And their numbers are...

Mending Walls, By Robert Frost

Robert Frost (1874 – 1963) was a great American poet. Just before he died, he read his poetry at the inauguration of President John...

Pineapple on Pizza? The Global Debate

The President of Iceland started it. Last week he joked that pizza topped with pineapple should be outlawed. His remarks set off a debate...

Archives

Dictionary
  • dictionary
  • English Dictionary

Double click on any word on the page or type a word:

Powered by dictionarist.com
Click to listen highlighted text!