This is not some scam which falls in line with many of those ads you see about the likes of a US Green Card lottery and such, even though you’d be rather surprised to find that something like the US Green Card lottery is an actual thing. I know of someone who actually won the US Green Card Lottery and is now living the “American Dream” as a rapper.
So anyway, the business we’ll be concerning ourselves with today is that of the exploration of citizenship for sale. Shady? Maybe, but by no means is it illegal. We’re not dealing with some backdoor operations which form part of a long chain of corrupt officials seeking to take advantage of the rather favourable living conditions of their countries, both physically and politically.
Citizenship is indeed for sale in quite a few countries in the world, but relatively speaking it’s for sale in only a handful of them. You can buy citizenship, legitimately and you wouldn’t need to feel any shame for having done so. You can jump on a plane, go to a specific country and come away with a passport that validates your newly-acquired citizenship and this can be done in one of two ways.
Citizenship by direct investment
When the idea of writing this post first came to me I had thought about discussing the next point (citizenship by naturalisation) first as a kind of means through which to “warm up” to the main topic, but then I quickly thought that it might turn some readers away who have the full scope of how citizenship by naturalisation works. Although here it will be explored in a different light – in the light of how naturalisation is in actual fact a means through which to indirectly buy citizenship.
So anyway, getting into citizenship by direct investment, how this works is that certain governments or elected representatives of the homeland governments have the power to grant people citizenship and so they effectively offer that citizenship for sale. It’s called acquiring citizenship by investment and is often synonymous with countries or territories which are known for their “alternative” tax practices which are largely viewed to be rather lax.
To put it explicitly, countries like Saint Kitts & Nevis, Barbuda & Antigua, Malta (if I remember correctly), Dominica and quite a few others will grant you citizenship with full rights and the passport to go with it if you invest in their local economy. Investing locally through an official government sanctioned programme in some instances even includes buying yourself a property in that country!
Fancy yourself dual-citizenship then? You can get it for as little as $100,000 US!
Citizenship by naturalisation
If you live in a certain country and show yourself to be an asset as a resident then you can eventually apply for citizenship by naturalisation, but that’s just an iteration of the underpinning economics at play. Really it just means that you need to be able to prove that you’ll be an asset to the state instead of a financial burden for a long enough period.