Why have many countries started selling their passports?
Passport is something that is generally held by somebody for being a citizen of the country by birth or he may earn it through hard work for that particular country. But these days selling passport has become a hot business for multitude of countries.
About 50 years ago, it was rare for a country to allow dual citizenship, but now it is becoming more common. More than 50 countries around the globe have introduced citizenship through investment programmes, BBC reported. According to a Swiss counsel, Christian Kalin, also known as ‘Mr Passport’, this industry has zoomed to the volume of 25 billion dollar annually.
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Kalin is the chairman of Henley & Partners, one of the world’s largest players in this emerging market. The company helps affluent people and their families to avail citizenship in foreign countries.
A large number of people support the ideology of this business, however there are many others who think that passport should not be a purchasable item.
It has been four years (2016) since Vanuatu, an island in the Pacific Ocean, has introduced ‘passport for sale’ scheme and since then it has become the biggest source of revenue for the government of this country. The most prominent benefit of holding Vanuatu is visa-free access to the entire European Union countries. So, a large number of foreigners, who got passport of this country, never stepped on its land, as they can apply for its citizenship at their overseas offices.
According to the Financial Times, Vanuatu is reviewing its ‘passports for sale’ scheme over concerns that insufficient scrutiny of passport seekers risked undermining the visa-free access to the EU. The country has so far generated over 200 million dollar through this business. Hoards of Chinese people have acquired Vanuatu passport.
The island is one of the easiest taxing countries and has recently been added to the blacklist by the EU on issues of transparency and corruption, BBC reported.