With a price tag as low as $250,000, St Kitts and Nevis has become the world’s most popular place to buy a passport. And now that Cyprus, Grenada, Antigua and Barbuda, and Malta are also treating citizenship as a commodity to cash in on, several other countries are also expected to follow the trail. Reports indicate that Jamaica, Montenegro, Albania, Croatia, and Slovenia are some of the countries which are planning to launch their own citizenship by investment programs.
But they will have to work hard to match St Kitts’ offering. According to Bloomberg, St. Kitts does not require new citizens to provide detailed financial information, or pay tax on income or capital gains. Applicants may not even be required to set foot in the country. But possibly the biggest draw is the fact that citizens of St Kitts get visa-free access to over 130 countries.
And the benefits of the citizenship by investment scheme to St. Kitts’s economy is plain to see. The country has emerged from the global economic recession relatively unscathed, and is well ahead of neighboring countries in the West Indies in terms of development milestones.
While critics of citizenship schemes argue about the questionable trend of passports becoming commodities, more and more nations are viewing citizenship as an economic resource and reaping the rich rewards it has to offer.