Buying Second Nationalities


Wealthy individuals are buying passports legally on the open market to hedge their identities and lifestyles in the same way they hedge their portfolio. Direct passport sales are a $3 billion-a-year business worldwide and growing about 25 percent a year, according to Henley & Partners, a London-based global citizenship and residence consultancy founded in 1997.

At the high end, you can buy a passport from Austria—one of 13 countries that sells them—for $9 million. But that’s steep. Costs range (on average) from $100,000 in Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica and St. Lucia to $130,000 to $150,000 in St. Kitts and Nevis as well as in Grenada and Moldova, $250,000 in Turkey, $1.13 million in Malta and $2.6 million in Cyprus. The Caribbean is the center of the trade, since its islands’ colonial past affords its citizens wide visa-free access, typically to about 130 nations, including the 26 European countries in the Schengen area.-Robbreport

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