In addition to obtaining it by birth and possibility to lose it, citizenship can be earned and bought today, and that is all, according to the BBC, a vague concept demonstrated by the fact that citizenship is today a global industry, worth approximately 22,8 billion euros.
“The traditional idea of citizenship has fallen behind. It’s one of the few things in the world that we still associate with blood or birthplace, ”said Christian Kalin, a Swiss lawyer and board member of Henley & Partners, one of the world’s largest players in this fast-growing market. They actually help rich individuals and their families obtain residency or citizenship in other countries.
“The system is not fair because where we were born and who gave birth to us, has nothing to do with our abilities or talents, it depends on pure luck. Why not treat citizenship as a membership? Why would it be wrong to receive talent and people who will contribute to the country? “, added Kalin, who, as Jutarnji List writes, was already nicknamed the” Passport Lord. ”
One of the world’s largest markets for citizenship is Hong Kong, which is not surprising when one considers the population of China.
There are more and more of them with two passports, some even three, because, as MJ, a nationality trader in the country, told the BBC, “they don’t feel safe in China and want access to Europe and open a bank account there, buy a property or start a business .
In fact, a large part of Asia, Russia and the Middle East wants citizenship of some European countries so that they can move and operate freely in all EU Member States.
It is therefore not surprising that citizenship has become a competitive world market, and for many small or island nations, such as those in the Caribbean, the cost of their passport is approximately $ 150,000.
Montenegro charges its citizenship from € 350,000, € 250,000 needs to be invested in the country’s development program, while a citizenship application costs an additional € 100,000.
Anyone who wants Portuguese, Spanish or Hungarian citizenship has to buy real estate or government bonds, which will cost him 350,000 euros in Portugal, or about 500,000 euros in Spain.
Some € 500,000 is to be spent on Bulgarian citizenship as well, while Maltese costs nearly one million.
Malta’s citizenship alone costs € 650,000, but it is also necessary to have a property worth at least € 350,000 for a full five years.
In the case of a family, citizenship costs an extra 25,000 euros for a spouse, and for unmarried children between 18 and 25 years of age, parents who depend on a person applying for Maltese citizenship have to pay another 50,000 euros per person, Morning said.
Cyprus, on the other hand, is constantly changing the prices of its citizenship. The country itself introduced the sale of passports in 2012 when it was on the verge of bankruptcy, and distributed citizenship under the accelerated procedure for a direct investment of ten million euros.
A year later, the island nation was embroiled in a major corruption scandal, and its banks seized foreign (mostly Russian) money.
As this meant even deeper financial problems for Cyprus, the government lowered the price of a Cyprus passport to three million euros worth of direct investment.
Later, the price dropped further, so today it is necessary to invest two million euros and to own a property of at least 500,000 euros in the Cypriot territory.
According to the BBC, the US sells its citizenship for a business investment of between $ 500,000 and $ 1 million, or € 455,000 and $ 910,000, and for the creation of at least ten jobs, Morning reports.
Jobs are also a requirement for an Austrian passport. More specifically, it requires a “significant direct investment” in a company that employs or continuously grows its exports, and makes an “exceptional contribution to the country”, such as developing new technologies or creating a large number of jobs.