The Economics Of Passport Sales

July 17, 2015 in Daily Bulletin

The Economist took a look at the market for passports:

  • Passport holders of countries in the Caribbean get visa-free travel to various European countries.
  • There are many people who’d like to visit Europe but who would have…trouble getting a visa approved or don’t want to go through the hassle of it all.
  • Spotting a market opportunity, Caribbean countries are willing to sell citizenship to those who are able to pay.
  • The “donation” required for this can be as little as $250,000.
  • Some require that you at least spend some time in the country before getting its passport – usually a long weekend will do it.
  • The business is lucrative. St Kitts made $100 million from the business – 13% of its GDP.
  • It can lead to awkward situations though. Iranians have apparently been using St Kitts passports to circumvent American sanctions.

Read more about the different countries and the amount of money they’re willing to sell citizenship for, and how countries around the world are responding over here.

Source: The Economist