Main content

Golden Passports

So-called ‘citizenship-by-investment’ – the selling of passports - is a global industry worth billions of dollars and it’s completely legal. Alys Harte reporting.

So-called ‘citizenship-by-investment’ – the selling of passports - is a global industry worth billions of dollars and it’s completely legal. The idea is simple – invest huge sums of money in a country you want a passport from and in return acquire residency rights or citizenship, even visa-free access to all European member states. The UK offers residency in exchange for an investment of £2 million / $2.6 million – or for £10 million, the possibility of British citizenship within two years. And across the world, countries are vying to attract the super-rich through these schemes. But they are attracting attention for the wrong reasons.

European MEPs have launched an investigation into 'Golden Passport' programmes across Europe - including the UK - amid concerns that they pose a corruption risk. In the US, government financial investigators say individuals are buying citizenship to hide their true identity, in an attempt to flout economic sanctions against Iran. Alys Harte reporting.

Producer: David Lewis

Image Credit: Shutterstock

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Sun 24 Jun 2018 04:32GMT

Broadcasts

Download this programme

Download this programme

Subscribe to this programme or download individual episodes