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How to buy your own country

The winners and losers from the booming global citizenship trade.

You can earn it, lose it, buy it and sell it. Citizenship is changing; and half the world’s governments are making money through citizenship schemes. We investigate the booming trade in passports, and in a rare interview with the boss of the world’s biggest citizenship brokerage, we hear how easy it can be to get a second – or third – passport, for the right price. We travel to Hong Kong, a hub for buyers and sellers on the doorstep of the flourishing mainland Chinese market. There, we meet a local agent who helps clients obtain passports for multiple countries. We speak to cross-border families about their citizenship gambles, and explore why so many people want an alternative nationality. We also hear about the libertarian ideas inspiring some of the richest people in the world to treat citizenship as a flexible commodity, and not a birthright.

Producer: Sarah Treanor
Presenter: Vivienne Nunis

(Photo: Vanatu residents. Credit: Chris Morgan/BBC)

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27 minutes

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Last Sunday 17:06GMT

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