Controversy: Passport sale

Controversy: Passport sale

A number of Caribbean islands found themselves in headlines this year after a popular CBS show accused the countries of selling citizenship to wealthy foreigners.

According to a “60 Minutes” segment that aired on January 1, the transactions are part of what is called a citizenship by investment program. CBS reporter Steve Kroft interviewed Dominica’s opposition leader Lennox Linton, who stated interested buyers just needed a cool $100,000 in order to become a citizen of the island.

The segment also alleged that St.Kitts and Nevis’  passports can be bought with $250,000 or with a  $400,000 investment into property on the island.

Antigua and Barbuda has alleged sold citizenship to Iranians, Libyans and Pakistanis. The island has also marketed the passports as a bundle including a high-end condo in Dubai. Its website advertises, “Buy a villa in the UAE and get citizenship of Antigua.”

Check out the transcript and a clip of the segment here.

See more from the segment below:

Since the segment has aired, Canada has reversed visa-free access for Antigua and Barbuda citizens. As of June 27, Canadian officials state travelers from the islands are no longer qualified for the visa exemption.

Read the full story on Canada’s immigration policy change from the Canadian Immigration Newsletter.

A Chinese fugitive, with a St.Kitts and Nevis passport, was also able to obtain Canadian residency according to a July 3 story by Caribbean News Now.  Xianbin Li was identified as the subject of an active arrest warrant in China for squandering  $20 million from his business and fake bank loans. It was the second time this year that a Chinese fugitive was caught with a St. Kitts and Nevis passport.

Read the full story from Caribbean News Now.

By Nyamekye Daniel

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