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Testing times ahead for the booming passports trade

Testing times ahead for the booming passports trade

The booming business of obtaining passports and residence visas for rich people will face increased threats

“THEY WANTED to destroy our industry,” says one of its insiders. “They” are European Union officials. The “industry” is the one selling CRBI schemes—Citizenship and Residence by Investment, that is, a travel document that allows you both to stay somewhere outside your homeland for as long as you want and to travel the world without too many constraints. In 2020 the future of this business will continue to be clouded by the EU’s suspicions and hostility. But the industry will also continue to grow.

Thousands of passports and hundreds of thousands of residence visas are bought every year. Around 100 countries around the world have schemes that offer residence—a “golden visa”—in return for a big investment. A dozen or so go further, and offer a passport, in effect selling citizenship.

Written: Thursday January 2nd, 12:27am 2020