Caribbean Islands Selling Citizenship

Some Caribbean islands are selling citizenship to make up for budget shortfalls. One such island, Dominica, has a new citizen named Hadi Mezawi, who never even set foot on the black-sand beaches.

Despite this, Mezawi, a Palestinian, recently received his brand new Dominican passport — after he sent off a $100,000 contribution to the tropical nation.

Mezawi, like many Palestinians, has not been recognized as a citizen of any country. Bloomberg reports that he stated:

“At the start I was a little worried that it might be a fraud, but the process turned out to be quite smooth and simple. Now, I am a Dominican.”

Turmoil in the Middle East and North Africa has led to a surge of interest in programs like the one Mezawi participated in.

Most of those who participate in the islands selling citizenship programs are seeking a second passport to provide them with hassle-free travel or a good escape should things turn sour at home, notes Yahoo! News.

The programs are becoming so popular that a Dubai-based business is building a four-square-mile community in St. Kitts & Nevis for investors. They will be able to buy property and citizenship at the same time.

It is impossible to tell how many people have purchased citizenship in the Caribbean island nations. Neither nation has decided to comment on the situation. Other countries — like the United States, Canada, Britain, and Austria — offer “investor visa” citizenship programs, but they are much more complicated than the ones in Dominica and St. Kitts.

Would you consider paying money to become a citizen of a Caribbean island?

[Image via ShutterStock]