The controversial practice in some Caribbean nations of Citizenship By Investment was in the global spotlight Sunday as CBS’ 60 Minutes put the focus on what it called simply: “Passports for Sale.”
Steve Kroft along with producers Graham Messick and Evie Salomon, interviewed Lennox Linton, a Member of Parliament in Dominica, who talked the option of getting a passport there for as little as US 100,000.
“You don’t even have to come to Dominica to get the citizenship. You pay the money from wherever you are,” Linton stated.
The show’s producers also spoke with international lawyer Sirous Motevassel, a Middle Easterner from Iran who lives in Dubai but travels on a CARICOM passport from St. Kitts and Nevis. The passport allows him entry to more than 100 countries without having to get special permission.
Motevassel reitereated that the St. Kitts passport is available for a real estate investment of $250,000 or a $400,000 and is a legal way to circumvent visa controls that some nations set up.
In St. Kitts, the report said, 40 percent of the government’s revenue came from selling passports.
Apart from Dominica and St. Kitts, Grenada, St. Lucia, and Antigua have also adopted the program as well. Antigua & Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne, told 60 Minutes that the revenue from the country’s three-year-old program has kept the government from defaulting on its international loans and has turned the economy around.