This Swiss lawyer helps foreign governments 'sell' citizenship like a commodity
For some resource-poor countries in desperate need of cash, one increasingly popular commodity is citizenship, Bloomberg's Jason Clenfield reports.
Advising governments on those deals is a Swiss lawyer who's become a master at creating resources "out of thin air" – in the form of expensive passports, that is.
In his unprecedented career as a citizenship dealmaker, Christian Kalin has advised the governments of Cyprus, Grenada, and St. Kitts and Nevis, among others.
The latter has since become the most popular country in the world to buy a passport.
For just $250,000, new citizens of St. Kitts will receive unlimited travel to 132 countries and a host of financial benefits like tax-free income and capital gains and minimal disclosure requirements, Bloomberg reported. Applicants don't even need to visit the island.
St. Kitts was a huge success for Kalin, and now more and more countries are getting into the game.
"It makes a lot of sense," he told Bloomberg. "Why not give citizenship to people who contribute a lot to the country?”
In return, his Zurich-based firm, Henley & Partners, has grown into an industry leader. He said they've advised "dozens" of governments (think Malta and Antigua) and raised some $4 billion in citizenship and residency investment programs.