Citizenship in the Caribbean selling well

Posted Feb 13, 2013 by Eileen Kersey
Unhappy with being a citizen of your native land? Fancy a second passport? How about buying citizenship of a Caribbean island, for a price that is?
Monarch of the Seas
Monarch of the Seas
Royal Caribbean International
The Middle East and the region of North Africa often referred to as the Maghreb is in turmoil. Countries that experienced the Arab Spring of 2011 remain unsettled. Unemployment was high in countries such as Algeria and Tunisia prior to 2011, and economies have not recovered.
The Caribbean has some beautiful islands. The problem is that many struggle to survive. The plight of citizens of the Maghreb and the Middle East, plus the need for investment in the Caribbean, has led to a possible solution for all sides.
If you have enough money you can buy citizenship or residence on certain Caribbean islands. The money has to be what is termed a "healthy contribution or investment" but it is possible.
According to FoxNews
Hadi Mezawi has never set foot on the Caribbean island of Dominica, has never seen its rainforests or black-sand beaches. But he's one of its newest citizens.
Without leaving his home in the United Arab Emirates, the Palestinian man recently received a brand new Dominican passport after sending a roughly $100,000 contribution to the tropical nation half a world away.
Hadi explains that initially he feared a scam or fraud. However, Hadi said the process was simple and everything ran smoothly.
In Hadi's case a passport was his aim. As a Palestinian Hadi has no official country. He is not an official citizen of any country. He was unable to get a passport, which in turn meant he could not freely travel abroad.
Many investors who have paid for citizenship in the Caribbean have either wanted a bolt-hole should their country implode or a second passport.
The tiny Eastern Caribbean nations of Dominica and St. Kitts & Nevis are popular places to invest. They offer a fast and easy citizenship service.
A Dubai-based company is taking investment in the Caribbean one step further. The company is building a 4-square-mile (10-square-kilometer) community in St. Kitts where investors can buy property and citizenship at the same time. In its first phase, some 375 shareholders will get citizenship by investing $400,000 each in the project, which is expected to include a 200-room hotel and a mega-yacht marina. Others will get passports for buying one of 50 condominium units.
In order to gain an idea of the size of St. Kitts consider this. It is "less than twice the size of Washington D.C."
It may or may not surprise you to read that "Investor visa" or citizenship programs operate in countries such as the United States, Canada, Britain and Austria. The Caribbean islands operating similar schemes, however, offer a much cheaper and faster citizenship, with few background checks.
90 days and $250,000 could be all it takes you to become a citizen of St. Kitts. Dominca could cost you a $100,000 investment.
The passport that Caribbean investment buys you varies slightly. "A Dominica passport holder can travel without a visa to more than 50 countries, while a St. Kitts passport provides visa-free travel to 139 countries, including all of the European Union".
Authorities in the West are beginning to implement some restrictions on these passport holders. The worry is that, as the Caribbean passports are often awarded with few background checks, criminals and terrorists could enter other countries.
How many foreigners are citizens of the Caribbean is not known.