For $250,000, a foreigner can buy full rights as a citizen there. The transaction can take as few as three months and applicants need never visit the nation’s sandy shores.
The allure? St. Kitts citizens can travel without a visa to more than a hundred countries, including Canada and all of Europe. They pay no personal income taxes, and the island’s remote location in the West Indies serves as a safe haven, should the need for a quick move ever arise.
Demand for a second passport is “way up,” says David Lesperance, a Canadian immigration lawyer. Among his recent clients: an Egyptian pro-democracy activist who worries about instability in his country, and a Chicago businessman who is convinced that the Occupy movements will lead to riots.
Henley boasts that it can obtain passports for individuals and families in as few as three months. It also publishes a yearly Visa Restriction Index, which ranks a passport’s value based on number of countries one can visit without a visa.
Last year, St. Kitts was 28th. Dominica was 54th. A U.S. passport and an Irish passport tied for the 5th most valuable. Finland, Sweden and Denmark tied for first place, and Germany and Francesecond and third.