High net-worth Indians follow Mehul Choksi’s footsteps to acquire second passport


Ever since fugitive diamantaire and bank-fraud accused Mehul Choksi, allegedly involved in over $2 billion scam in the Punjab and National Bank, got an Antigua citizenship last year, he has inadvertently triggered an interest from other high net-worth individuals to follow suit. Any one can buy a citizenship in some countries in return for investment, media reports said. An Antiguan passport provides visa-free travel to 132 countries.

India does not allow dual citizenship. “There is an automatic loss of Indian citizenship covered in Section 9(1) of the Citizenship act 1955, which lays down any citizen of India who by naturalisation or registration acquires the citizenship of another country shall cease to be a citizen of India.”

The Russians and the Chinese dominate the second passport and citizenship landscape and continue to do so. Global enquiries has shown 320 percent rise in second citizenship but inquiries from Indian businessmen have increased 70-80 percent increase year on year, said a UK-based firm. The reasons for the clamour for the second citizenship range from lifestyle, education, transport, clean air and healthcare, a Times of India report said.

Representational image. Reuters

Representational image. Reuters

The most popular countries are Dominica, Grenada, St Lucia, St Kitts, Cyprus, Portugal and Thailand. The cost of getting a citizenship range from $50,000 to over $2 million and takes 3-6 months. Businessmen look for friendlier regimes, a TOI report said.

The price for citizenship in Dominica and St Lucia is around $100,000 and 2 million euros to get an EU passport for Cyprus. A citizenship can be procured in most countries through a donation to a sovereign fund or by buying real estate or through investment. Besides these, there are certain clearances that the host country does like checking the applicant for criminal records, pending investigations, etc.

(First Post)

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  1. It’s too bad that Antigua’s CIP program doesn’t confer the right of hereditary citizenship. If an Antigua CIP citizen wants to have a newborn baby, they have to pay $25,000 to the government. No other Caribbean CIP program requires this, no wonder Antigua is not ranked high and we are losing CIP applications to St Kitts.

    • Is this true? If so, that needs to be changed immediately. Any child born in Antigua IS an Antiguan by birth, whether or not his or her parent(s) are citizens, but especially if they are citizens, CIP or not.

      • Yes, it’s true. The Antigua government treats newborn children from its own CIP citizens as non-citizens until they pay a $25,000 fee. This means that even future grandchildren and great grandchildren of CIP citizens will have to pay a $25,000 fee to the CIP unit. This policy is just crazy and needs to be corrected by Cabinet ASAP.

  2. Another ABLP propaganda article hope this online newspaper was paid a good sum for this rubbish. This CIP scheme should die a natural death. The day will come when these new citizens will occupy our Parliament. The sad part about all this the politicians who presides over this monster will be long gorn into oblivion. I just want to say to them remember your future generation when you continue to sell out their birth right,
    making them a minority in their own country.

    • Antigua CIP citizens are equal citizens, just like the rest of us. In fact, I prefer our CIP citizens over those that are born in Antigua. CIP citizens tend to be richer, more educated, and nicer than those born here. I like the CIP program and I hope it continues forever and grows bigger.

  3. Its so strange how Antiguans are will to sell their birthright like Essau in the Old Testament not even for food but a few dollars

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