How selling citizenship is now big business

1EFA5D51-AD02-4766-9317-A2934DCFA804

Buying and selling citizenship is now a global industry worth an estimated $25bn a year

You can be born into it, you can earn it, and you can lose it. Increasingly, you can also invest your way into it.

The “it” is citizenship of a particular country, and it is a more fluid concept than ever before. Go back 50 years, and it was uncommon for countries to allow dual citizenship, but it is now almost universal.

More than half of the world’s nations now have citizenship-through-investment programmes. According to one expert, Swiss lawyer Christian Kalin, it is now a global industry worth $25bn (£20bn) a year.

Mr Kalin, who has been dubbed “Mr Passport”, is the chairman of Henley & Partners, one of the world’s biggest players in this rapidly growing market. His global business helps wealthy individuals and their families acquire residency or citizenship in other countries.

He says that our traditional notions of citizenship are “outdated”. “This is one of the few things left in the world that is tied to blood lines, or where you are born,” he says. He argues that a rethink is very much due.

Continue reading… “How selling citizenship is now big business”

0

Giving citizenship to bots

2D7ABE01-9A38-43B6-AA3A-4121E23395A8

The crypto friendly island of Malta wants to give civil liberties to bots and other forms of artificial intelligence. Some experts say this is a profoundly bad idea.

Six years ago, when Amazon started talking about using delivery drones, many people thought they must be joking. Far from it—drones are now very much a reality: in April, Google offshoot, Wing Aviation, won certification from the US Federal Aviation Administration to begin commercial drone deliveries. If you live in Blacksburg, Virginia, drones could be landing on your porch by the end of the year.

In a similar vein, it’s tempting to scoff at Malta’s plans, announced in November, to give citizenship to bots. Voting rights, healthcare, civil liberties—everything is on the table. In fact, states such as the UAE and Saudi Arabia have already granted robots citizens rights.

Continue reading… “Giving citizenship to bots”

0

One of Estonia’s first “e-residents” explains what it means to have digital citizenship

IMG_8052

An online community survey recently asked me where I’m based. Without hesitation, I answered “Estonia.” You might ask: as a US citizen, why in the world did I do that? But as crazy as it may sound, Estonia is the country to which I feel most loyal today. I am one of the country’s first “e-Residents,” and I feel more welcome there than pretty much anywhere else in the world.

Hold on: an e-what?

I’m an Estonian e-Resident. A virtual resident, sort of. Let me explain.

In 2014, Estonia, a country previously known as much for its national singing revolution as anything else, became the first country in the world to launch an e-Residency program. Once admitted, e-Residents can conduct business worldwide as if they were from Estonia, which is a member of the EU. They are given government-issued digital IDs, can open Estonian bank and securities accounts, form and register Estonian companies, and have a front-row seat as nascent concepts of digital and virtual citizenship evolve. There is no requirement to have a physical presence in Estonia.

Continue reading… “One of Estonia’s first “e-residents” explains what it means to have digital citizenship”

0

‘Born in the USA’ – More chinese women traveling to U.S. to give birth

pregnant

When Chinese children are born in America, they automatically become U.S. citizens.

An increasing number of  well-off Chinese women are going to the United States to give birth to their children. Having an American passport can certainly be beneficial, it can also be more of a hassle than one might expect.

 

Continue reading… “‘Born in the USA’ – More chinese women traveling to U.S. to give birth”

0

Wirtland Grants Citizenship to Julian Assange

residence permit 346 card

Wirtland resident permit for Julian Assange

Government of Wirtland decided to grant Wirtland citizenship to Julian Assange. The official letter from the world’s first sovereign cybercountry underlines Mr. Assange’s “great accomplishments in changing the public perception of internet and its role in the world’s balance of power”. Official residence permit was issued in the name of Julian Assange.

Continue reading… “Wirtland Grants Citizenship to Julian Assange”

0

U.S. Passport a Powerful Lure for Pregnant Chinese Women

pregnant chinese women

Expectant Chinese mothers travel to the United States to give birth.

What can $1,475 buy you in modern China? Not a Tiffany diamond or a mini-sedan, say Robert Zhou and Daisy Chao. But for that price, they guarantee you something more lasting, with unquestioned future benefits: a U.S. passport and citizenship for your new baby.

0

Puerto Rican Government to Invalidate All Existing Birth Certificates

Puerto Rico

Puerto Rican Day Parade  in New York City.

Angel Roldan has plenty of Puerto Rican pride, even though he moved away from the island at age 2. His street vendor’s stall on E. 116th Street, the heart of the Puerto Rican neighborhood of East Harlem, was filled with red, white and blue merchandise for the city’s annual Puerto Rican Day parade Sunday, the day-long party honoring the heritage of nearly 800,000 New York residents.

 

Continue reading… “Puerto Rican Government to Invalidate All Existing Birth Certificates”

0

Virtual Country of Wirtland Issues National ID Card

Wirtland ID 761

You too can become a citizen of a virtual country

Wirtland, world’s first sovereign internet-based country, revealed the design of plastic identity card. Every citizen of Wirtland, who has submitted the Citizenship Application Form and scans of photograph and signature, is eligible for receiving the personal ID card. New applications for residence permit and ID card are also accepted from everybody over 18 y.o., who wants to become a citizen of Wirtland.
The front side of highly secure plastic card features serial number of ID, personal data, photograph, signature of owner. The card has no expiration date – its validity period is unlimited. The photograph and signature are protected by several levels of microprint and other security features.  The back side explains the unique status of Wirtland and mentions its official website addresses www.Wirtland.com and www.Wirtland.net. Unlike the residence permit of Wirtland, which is electronic document, issue of plastic card is not free of charge. The total cost including shipping expenses will be between 12 – 15 EUR (17 – 20 USD), payable through PayPal.
IMAGES of Wirtland ID card can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/lzhlku, http://tinyurl.com/mytezb.
# # #
About Wirtland:
Wirtland (www.Wirtland.com) is the first internet-based sovereign state, an experiment into legitimacy and self-sustainability of a country without its own soil. Wirtland was founded on August 14, 2008 as a public initiative. Its population is currently approximately 800 citizens from all five continents. It is represented through its official website http://www.Wirtland.com, its social network http://www.Wirtland.net, and “The Times of Wirtland” at http://wirtland.blogspot.com.

Wirtland, the world’s first sovereign internet-based country, revealed the design of plastic identity card. Every citizen of Wirtland, who has submitted the Citizenship Application Form and scans of photograph and signature, is eligible for receiving the personal ID card. New applications for residence permit and ID card are also accepted from everybody over 18 y.o., who wants to become a citizen of Wirtland.

Continue reading… “Virtual Country of Wirtland Issues National ID Card”

0