26 June 2018

Mauritius, Where You Pay U.S.$1 Million and More to Be a Citizen

Photo: Julian Mason/Flickr
Sofitel So Mauritius, Bel Ombre.

Do you want to be a citizen of the most peaceful country in Africa? It comes at a cost of $1M and a few more costs. Mauritius, which is the most peaceful country in Africa sells its citizenship so exorbitantly, but it's not the only country doing so to attract investors.

Mauritius was recently ranked as the most peaceful country on the African continent, and in the top 20 globally. If you think the cost of peace is expensive, try Mauritius.

The country's main source of foreign exchange is tourism, which is made possible because of the stable democracy the country has, and peace prevailing. However, for anyone who wants to be a Mauritian, citizenship doesn't come cheap. The island nation which is so small that you can reach the four corners of the country in a day is offering its citizenship for $1 million. $500,000 will be used to boost the country's sovereign wealth fund. The decision was announced during the country's 2018 budget.

Read: Mauritius ranked Africa's most peaceful country, and The Gambia records largest improvement

Aside from paying $1 million, applicants will pay $100,000 for each dependent and spouse, and applicants will also pay $50,000 per passport for family members. The proposal has ignited a debate in the country. Those in the opposition party in Mauritius however criticized the scheme, stating their country has been reduced to a commodity.

Mauritius however sits in a comfortable position in terms of democracy, and ease of doing business. According to World Bank's Ease of Doing Business report, Mauritius ranked 25th worldwide, and the best in Africa.

Some countries offer Citizenship by Investment (CIP) programmes where a second passport can go for as much as $200,000. According to the AP, the Chinese are the biggest market for CIPs, with more than 100,000 Chinese people spending at least $24 billion (£18.5 billion) in the last decade to buy residency through investment visa programs.

The average African can not afford such an mount to secure citizenship, and targets mostly investors. Many European countries also offer Citizenship by Investment.

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