Comoros Economic Citizenship Act
As countries in the Middle East and Europe struggle with a surge in refugees and the United States debates immigration reform, the oil-rich kingdom of Kuwait is pursuing an unusual solution to a similar problem. It announced last month that it would offer citizenship to tens of thousands of stateless people from nomadic Bedouin tribes -- but not Kuwaiti citizenship.
Instead, Kuwait is planning to pay the impoverished African island nation of Comoros -- hundreds of miles away -- to grant Kuwait's stateless Arabs citizenship. Under the arrangement, the new citizens of Comoros would be allowed to stay in Kuwait, where they would benefit from free education, health care and employment opportunities, according to Al Jazeera.
The deal is possible because of Comoros's Economic Citizenship Act, passed in 2008, which allowed the country to sell its nationality to foreigners. Comoros has not commented on the Kuwaiti plan, nor has it publicly declared the price of nationality per individual.
But the incentive for the island nation is fairly clear: According to NGO Freedom House, Comoros might already have generated $200 million for selling its nationality to citizens of Gulf countries -- money the country's former president, Azali Assoumani, was alleged to have misused. The details of the case are sketchy, but they pointed to the existence of a larger program to sell passports to various other countries or individuals.
Editor's Note: We'd strongly suggest that you avoid being tempted by sketchy economic citizenship offers, more on that here.