Accountancy Daily on 16th October reported that the OECD has published a list of 21 countries which it says offer residence and citizenship by investment (CBI/RBI) options, or so-called ‘golden passport’ schemes, that can be used to hide assets held abroad from reporting under the common reporting standard (CRS). It includes Malta, Cyprus and Monaco, as well as Montserrat, Panama, Qatar, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Seychelles, Turks and Caicos Islands, Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Bahrain, Barbados, Colombia, Dominica, Grenada, Malaysia, UAE, Mauritius and Vanuatu. The OECD has raised the alarm about the fast-expanding $3 billion citizenship by investment industry. The Guardian explains that, in exchange for donations to a sovereign trust fund, or investments in property or government bonds, foreign nationals can become citizens of countries in which they have never lived. Other schemes, such as that operated by the UK, offer residency in exchange for sizable investments. The report follows a Transparency International one that described how the EU had gained nearly 100,000 new residents and 6,000 new citizens in the past decade through poorly managed arrangements that were “shrouded in secrecy”.
The OECD information, which includes the list of schemes and FAQ, is at –