Sunday August 14, 2022

Rich Lebanese buy ‘island passports’ as crisis bites

May 23, 2022

Beirut: Fearing visa hassles could cost him his job in Dubai while an economic collapse had dashed any homecoming options, Lebanese executive Jad splurged around $135,000 on a new citizenship for himself and his wife.

Within a month of making the payment last year, the 43-year-old businessman received a small package in his mailbox. Inside were two navy blue passports from the Caribbean island nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis -- his ticket to visa-free access to more than 150 countries, including in Europe.

This was a major upgrade from the Lebanese passport, which is ranked among the worst in the world and has become nearly impossible to renew because the cash-strapped state is running out of stocks.