As Europe’s economic crisis has worsened, many governments have chosen to look for innovative ways to raise money. One of these, perhaps the quickest and easiest, but perhaps the most controversial, is to enable wealthy foreigners to obtain citizenship by investment.
Within the EU there are a number of countries that are following this course (background information here) with a list that now includes Cyprus, Portugal, Bulgaria and Malta. The costs and residency requirements differ quite widely, showing that there will always be some people in the world that have “made it” but are worried about the personal situation.
For many wealthy individuals a second or third passport is seen as diversification to help them leave quickly in times of trouble should their situation at home deteriorate rapidly.