Mauritian Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Pravind Jugnauth, has announced that Mauritius will offer citizenship and passports to foreigners, for a fee of US$1m (€859 645) and US$500 000 (€429 820) respectively.

The decision was announced in the island’s 2018 budget speech, and forms part of measures to increase the country’s funds, as the government plans to increase its budget expenditure by 5% to US$3.8bn (€3.27bn) in the 2018/19 fiscal year. For an additional US$100 000 (€85 965) each, foreigners applying for citizenship can also apply for dependants and spouses. “The first scheme will offer foreigners the opportunity to obtain Mauritian citizenship provided they make a non-refundable contribution of US$1m (€859 645) to a Mauritius Sovereign Fund. For their spouse and dependants, they will have to make an additional contribution of US$100 000 per member of family,” said Jugnauth.

Passports for dependants and spouses of individuals applying for passports, will come with a price tag of US$50 000 (€42 982) per passport. But applicants will only be considered if they meet various criteria required by the government.

The scheme is being opposed by opposition politicians who see this move as reducing their nation to a commodity.