The Asian country of Laos has opened up its ‘honorary’ citizenship to foreigners investing in the country for economic reasons with outstanding contribution. It will be the second economic citizenship program in Asia after Cambodia. The new program will inject much needed foreign investment, especially in the property market. To become a honorary citizen, foreigners must invest a total of $1.5 million US dollars in the country, with $500,000 in socio-economic development and $1 million in capital investment in real estate.
The Decree No.14 issued in September, honorary citizens will be given full rights to entry/exit, live permanently and work and will be able purchase land without any restrictions, according to Radio Free asia.They can also buy public land and and can also lease in public and private sectors. This program is open to all foreign nationals without any restrictions. Applicants must be over 18 years old and should have a clean criminal and health record to apply. The Ministry of Justice will review the applications and will forward to approval within 30 days.
The Chinese are the biggest investors in Laos and are expected to benefit from this citizenship program especially in the real estate market. Laos is a landlocked country in southeast asia surrounded by Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia and lately been the fastest growing economies in the Pacific. The Lao people make up 53.2% of the population.
Laotian passports are issued to citizens of Laos by Consular Department within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to travel internationally with the validity of 10 years. Honorary citizens of Laos can benefit from visa free agreements with 51 countries and these countries include Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Russia, Seychelles etc.