Kenya offers citizenship in investor push

Kenya is mulling giving citizenship to wealthy investors in a new push to enhance direct foreign investment (FDI) flows, the country’s investment promotion agency said on Wednesday.

High net worth investors, whose enterprises are appraised to have high impact on new jobs and exports earnings, will be allowed to automatically apply for citizenship, under the new proposals.

Immigration laws presently require a foreigner to continuously live in the country for at least seven years to qualify for citizenship by registration.

Kenya Investment Authority (KenInvest) said the plan is to gift such investors with a permanent residence status after vetting, an equivalent of the Green Card in the US.

Moses Ikiara, KenInvest managing director, said the agency held “positive discussions” with Interior Secretary Fred Matiang’i with a view to developing a framework to ensure the vetting is watertight and free from abuse.

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