Christian Kälin

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Christian Kälin
ChristianKalin 2018.jpg
Kälin in 2015
Christian H. Kälin

1971 (age 51–52)
EducationUniversity of Zurich (2016, PhD)
Occupation(s)Lawyer, author, businessman
TitleChairman, Henley & Partners

Christian H. Kälin or Kaelin[1] (born 1971) is a Swiss lawyer, an author, and the chairman of Henley & Partners,[2][3] an architect of citizenship-by-investment programs that allow wealthy individuals to obtain additional passports.[4][5] Dubbed the "Passport King" by the media, he is credited with making citizenship by investment "a legitimate, largely above-board industry".[6][7]

Kälin has written a number of works on the subject of citizenship by investment. He is the author of the Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook and the co-author of the Quality of Nationality Index. He also wrote the monograph Ius Doni in International Law and EU Law on citizenship by investment.

Early life and education[edit]

Kälin was born in 1971 in Zürich. In his teenage years, he began collecting immigration and citizenship laws from different countries, writing to embassies to request copies of their legislation and keeping the documents in a big binder. He told writer and journalist Atossa Araxia Abrahamian of this time in his life: "What always fascinated me was the inclusionary and exclusionary aspect of citizenship .... I wanted to understand how different countries handled this."[8]

Kälin studied in Paris, Auckland, and Zurich. He earned master's and PhD degrees in law from the University of Zurich.[6] His doctoral thesis was published under the title Ius Doni: The Acquisition of Citizenship by Investment. In the thesis, he wrote in support of citizenship by investment, arguing that it "creates social and economic development opportunities for States."[9] He also coined the term ius doni, referring to people who gain citizenship through investment.[10]


In 1994 he joined Henley & Partners, initially as a consultant. There, he pioneered the concept of "citizenship by investment", whereby people can acquire citizenship in return for investing in a country of which they are not a national.[11] Kälin makes a distinction between citizenship that can be "earned" through investment that is economically beneficial to a country, and "commodified" citizenship which can be simply bought, claiming that only the former method can be seen as legitimate.[12] He also considers that "citizenship is inherently unjust".[13]

In 2006,[14] Kälin published the first edition of the Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook, a comprehensive guide to doing business in Switzerland that is said to be found in every Swiss embassy around the world.[15] In the same year, he created the Henley Passport Index, which ranks countries according to the travel freedom their citizens enjoy due to their passport.[16][17]

Kälin and Henley & Partners have worked with the governments of Antigua and Barbuda, Austria, Australia, Cyprus, Greece, Grenada, Malta, Montenegro, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Thailand.[13]

Kälin was the lead consultant in the creation and implementation of the citizenship-by-investment program of Antigua and Barbuda in 2013. In 2014, Kälin was appointed chairman of Henley & Partners following many years in different senior roles at the firm.[11]

In collaboration with Dimitry Kochenov, Kälin authors The Quality of Nationality Index (QNI), an annual[18] report published since 2015. The index ranks the quality of nationalities based on factors such as GDP, Human Development Index and freedom to travel and settle abroad.[19]

Kälin is a member of the governing board of the Investment Migration Council in Geneva.[20] He is also the founder and chairman of the Switzerland-based Andan Foundation, which focuses on supporting displaced people.[15][21]

Saint Kitts and Nevis[edit]

In 2006, Kälin restructured the Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship-by-investment program, and obtained exclusive rights for Henley to market St. Kitts and Nevis worldwide.[4][11] The company gave the country's government a $20,000 fee for every successful applicant for its passport program.[4] Applicants for passports could either invest in real state on the islands or donate to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, which was intended to invest on behalf of the St. Kitts and Nevis population.[4] The contract between Henley and Partners and St. Kitts and Nevis ended in 2013.[4] In 2014, the US and Canada flagged that St. Kitts and Nevis had allowed financial criminals and individuals evading sanctions to obtain passports through the Henley and Partners program;[4] Canada ended its visa-free agreement with St. Kitts and Nevis.[4] In 2015, the head of an International Monetary Fund mission to St. Kitts and Nevis said that the citizenship-by-investment program improved by Kälin led to the country out-performing other Caribbean nations in its recovery from the global financial crisis.[22]

Personal life[edit]

According to Atossa Araxia Abrahamian, Kälin possesses at least five passports personally.[8]: 72  When asked by The Economist in 2017, Kälin declined to reveal how many passports he has.[23]


  • Kälin, Christian H. (3 February 2006). Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook: Economy, Law, Taxation, Real Estate, Residence, Facts & Figures, Key Addresses (1st ed.). Wiley. ISBN 978-0470018019. LCCN 2006296425. OCLC 254775904. OL 10278233M.[24][14]
  • Muller, Wouter H.; Kälin, Christian H.; Goldsworth, John G., eds. (5 June 2007). Anti-Money Laundering: International Law and Practice (1st ed.). Wiley. ISBN 978-0470033197. LCCN 2007004228. OCLC 716943342. OL 7594934M – via Internet Archive.
  • Kälin, Christian H.; Taylor, Andrew J. (12 January 2015). International Real Estate Handbook (Revised ed.). Ideos Verlag AG. ISBN 978-0992781835. LCCN 2004017102. OCLC 945764076. OL 32963380M.
  • Kälin, Christian H. (26 January 2016). Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook (5th ed.). Ideos Verlag AG. ISBN 978-0992781859. LCCN 2016370890. OCLC 953710991. OL 28370527M.
  • Kälin – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index[24]
  • Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2017–2018: The Definitive Comparison of the Leading Investment Migration Programs (Christian H. Kälin) for Henley & Partners[25]
  • Ius Doni: The Acquisition of Citizenship by Investment (Christian H. Kälin)[26]
  • "Investment Migration: The New Competitive Edge" (Christian H. Kälin) in The International Family Offices Journal (December 2017)[27]
  • "New Citizenship Options Will Open Up" (Christian H. Kälin) in the 2017 Knight Frank Wealth Report[28]
  • "Only as Strong as Their Weakest Link" (Christian H. Kälin) in the 2018 Knight Frank Wealth Report[29]
  • "Swiss Companies in International Tax Planning" (Christian H. Kälin) in Trust and Trustees, volume 11, issue 10 (October 2005)
  • A Guide to Investment Migration for Governments and Global Citizens (Christian H. Kälin) for Henley & Partners, in partnership with the Economist Group (April 2018)[30]
  • "Malta's Due Diligence Will Become the Global Standard" (Christian H. Kälin) for Investment Migration Insider (May 2018)[31]
  • "Consolidation Will Drive the Industry Forward" (Christian H. Kälin) for Investment Migration Yearbook 2018/2019[32]
  • Ius Doni in International Law and EU Law (Christian H. Kälin)[33]
  • "How Dual Citizenship Can Define Your Future" (Christian H. Kälin) in IFC Review (2016)[34]
  • Investment Migration Yearbook 2021/2022 (Christian H. Kälin, ed.) for Investment Migration Council[35]


  1. ^ "Dr. Christian H. Kaelin | Key People". Henley & Partners. Retrieved 16 February 2022.
  2. ^ "This Swiss Lawyer Is Helping Governments Get Rich Off Selling Passports". 11 March 2015. Archived from the original on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  3. ^ "Revealed: Cambridge Analytica and the Passport King - The Spectator". 31 March 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g OCCRP. "Conflicts Of Interest And Controversial Clients: Henley & Partners' Caribbean Business". OCCRP. Retrieved 19 March 2022.
  5. ^ "Revealed: residency loophole in Malta's cash-for-passports scheme". The Guardian. 22 April 2021. Retrieved 22 April 2021.
  6. ^ a b Abrahamian, Atossa Araxia (29 October 2015). "Passport Bubble". The New Republic. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  7. ^ Clenfield, Jason (11 March 2015). "This Swiss Lawyer Is Helping Governments Get Rich Off Selling Passports". Bloomberg.
  8. ^ a b Atossa Araxia Abraham (2015). The Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen. ISBN 978-0990976363.
  9. ^ Ius Doni - the acquisition of citizenship by investment. OCLC 958587778.
  10. ^ Barrett, Jonathan M. (2019). "Duty Free Citizenship: The Case of Peter Thiel". SSRN 3494881.
  11. ^ a b c "The Passport King". 11 March 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2018 – via
  12. ^ Joppke, Christian (7 January 2021). Neoliberal Nationalism: Immigration and the Rise of the Populist Right. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 978-1-108-48259-2.
  13. ^ a b "[WATCH] 'Citizenship is inherently unjust' says passport king Christian Kalin". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  14. ^ a b Hoyt L. Barber (31 July 2011). Freedom Without Borders: How to Invest, Expatriate, and Retire Overseas for Personal and Financial Success. ABC-CLIO. pp. 142–. ISBN 978-0-313-39391-4.
  15. ^ a b Ruschmann, Dirk; Schütz, Dirk (22 January 2021). "Dieser Anwalt vermittelt Pässe für 150'000 Dollar". Bilanz. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  16. ^ Wilson, Antonia (14 January 2019). "UK passport drops to sixth in global power index". The Guardian. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  17. ^ Team, G. C. T. (8 October 2021). "Greek Passport Ranked 8th Strongest In The World". Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  18. ^ LaMagna, Maria. "This is the most 'valuable' country in the world to be a citizen (and it's not the U.S.)". MarketWatch. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  19. ^ Babad, Michael (6 June 2016). "Canadian nationality ranked better than most but behind many". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  20. ^ "Governing Board". Investment Migration Council. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  21. ^ "About The Founder". Andan Foundation. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  22. ^ "This Swiss Lawyer Is Helping Governments Get Rich Off Selling Passports". 11 March 2015. Archived from the original on 11 March 2015. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  23. ^ Valencia, Matthew (2 October 2017). "Citizens of anywhere". The Economist. ISSN 0013-0613. Retrieved 23 November 2021.
  24. ^ a b "Dr. Christian H. Kälin - Henley & Partners". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  25. ^ Partners, Henley &, ed. (31 October 2017). Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2017-2018: The Definitive Comparison of the Leading Investment Migration Programs. Ideos Verlag AG. ISBN 978-0993586682.
  26. ^ Kälin, Christian H. (19 June 2018). Ius Doni : the acquisition of citizenship by investment. Ideos Publications Limited. ISBN 9780993586637 – via Google Books.
  27. ^ "The International Family Offices Journal".
  28. ^ "The Wealth Report".
  29. ^ "The Wealth Report 2018 - Download".
  30. ^ "Henley & Partners". Henley & Partners.
  31. ^ ""Malta's Due Diligence Will Become the Global Standard" - Interview with Chris Kälin, Part 2 - Investment Migration Insider". 14 May 2018.
  32. ^ "Investment Migration (IM) Yearbook 2019/2020".
  33. ^ Kälin, Christian H. (27 March 2019). Ius Doni in International Law and EU Law. Brill/Nijhoff. ISBN 9789004357525 – via Brill.
  34. ^ "The International Financial Center Review".
  35. ^ "Investment Migration Council".