Christian Kälin

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Christian Kälin
ChristianKalin 2018.jpg
Kalin at the Global Residence and Citizenship Conference in Dubai, 2015
Christian H. Kälin

1971 (age 48–49)
Alma materUniversity of Zurich
OccupationLawyer, author, editor, entrepreneur, humanitarian
TitleChairman, Henley & Partners

Christian H. Kälin (born 1971) is a Swiss lawyer, author, editor, entrepreneur, humanitarian, and the chairman of Henley & Partners and is known as "Mr Citizenship" or "The Passport King".[1][2]

Kälin holds master's and PhD degrees in law from the University of Zurich.[3] His doctoral thesis was published under the title Ius Doni: The Acquisition of Citizenship by Investment.[4] Having coined the term ius doni as a stand-in for citizenship-by-investment, Kälin introduced the concept of ius doni into the contemporary legal and political theory of citizenship by providing the first academic analysis of the subject.[5] He is the author, co-author, or editor of the Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook, the Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index (an annual academic publication), Ius Doni: The Acquisition of Citizenship by Investment, the International Real Estate Handbook, and the Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook.[6] Kälin is the Editor-in-Chief of the Global Citizenship Review, a quarterly publication in which international authors from legal, financial, business, political, academic and philanthropic spheres provide insight into key issues affecting global citizens through analysis, commentary, and news.[7] Kälin is also the founder and chairman of Andan Foundation, based in Switzerland, which focuses in particular on supporting displaced people and coordinates the multi-year partnership between Henley & Partners and UNHCR.[8]

Early life[edit]

Kälin was born in 1971 in Zurich. In his teenage years, he began collecting immigration and citizenship laws from different countries, writing to embassies to request copies of their legislations 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."[9] Kälin studied in Paris, Auckland and Zurich and earned master's and PhD degrees in law from the University of Zurich.[10]


Kälin is the chairman of Henley & Partners.[11] He is also a member of the Governing Board of the Investment Migration Council in Geneva.[12] He has spoken at international conferences on different aspects of international residence, citizenship and real estate and is a member of the panel of judges for the International Property Awards.[13] In 2016 at The Economist Mediterranean Leadership Summit he gave a keynote speech on how smaller states can harness the benefits of Citizenship-by-Investment programs to boost their foreign direct investments, and that this has been practiced since Roman times.[14][15] Kälin is also licensed as an independent insurance intermediary by the Swiss Federal Government and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), the International Tax Planning Association (ITPA), and the Investment Migration Council (IMC).[12]

He is known for pioneering 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.[16] Kälin is a frequent guest and expert in newspapers and TV channels including CBS 60 Minutes, which introduced him as the man who “more or less invented the business”,[17] and the GQ Magazine, which described him as the man who "has transformed the lives of his clients and the economies of the countries he's advised".[18]

In 2006, Kälin published the first edition of the Switzerland Business & Investment Handbook. Kälin’s “claim to fame”[19] is a 766-page guide to doing business in Switzerland, a tome found in many of the country’s embassies.

Kälin is also featured in a book about the investment migration industry, Cosmopolites: The Coming of the Global Citizen by former Reuters New York journalist Atossa Abrahamian, published in 2015.[20]

Kälin created[21] the Henley Passport Index,[22] which was first published in 2006, and is regarded as the inventor of the passport index concept.[23] The index displays the travel freedom each citizen in this world has. In partnership with the IATA, visa regulations are monitored and analyzed worldwide.

In collaboration with Dr. Dimitry Kochenov, an EU professor of law, Kälin authored The Quality of Nationality Index (QNI), an annual academic report published since 2015. The index ranks the quality of nationalities based on internal and external factors. The Financial Times commented that the authors “rightly consider that it is not only the freedom to travel and settle elsewhere that makes a person’s nationality valuable. Nationality of a country also gives you the right to live there.” [24]

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.[25] Kälin states that "citizenship is inherently unjust".[25]

In 2007, Kälin worked with the Government of St Kitts and Nevis to reform their Citizenship-by-Investment program and to initiate the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation impacting the transition of the shuttered sugar industry. This was a decisive turning point and the basis of the investment migration industry as it is shaped today as it allowed the efficient processing of a larger number of Citizenship-by-Investment applications. With the launch of this first modern Citizenship-by-Investment program and the establishment of the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation direct contribution option, Kälin and Henley & Partners laid out a path of continuous growth for St Kitts and Nevis and subsequently for several other Caribbean states which adopted this system.[26]

In 2010, Kälin was introduced to SCL Group and its CEO Alexander Nix during the St. Kitts and Nevis 2010 election campaign. Both sides stated that there was never a formal working relationship between them and that the exchange of ideas and information that took place between them was a natural and normal consequence of their operating in the same region and countries since many years.[27][28]

Following 9/11, Kälin stated in a widely quoted article in the Financial Times in 2015 that demand for alternative residence and citizenship has significantly accelerated: “A lot more people are seeing the value of an alternative citizenship.”[29]

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.[30]

In May 2017, Kälin consulted with Malta's Prime Minister, Joseph Muscat, and Minister of Justice, Owen Bonnici together with law firm Mishcon de Reya, to write to the investigative journalist, Daphne Caruana Galizia, in an attempt to get her to remove defamatory blog posts.[31] Daphne Caruana Galizia was a fierce critic of Malta's citizenship by investment program.[32]

Asked by The Economist, Kälin responded, "If you operate globally, you have to have more than one passport", but declined to reveal how many passports he holds himself.[33] He has written and held speeches on the benefits of residence and citizenship by investment programs as tools to attract foreign direct investments for smaller states.[34][35]

In 2019, Kälin’s Andan Foundation launched the MIT SOLVE Innovation for Refugee Inclusion Prize in collaboration with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[36]


  • Switzerland Business and Investment Handbook (John Wiley, Hoboken, NJ, US, 2006)[10][37]
  • Global Residence and Citizenship Handbook[10]
  • Henley & Partners – Kochenov Quality of Nationality Index[10]
  • International Real Estate Handbook (Christian H. Kälin, Andrew J. Taylor)[38]
  • Anti-Money Laundering (Christian H. Kälin, Wouter H. Muller, John G. Goldsworth)[39]
  • Global Residence and Citizenship Programs 2017–2018: The Definitive Comparison of the Leading Investment Migration Programs (Christian H. Kälin) for Henley & Partners[40]
  • Ius Doni: The Acquisition of Citizenship by Investment by Christian H. Kälin[41]
  • 'Investment Migration: The New Competitive Edge' (Christian H. Kälin) in The International Family Offices Journal (December 2017)[42]
  • 'New Citizenship Options Will Open Up' (Christian H. Kälin) in the 2017 Knight Frank Wealth Report[43]
  • 'Only as Strong as Their Weakest Link' (Christian H. Kälin) in the 2018 Knight Frank Wealth Report[44]
  • '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)[45]
  • 'Malta's Due Diligence Will Become the Global Standard' (Christian H. Kälin) for Investment Migration Insider (May 2018)[46]
  • 'Consolidation Will Drive the Industry Forward' (Christian H. Kälin) for the 2018/2019 Investment Migration Yearbook[47]
  • Ius Doni in International Law and EU Law by Christian H. Kälin[48]


  1. ^ "This Swiss Lawyer Is Helping Governments Get Rich Off Selling Passports". 11 March 2015. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  2. ^ "Revealed: Cambridge Analytica and the Passport King - The Spectator". 31 March 2018. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  3. ^ Abrahamian, Atossa Araxia (29 October 2015). "Passport Bubble". The New Republic. Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  4. ^ Ius Doni - the acquisition of citizenship by investment. OCLC 958587778.
  5. ^ H., Kälin, Christian (2 May 2016). Ius Doni : the acquisition of citizenship by investment. Mahlmann, Matthias. Zürich. ISBN 9780993586637. OCLC 958587778.
  6. ^ "Passport King helps poor nations turn citizenship into a resource". Retrieved 15 June 2018.
  7. ^ "About Global Citizenship Review". Retrieved 19 November 2018.
  8. ^ "Andan Foundation". Retrieved 26 June 2018.
  9. ^ Atossa Araxia Abraham (2015). The Man who sold the World. ISBN 978-0990976363.
  10. ^ a b c d "Dr. Christian H. Kälin - Henley & Partners". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  11. ^ "My email to Christian Kalin of Henley & Partners right now - Daphne Caruana Galizia's Notebook - Running Commentary". 12 May 2017. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  12. ^ a b "Citizens of anywhere". 2 October 2017. Retrieved 16 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Balkan Dream Properties International Property Awards 2006". Archived from the original on 2016-02-04. Retrieved 2018-06-15.
  14. ^ Christian Kalin (Video). 5 May 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2018.
  15. ^ "Roman Citizenship". 27 January 2016. Retrieved 28 August 2018 – via
  16. ^ "The Passport King". 11 March 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2018 – via
  17. ^ Kroft, Steve. "Passport for Sale". CBS News. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  18. ^ Bullough, Oliver. "Is St Kitts And Nevis' passport scheme lucrative for all involved?". GQ Magazine. Retrieved 21 September 2020.
  19. ^ "The Passport King". 11 March 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2018 – via
  20. ^ "The Cosmopolites, the Passport Market, and the Dawn of the Global Citizen". 10 November 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2018 – via
  21. ^ Antonia Wilson (14 January 2019). "UK passport drops to sixth in global power index". The Guardian. Retrieved 17 January 2019 – via
  22. ^ Euan McKirdy (9 January 2019). "Henley Index: Japan tops 2019 list of world's most powerful passports". CNN. Retrieved 14 January 2019 – via
  23. ^ Duncan Madden (10 January 2020). "The Most Powerful Passports In The World In 2020". Forbes. Retrieved 17 January 2020 – via
  24. ^ "Is French Nationality worth more than British?". Financial Times. Financial Times. Retrieved 24 June 2020.
  25. ^ a b "[WATCH] 'Citizenship is inherently unjust' says passport king Christian Kalin". Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  26. ^ "The Passport King". 11 March 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2018 – via
  27. ^ "Is Alexander Nix gravely misunderstood". 8 June 2018.
  28. ^ "Henley denies interference in elections where Cambridge Analytica was involved". 28 March 2018.
  29. ^ "Governments roll out red carpet for rich foreigners". 12 July 2015.
  30. ^ "The Passport King". 11 March 2015. Retrieved 2 April 2018 – via
  31. ^ "My email to Christian Kalin of Henley & Partners right now". Running Commentary. 27 June 2018.
  32. ^ "BREAKING/Prime Minister and chief of staff use addresses to deal secretly with Henley & Partners chairman, who addresses them as "Keith and Joseph" (in that order) - Daphne Caruana Galizia's Notebook - Running Commentary". 31 May 2017.
  33. ^ "Citizens of anywhere". October 2017. Retrieved 19 July 2018.
  34. ^ "South Africans can visit these 102 countries without a visa right now". 12 July 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  35. ^ "Investment Migration: A Future-Proofing Mechanism for Smaller States". 30 October 2018. Retrieved 31 October 2018.
  36. ^ "MIT Solve announces $1.25 million in funding for 2019 Solver teams". MIT. 1 May 2019. Retrieved 7 July 2020.
  37. ^ 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.
  38. ^ Kalin, Christian H.; Taylor, Andrew J. (1 December 2015). Kälin, Christian H. (ed.). "International Real Estate Handbook". Ideos Publications Ltd – via Amazon.
  39. ^ Muller, Wouter H.; Kalin, Christian H.; Goldsworth, John G., eds. (5 June 2007). Anti-Money Laundering: International Law and Practice. Wiley. ISBN 978-0470033197.
  40. ^ 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.
  41. ^ Kälin, Christian H. (19 June 2018). Ius Doni : the acquisition of citizenship by investment. Ideos Publications Limited. ISBN 9780993586637 – via Google Books.
  42. ^ "The International Family Offices Journal".
  43. ^ "The Wealth Report".
  44. ^ "The Wealth Report 2018 - Download".
  45. ^ "Henley & Partners". Henley & Partners.
  46. ^ ""Malta's Due Diligence Will Become the Global Standard" - Interview with Chris Kälin, Part 2 - Investment Migration Insider". 14 May 2018.
  47. ^ "Investment Migration (IM) Yearbook 2018/2019 - Investment Migration Forum".
  48. ^ Kälin, Christian H. (27 March 2019). Ius Doni in International Law and EU Law. Brill/Nijhoff. ISBN 9789004357525 – via Brill.