TUVALU CONSIDERING SELLING PASSPORTS

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FUNAFUTI, Tuvalu (August 20, 1997 - PACNEWS)---Plans by the Polynesian nation of Tuvalu to attract foreign investments through the sale of passports are moving forward.

The government will introduce a bill in Parliament next week that, if passed, will allow Tuvalu passports to be issued to what it calls "investor immigrants," their spouses and dependent children.

The draft bill also calls for the establishment of an Investment Passport Committee, with authority to grant Investor Immigrant status on those it approves. Potential Investor Immigrants will be required to make a substantial financial investment in Tuvalu to qualify.

Investor passports issued will not confer citizenship but will allow eligible persons to enter and reside in Tuvalu. The passports also will serve as valid travel documents under the laws of the Central Pacific nation of 9,600 persons.

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