A growing number of foreigners are buying passports from countries where they are not citizens. You might wonder why you would want a passport from a country you don’t live in.

Buying citizenship provides numerous advantages, from increased mobility to enhanced freedom of opportunities; A second passport in your passport portfolio is the ultimate insurance against personal and financial risk. As more people than ever before are getting their hands on second passports, the question is, how are they doing it? This article breaks down the details of buying a passport.

Can you really buy citizenship?

how to buy a passport Although ‘buying’ and ‘investing’ share similarities, they serve different purposes concerning investment immigration programs. Countries that offer citizenship through economic means don’t directly allow foreigners to buy citizenship but instead invest in the country’s economy through a range of investment choices in exchange for second citizenship and a new passport.

The appropriate terminology for this phenomenon is ‘citizenship by investment’ or ‘economic citizenship’ as it involves a more complex process than a simple financial transaction, necessitating thorough due diligence to ensure its integrity. Nevertheless, if you have the financial means and background to fulfill the eligibility criteria, you can essentially “buy citizenship and a passport.”

Benefits of buying a second passport

Having a second passport offers many benefits for those seeking more mobility options and peace of mind during unstable times.

The benefits of buying a second passport include:

Expanded visa-free travel

Opportunity to live, work or study in a new country

More social and potential tax benefits

Freedom of choice

Plan B in the event of political instability or economic turmoil

Increased financial possibilities

How to buy a passport from another country?

A number of countries in the Caribbean and Europe run citizenship by investment programs, allowing foreigners to invest in a country’s economy in exchange for citizenship. Also known as a passport by investment, investments vary from country to country but usually include contributing to a national development fund, buying real estate, and international business investments.

Many countries have adopted citizenship programs, from Antigua and Barbuda and Grenada in the Caribbean to Austria and Moldova in Euro. Malta also offers an expedited passport application process through naturalization.

How much does it cost to buy a passport?

It is a common misconception that only high-net-worth individuals can buy a passport; In reality, it’s accessible to a broader range of people. In fact, buying a passport is simple, quick, and cost-effective when considering the benefits of a second passport. However, many countries worldwide run their own citizenship by investment programs, and as such, the cost of a passport varies from country to country.

The lowest cost to buy a second passport starts at $100,000 from Caribbean nations like Dominica and St Lucia. In contrast, EU citizenship by naturalization and a second passport in Malta costs at least €690,000.

How to buy citizenship

There are several steps you must take to get a second citizenship:

STEP 1: Pick a citizenship by investment program

Think about what you want to get out of your second passport. Consider tax breaks, visa-free travel, timeline to citizenship, and costs to obtain citizenship and a passport.

STEP 2: Pass the eligibility criteria

Check that you fulfill the eligibility criteria, including being over 18, having a clean criminal record, not being from a prohibited country, and having the economic means to meet the minimum investment requirements.

STEP 3: Make your qualifying investment

Review the investment requirements of your chosen citizenship program and ensure you make your investment according to its specifications.

STEP 4: Submit your citizenship application

Submit your citizenship application along with the required documents and proof of investment. Pay the necessary application fees.

STEP 5: Secure passports for yourself and your family

Once you’ve successfully applied for citizenship, submit a passport application to secure a second passport.

Passport Comparison Table


Minimum Investment

Type of Investment

Stay Requirement

Time Until citizenship

Ease of Process

Antigua and Barbuda


Real estate investment, government contribution

five days in the first five years

Three to six months



€2 million

New business investment

Maintain continuous residence during the application process





Real estate investment, government contribution


Three to six months


St. Kitts and Nevis


Real estate investment, government contribution






Real estate investment, government contribution


Three to six months


St. Lucia


Real estate investment, government contribution


Three to six months




Real estate investment, Business investment, Back deposit


Four to six months




Government contribution, real estate investment, and charitable donation


12 to 36 months




Government contribution


Two months


Why buy a Caribbean passport?

buy caribbean passport Second citizenship with a Caribbean passport offers personal and financial security. If you’re running a business, a Caribbean passport can help you manage your corporate assets, protect your finances, as well as offer numerous tax exemptions that wouldn’t be possible otherwise.

Additionally, several Caribbean citizenship programs have no residency requirements or the requirement to visit the country to complete the passport application process, meaning your citizenship application can be completed remotely without having to step foot in the country.

Buy a real passport online with Caribbean citizenship by investment and get:

  • Visa-free travel to over 140 destinations worldwide
  • Freedom to own a second home in paradise
  • Economic advantages through tax concessions
  • Dual citizenship that can be passed down to future generations

Grenada: Access to the United States E-2 Visa Program

The passport issued through the Grenada citizenship by investment program not only gives passport holders to over 140 countries, including Europe’s Schengen Area, the UK, Russia, and China, but it allows citizens to apply for the US E-2 Visa. Grenada’s citizenship by investment program delivers passports in four to six months, and the entire family is eligible.

Dominica: The cheapest citizenship for a single applicant

Dominica has one of the cheapest passport by investment programs and offers the most affordable passport for a single applicant. Investors of the Dominica citizenship by investment program can obtain a Dominica passport by investing $100,000 in the country’s Economic Diversification Fund (EDF), with processing fees of $10,000.

Antigua and Barbuda: Obtain citizenship and send your child to university

Through Antigua and Barbuda’s CBI program, a foreign investor and their family of five can acquire second passports, with the added benefit of sending one family member to the University of the West Indies for a year with waived tuition fees.

St. Kitts and Nevis: Buy the Caribbean’s most powerful passport

Besides staking claim to the oldest CBI program in the world, St. Kitts and Nevis is also home to the Caribbean’s most powerful passport. From an investment of just $250,000 in the Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC), foreign nationals can gain a St. Kitts and Nevis passport in four months, providing visa-free travel to 153 countries worldwide.

St. Lucia: Gain citizenship through refundable bonds

While most Caribbean citizenship programs revolve around investments in real estate or non-refundable state contributions, St. Lucia citizenship by investment provides the option of a straightforward capital transfer into government bonds, which is refundable after five years. A new St. Lucia passport through refundable government bonds costs just $300,000.

Why buy an EU passport?

buy european passport Europe’s level of protection and comfort is unparalleled. The region has become the premium choice for many seeking alternative citizenship or residence. According to the Global Passport Index, buying citizenship in the European Union provides superior travel freedom.

Buy EU citizenship and get:

  • The right to work, live, study, and conduct business anywhere in the EU and the Schengen Area
  • Visa-free travel to over 170 destinations globally
  • Access to the EU trading bloc
  • Access to quality healthcare, schooling, and work opportunities

Malta: The best route to an EU passport

It’s important to emphasize that Malta’s citizenship program does not provide a direct pathway to Maltese citizenship and an EU passport. The Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment program (CES) is the fastest route to obtain an EU passport by naturalization, with foreigners able to get passports within 12 to 36 months starting from a total investment starting from €690,000.

Other Countries Offering Citizenship and Second Passports

Vanuatu: Buy the fastest citizenship in the world

Vanuatu’s citizenship by investment program is highly regarded for its citizenship and passport agency which processes passport applications within 60 days. After making the required investment of $130,000 in the country’s development fund and passing due diligence checks, new passports are issued within 60 days.

Turkey: An abundance of investment options to obtain second passports

While many CBI countries impose specific criteria on real estate investments for citizenship eligibility, Turkey’s CBI program offers a distinct advantage by allowing investors to choose real estate without restrictions or pre-approval requirements. An investment of $400,000 can grant a second passport in four months, and investors have numerous alternative investment options.

How to Buy Residency

how to buy residencyIf you’re not in a hurry to buy a passport but would still like to enjoy the benefits of having the right to live in another country, consider buying residency through a residency by investment program. Also known as Golden Visa programs, these residency schemes have garnered much attention in recent years.

Like citizenship by investment, you must invest in the economy to acquire residence permits for yourself and your family. Programs like the Portugal Golden Visa and Spain Golden Visa offer citizenship by naturalization after completing a minimum period of residence.

You must hold your investment for at least five years and fulfill all the requirements outlined in the program and the country’s citizenship laws to be eligible for passports after a given period. For example, you can acquire a Portuguese passport after five years of residence, whereas in Spain, you can obtain a Spanish passport after ten years. However, citizens of former Spanish colonies are eligible to apply for citizenship after two years of residency.

Best-selling program: The Portugal Golden Visa

By far, Portugal’s Golden Visa is the best choice for investors seeking to buy residency in the European Union quickly. The program leads to EU citizenship after five years. Particularly popular among entrepreneurs, the program provides the investment option of investing in a new business that generates employment for Portuguese residents.

Investments start from €250,000, and people can also buy real estate valued at least €280,000 to qualify for the investor visa program.

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique migration consultancy firm with years of experience delivering bespoke residence and citizenship by investment solutions for international families. With offices worldwide and an experienced, hands-on team, we have helped hundreds of clients worldwide acquire citizenship, residence visas, or homes while diversifying their portfolios with robust investments. 

We guide you from start to finish, taking you beyond your citizenship or residency by investment application. 

Golden Visa versus Citizenship

You might be wondering which is the better option: Buy a passport immediately through citizenship by investment, or obtain a Golden Visa and acquire a passport by naturalization after a few years of residency. While Golden Visas are generally cheaper, citizenship by investment provides a quick and straightforward way to obtain a second passport. Furthermore, depending on the region, citizenship programs are highly accessible to immigrant investors of broad financial capacities.

If you’re unsure what to pick, check out our Residency vs Citizenship by Investment Guide.

Where is the best place to buy a passport? Ask the experts

According to the CBI Index, Dominica remains the best place to buy citizenship. Investors willing to uproot their lives and buy a passport in a foreign country will be pleased to find you can get a passport with a minimum investment of $100,000, and passports are issued after just three to six months.

In addition to the highest ranking on the CBI Index, the Dominica citizenship by investment program has received praise for being the best Caribbean Citizenship program. The program’s low application fees, minimum investment requirements, and ease of application make it worthwhile.

Frequently Asked Questions about Buying a Passport

How much is it to buy a passport?

Buying a passport, more accurately referred to as investing in an economic citizenship program, starts from an investment of $100,000 up to €2million, depending on which country’s citizenship by investment program you choose.

How to buy a second passport?

Buying a second passport is relatively straightforward in Caribbean CBI countries and others like Vanuatu and Turkey. Once you’ve selected the citizenship program that suits your personal and financial needs, ensure you are eligible to apply. After making your qualifying investment and submitting your citizenship application with the required documents for due diligence, you can expect to receive a second passport within two to six months.

How to buy a passport legally?

To buy a passport legally, you must invest in a citizenship by investment program with a legitimate funding source and complete the application requirements set forth by the respective country. This usually includes passing a detailed criminal background check, not being a citizen of a prohibited country, being in good health, and presenting bank statements showing your financial activity.

Is buying a passport in Malta a good idea?

It is not possible to buy a passport in Malta. Malta’s citizenship program grants citizenship by naturalization to non-EU-EEA nationals who significantly contribute to the Maltese economy. The requirements entail a series of three investments with a combined value of at least €690,000, and foreigners can gain Maltese citizenship after 12 to 36 months.

A Maltese passport through naturalization is a good idea as the country provides safety and security, EU citizenship and freedom of movement, and visa-free access to over 170 countries worldwide.

Is buying a passport in Portugal a good idea?

Obtaining a Portuguese passport is a good idea; however, the only route is through citizenship by naturalization. Investors of the Portugal Golden Visa can get a passport after renewing their two-year Golden Visa and completing five years of residency. The requirements also include an understanding of the Portuguese language and a minimum stay period.

Can you buy a passport from any country?

You can essentially buy a passport from certain countries through citizenship by investment programs. This necessitates investing a minimum sum into the economy, usually a financial contribution to a development fund or a real estate purchase and fulfilling the country’s eligibility criteria.

What’s the best citizenship by investment program?

Dominica and St. Kitts and Nevis topped the rankings for the best citizenship by investment program, according to the latest CBI Index Report. Dominica was highlighted for its ease of processing and including family members. St. Kitts and Nevis scored highly for the processing time and the certainty of the product, which measures the country’s overall stability and resilience to global events.

How long does it take to buy a passport?

Investing in dual citizenship and a new passport through most CBI programs takes three to six months. The fast CBI program is Vanuatu’s, which declares passport acceptance in two months.

Can I work or start a business in the country of citizenship obtained through buying a passport?

Gaining citizenship and a new passport in a country grants full citizenship rights and privileges, including the right to reside, work, start a business, and vote in the country of citizenship.

Can you buy a US passport?

It isn’t possible to buy an American passport. Investors can gain US permanent residency by successfully applying for the United States EB-5 Visa. After five years of continuous residence, investors are eligible for citizenship and US passports.

Are there any tax implications associated with buying a passport?

There can be tax implications associated with buying a passport. The tax consequences will depend on various factors, including the country offering the program, your home country’s tax laws, your residency status, and double taxation agreements.

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