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?

urgent travel congressional liaison department of state get a passport u.s passport passport cards application status how to buy a passport passport agency expedited processing new passport liaison department of state congressional liaison department department of state u.s passport apply in person get a passport apply for a passport application status child's passport apply for a passport get a passport department of state passport books new passport additional fees passport cards u.s passport apply for a passport get a passport department of state passport books new passport passport cards department of state get a passport congressional liaison department of state urgent travel get a passportCountries 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.

This process is known as ‘citizenship by investment’ or ‘economic citizenship’ and involves a complex due diligence process. If you meet the eligibility criteria, you can essentially “buy citizenship and a passport.”

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?

It is a common misconception that only high-net-worth individuals can purchase 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

Country

Minimum Investment

Type of Investment

Stay Requirement

Time Until citizenship

Ease of Process

Antigua and Barbuda

$100,000

Real estate investment, government contribution

five days in the first five years

Three to six months

Easy

Austria

€2 million

New business investment

Maintain continuous residence during the application process

Discretionary

Hard

Dominica

$100,000

Real estate investment, government contribution

None

Three to six months

Easy

St. Kitts and Nevis

$250,000

Real estate investment, government contribution

None

-

Medium

Grenada

$150,000

Real estate investment, government contribution

None

Three to six months

Easy

St. Lucia

$100,000

Real estate investment, government contribution

None

Three to six months

Easy

Turkey

$400,000

Real estate investment, Business investment, Back deposit

None

Four to six months

Easy

Malta

€690,000

Government contribution, real estate investment, and charitable donation

None

12 to 36 months

Medium

Vanuatu

$130,000

Government contribution

None

Two months

Easy

Why buy a Caribbean or Oceania passport?

get a passport u.s passport buy caribbean passport adult passport child's passport expedited service post office first time applicants application status money order apply early money orders urgent travel passport cards new passport additional fees u.s passport get a passportSecond citizenship with a Caribbean or Oceania 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 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 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

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

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

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

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

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.

Vanuatu (Oceania)

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.

Why buy an EU passport?

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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

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.

Turkey

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 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.

Frequently Asked Questions about Buying a Passport

How much is it to purchase 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 purchase a passport legally?

For buying 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?

Malta’s citizenship program grants citizenship through naturalization to non-EU-EEA nationals who make significant contributions to the Maltese economy. This involves three investments totaling at least €690,000, and citizenship can be acquired within 12 to 36 months. A Maltese passport offers safety, security, EU citizenship, freedom of movement, and visa-free access to over 170 countries.

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.

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