Comparison Overview of Citizenship by Investment

Put simply; citizenship is a social contract between the individual and the state to work together for mutual benefits. It is a symbiotic relationship, where the citizen accepts legal responsibility and, in return, the state becomes their home country, empowering them to fully participate and thrive in society.

Citizenship-by-Investiment program Naturally, a passport is an extension of this. A stamp of sorts that provides the citizen with the right to enter and leave the country freely and enjoy visa free access to certain countries. However, not all passports are created equal. Each passport varies in strength and desirability, so it’s essential to compare their strengths and find which qualities appeal to you.

Citizenship by investment programs, also known as economic citizenship programs, have become increasingly popular, with several countries now offering streamlined application processes. Each citizenship program will have specific criteria set forth by a government through which an individual can apply. In return, they obtain the nation’s citizenship by investing 

For example, real estate purchases, a capital transfer to a national bank account, or a deposit into an investment fund are the highlighted investment choices in some CBI countries. Other citizenship programs revolve around donating or contributing to a national development fund.

Considering not every program is the same, there is often confusion about which program legitimately provides direct economic citizenship in a new country versus residency by investment programs granting citizenship through naturalization further down the line.

Don’t worry; you can learn the differences between residency and citizenship by investment.

Key Factors to Consider When Comparing Citizenship Programs

With various citizenship by investment options available, the most suitable program for you depends on your individual goals and how well they resonate with the particular features offered by each option. Here are some factors to consider when comparing citizenship by investment programs:

Investment options

Investment options list in the CBI Index Report directly impact the financial implications and benefits for the applicant. Options, such as real estate, government bonds, or business ventures, require careful evaluation as these investment options are at the higher end of the capital required. The implications of potential returns on investment and the overall financial risk can affect the applicant’s standing as a global investor. Cheaper alternatives, like non-refundable contributions, bear no future financial obligations and primarily serve as a straightforward method of acquiring second citizenship.

Additionally, investment options influence the applicant’s ability to align their investment strategy with their financial goals and preferences. Some applicants may prioritize security and seek low-risk investments, while others might be more interested in higher potential returns and are willing to take on greater risk.

Tax planning

Individuals’ financial well-being and long-term wealth management hugely depend on their tax payments. Citizenship programs have varying tax implications, including income tax, capital gains tax, and inheritance tax. Engaging in comprehensive tax planning allows applicants to assess how each program aligns with their financial situation and objectives.

By understanding the tax laws and tax benefits of the target country and how they interact with the applicant’s current tax residency, individuals can make informed decisions to optimize their tax burden and preserve their wealth. Strategic tax optimization can result in considerable savings, increased investment returns, and enhanced financial security, making it a crucial factor in selecting the most suitable program. 

Enhanced mobility

A big bone to pick for many international travelers is the requirement to obtain visas to visit numerous countries worldwide. The Global Passport Index demonstrates how each citizenship program has its visa-free travel privileges and restrictions. Assessing the visa-free access offered by different citizenship programs will make all the difference when seeking seamless travel experiences for leisure or business purposes.

Gaining insight into the visa requirements and travel limitations of potential target countries allows applicants to make informed decisions that align with their travel preferences and global lifestyle. Moreover, travel freedom is pivotal in facilitating business opportunities and expanding hassle-free international ventures.

Citizenship insurance

At the top of the list of considerations for many CBI applicants is citizenship insurance, also referred to as dual citizenship. It serves as a fallback against unforeseen political, economic, or social changes in the applicant’s home country. Insurance on citizenship refers to the additional layer of security and peace of mind that comes with obtaining citizenship in a second country, ensuring that in the event of any adverse circumstances or political upheavals in one country of citizenship, the individual retains the right to live, work, and seek assistance in the other. 

Family security

Acquiring second citizenship through investing often involves a long-term commitment, and the decision can significantly impact the lives of spouses, children, and other financial dependents. Considering family security entails evaluating the extent to which each program offers benefits and protections for the entire family unit, including dependent children, elderly parents, or unmarried partners as well as future generations. Assessing factors like access to education, healthcare, employment opportunities, and social security for family members is vital, as it directly affects their quality of life and prospects. 

Citizenship by Investment Countries

Here are some countries with popular citizenship by investment programs: 

Citizenship Planning

Let’s face it; only some have the need or finances to seek citizenship through economic citizenship programs. Citizenship planning takes time, money, resources, and effort. However, the rewards surpass the challenges, mainly if you are among the less privileged passport holders. This includes several advantages, such as reducing your tax obligations, overseas consular assistance, asset protection, and an insurance policy for you and your family.

Citizenship planning and expanding your investment portfolio in a globalized world is paramount and should not be understated. Obtaining second citizenship can be extremely rewarding, opening up countless opportunities. However, getting the wrong citizenship can cost you.

If you plan well and analyze the particulars outlined in each program, a passport by investment offers safety, infinite financial possibilities, and greater freedom. Some key questions to bear in mind before you even begin to consider which citizenship by investment program you should pursue are the following:

citizenship by investment traditional immigration processes

  • What am I looking to get out of my investment?  
  • How much money do I want to invest in acquiring citizenship?  
  • Are financial dependents restricted to a spouse and children?  
  • Do I care more about obtaining a powerful passport, or am I okay with a reasonably average-ranking passport that provides other perks?  #
  • Do I want to relocate to the country I invest in?  
  • How much time can I set aside to dedicate to the investment for a business application?  
  • Do I want to do this on my own or enlist the help of a qualified migration specialist?  

These are just some of the questions you should ask yourself when comparing citizenship and residency programs. It is also worth thinking about the benefits to family members. Having the answers to these questions will ultimately help you decide which citizenship by investment scheme to go for.

A residency by investment program may also be better suited to you, so research the residency by investment options available. An important piece of advice is to take your time. If you ever feel conceded, conflicted, or undecided, research all the possibilities and, if needed, ask a qualified industry expert.

Requirements for Citizenship by Investment Programs

Countries that offer citizenship through investing each have different requirements that foreign investors must fulfill to acquire citizenship. For example, some programs request medical exams, which require candidates to prove they are in good health; others do not.

The vast majority of countries do, however, demand the following:

  • That you are over 18 years old
  • That you have a clean criminal background
  • That you have a good character
  • That your investment funds come from a legal source

How do the investment requirements vary among different citizenship by investment programs?

Transfer of funds or purchasing government bonds

A transfer of funds, purchasing government bonds, or a bank deposit is one of the fastest ways to become a citizen through investing. The benefit of government bonds and bank deposits is that if your application is unsuccessful, your money is refunded.

Real estate investment

Purchasing property can, in some cases, be more costly and involve more paperwork and bureaucracy. However, at the same time, depending on which country you choose to invest in, an investment in real estate can bring considerable returns.

Donation

You can acquire a second passport in exchange for a charitable qualifying donation to an economic development fund. This is the cheapest and fastest option to obtain a new citizenship. However, the contributions are non-refundable and provide no investment returns. 

Establishing a business

Several citizenship by investment programs provide dual citizenship to investors who create new businesses or invest in existing companies in the country. This could entail investing a minimum amount into the business or creating jobs for citizens and residents.

How to choose the top citizenship by investment program

Your choice of citizenship by investment program will depend entirely on your circumstances and objectives. However, some investment programs are more popular than others. We’ve compiled a comparison table for citizenship by investment broken down into relevant categories of some of the most successful programs for you to compare 

Investment options and cost

Country

Minimum

Investment

Type of

Investment

Application

Fees

Family Fees

(Per Dependent)

Income/Savings

Requirements

Antigua and Barbuda

$100,000

Contribution to state fund, Real estate investment, Donation to University of the West Indies Fund, Business investment

$37,500 

$2,000 to $7,500 ($0 for children under 12)

None

Austria

€2 million

Contribution to government fund, Investment in a joint venture, Venture capital investment, Invest in an innovative business or industry considered "first priority"

€800

€800 

None

Cambodia

$245,000

Government contribution, Real estate investment

$85,000

$5,000 

None

Dominica

$100,000 

Government contribution, Real estate investment


$9,250

$55,000 (spouse), $90,000 (family of four) (No due diligence fee for children 16 and under)

None

Egypt

$250,000

Government contribution, Real estate investment, Bank deposit, Business investment

$10,000

$10,000

None

Grenada

$150,000 

Government contribution, Real estate investment

$8,000

$72,000 (family of four) (No due diligence fee for children 16 and under)

None

Jordan

$750,000

Real estate investment, Purchase treasury bonds, Bank deposit, Purchase company shares, Investment project with job creation

Not listed

Not listed

None

Malta

€690,000 

Government contribution, donation, and real estate purchase or lease

€31,000

€12,000 to €27,000

None

Moldova

€100,000

Government contribution

€46,000

€41,000 to €46,000

None

North Macedonia

€200,000 

Investment in a private equity fund, Business investment with job creation

€20,000

€10,000 to €20,000

None

St. Kitts and Nevis

$250,000

Government contribution, Real estate investment, Investment in Public Benefit Projects

$7,500 

$29,000 (spouse), $49,000 to $57,000 (family of four) (No due diligence fee for children 15 and under) 

None

St. Lucia

$100,000

Government contribution, Real estate investment, Business Investment

$9,500

$46,000 (spouse), $58,000 to $68,000 (family of four) (No due diligence fee for children 15 and under)

None

Turkey

$250,000

Government contribution, Real estate investment, Purchase government bonds, Capital investment, Business investment with job creation

$2,000

$1,500

None

Vanuatu

$130,000

Government contribution

$5,500

$25,500 (spouse) plus $20,500 per child

$250,000

Required documentation and prerequisites

Country

Character

Requirements

Mandatory

Visit

Stay

Requirement

Minimum

Investment

Period

Language

Proficiency

Requirement 

Antigua and Barbuda

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Provide bank statements and employer references, Not from a prohibited country

No

Five days within five years

Five years (not applicable for cheapest investment)

No

Austria

Over 18, A non-EU national, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not from a prohibited country, Proof of business track record, Pass a citizenship test

Yes

Yes

Not listed

Yes

Cambodia

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not from a prohibited country, Pass a citizenship test

Yes

No

Five Years

No

Dominica

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not from a prohibited country

No

No

hree years (not applicable for cheapest investment)

No

Egypt

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not from a prohibited country

Yes

No

Three years (Not applicable for cheapest investment)

No

Grenada

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not from a prohibited country

No

No

Five years (not applicable for cheapest investment)

No

Jordan

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Proof of adequate funds

No

No

Three Years

No

Malta

Over 18, A non-EU national, Good health, Clean criminal record, Proof of adequate funds, Not from a prohibited country

Yes

No

Five Years

No

Moldova

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not have been denied entry to a Moldova visa-free country

Yes

No

N/A

No

North Macedonia

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Proof of adequate funds

Yes

No

N/A

No

St. Kitts and Nevis

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not from a prohibited country

No

No

Five years (not applicable for cheapest investment)

No

St. Lucia

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not from a prohibited country

No

No

Five years (not applicable for cheapest investment)

No

Turkey

Over 18, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not from a prohibited country

No

No

Three Years

No

Vanuatu

Over 18 and under 65, Good health, Clean criminal record, Not from a prohibited country

No

No

N/A

No

Details and benefits

Country

Time until Citizenship

Taxes Advantages

Visa-free Access

GPI Ranking

Dual Citizenship

Antigua and Barbuda

Three to six months

No capital gains, inheritance, wealth, or worldwide income taxes, Tax breaks on qualifying companies’ profits for up to 20 years

150 countries

59th

Yes

Austria

24 to 36 months

No inheritance or wealth tax

174 countries

19th

No

Cambodia

Three to four months

No inheritance or wealth tax

88 countries

151st

Yes

Dominica

Three to six months

No capital gains, inheritance, wealth, or worldwide income taxes

146 countries

78th

Yes

Egypt

Six to nine months

No inheritance or wealth tax

82 countries

142nd

Yes

Grenada

Three to six months

No capital gains, inheritance, wealth, or worldwide income taxes

147 countries

74th

Yes

Jordan

Three to six months

No capital gains, inheritance, wealth, or worldwide income taxes

81 countries

145th

Yes

Malta

12 months

No capital gains, inheritance, or wealth taxes

172 countries

34th

Yes

Moldova

Three to four months

N/A

130 countries

81st

Yes

North Macedonia

Two to five months

A flat ten percent tax rate

139 countries

79th

Yes

St. Kitts and Nevis

Four months

No capital gains, inheritance, wealth, or worldwide income taxes

153 countries

53rd

Yes

St. Lucia

Three to six months

No capital gains, inheritance, wealth, or worldwide income taxes, Annual fee tax regime for corporations

148 countries

75th

Yes

Turkey

Three to four months

No worldwide income or wealth taxes

129 countries

94th

Yes

Vanuatu

Two months

Zero taxes

112 countries

102nd

Yes

Unique selling point

Country

USP

Antigua and Barbuda

Cheapest CBI program for a family of four, with a total investment of $145,000 to $153,000

Austria

Safest CBI country, ranking fifth overall in the Global Peace Index 

Cambodia

Three to four months - No inheritance or wealth tax - 88 countries - 151st - Yes

Dominica

Cheapest CBI program for a single applicant, with a total investment of $110,000

Egypt

The only African CBI program

Grenada

Only Caribbean CBI country offering the change to settle in the USA through the US E-2 Visa Program 

Jordan

The cheapest real estate by square meter of all countries offering citizenship programs 

Malta

The cheapest and fastest EU citizenship program 

Moldova

The cheapest European citizenship program for a single applicant and family

North Macedonia

The lowest income tax of any European country offering CBI, with a flat tax rate of ten percent 

St. Kitts and Nevis

The highest ranking CBI Caribbean passport of Caribbean countries on the Global Passport Index

St. Lucia

Among the lowest minimum investment required in real estate at $200,000 with a cheap real estate market compared to other Caribbean CBI countries 

Turkey

No prerequisites for investing in pre-approved real estate, and lower cost of living than the rest of Europe 

Vanuatu

The fastest CBI program available with passports issued within 60 days, and no additional fees for fast-track processing 

Best European Citizenship by Investment Programs

Malta citizenship by naturalization

Launched after the Malta citizenship by naturalization scheme came to an end, the Maltese Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES), often inaccurately referred to as the Malta citizenship by investment program, provides non-EU nationals with a Maltese passport through naturalization and citizenship in a new country. Qualification requirements stipulate that the main applicant invests at least €600,000 or €750,000 in the country’s economic development. Additionally, the program requires a minimum property purchase of €700,000 or a five-year lease of at least €16,000 annually and a donation of €10,000.

Real estate investors are also required to pass stringent due diligence processes. Successful individuals become eligible for Malta citizenship by naturalization. They can qualify for a Malta passport, providing citizenship in an EU member country and the right to live, work, and study in Malta or anywhere else in the European Union.

Take a look at our Malta Citizenship Program Ultimate Guide

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Best Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs

Are you looking for a new lifestyle or simply a second home? Caribbean citizenship (CBI) programs are highly rated because Caribbean countries offer citizenship through the quickest, most straightforward processes. They are the cheapest citizenship programs to obtain second passports for single applicants and for those including family members. While many Caribbean citizenship by investment programs exist, here are some of the most popular Caribbean economic citizenship schemes to secure citizenship.

Dominica citizenship by investment

The Caribbean island of Dominica offers one of the cheapest and fastest routes to get a passport by investment. Starting from $100,000 investment, you and your immediate family can obtain a second passport in three to six months. Dominica’s passport ranking is 78th in the world, and the passport offers visa free travel to over 140 destinations, with visa free countries including those in Europe’s Schengen Area.  

Take a look at our Dominica Citizenship Ultimate Guide by local experts

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Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment

The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program offers a second passport with enhanced visa free travel to qualifying investors of this Caribbean island. There are three investment options:

  • Donating to the National Development Fund
  • Buying property
  • Investing in a business

As with other Caribbean economic citizenship (CBI) programs, processing and due diligence fees apply to any type of investment. What makes Antigua and Barbuda attractive is it ranks as the safest country in the Caribbean for relocation. Also, it consists of 3 islands with crystal clear blue waters, stunning scenery, and a relaxed pace of life. As a haven for sailing and scuba diving, Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment remains a popular option.

St. Lucia citizenship by investment

As a tropical Eastern Caribbean island with a high-earning population, exemplary safety records, and various landscapes to soak in, St. Lucia has everything, including the competitive St Lucia citizenship by investment program. The application process is straightforward and quick, with the overall process of citizenship taking just two to three months.

The requirements of this Caribbean island include a clean health record, paying government fees, and satisfying one of the following investments:

  • Donating to the St. Lucia National Economic Fund
  • Purchasing government bonds
  • Investing in real estate projects
  • Investment in enterprises

Take a look at our St. Lucia Citizenship Ultimate Guide by local experts

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Citizenship by Investment versus Residency by Investment

There are two different investment routes to citizenship, which vary depending on the country of choice.

For example, you can get permanent residence cards in an EU country, eventually leading to EU citizenship after a minimum residency period. You can do this through investment residence programs, also known as Golden Visa programs. Golden Visas in the European Union allow you to obtain a higher-ranking second passport, albeit typically at a higher cost, with second passports granted after five years or more.

Golden Visas are not the same as citizenship by investment. It is a residence permit that can eventually lead to citizenship through naturalization, provided that you fulfill the investment and residence requirements first. In contrast, CBI countries offer citizenship and a second passport, with no residency requirements as part of the criteria to receive citizenship.

Golden Visa Europe Comparison

There are several Golden Visa programs available in Europe and countries worldwide, including:

  • Portugal
  • Greece
  • Malta
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Cyprus
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United States

The primary differences between residence permit programs are the investment requirement, length of residency, processing time, and residency requirements.

Portugal Golden Visa

The Portugal Golden Visa investment program starts at €250,000 and offers several investment options, including:

  • Contributing to the restoration of cultural heritage
  • Purchasing units of investment funds
  • Creating ten jobs for Portuguese residents
  • Establishing a business that creates jobs

Eligible family members include the applicant’s spouse or legal partner, unmarried children under 18 or in full-time education, and dependent parents of the applicant and spouse under 65.

There is a residency requirement of seven days per year, and applicants can apply for permanent residency or citizenship after five years.

Greece Golden Visa

The Greece Golden Visa is a permanent visa investment program starting at €250,000 and offers several investment options, including:

  • Real estate investment
  • Capital contribution to an investment fund
  • Purchasing government bonds
  • Depositing funds into a national bank

Eligible family members include the applicant’s spouse or legal partner, unmarried children under 21, and dependent parents and grandparents of the applicant and spouse.

There is no residency requirement. Applicants can remove conditional permanent residency after five years and apply for citizenship after seven years of residency.

Malta Permanent Residence Program

The Malta Permanent Residence Program is an investment program starting at €110,000 and requires applicants to make a real estate investment, government contribution, and philanthropic donation.

Eligible family members include the applicant’s spouse or legal partner, children under 18 or over 18 if largely dependent, and dependent parents and grandparents of the applicant and spouse.

There is no residency requirement. Applicants can remove conditional permanent residency after five years and apply for citizenship after seven years of residency.

Spain Golden Visa

The Spain Golden Visa is an investment program starting at €500,000 and offers several investment options, including:

  • Real estate investment
  • Contributing to public debt securities
  • Business investment
  • Depositing funds into a national bank

Eligible family members include the applicant’s spouse or legal partner, unmarried children under 18 and over 18 if financially dependent, and dependent parents.

There is no residency requirement. Applicants can remove conditional permanent residency after five years and apply for citizenship after ten years of residency.

Italy Golden Visa

The Italy Golden Visa is an investment program starting at €250,000 and offers several investment options, including:

  • Making a philanthropic donation
  • Purchasing government bonds
  • Business investment
  • Purchasing corporate shares

Eligible family members include the applicant’s spouse or legal partner, children under 18 and over 18 if financially dependent, and dependent parents.

There is no residency requirement. Applicants can remove conditional permanent residency after five years and apply for citizenship after ten years of residency.

Cyprus Permanent Residence Program

The Cyprus Permanent Residence Program is an investment program granting a permanent residence permit through a €300,000 investment. Applicants have the option to:

  • Purchase real estate
  • Invest in a mutual fund
  • Purchase company shares

Eligible family members include the applicant’s spouse or legal partner, unmarried children under 18 or between 18 and 25 if in full-time education and financially dependent, and dependent parents of the applicant and spouse.

There is no residency requirement. Applicants can remove conditional permanent residency after five years and apply for citizenship after seven years of residency.

UAE Golden Visa

The UAE Golden Visa is a long-term investment program starting at $545,000 for real estate investment. There is also the option of:

  • Investing in a business
  • Depositing funds in a national bank
  • Paying taxes

Eligible candidates for the UAE Golden Visa include outstanding professionals in specific fields, such as medicine, innovation, engineering, and culture.

Applicants can include their spouse, children, parents, and domestic workers in their Golden Visa application. There is no residency requirement. UAE citizenship is typically granted through exceptional merit or 30 years of residency.

US EB-5 Visa Program

The US EB-5 Visa Program is an investment program leading to permanent residency (Green Card). Foreign nationals must invest at least $1.050 million in a business that creates ten full-time jobs or $800,000 if investing in a Targeted Employment Area (an area of high unemployment).

Eligible family members include the applicant’s spouse and children under 21. Applicants are not permitted to spend more than 12 months abroad. They can remove conditional Green Card status after two years and apply for citizenship after five years of residency.

What Golden Visa to Pick? Compare on our Ultimate Golden Visa Guide

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Country

Residency Type

Minimum Investment

Processing Time

Residency Requirements

Mandatory Holding Period

Portugal

Temporary

€250,000

9 to 12 months

Seven days annually

Five years

Greece

Permanent

€250,000

6 to 8 weeks

No

Five years

Malta

Permanent

€110,000

4 to 6 months

No

Five years

Spain

Temporary

€500,000

30 days

No

Five years

Italy

Temporary

€250,000

3 to 4 months

No

Five years

Cyprus

Permanent

€300,000

2 months

Visit every two years

Five years

United Arab Emirates

Temporary

$545,000

30 days

No

Five to ten years

United States

Temporary

$800,000

3 to 6 months

No more than 12 months abroad

Five years

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 Comparing Citizenship by Investment

Which is the best country for citizenship by investment?

The best country for citizenship by investment and the best passport depends entirely on your circumstances and intentions for you and your family. Turkish citizenship by investment could be the best option for investors seeking a cheap quality of life.

Caribbean nations like St. Lucia and Dominica offer the cheapest citizenship programs (CBI) with significant tax benefits that can reduce or eliminate taxes on capital gains, inheritance, and wealth. Malta’s naturalization program provides citizenship in the European Union and a Malta passport, offering extensive visa free access. You must weigh the options and decide which program suits your circumstances and ambitions.

How long does it take to get citizenship by investment?

The length of the entire process for citizenship (CBI) programs depends on the country you apply to. The Vanuatu citizenship by investment program has an application processing time of 60 days, whereas the general timeframe for most CBI programs is three to six months, provided that you fulfill the foreign direct investment criteria and due diligence checks. The investment route you choose can also affect the length of the application process. Economic contributions to national developments are typically the fastest investments. 

Which programs offer the highest investment returns?

Real estate purchases in countries in the European Union, such as Portugal and Greece, have offered high returns in the past, particularly on rental properties in popular vacation spots. Caribbean countries with low real estate prices, like Dominica and St. Lucia, present promising opportunities for substantial returns in the near future.

What is citizenship by investment?

Citizenship by investment is a process by which an individual obtains a second citizenship and a second passport by investing in the country’s economy. Depending on the country, there are usually specific requirements for the investments you can make and different benefits associated with the passport you acquire. Families can also benefit from the program, as an investor’s family can be included in the application.

Which countries offer citizenship by investment?

Some countries which offer the opportunity to obtain citizenship by investment are Malta, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Grenada. Countries such as Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, Grenada, and St. Lucia offer fast citizenship through investment programs to obtain a second passport and enhanced visa free access. Take St. Kitts and Nevis or Grenada as an example; After four months, you can secure a St. Kitts and Nevis passport or Grenada passport. So, if you want a quick route to economic citizenship and a second passport, St. Kitts and Nevis or other fast CBI programs may appeal to you.  

While some countries do not have citizenship by investment programs, they may offer alternative investment routes to live in the country long-term and eventually acquire citizenship. Take the United States EB-5 and E-2 programs. Here, you can ultimately gain United States citizenship by naturalization.

The United Kingdom also offers a pathway to expedited naturalization, which you can learn more about here. The United Kingdom provides its version of a “United Kingdom Golden Visa,” inviting high-net-worth investors to obtain residence in the United Kingdom with a substantial investment. Permanent residency and eventual citizenship by naturalization is possible in exchange for an investment into the country’s economic prosperity.

Another example is Hong Kong, which, although it does not have a investment citizenship (CBI) program, has various routes to residency for entrepreneurs, professionals, and talent.

Do you need to relocate to get citizenship by investment?

In the best countries that grant citizenship through investing, you do not have to relocate from your home country to obtain citizenship by investment. In other countries, you must spend a short time in the country each year to maintain residency, and the residency requirement varies for each program. Regardless, you and your family may need to travel to the country to supply biometrics (note that dependents under a certain age may be exempt).

Do different citizenship by investment programs have varying requirements regarding language proficiency or cultural integration?

Most CBI programs waive the necessity to demonstrate language proficiency or cultural integration. Austria’s program requires applicants pursuing citizenship by investing to be fluent in German and have knowledge of the country’s traditions and values. Caribbean nations offering CBI programs do not have language or cultural integration prerequisites.

What are the differences in the processing times for citizenship by investment applications?

The processing times for citizenship by investment can vary significantly depending on factors such as the efficiency of the government agency handling the application, bureaucratic processes, and the type of investment chosen. Non-refundable financial contributions to a state fund generally have the fastest processing times, in which investors can receive citizenship within two to six months.

Minimum investments in real estate or businesses generally have longer processing times due to the required legal procedures and processes following the investment.

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