These days just about anything is possible. And when it comes to citizenship, nowadays that’s never been truer. Long gone are the days when you have to either be born, get married, or have an ancestor to get a passport. But make no mistake— purchasing citizenship is a fable. What is possible, however, is to acquire economic citizenship via a concept called citizenship by investment. Not only is it a viable, sure-proof way to get a second passport, but it also enables families to make a sound investment and even get a return on their investment. To date, a handful of countries around the world run their own versions of citizenship through investment, allowing investors to get acquire economic citizenship, obtain an ultimate backup plan, and diversify their assets.
In this guide, we cover everything you need to know about this concept called citizenship by investment, and more importantly, why you should consider applying.
Let’s get one thing clear. Not everyone has the need nor the finances to seek economic citizenship and become global citizens. Citizenship planning costs time, money, resources, and effort. But the rewards far outweigh the challenges, particularly if you find yourself with a weak-ranking passport, are in immediate or imminent danger, or simply would like to protect your wealth and safeguard your family members personal freedoms. In a globalized world, the importance of citizenship planning cannot be underestimated. Obtaining second citizenship can be extremely rewarding, but likewise, obtaining the wrong citizenship can cost you too.
When planned well, passport by investment offers safety, unparalleled freedom, and infinite possibilities.
Some key questions to ask yourself before you even consider pursuing second citizenship by investment:
- What am I looking to get out of my investment?
- How much money do I want to invest to acquire citizenship?
- Do I want to include my whole family in the application?
- Do I care more about obtaining a powerful passport, or am I ok with an ok-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 application?
- Do I want to do this on my own or enlist the help of a qualified professional?
These are just some of the questions you should be asking for well before choosing a country. Knowing these answers will ultimately help you decide on what citizenship by investment program to go for. If you feel confused or undecided about which country to opt for, take your time. Don’t rush, research all the possibilities, and if needed, ask for help from a qualified industry expert.
Citizenship by Investment Overview
Let’s backtrack here. What is citizenship even? In a nutshell, citizenship is a social contract between the individual and the state to work together to accomplish mutual benefits. In this symbiotic relationship, the citizen accepts legal responsibility, and in return, the state grants them rights to fully function and grow in society.
Naturally, a passport is an extension of this, a stamp of sorts that allows the citizen to enter and leave the country freely and travel visa free to certain countries. While each passport varies in strength and desirability, the general idea is the same. A passport is evidence of an individual’s citizenship status and provides a myriad of opportunities for the person to travel and move around the globe somewhat freely.
Now, what of citizenship by investment? Traditionally, citizenship has been granted through birth, naturalization, and marriage. But as mentioned, this is no longer exclusively the case. Now, there’s another path toward citizenship, which is called passport by investment or citizenship by investment. The main thing here is that the investor must invest a lump sum of money into a country’s economy, and in return, they’re rewarded with citizenship.
These are called citizenship programs, which are specific criteria set forth by a government through which an individual can ‘apply’ for and in return obtain the nation’s citizenship via an investment. So it’s as simple as that: you make an investment, you get citizenship. Obviously, there are more nuances than this, but the gist of it is this.
Considering not every citizenship by investment program is the same, there is often confusion about which programs legitimately provide direct citizenship versus residency by investment programs that allow citizenship by naturalization later down the line.
Don’t worry, we cover the differences between residency and second citizenship here.