golden passport countries obtain citizenship investment programs obtaining citizenship by investment programs financial investment residence permit capital gains second passport eu countries Are you planning to obtain a second citizenship in a foreign country? You can apply for a second passport through a citizenship by investment program. Citizenship by investment allows foreign nationals to obtain citizenship and a second passport in return for financial investment in the country’s economy.

Unless you can claim birthright citizenship in a second country or have a spouse who is a citizen of a country with the fastest citizenship by marriage, citizenship programs will be the quickest way for you to get legal citizenship and enjoy the benefits and privileges that come with it. The benefits may include reduced taxes, asset protection, and an enhanced quality of life.

This article will take you through the fastest citizenship by investment programs worldwide. We’ll touch on the required investments to be eligible to obtain a new citizenship, and the time it takes to complete the program. Many countries offer citizenship by investment in a short time frame–keep reading for more information.

Nine Countries with the Fastest Citizenship by Investment

The list of countries with immigrant investor programs offering citizenship by investment is increasing yearly. Investors now have the option of obtaining European citizenship in an EU country, citizenship in the Middle East, or Caribbean citizenship through one of several Caribbean countries with citizenship by investment programs.

It’s possible to obtain second citizenship through numerous investment options, such as property investment, approved government bonds, development funds, and stocks and shares.

Here is a list of countries offering fast citizenship by investment, along with their eligibility and investment requirements:

Vanuatu

fastest citizenship by investment cidadania por investimento vanuatuThe Vanuatu citizenship by investment program is the fastest citizenship scheme available. Vanuatu is also the only country in the South Pacific region providing a commonwealth passport to foreign investors. The process of applying for Vanuatu nationality is relatively simple.

Many countries offering permanent residence permits or citizenship by investment require investors to visit the country at least once to submit biometric data and fulfill additional formalities to complete the process before being granted a second passport.

In Vanuatu, citizenship by investment applicants do not need to visit the country as part of the program’s requirements. Successful applicants receive an official approval letter within two months of making a non-refundable contribution of $130,000 to the Vanuatu National Development Fund.

Citizenship processing time: 60 days

Passport Advantages

  • With a Vanuatu passport, you can enjoy visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to more than 110 countries. These include popular destinations like Singapore, Hong Kong, and the UAE.
  • A qualifying investment of just $130,000
  • A second passport will be issued within two months of making the required investment.
  • The country has no income taxes, wealth tax, inheritance tax, or gift tax.
  • You can include your family members in your passport application for an additional fee.
  • There is no minimum residence requirement

To learn more about the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program, check out our article: Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment – The Ultimate Guide by Experts.

St Lucia

saint lucia immigrant investors obtain citizenship costa rica south korea family ties west indies This Caribbean country is popular among expats due to its several investment routes and low starting threshold for citizenship by investment. Qualifying investments range from $100,000 up to $3.5 million, with the two most popular options being a property investment or a contribution to the country’s National Economic Fund (NEF).

Qualifying for the program by purchasing real estate requires an investment of at least $200,000 in government-approved property. The donation to the economic fund investment route entails a contribution of $100,000.

St Lucia provides another fast citizenship by investment scheme, with the average turnaround from investment to receiving second citizenship of two to three months. There are also no residency requirements to apply for a St Lucia passport, and the country also offers visa-free access to popular destinations, including European countries, which makes it attractive for foreign direct investment.

Citizenship processing time: Two to three months

Passport Advantages

  • The St Lucia passport has one of the fastest turnaround times in the world – around two to three months.
  • Your entire family can apply for St. Lucia citizenship with an additional donation. The donation can be waived if investing in property.
  • A St Lucian passport is one of the more affordable passports; You can acquire citizenship with a minimum donation of $100,000.
  • There are no residency requirements. Furthermore, due diligence is straightforward, with no interview, education, or managerial experience required to fulfill the eligibility criteria.
  • A St Lucia passport permits visa-free travel and visa-on-arrival access to 148 countries, including popular destinations like the Schengen zone, the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
  • There is no taxation on capital, wealth, or inheritance.

Read our article, St Lucia Citizenship by Investment – The Ultimate Guide by Experts, to learn more about the St Lucia citizenship by investment program.

St Kitts and Nevis

One of the oldest citizenship by investment countries in the world, the St Kitts and Nevis citizenship program also offers a quick citizenship application process for potential investors to obtain Caribbean citizenship. The government will grant citizenship within four months to foreign nationals who fulfill the minimum investment amount and pass due diligence checks.

For the economic contribution route, the country previously required a donation to its Sustainable Growth Fund. This has been reformed and is now called the Sustainable Island State Contribution (SISC), which requires a contribution of $250,000 to start the process for second citizenship.

Foreign nationals can also make a government-approved investment in real estate of at least $400,000 through a joint investment or a sole purchase of $800,000 to be eligible for a Plan B passport. The final investment option precipitates investing $250,000 in government-approved Public Benefit Projects.

In addition to its charming beaches and picturesque landscape, this small island nation provides excellent benefits beyond its borders. The St Kitts and Nevis passport is the strongest passport on the Global Passport Index of Caribbean nations with citizenship by investment schemes. Saint Kitts and Nevis passport holders enjoy visa-free and visa-on-arrival travel to 153 countries worldwide.

Citizenship processing time: Four months

Passport Advantages

  • The application process is normally completed within six months, but applicants can expect to receive a second passport in four months.
  • Visa-free entry and visa-on-arrival access to more than 153 countries, including all European Union countries, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Singapore
  • There are no residency, education, interview, or language requirements for obtaining citizenship in St Kitts and Nevis.
  • A tax-friendly nation with no income, inheritance, or gift tax
  • You can include your family in your application by paying additional government fees.

To discover more about this economic citizenship program, read our article: St Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment – The Ultimate Guide by Experts.

Dominica

dominica citizenship by investmentOne of the best citizenship by investment schemes of all Caribbean countries, Dominica investment citizenship offers various investment routes for foreign investors to acquire citizenship. In return for an economic contribution of $100,000 to the country’s Economic Diversification Fund (EDF) or investing $200,000 in government-approved real estate projects, you can obtain a Dominica passport through the Dominica citizenship program.

Moreover, no residency is required to maintain citizenship, making Dominica one of the most attractive schemes. Starting at $100,000, it’s also one of the cheapest citizenship by investment programs, while taking around two months to get your Dominica passport application approved. However, a regular timeframe is between three and six months. Once the application is approved, investors receive a second passport with ten-year validity.

Citizenship processing time: Three to six months

Passport Advantages

  • The application process for a Dominica passport is comparatively faster and easier than most countries, with an average processing time of three to six months.
  • You can include your family members in passport applications; real estate investment only requires additional application fees.
  • Dominica offers one of the cheapest citizenship by investment programs in the world. You can obtain a Dominica passport in return for investing $100,000 in the country’s development fund.
  • Dominica allows dual nationality
  • A Dominica passport facilitates visa-free travel to 146 countries, including members of the Schengen Area, Hong Kong, Singapore, Malaysia, and Turkey.
  • Dominica is a tax-friendly nation with no income tax, gift, inheritance, or capital gains tax.
  • The Dominica passport is flexible when it comes to requirements. The country demands no residency, education, or any other professional requirements.

Know more about this economic citizenship program by reading our article: Dominica Citizenship by Investment – The Ultimate Guide by Experts.

Grenada

st-george-st-david-grenada-real-estate-servicesAcquiring citizenship by investment in Grenada is relatively quick, taking around three to six months to process your Grenada citizenship application after making the qualifying investment. In addition to a short turnaround time, the country has no additional residency requirements or excessive criteria preventing eligibility for a second passport.

Investors can acquire Grenada citizenship by investing $220,000 as part of a joint-ownership property investment or $350,000 as a sole real estate investment. Like the investment schemes in other Caribbean countries, donations are an alternative investment option. A $150,000 donation to the country’s National Transformation Fund (NTF) will fulfill the required contribution for citizenship by investment.

Several countries offer citizenship by investment in the Caribbean; however, the unique aspect of Grenada’s citizenship program is that Grenadan passport holders are the only citizens of countries providing citizenship by investment that can travel visa-free to China. Furthermore, visa-free and visa-on-arrival countries include an additional 147 countries.

Citizenship processing time: Three to six months

Passport Advantages

  • Very short processing time – You can get your passport within a short period of 60 to 90 days
  • Grenada allows dual citizenship
  • You can include your family members in your passport application process without an additional investment if investing in property.
  • You can apply for a US E-2 Visa with a Grenadan passport.
  • The country offers various tax benefits, including no worldwide income tax.
  • There are no requirements to maintain a valid residence permit.

To know more about the Grenada Citizenship by Investment Program, please read our article: Grenada Citizenship by Investment – The Ultimate Guide by Experts.

Antigua and Barbuda

citizenship investment unit Antigua barbuda national development fund obtain citizenship maltese citizenship caribbean country criminal record visa free entry birth certificates latin americaThe citizenship by investment initiative offered by Antigua and Barbuda is another popular program offering citizenship to successful investors. It’s among the cheapest citizenship programs, with a qualifying investment of a $100,000 donation to the country’s National Development Fund (NDF). Like the other citizenship by investment countries, investing at least $200,000 in approved property will be enough to acquire citizenship in Antigua and Barbuda.

The government takes three to six months to process citizenship applications and issue passports valid for five years. All these factors make Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship one of the most popular options on the fastest citizenship by investment countries list.

Citizenship processing time: Three to six months

Passport Advantages

  • The application process is fairly quick. It takes around three to six months for applications to be approved.
  • You can include your family in your passport application process through the property investment option by only paying the processing fee.
  • Antigua and Barbuda permits dual citizenship.
  • There are no travel or residency requirements to obtain Antigua and Barbuda citizenship or maintain permanent residency status.
  • With an Antigua and Barbudan passport, you gain visa-free access to 150 destinations, including Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Singapore, and other countries.
  • The country offers tax rebates and imposes no wealth, inheritance, gift, or worldwide income taxes.

For more details on Antigua and Barbuda citizenship, visit our article: Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment – The Ultimate Guide by Experts.

Malta

malta citizenship by investmentMalta is the only European country offering citizenship through a unique program expediting the country’s naturalization process. The Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES) allows non-EU/EEA and non-Swiss nationals to obtain EU citizenship within 12 to 36 months.

This may appear relatively long compared to other options on the citizenship by investment countries list, but given that Malta is the sole country offering European citizenship within the Schengen Area, it’s worth noting as a fast citizenship option.

Being one of the few choices for European citizenship and an EU passport, its investment criteria necessitate a considerable capital investment. Foreign citizens must buy property for €700,000 or sign a five-year lease agreement for at least €16,000 annually.

Additionally, the 12-month naturalization period requires a non-refundable contribution of €750,000, while the 36-month path to naturalization has a fee of €600,000. A final requirement is a donation of €10,000 to a Maltese nonprofit organization approved by the Community Malta Agency.

Citizenship processing time: 12 to 36 months

Passport Advantages

  • Visa-free travel and visa-on-arrival access to 172 countries worldwide
  • Tax concessions for the new citizens
  • The Global Passport Index’s highest-ranking passport of countries providing fast citizenship by investment
  • There are no language requirements to become an EU citizen.
  • Provides a route to citizenship in the European Union and a Malta passport, with a naturalization process of as little as 12 month
  • You can include your immediate family in your application process

For more details on the Malta CES program, check out our article: Malta Citizenship Program (CES): Ultimate Guide.

Jordan

citizenship by investment programs residence permit minimum investment visa free access obtain citizenship granted citizenship The Kingdom of Jordan is the only Middle Eastern country with a fast citizenship program. The government presents multiple investment routes to create an equitable program that accommodates a wide range of global citizens.

Investors can buy real estate, purchase treasury bonds, start a business, or deposit funds into a Jordanian bank account to qualify for a second passport. The cheapest investment option is to spend $750,000 on real estate or establish a tourism or renewable energy business.

Upon fulfilling the required investment and character criteria, the Jordanian government will process citizenship applications within three to six months.

Citizenship processing time: Three to six months

Passport Advantages

  • Visa-free travel and visa-on-arrival access to 81 countries worldwide
  • Permanent residency in one of the world’s most historically significant countries
  • Access to untapped business opportunities

To learn more about investing for Jordan citizenship, please read our article: Jordan Citizenship by Investment Program.

Turkey

turkey immediate citizenship visa free access minimum investment residence permit citizenship by investment programs turkish citizenshipTurkey has been recognized as one of the best countries offering citizenship by investment for several reasons. The Turkish government has numerous investment opportunities for its program, including investing in real estate, purchasing government bonds, making a bank deposit in a Turkish bank, or creating jobs for Turkish citizens.

The cheapest option for Turkish citizenship is purchasing property for at least $400,000. There is no specified investment amount for job creation; however, it necessitates establishing a new enterprise or investing in an existing Turkish business that creates 50 jobs for Turkish citizens.

After fulfilling the full investment criteria, investors can expect to receive citizenship and a Turkish passport within three to four months.

Citizenship processing time: Three to four months

Passport Advantages

  • Visa-free travel and visa-on-arrival access to 128 countries worldwide
  • Tax concessions for the new citizens
  • Great value for money on real estate investments and no requirement to invest in pre-approved property
  • Access to a highly-skilled workforce
  • You can include your immediate family in your application process
  • Turkey allows dual nationality

To discover more about Turkey’s citizenship program, read our article: Turkey Investment Citizenship: The Ultimate Guide by Experts.

Key Takeaways

Country

Time to Citizenship

Main Benefits

Vanuatu

60 days

Fastest second citizenship program

St Lucia

Two to three months

Fastest Caribbean dual citizenship program

St Kitts and Nevis

Four months

Strongest passport of Caribbean CBI countries

Dominica

Three to six months

Cheapest real estate of Caribbean CBI countries

Grenada

Three to six months

Visa-free travel to China and eligibility for the US E-2 Visa

Antigua and Barbuda

Three to six months

Cheapest CBI program for a family of four

Malta

12 to 36 months

Fastest EU citizenship program

Jordan

Three to six months

Cheapest real estate among all CBI countries

Turkey

Four to six months

No requirement to invest in government-approved property for real estate investment

Why opt for the fastest citizenship programs?

malta A plan B: Regardless of what happens in your home country or primary country of residence, your country of second citizenship serves as the ultimate Plan B, being there to receive you without restrictions.

Increased travel freedom: Many CBI countries offer citizenship and strong passports, allowing holders to increase their visa-free travel options to countries such as members of the Schengen Area, the UK, Singapore, South Korea, and China.

Enhanced residence options: Passports such as a Maltese or St. Kitts and Nevis passport provide the right to reside in other countries within the region as part of a bilateral agreement. Maltese passport holders have the right to settle in any EU country, whereas St Kitts and Nevis passport holders can legally reside in any full member state of OECS (Organization of Eastern Caribbean States).

Tax optimization: Many CBI countries offer favorable tax regimes for individuals and companies. For example, Vanuatu has no income taxes, taxes on capital gains, or corporate tax. Maltese citizens are not subject to paying annual property taxes.

Ideal weather: This is particularly evident in regions like the Caribbean and the Mediterranean, characterized by their hot summers and cool winters, with sunny weather throughout the year. CBI countries such as Turkey, Grenada, and Vanuatu are hard to beat regarding weather.

Political stability: Political stability has become a significant concern for numerous individuals. Options such as Antigua and Barbuda or Malta citizenship provide political stability and a safe environment in politically neutral countries with long-standing peace.

Returns on investments: Preserving financial wealth is a top priority for every investor, and alongside the fast route to dual citizenship, investment returns are equally crucial for applicants of CBI programs. Economic citizenship programs offer reasonable returns on investments, providing added financial incentives to potential applicants.

Better quality of life: Beyond financial gains, the desirability of new citizenship hinges significantly on its enhanced quality of life. According to the Global Passport Index, many individuals with a second citizenship benefit from an improved standard of living.

How to Applying for Citizenship by Investment

Although there exists a typical sequence of steps in the citizenship by investment application process, it’s important to note that the specifics can differ significantly depending on the country. In any case, here is what you can generally expect when applying for citizenship by investment:

Step one: Choose an investment option. Define your budget and investment criteria to ascertain which investment aligns with your needs and financial goals.

Step two: Engage with a reputable licensed agent or advisor. Engaging with an entity specializing in citizenship through investment will ensure your eligibility for the program. A licensed agent or advisor will guide you through the application process and assist with presenting the required documentation.

Step three: Gather all the required documents. The required documents generally include the following:

  • Proof of identity
  • Bank statements and financial records proving a legitimate source of funding
  • Passport copies
  • Criminal record certificates
  • Birth or marriage certificates for any dependents included in the application

Step four: Make the required investment. Once you’ve gathered your documents, make the required investment as the program specifies. This could involve buying real estate, purchasing government bonds, establishing new enterprises, or other approved options.

Step five: Submit your citizenship application. Along with all the required documents and proof of investment, submit your citizenship application to the relevant government authority. Pay the necessary application fees.

Step six: Await a decision. Wait for due diligence checks to be completed. The processing time for approval varies depending on the country and the complexity of your application. Most of the fastest citizenship countries complete the process within three to six months.

How Global Citizen Solutions Can Help

Many foreigners and expats opt to obtain the fastest citizenship by investment in today’s globalized world. By investing in a citizenship investment program, you not only contribute to the nation’s economic growth but gain second citizenship within a few months.

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique global citizenship and residence advisory firm providing international clients with second citizenship and residency solutions. Contact us today to begin your journey to obtain fast citizenship.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fastest Citizenship by Investment

What are instant citizenship countries?

Instant citizenship relates to countries that offer expedited or accelerated citizenship schemes or naturalization, typically through investments in real estate, government bonds, company shares, or contributions to a national economic fund. While there is no universally accepted list of such countries, some countries are known for providing relatively faster pathways to citizenship and obtaining second passports.

Instant citizenship countries include Dominica, Malta, Antigua and Barbuda, Vanuatu, St Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Turkey, Jordan, and Grenada.

Which countries grant citizenship easily?

Here is a list of ten countries that offer citizenship easily:

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Cambodia
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • Jordan
  • Malta
  • Turkey
  • Vanuatu

What is the fastest EU citizenship to get?

The fastest EU citizenship to get is Malta citizenship. Investors can obtain a Maltese passport through the Malta Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES) program. This program allows foreign nationals who make three investments, including a real estate investment, a government contribution, and a charitable donation, to obtain Maltese citizenship by naturalization within 12 to 36 months.

Which EU country has the shortest time to citizenship?

Malta has the shortest time to citizenship in the European Union. Foreigners who make a series of three investments, including a real estate purchase or leasing property, a government contribution, and a donation to an approved NGO, can obtain a Maltese passport by naturalization within 12 to 36 months.

Which European country provides the easiest and fastest permanent residency?

Portugal, Spain, Malta, Cyprus, Italy, and Greece are the EU countries offering the fastest permanent residency programs with straightforward eligibility criteria. This is on the condition that applicants have a clean record and the necessary legal documents, such as a passport, birth certificate, or marriage certificate.

Portugal, Spain, Italy, and Greece offer Golden Visa programs, providing foreign investors with permanent residency through a renewable investor visa. Malta and Cyprus both have permanent residency programs for foreign investors. Individuals who make a qualifying investment in real estate or other investment options can obtain a permanent residence permit with no renewal requirements, provided they maintain their investment.

Which is the fastest Golden Visa in Europe?

Greece, Italy, Spain, and Portugal offer the fastest Golden Visa programs in Europe. Foreigners can obtain an Investor Visa and residence permit valid for five years within two to four months, provided they fulfill the required investment and due diligence checks. 

What country gives the fastest citizenship?

Vanuatu has the fastest citizenship program, with a capital investment in the country’s national development fund, allowing investors to gain citizenship within 60 days. Regarding countries offering fast citizenship through alternative routes, Peru offers the fastest citizenship by naturalization, requiring just two years of residency; Cape Verde has the fastest citizenship by marriage, with immediate citizenship eligibility granted to spouses of Cape Verde citizens. 

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