RACE TO CITIZENSHIP 2017
COUNTRYPROGRAMType of ResidencyApplication Processing TimePR Processing TimeCitizenship Processing TimeTotal Time to PRTotal Time To Passport
Andorra Professional with International OutlookTemporary3 daysUnknown6 months84.1 months246.6 months
Andorra Residence without WorkTemporary3 daysUnknown6 months84.1 months246.6 months
Andorra Self EmployedTemporary3 daysUnknown6 months84.1 months246.6 months
AnguillaPPR- InvestorPermanent2 monthsInitial residence20 months2 months83 months
AnguillaPPR- Real Estate for retireePermanent3 monthsInitial residence20 months3 months84 months
Antigua and BarbudaCBI- DonationCitizenship4 months Not applicableInitial statusNot applicable4 months
Antigua and BarbudaCBI-Business InvestmentCitizenship4 months Not applicableInitial statusNot applicable4 months
Antigua and BarbudaCBI-Real EstateCitizenship4 months Not applicableInitial statusNot applicable4 months
ArgentinaInvestorTemporary2 days2 days24 months36.15 months84.6 months
ArgentinaRentierTemporary2 days2 days24 months36.15 months84.6 months
AustraliaBusiness InnovationTemporary9 months9 months3 months30 months60.5 months
AustraliaBusiness Talent-Significant Business HistoryPermanent9 monthsInitial residence3 months9 months60.5 months
AustraliaBusiness Talent-Venture Capitalist StreamPermanent9 monthsInitial residence3 months9 months60.5 months
AustraliaEntrepreneur StreamTemporary9 months9 months3 months66 months81.5 months
AustraliaInvestor Temporary9 months9 months3 months66 months81.5 months
AustraliaPremium InvestorTemporary9 months9 months3 months30 months60.5 months
AustraliaSignificant InvestorTemporary9 months9 months3 months66 months81.5 months
AustriaGainful employment ExceptedTemporary4 weeks4 months6 months64.8 months126.85 months
AustriaSelf EmployedTemporary4 weeks4 months6 months64.8 months126.85 months
BahamasBusiness Investment Permanent3 monthsInitial residence1 month3 months125 months
BahamasPR- Real Estate purchasePermanent2 monthsInitial residence1 month2 months124 months
BarbadosSpecial Entry and Reside PermitPermanent1 monthInitial residence12 months1 month97 months
BelgiumSelf EmployedTemporary7 months5 months24 months72 months91 months
BermudaNew Business Work PermitTemporary2 weeksUnknown4 months120.4 months64.6 months
BermudaResidential CertificatesTemporary4 monthsUnknown4 monthsNot required68.2 months
British Virgin IslandsResidency without employmentTemporary2 weeks3 days6 months300.5 months67.4 months
British Virgin IslandsSelf-EmployedTemporary1 week3 days6 months300.3 months66.3 months
BulgariaEntrepreneurPermanent1 year and 3 monthInitial residence15 months15 months91 months
BulgariaEntrepreneur- TemporaryTemporary3 months9 months15 months72 months147.2 months
BulgariaInvestor programPermanent1 year and 3 monthInitial residence15 months15 months90.2 months
BulgariaInvestor program-fast track optionPermanent1 year and 3 monthInitial residence6 months15 months33.2 months
BulgariaInvestor program-Private SharesPermanent3 monthsInitial residence15 months3 months78.2 months
BulgariaReal Estate optionTemporary3 months9 months15 months72 months147.2 months
CambodiaCBI- DonationCitizenship8 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable8.8 months
CambodiaCBI-InvestmentCitizenship8 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable8.8 months
CanadaBC- Immigrant EntrepreneurTemporary4 months 6 months12 months16 months64.05 months
CanadaFederal Start-up Visa - Angel InvestorPermanent6 monthsInitial residence12 months6 months54.05 months
CanadaFederal Start-up Visa - IncubatorsPermanent6 monthsInitial residence12 months6 months54.05 months
CanadaFederal Start-up Visa- Venture CapitalistPermanent6 monthsInitial residence12 months6 months54.05 months
CanadaOntario- Immigrant EntrepreneurTemporary6 months6 months12 months18 months66.05 months
CanadaQuebec Entrepreneur ProgramPermanent4 yearsInitial residence12 months47 months95.05 months
CanadaQuebec Investor ProgramPermanent5 yearsInitial residence12 months58 months106.05 months
Cape VerdeCitizenship by InvestmentCitizenship1 yearNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable12 months
Cayman IslandsIndependent Means- Certificate of Direct InvestmentLong Term6 weeksNot required6 months97.4 months68.8 months
Cayman IslandsIndependent Means-Certificate of Permanent ResidencePermanent6 weeksInitial residence6 months1.4 months68.8 months
Cayman IslandsIndependent Means-Residence CertificateLong Term6 weeksNot required6 months97.4 months68.8 months
Cayman IslandsIndependent Means-Residence Certificate Little Cayman or BracLong Term6 weeksNot required6 months97.4 months68.8 months
ChileInvestor Capital AreaTemporary3 months6 months12 months21.3 months75.5 months
ChileRentier Capital AreaTemporary3 months6 months2 months21.3 months65.5 months
ComorosCBICitizenship2 monthsNot applicableInitial status
Not applicable2 months
Costa RicaInvestorTemporary3 months3 months24 months42 months111.4 months
Costa RicaRentierTemporary3 months3 months24 months42 months111.4 months
CyprusCBI-BusinessCitizenship9 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable9.1 months
CyprusCBI-Combination Citizenship9 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable9.1 months
CyprusCBI-Financial assets Citizenship9 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable9.1 months
CyprusCBI-Real EstateCitizenship9 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable9.1 months
Czech RepublicLong term Visa- Business ReasonTemporary4 months 2 months6 months66 months130.2 months
DenmarkStart up (Self-employed)Temporary2 months8 months7 months58 months117.6 months
DominicaCBI-DonationCitizenship2 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable2 months
DominicaCBI-Real EstateCitizenship2 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable2 months
FijiAssured IncomeTemporary1 monthNo PR3 monthsNo PR64.2 months
FijiInvestorTemporary1 monthNo PR3 monthsNo PR64.2 months
FijiInvestor-7 yearsTemporary1 monthNo PR3 monthsNo PR64.2 months
FinlandSelf EmployedTemporary4 months3 months9 months55 months124.05 months
FranceCRCEE- Exceptional Economic ContributionTemporary2 months4 months20 months126 months82.8 months
FrancePassport Talent- EntrepreneurTemporary4 months 4 months20 months104 months84.8 months
FrancePassport Talent- InnovatorTemporary4 months 4 months20 months104 months84.8 months
FrancePassport Talent- InvestorTemporary4 months 4 months20 months104 months84.8 months
GermanySelf EmployedTemporary2 months2 months6 months64 months104.2 months
GibraltarHNWI ResidenceTemporary1 monthNot required6 monthsNot required85.4 months
GreeceGolden Visa-InvestorTemporary2 months4 months30 months66 months116.5 months
GreeceGolden Visa-Real EstateTemporary2 months4 months30 months66 months116.5 months
GrenadaCBI-NTF ContributionCitizenship3 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable3 months
GrenadaCBI-Real EstateCitizenship3 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable3 months
Hong KongEntrepreneurTemporary4 weeks3 months6 months87.8 months94 months
Hong KongEntrepreneur- Start-up BusinessesTemporary4 weeks3 months6 months87.8 months94 months
HungarySettlement Permit- National Economic InterestPermanent3 monthsInitial residence5 months3 months104.05 months
IcelandWork PermitTemporary3 months3 months5 months54 months92.4 months
IndonesiaInvestorTemporary6 weeks1 week7 months37.6 months68.6 months
IrelandImmigrant Entrepreneur Programme-Enterprise InvestmentTemporary4 months7 months7 months71 months72 months
IrelandImmigrant Investor Programme-EndowmentTemporary4 months7 months7 months71 months72 months
IrelandImmigrant Investor Programme-Enterprise InvestmentTemporary4 months7 months7 months71 months72 months
IrelandImmigrant Investor Programme-Investment FundsTemporary4 months7 months7 months71 months72 months
IrelandImmigrant Investor Programme-REITTemporary4 months7 months7 months71 months72 months
Isle of ManTier 1-InvestorTemporary1 day6 months6 months66.05 months85.05 months
ItalyElective residenceTemporary3 weeks3 months24 months63.6 months145.6 months
ItalySelf-Employed - EntrepreneurTemporary3 weeks3 months24 months63.6 months145.6 months
ItalySelf-Employed - Start-upTemporary1 month3 months24 months64 months146 months
JapanBusiness ManagerTemporary2 months6 months12 months128 months74.4 months
JerseyHigh Value ResidencyTemporary2 weeks6 months6 months66.4 months85.4 months
LatviaIndividual MerchantTemporary1 week2 weeks12 months60.6 months132.65 months
LatviaInvest Credit InstitutionTemporary1 week2 weeks12 months60.6 months132.65 months
LatviaInvesting BondTemporary1 week2 weeks12 months60.6 months132.65 months
LatviaReal Estate OwnerTemporary1 week2 weeks12 months60.6 months132.65 months
LatviaShare CapitalTemporary1 week2 weeks12 months60.6 months132.65 months
LiechtensteinResidency without gainful employmentTemporary3 months2 weeks4 months63.4 months367.05 months
LuxembourgPrivate ReasonsTemporary3 months6 months8 months69 months71.1 months
MacauMajor InvestmentTemporary2 years1.5 months6 months109.5 months115.55 months
MalaysiaInvestorTemporary2 monthsNot required12 months62 months134.2 months
MalaysiaMalaysia My Second Home-A50Long term4 monthsNot required12 monthsNot required136.2 months
MalaysiaMalaysia My Second Home-U50Long term4 monthsNot required12 monthsNot required136.2 months
MaltaGlobal Residence ProgrammePermanent1 monthInitial residence1 month1 month62.2 months
MaltaIndividual Investor ProgrammeCitizenship1 year and 1 monthNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable13.2 months
MauritiusInvestorPermanent2 monthsInitial residence12 months2 months38.2 months
MauritiusProperty Development SchemePermanent1 weekInitial residence12 months0.2 month36.4 months
MonacoCarte de SejourTemporary6 weeksNot required24 monthsNot required145.6 months
MoroccoCarte de SejourTemporary1 weekNot required1 month180.2 months61.4 months
NetherlandsInnovative start-upTemporary4 months7 months12 months71 months76.2 months
NetherlandsWealthy Foreign National (Foreign Investor)Temporary4 months7 months12 months71 months76.2 months
New ZealandEntrepreneurTemporary6 months6 months5 months36 months71.2 months
New ZealandGlobal Impact EntrepreneurTemporary4 weeks6 months5 months36.8 months66 months
New ZealandInvestor (2)Temporary10 months6 months5 months40 months75.2 months
New ZealandInvestor Plus (1)Temporary10 months6 months5 months40 months75.2 months
NorwaySelf EmployedTemporary8 months10 months11 months54 months103.4 months
PanamaFixed Term Deposit InvestmentTemporary2 monthsDirect transition12 months26 months74.5 months
PanamaForest InvestorTemporary2 monthsDirect transition12 months26 months74.5 months
PanamaInvestor Macro-CompanyTemporary2 monthsDirect transition12 months26 months74.5 months
PanamaMixed Investment (Fixed Term & Real Estate)Temporary2 monthsDirect transition12 months26 months74.5 months
PanamaNationals of specific Friendly CountriesPermanent2 monthsInitial residence12 months2 months74.5 months
PanamaReal Estate InvestmentTemporary2 monthsDirect transition12 months26 months74.5 months
PanamaRentierPermanent2 monthsInitial residence12 months2 months74.5 months
PanamaRetirement Permanent2 monthsInitial residence12 months2 months74.5 months
PeruInvestorTemporary6 weeks1 week12 months37.6 months37.9 months
PeruRentierTemporary6 weeks1 week12 months37.6 months37.9 months
PortugalGolden Residency-10 Job CreationTemporary5 months2 months2 months67 months73.5 months
PortugalGolden Residency-Artistic InvestmentTemporary5 months2 months2 months67 months73.5 months
PortugalGolden Residency-Capital InvestmentTemporary5 months2 months2 months67 months73.5 months
PortugalGolden Residency-Real EstateTemporary5 months2 months2 months67 months73.5 months
PortugalGolden Residency-Research InvestmentTemporary5 months2 months2 months67 months73.5 months
PortugalGolden Residency-Specific Capital InvestmentTemporary5 months2 months2 months67 months73.5 months
PortugalGolden Residency-Specific Real EstateTemporary5 months2 months2 months67 months73.5 months
RomaniaResidence for Commercial ActivitiesTemporary6 weeks6 months12 months67.4 months109.8 months
RussiaEntrepreneurTemporary6 months2 months12 months20 months54.4 months
RussiaInvestorTemporary6 months2 months12 months20 months54.4 months
Saint Kitts and NevisCBI-Real Estate OptionCitizenship2 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable2 months
Saint Kitts and NevisCBI-Sugar Industry ContributionCitizenship2 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable2 months
Saint LuciaCBI- Saint Lucia National Economic FundCitizenship3 monthsNot applicableInitial status
Not applicable3 months
Saint LuciaCBI-BusinessCitizenship3 monthsNot applicableInitial status
Not applicable3 months
Saint LuciaCBI-Government BondsCitizenship3 monthsNot applicableInitial status
Not applicable3 months
Saint LuciaCBI-Real EstateCitizenship3 monthsNot applicableInitial status
Not applicable3 months
SeychellesInvestorTemporary3 daysUnknown12 months12.1 months148.15 months
SingaporeGIP -Option A BusinessPermanent7 monthsInitial residence8 months7 months39.2 months
SingaporeGIP -Option B Gip FundPermanent7 monthsInitial residence8 months7 months39.2 months
SlovakiaTemporary Residence-BusinessTemporary3 months3 months24 months66 months188.05 months
South KoreaBig InvestorPermanent2 monthsInitial residence24 months2 months86.1 months
South KoreaInvestor - Guaranteed InvestmentTemporary6 months1.5 months24 months67.5 months90.1 months
South KoreaInvestor - Real EstateTemporary6 months1.5 months24 months67.5 months90.1 months
South KoreaInvestor - Risk-based InvestmentTemporary6 months1.5 months24 months67.5 months90.1 months
SpainInvestor- Public DebtTemporary1 month3 months24 months64 months145.05 months
SpainInvestor- Real EstateTemporary1 month3 months24 months64 months145.05 months
SpainInvestor- Shares or bank depositsTemporary1 month3 months24 months64 months145.05 months
SpainInvestor-Business ProjectTemporary1 month3 months24 months64 months145.05 months
SpainStart-upTemporary1 month3 months24 months64 months145.05 months
SwedenSelf EmployedTemporary4 weeks1 month6 months25.8 months67 months
SwitzerlandRentierTemporary3 monthsUnknown18 months151 months169.4 months
SwitzerlandSelf-EmployedTemporary3 monthsUnknown18 months151 months169.4 months
TaiwanInvestor - BondsPermanent6 monthsInitial residence24 months6 months90.05 months
TaiwanInvestor- BusinessPermanent6 monthsInitial residence24 months6 months90.05 months
ThailandInvestorPermanent6 weeksInitial residence12 months1.4 months73.45 months
Turks and Caicos IslandsPRC-BusinessPermanent2 monthsInitial residence4 months2 months67 months
Turks and Caicos IslandsPRC-Public ProjectPermanent2 monthsInitial residence4 months2 months67 months
Turks and Caicos IslandsPRC-Real EstatePermanent2 monthsInitial residence4 months2 months67 months
UAEBusiness InvestorTemporary1 weekNo PR12 monthsNo PR252.25 months
UAEReal Estate Investor-Land LicenceTemporary2 weeksNo PR12 monthsNo PR252.45 months
UK Tier 1 - Entrepreneur - 200KTemporary3 weeks1 days6 months36.65 months66.65 months
UK Tier 1 - Entrepreneur - 50K Temporary3 weeks1 days6 months36.65 months66.65 months
UK Tier1-InvestorTemporary1 day1 days6 months60.1 months78.1 months
UK Tier1-Investor 10M OptionTemporary1 day1 days6 months24.1 months66.1 months
UK Tier1-Investor 5M OptionTemporary1 day1 days6 months36.1 months66.1 months
UruguayRetirement-Gov BondsPermanent1 yearInitial residence6 months12 months54.2 months
UruguayRetirement-Real EstatePermanent1 yearInitial residence6 months12 months54.2 months
US Virgin IslandsEB-5 Temporary4 years17 months5 months89 months113.5 months
US Virgin IslandsEB-5 - Regional CenterTemporary4 years17 months5 months89 months113.5 months
USAEB-5 Temporary4 years17 months5 months89 months113.5 months
USAEB-5 - Regional CenterTemporary4 years17 months5 months89 months113.5 months
VanuatuCapital Investment Immigration PlanCitizenship3 monthsNot applicableInitial statusNot applicable3.1 months

Permanent residency can have different names (e.g. Indefinite Right to Remain, Belonger Status) depending on the country. It is important to hold permanent residency in your new country as soon as possible in order to eliminate the risk of deportation as well as the need to meet annual objectives.

In the ‘table’ tab, we have collected all the different processing times, from initial application to receipt of passport. Processing times can vary depending on the applicant’s country of origin. We have decided to base the processing time on a family of four from Mainland China.

The programs with the fastest acceptance times are those of the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man, which both offer the Super Premium Service for application processing. In exchange for £7000, this service offers pickup of your documents at your door and a 24hour response to your application.

Temporary programs usually place conditions on your stay that you must fulfill either annually or at the end of a certain period. You will either have to renew your residence permit from time to time or apply for permanent residence.

There are two programs that do not enable you to seek more than temporary residence: Malta’s HNWI Special Tax Status program, and Resident Permit/ Real Estate in the Seychelles. Purchasing real estate in BVI will grant you only parttime residency (less than six months). This can be the case in the UAE as well, as a realestate purchase will get you a residence permit ranging from six months to two years, depending on the value of your property.

In some countries, permanent residence takes longer to obtain than citizenship; Japan and France are examples of this. In the British Overseas Territories (Anguilla, Bermuda, et al.), citizenship is granted by the United Kingdom, whereas permanent residency is given by the island’s local government. However, being a BOTC doesnot give you the right to work or live in any of these jurisdictions; only permanent residency or belonger status does that. Citizenship can be obtained after five years of legal residence in any of the BOT, but belonger status can sometimes take up to 25 years and is notoriously hard to obtain (e.g., in the BVI).

Acquiring a new citizenship might force a person to lose their previous nationality. Some countries do not consider renouncing prior citizenship or an oath to another country as meaningful, and do not deprive you of your citizenship (i.e. in the U.S.A.). There are usually exceptions made for citizens of countries that do not allow their citizens to renounce their citizenship (e.g., Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Costa Rica), or if the renunciation process is too difficult, humiliating, or expensive (e.g., Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Cuba, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Nigeria, Syria, Thailand, Tunisia).

Although it happens rarely, in some individual cases there may be an exception if the renunciation of the old citizenship inflicts enormous disadvantages on the concerned person.

The Applicant Family

Let us use our example of a man and woman from Mainland China with two children. We assume that the children are between 15 and 18 years old in order to to ensure they will be admissible as dependents in every program.

In every case, we have chosen the fastest application processing option possible. Time to PR, Citizenship and Passport include estimated processing times for the application, and not just the required physical presence in the territory.

Countries with ‘N/A’ either do not offer Permanent Residence and/or a pathway to citizenship.

Application Processing: Refer to the initial application to residence from the moment your application is sent to the receipt of your permit. Note: In the United Kingdom, the Super Premium Service claims to process your application in 24hours, but does not indicate whether it includes your tier-1entry visa.

Some processing time had to be estimated due to lack of information, i.e. in the cases of France’s Exceptional Contribution, and Liechtenstein’s and UAE’s Citizenship.

All the data in this report was collected during the summer of 2015.

All the data relating to the programs was obtained from official sources, such as government websites or authorized trading partners.

Argentina www.migraciones.gov.ar
Chile http://www.extranjeria.gob.cl
Hong Kong http://www.immd.gov.hk
Malaysia http://www.mm2h.gov.my
Malaysia http://www.imi.gov.my
Panama http://www.migracion.gob.pa
South Korea http://www.investkorea.org
UAE https://www.abudhabi.ae
UAE http://dnrd.ae
Andorra http://www.immigracio.ad
Anguilla http://www.gov.ai/immigration.php
Antigua and Barbuda http://cip.gov.ag
Australia http://www.border.gov.au
Austria http://www.migration.gv.at
Bahamas http://www.bahamas.gov.bs
Barbados http://www.immigration.gov.bb
Belgium http://www.werk-economie-emploi.irisnet.be/carte-professionnelle-pour-ressortissants-etrangers
Bermuda http://www.gov.bm/portal/server.pt
British Virgin Islands http://www.bviimmigration.gov.vg
Bulgaria http://www.investbulgaria.eu
Canada http://www.cic.gc.ca
Canada http://www.micc.gouv.qc.ca
Cayman Islands http://www.immigration.gov.ky/portal/page?_pageid=4121,1&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL
Comoros http://www.comoros-citizenship.com
Costa rica http://www.migracion.go.cr
Cyprus http://www.cipa.org.cy
Czech Republic http://www.mvcr.cz
Denmark http://www.nyidanmark.dk
Dominica http://cbiu.gov.dm
Fiji http://www.immigration.gov.fj
Finland http://www.migri.fi
France http://www.immigration-professionnelle.gouv.fr
France http://vosdroits.service-public.fr
Germany http://www.bamf.de
Greece http://www.investingreece.gov.gr
Grenada http://www.grenadacbi.org
Hungary http://www.bmbah.hu
Iceland http://utl.is
Ireland http://www.inis.gov.ie
Isle of Man http://www.gov.im
Italy http://www.esteri.it/ http://www.interno.gov.it
Japan http://www.immi-moj.go.jp
Jersey http://www.locatejersey.com
Latvia http://www.pmlp.gov.lv
Liechstenstein http://www.llv.li
Luxembourg http://visaimmigration.mae.lu
Malta ird.gov.mt
Malta http://iip.gov.mt
Mauritius http://www.investmauritius.com
Mauritius op.investmauritius.com
Monaco http://en.service-public-particuliers.gouv.mc
Netherlands www.ind.nl
New Zealand http://www.immigration.govt.nz
Norway http://www.udi.no/
Portugal http://www.sef.pt/
Saint Kitts and Nevis http://www.ciu.gov.kn
Seychelles http://www.ics.gov.sc
Singapore contactsingapore.sg
Slovakia http://www.foreign.gov.sk
Spain http://www.empleo.gob.es/
Sweden www.migrationsverket.se
Switzerland http://www.ma.zh.ch/
Switzerland http://www.ge.ch/
Switzerland www.bfm.admin.ch / http://www.vd.ch/
Turks and Caicos Islands http://www.gov.tc/
UK www.gov.uk
Uruguay migracion.minterior.gub.uy
US Virgin Islands http://www.uscis.gov/