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Citizenship by Investment

Overview & Program Comparison

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Donation from$100,000

Real estate from$200,000

Time to citizenship:From 1-2 Months

Visa-free travel up to:185 Countries

While moving to a new country can seem enticing, the process is often full of complicated regulations and ends up taking many years to fulfill. For investors who are interested in moving a bit more quickly to secure citizenship in another country, there is another way: citizenship by investment. Countries that offer citizenship by investment (CBI) programs have certain requirements that each applicant will need to fulfill, including a monetary investment of some sort, to become eligible to receive citizenship in that country.

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Whether someone is looking to open up additional travel opportunities that their current passport does not support, aiming to reduce their tax burdens, or simply trying to move their family to a safer country, citizenship by investment is often the best path forward. Global Residence Index works with all major programs available to investors.

On this page, we go through everything an interested party needs to know about these programs, as well as compare some of our most popular citizenship by investment opportunities.

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Citizenship by Investment with Global Residence Index

Citizenship by Investment Program Overview by Country

Global Residence Index works with clients from all over the world that are considering citizenship by investment programs in every corner of the globe. We are well versed in each program’s details and can offer expert guidance to our clients. Below we break down the most popular citizenship by investment programs and some of the most important details of each one.

Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs

St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship by Investment

The St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship by investment program is the oldest and longest-operating program in the world. It is considered the most premium program in the Caribbean by many, and its passport offers visa-free travel to a higher number of countries than any other program in the Caribbean.

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Donation from $125,000

Real estate from $200,000

Time to citizenship: 3-4 Months

Visa-free travel: 155+ Countries

St. Kitts & Nevis allows investors to choose between investing in real estate or contributing to the Sustainable Development Fund in the country.

This is one of the most cost-friendly citizenship by investment programs, with a family of 4 having access to the program with a $170,000 contribution to the fund. Real estate fees can range from $200,000 - $400,000, making this the more costly option for St. Kitts & Nevis.

There are significant tax benefits for applicants because St. Kitts & Nevis does not tax income, capital gains, or inheritance. Passport holders can also register a business in the country to enjoy similar tax benefits from a business perspective. Citizenship can be passed down through generations as well.

St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment

Together with Dominica, St. Lucia is one of the two most affordable citizenship programs for single applicants. St. Lucia also offers an attractive bond investment route to citizenship which is not offered by the other Caribbean countries. Through this route, the investor gets the investment back, in full, after 5 years.

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Donation from $100,000

Real estate from $200,000

Time to citizenship: 3-4 Months

Visa-free travel: 140+ Countries

As one of the most economically stable countries in the Caribbean, St. Lucia offers extraordinary benefits to its economic citizenship applicants.

Investors will have access to 145 countries visa-free and can register their company in St. Lucia, making it easier to utilize international banks and conduct deals in foreign currencies.

There is a wide range of options available to interested investors, including a contribution to the state fund, investment in government bonds, purchase of real estate, and a business venture investment.

Dominica Citizenship by Investment

This program is one of the two most affordable options for single applicants. Dominica is known to accept various nationalities which are considered “restricted nationalities” by other citizenship programs.

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Donation from $100,000

Real estate from $200,000

Time to citizenship: 3-4 Months

Visa-free travel: 135+ Countries

Dominica is also known as being one of the cheapest citizenship by investment programs in existence.

No one thinks of hot springs in the Caribbean, but Dominica has some of the best hot springs, coupled with its lush rainforests and endless beaches. It is also known as being one of the cheapest citizenship by investment programs in existence.

Starting at just $100,000, the investment requirements can be fulfilled with a small contribution to the state fund or a larger real estate investment of $200,000. The low price tag by no means indicates fewer perks; this program offers great travel benefits, tax breaks, and allows future generations to be added as citizens.

Grenada Citizenship by Investment

Grenada stands out from its Caribbean neighbors as it has an E2 visa treaty with the United States, which enables the investor to easily obtain residency in the US.

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Donation from $150,000

Real estate from $220,000

Time to citizenship: 3-4 Months

Visa-free travel: 140+ Countries

Known as the “spice island,” Grenada offers applicants a bit of sweetness when becoming a Grenada citizen.

Not only is the island filled with warm beaches, great hiking, and notoriously friendly people, but Grenada’s CBI program grants wonderful travel benefits, including an E2 U.S. visa possibility. This type of visa allows holders to live and work in the United States instead of just visiting.

Real estate and state fund contributions are both accepted investment forms. The state fund starts at $150,000 for a single investor while real estate requires a base $220,000 investment for one applicant.

Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship by Investment

For larger families, this program is the most affordable option in the Caribbean.

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Donation from $100,000

Real estate from $200,000

Time to citizenship: 4-6 Months

Visa-free travel: 145+ Countries

For Antigua & Barbuda passport holders, it is possible to apply for a 10-year B1/B2 visa for the United States, which allows people to travel to the U.S. and stay in the country for up to six months out of the year.

There are also a number of tax benefits and other travel benefits offered by this citizenship by investment program.

Applying can take a number of different routes, with state fund contribution, real estate investment, university investment, and business investment all being accepted investment routes.

European Citizenship by Investment Programs

Montenegro Citizenship by Investment

Montenegro offers high-standard European living and is likely to become a member of the European Union in 2025.

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Donation from $200,000

Real estate from $250,000

Time to citizenship: 5-6 Months

Visa-free travel: 120+ Countries

Update: The program of Montenegro closed on the 31st of December, 2022.

Though Montenegro is not a member of the European Union yet, there is a pending application that could make the country an EU member country, which is incredibly valuable. It grants its passport holders low tax rates at 9% and easy travel opportunities.

Montenegro requires applicants to purchase real estate and contribute to their state fund, with the minimum qualifying investment totaling €450,000. For a potential EU member, this investment cost is incredibly affordable.

Turkey Citizenship by Investment

Unlike the other citizenship programs, the Turkish passport is generally not considered a strong passport for travel purposes. However, Turkey can be a great option for real estate investors who do not need visa-free access to the European Schengen Zone.

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Donation from Not available

Real estate from $400,000

Time to citizenship: 4-6 Months

Visa-free travel: 110+ Countries

Positioned perfectly between Europe and Asia, Turkey offers its residents access to both powerful markets, a fascinating history, and a low cost of living.

Though the country is not an official member of the European Union, it does have an active application to become a member, potentially granting Turkey passports access to the EU in the future.

Turkey also grants its citizens fantastic health care for free and accessible higher education opportunities, two benefits that many countries do not offer.

Malta Citizenship by Investment

Among all programs, the Maltese citizenship program comes with the highest requirements in terms of documentation and investment amount. It does, however, offer the strongest passport that can be obtained through investment, and it is the only country in the European Union to offer citizenship to investors. Investors should note that, unlike other citizenship programs, Malta regularly publishes the names of all new citizens.

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Donation from $600,000

Real estate from Not available

Time to citizenship: 12-36 Months

Visa-free travel: 180+ Countries

Malta requires applicants to purchase real estate and contribute to their state fund.

Malta is a tiny country situated on the Mediterranean coastline, but the geographical size of the country is no indicator of the benefits it can offer investors through citizenship by investment.

Not only does it grant investors access to living and working anywhere in the European Union, but the Malta passport is the 9th strongest passport in the world, allowing for visa-free travel to many countries.

Applying for this program is complex as it requires applicants to obtain a residence permit for 1-3 years before applying, depending on the size of the planned investment. Additionally, Malta is a costly option in comparison to its counterparts because it offers such extensive benefits. It is great for families who are looking to provide their children with future opportunities anywhere in the European Union.

Oceania The only citizenship program

Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment

The Vanuatu citizenship by investment program is the fastest and most simple citizenship program available to investors. Very few documents are required, and all documentation can be provided digitally.

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Donation from $130,000

Real estate from Not available

Time to citizenship: 1-2 Months

Visa-free travel: 98 Countries

Boasting one of the most streamlined citizenship by investment programs, applicants can complete the entire process and receive their passports in as little as one month.

There is no need to worry about language requirements or residency requirements; a simple investment will do.

For a base investment in the national development fund of just $130,000, an applicant can enjoy visa-free travel benefits, open a business in Vanuatu that is not required to pay taxes for 20 years, and garner more financial freedom by paying less in personal taxes than ever before.

Reasons Countries Offer Citizenship by Investment

Reasons Countries Offer Citizenship by Investment

There are many benefits available to those who choose to apply for a second passport through a citizenship by investment program, but the countries who offer these programs also experience many benefits in return. Some countries choose to offer CBI opportunities in order to bring in foreign direct investments, increase the presence of international businesses to create more jobs, and gain more financial support for necessary investments in the betterment of their country.

These investments allow more funds to be put in circulation in all the countries with citizenship programs, which often, directly impacts how prosperous that country is in the future. It is important to keep in mind that these opportunities are meant to benefit investors and the country itself.

Some countries choose to offer CBI opportunities in order to bring in foreign direct investments

Gain more financial support for necessary investments in the betterment of their country

Increase the presence of international businesses to create more jobs

Who Can Obtain a Passport by Investment?

Every program is different, but at a general level, obtaining a second passport requires applicants to have a clean background, be 18 years of age or older, and of course, be able to fund the investment requirements for their chosen program. In most cases, the applicant can also include their spouse and dependents on the application with them. Some citizenship by investment programs allow for dependent parents or adult children to be added, and others even allow the investor to include their siblings on the application.

Citizenship by Investment Passports

Does a Second Citizenship Require Passport Forfeiture?

Many countries have strict rules about dual citizenship, and there is a large number of countries that will not allow their citizens to hold a second passport. With citizenship by investment programs, it is commonly accepted that applicants do not want to forfeit their current passport, and instead, are looking to add another passport to their lives. For this reason, most countries with citizenship by investment programs do not require applicants to give up their first passport and they will not report applicants to their home country.

In short, citizenship by investment is a great way to get a second passport without being required to surrender a current passport.

Regulations of Economic Citizenship

As mentioned, every country with a citizenship by investment program has different requirements that must be followed by each applicant. All programs require a clean background check as a basis, followed by the fulfillment of the investment agreement.

There are some nuances with every program, so be on the lookout for details about what each program requires. Sometimes, CBI programs require investors to make a visit to the country, whereas others can be completed fully remotely. Some require passport holders to reside in the country for a certain amount of time every year and others do not have a residency requirement at all. It varies, but by working with a qualified team of experts such as us, applicants are less likely to miss specific requirements along the way.

Benefits of Holding a Second Passport

The reasoning each applicant has for wanting to obtain a second passport will often be uniquely individual, but many of the benefits offered by these programs are similar. Here are some of the most popular benefits of pursuing citizenship by investment in another country:

Woman holding Passport

Travel Perks

Being able to travel without a visa is a luxury that is hard to come by for residents of many countries around the world. However, countries that offer citizenship by investment are usually very high in terms of “passport strength,” meaning that they have agreements with countries all over the world to allow holders of their passport to travel without visa requirements. Aside from visa-free travels, some of these programs open up opportunities to get long-term working visas in places like the United States as well.

Financial Benefits

Financial Benefits

For investors that are looking for a way to reduce their tax burden and hold onto more of their hard-earned money, citizenship programs can be the perfect way to do so. If a country has a lower tax rate than an applicant’s home country or does not tax certain sorts of income such as salaries, dividends, inheritance, or capital gains, then those investors are able to greatly reduce the tax payments.

Social Benefits

Countries with strong infrastructure, healthy economies, elite health care and education standards, and an overall sense of safety can open their arms to applicants and their families, providing a legal, safe way for families to get the social benefits that are best for them. In some countries, free higher education is also one of the benefits given to citizens. With the rising competition for tuition all over the world, having greater access to education is a major benefit.

Safe Haven Opportunities

Safe Haven Opportunities

Citizens of countries where high rates of crime, dangerous economic collapses, or other crises are occurring can seek security and stability for themselves and their families through citizenship by investment. Being able to move their families to a safer place with more economic opportunity, access to healthcare, and more is something many people cannot put a price tag on. At that point, if an applicant is financially able, navigating the process to secure second passports for their family can be a life-changing benefit.

Happy family with a second citizenship

Business Benefits

Through citizenship by investment, many investors can also recognize massive benefits for their business ventures as well. Holding citizenship in specific countries often allows entrepreneurs to open businesses there, provide jobs to the public, and benefit from more relaxed tax rates than in their home country.

world map

Citizenship by Donation

Many citizenship by investment programs offer applicants the opportunity to fulfill investment requirements by submitting a donation to a state fund that supplies money for projects like critical infrastructure, healthcare advancements, economic support, or educational investments. This is a way to give back to a country that is welcoming new citizens. It is important that these programs do not become a way for countries to get taken advantage of by wealthy investors, but rather, build a symbiotic relationship between the investor and the country offering economic citizenship opportunities.

Mark Damsgaard

Head of Client Advisory

Portrait Photo with Passports

The Role of Global Residence Index

Since each program has different requirements, a nuanced process, and various documents needed, it is best to work with a firm of competent experts to help each applicant through their selected application process.

Aside from legalities and technical requirements, experienced agents can help resolve issues before they become problems. At Global Residence Index, we have been working as liaisons for our clients and the target country for years now. Our industry knowledge is unmatched and we pride ourselves in ensuring a seamless application process for all our clients.

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Common Investment Types

It is up to the discretion of each country to decide which investment options they would like to include as part of their program that allows applicants to apply for a second citizenship. Some countries offer multiple routes to interested applicants, whereas others only have one option. It is critical to consider the details of each country’s investment requirements before applying, as these are non-negotiable and must be followed exactly. Some of the most common to citizenship by investment are:

Citizenship through Real Estate Investment

This is one of the most common investment types on the market, though it can come to fruition in many different ways for each program. In some cases, applicants are simply required to make a real estate investment of a certain amount and these investments can be used as their homes or as an investment property. In other cases, the real estate investment must go towards a government-approved project such as a hotel or resort build. There may also be requirements on how long an investor has to hold onto an investment before re-selling, often in the 3-5 year range.

Citizenship through donation

Often called the “National Development Fund” or something similar, these state funds are pools of money that the government uses to invest back into its country, providing a direct benefit to its citizens. Most countries offer this investment route as an alternative option to the real estate investment, but other countries require both. Keep in mind that this investment type is a donation without the opportunity to make a return on the investment, other than the citizenship itself. However, it is a great option for applicants who are looking for a more simple and faster process.

Investment in Government Bonds

Investing in government bonds or other national securities is also a commonly accepted investment type for citizenship by investment programs. These bonds will have to be held for a certain amount of time before they are eligible to be sold.

Every program is slightly different, but these are three of the most common investment types offered by economic citizenship programs. It is up to each applicant to carefully review the options at hand and make the best investment decision for their personal finances.

Let us help you!

As a trusted citizenship by investment agent, our team is authorized to facilitate your application process, assess the ideal investment option for your unique situation, and keep you in compliance every step of the way. Our personalized investment migration consulting is your one-stop-shop for obtaining a second citizenship or new residency. Fill out our contact form to get started with a complimentary consultation today.

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What to expect during your free citizenship consultation?

We proudly offer free consultations to interested applicants.
Here is what you can expect from your free consultation with our advisory team:

1

By the end of the consultation, you will know if you’re eligible to apply so you don't spend time and money investigating yourself

2

We will answer any specific questions you have about the program and application process

3

Our advisory team will explain every step of the process in detail so you know what to expect

4

We’ll help you understand the best investment option for you