Citizenship by Investment Programs

Citizenship by Investment Programs

What are the differences between the various citizenship by investment programs?

The fastest and simplest program is the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program in the South Pacific where investors can obtain citizenship in as little as 30 days. One other benefit of Vanuatu is that the country has zero taxation. Even for resident citizens living in the country.

The most popular program is currently the St. Lucia citizenship by investment program that is offering a covid-19 relief bond offer. With this option, investors can invest in 5-year government bonds and qualify for citizenship. After the period, the investment sum is returned to the investor. Looking at the lumpsum costs, which consist of only administration and due diligence fees, the St. Lucia citizenship program is the most cost-effective program available.

When it comes to popularity, St. Lucia is followed by the Antigua and Barbuda citizenship program which can be a good option for real estate investors and families. Like for Vanuatu, Antigua & Barbuda does not have income taxes, even for resident citizens.

For investors looking to live and work within the EU, the option is the Malta citizenship by investment program. This program requires investments of over €1.000.000 which is significantly more than the Caribbean and South Pacific programs that generally start at $100.000.

How can we help you?

We at Hudson's Investment Migration Consultancy assist and advise clients looking to obtain new citizenship and/or residency. To date, we have helped a large number of clients from various parts of the world.

We work closely with government units and local agents in various jurisdictions, assuring that we can provide our clients with the best pricing possible while providing a professional and pleasant application experience.

Should you have any questions, or if you would like a detailed breakdown of the exact costs for your family, kindly contact us and we will be delighted to help you.

Citizenship by Investment Programs in 2021

Most people had never heard of Citizenship by Investment (CBI) until recently. Ordinarily, people obtain a country’s citizenship by:

  • birth
  • parents or grandparents being citizens
  • marriage
  • ordinary naturalization after few years of residence

What most people are not aware of is that most nationalities’ laws also have clauses that provide naturalization from an exceptional contribution to the country. These contributions can take many forms: artistic, scientific, athletic, economic, etc. Think about a foreign football player becoming naturalized so he can play for the national team. Many of these laws were also put in place after WWII to naturalize foreigners that fought for the country during the war or during the liberation. Now, what we called naturalization by merit or exceptional contribution has been extended to include economic contributions in certain cases. Many countries have these clauses in their law but most of them have no regulations guiding them. Those that have created regulations for naturalization by merit or exceptional contribution take the name of citizenship by investment or economic citizenship.

Ordinary Naturalization

Ordinary naturalization is the process of obtaining citizenship after having spent a certain number of years in the country. You are usually asked to have been physically present for X amount of years, be a permanent resident, speak the language, and pass a civil integration test. It’s what pretty much every immigrant has to go through to become naturalized. Of course, there are also common requirements such as not being a security risk and being able to financially support yourself.

Countries with naturalization by an exceptional economic contribution but without citizenship by investment programs

In those countries, a foreigner who has made a significant contribution to the economy can have many of the conditions imposed on ordinary naturalization waived, meaning you might not need to have resided a few years in the country or speak the language. The main difference rests in the process; it’s not straightforward. You will need to make your investment, not necessarily knowing if it’s enough, and you will have to start exceptional proceedings towards the government for them to hear your request. The process itself can take years and no precise guidelines have been established. You will usually come to proceedings in front of a judge or committee to hear your request. That committee might meet only once a year. The minister or president might have to sign off on the request for it to become valid. Some European countries do provide naturalization for economic contributions without having a citizenship by investment program in place, such as Austria or Poland. But they remain a gamble in comparison to those with CBIs. There are also countries like Romania that provide fast-track naturalization to foreigners that have invested a certain amount of capital in the country. These processes usually enable the applicants to reduce by a couple of years the number of years of residence required to apply.

Countries with Citizenship by Investment Programs

There are a handful of countries in the world that today offer a citizenship by investment program or economic citizenship. These programs have precise guidelines and investment requirements. In most cases, they don’t require the applicant to have resided in the country before and to know the language. They can offer a few investment options such as cash donation, real estate investment, or business investments. Most countries operating such programs are small nations that suffer from a high level of debt. These programs help them balance their budget and attract foreign capital. In the European Union, there are 3 CBIs that are currently available to investors: Bulgaria, Montenegro, and Malta. These programs, in contrast to the CBIs, in the Caribbean and the South Pacific, are fast-track naturalization schemes. They require the applicant to hold a residence permit for 1 year (6 months for Cyprus) in order to qualify for the CBI. While the applicant holds the permit (without the need to be physically present), the naturalization process is on its way. Countries that offer citizenship by investment programs allow dual citizenship, which might not be the case for other countries. These processes are complex and always require an intermediary in the form of an accredited agent.

Are You Looking to Obtain a Second Passport Through Citizenship Investment?

Let us help you to make the right decision.

We at Hudson's Investment Migration Consultancy assist and advise clients looking to obtain new citizenship and/or residency. To date, we have helped a large number of clients from various parts of the world.

We work closely with government units and local agents in various jurisdictions, assuring that we can provide our clients with the best pricing possible while proving a professional and pleasant application experience.

Should you have any questions, or if you would like a detailed breakdown of the exact costs for your family, kindly contact us and we will be delighted to help you.