Countries Offering Citizenship by Investment
There are two well-known ways of acquiring citizenship of another country: i) being born in the country, or marriage to a citizen and naturalization, or ii) directly investing in the economy of the country. The rules and conditions set to fulfill this task differ in every country. Usually, long periods of stay and family ties are essential in approving citizenship applications, even if the individual applying for citizenship has invested a considerable amount in the country’s economy. However, few countries grant citizenship only based on the investment: Antigua and Barbuda, Cyprus, Dominica, Grenada, Malta, and St. Kitts and Nevis.
Citizenship obtained by investment has numerous advantages compared with the hereditary/marriage arrangements:
Easing up global mobility and visa-free travel to a limited number of countries (depending on the passport index of the target country)
Dual citizenship implies greater safety and a quick solution to political unrest and war
Long-term benefits for the family of investors, such as receiving a higher quality education
Plenty of opportunities to invest in international real estate markets
Tax planning/reduction/waiver based on profits made worldwide – some home countries do not subject worldwide income to tax
Facilitating business transactions/affairs
For these reasons, and for safeguarding the investor’s wealth, it is always advised to avoid dealing with brokers or institutes not directly affiliated with the government. Citizenship by investment can be granted in a relatively short period – up to three months in some cases even.
Here, we mainly focus on the benefits the countries listed below offer against obtaining their citizenship by investment. Besides, we have included the period it takes for approving citizenship by the government and the lowest amount an applicant needs to consider before applying for citizenship:
Antigua and Barbuda– 3 to 4 months; USD 100,000 donation and USD 400,000 real estate investment. Antigua and Barbuda passports enable their citizens to travel to 150 countries and pass citizenship to future generations.
Dominica – 2 to 4 months; USD 100,000 donation and USD 200,000 real estate investment. Dominican passport is ranked as the 41st strongest passport globally, providing its citizens with visa-free travel to 122 countries, including the EU and UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong. The application is open to all countries.
Grenada– 3 to 4 months; USD 150,000 donation and USD 220,000 real estate investment. Successful applicants holding Grenadian passports will have the opportunity to travel to 140 countries visa-free.
Portugal– A minimum of USD 280,000 real estate investment. After five years of being a legal permanent resident, Portugal’s permanent citizenship is possible based on passing a language proficiency test. Legal residency does not signify residing inside the country. This is a huge advantage for those who do not intend to move to the country and would like to manage their businesses from abroad.
Kitts and Nevis – 4 to 6 months; USD 150,000 donation and USD 235,050 real estate investment. St. Kitts and Nevis passports plus visa-free travel to over 150 countries will be granted.
Lucia– 3 to 4 months; USD 100,000 donation and USD 200,000 minimum real estate investment. St. Lucia citizenship is not hereditary, but their citizens can travel to 145 countries visa-free.
Turkey – 3 years, with strict rules to consider; a minimum of USD 250,000 real estate investment. Compared with the other countries included in this article, Turkey has set stringent rules over obtaining its citizenship by investment. Citizenship applicants should consider at least USD 250,000 to start investing in Turkish industries/markets.
Vanuatu– 2 months; USD 130,000 donation. Vanuatu citizenship provides visa-free travel to 130 countries, including the UK and EU countries, with no capital gain tax and language test requirement.
It is evident from the conditions above why citizenship by investment has recently attracted the attention of investors. Compared with the hereditary/marriage option that can be complicated and life-disrupting for many obvious reasons, citizenship by investment is a safe and rather fast option. As mentioned above, the applications and set of rules vary in each country, but the countries we considered here have been recognized as the best citizenship by investment programs in 2020.
To emphasize this further, we point out the specific reasons proving this point:
Vanuatuis popular for its fast and smooth application approval – 20 to 30 days at their earliest – in the world and granting a commonwealth passport.
St Kitts and Nevis government require no residency and visit the country to grant a passport through this method.
Luciagovernment offers investors the lowest fees for acquiring their passport.
Dominicanpassport demands the lowest investment fees, and no residency/visit to the country is required.
Grenadian citizenship is ideal for investors who frequently travel (visa-free) to China and Russia or apply for the US E-2 treaty visa in the future.
Antigua and Barbudacitizenship oblige the applicants to visit the country for five days after their temporary passport expires after five years. Once this condition is met, citizenship can be extended for another ten years.
The Turkishgovernment has eased citizenship by investment as the country has recently become an attractive destination for foreign investors. Investors can apply for citizenship through Turkish consulates across the world. Purchasing real estate is a popular way of obtaining a Turkish passport these days as it does not require visiting Turkey. Applying for the US E-2 treaty visa is also a huge advantage of Turkish citizenship.
At iKonnect, we provide families, individuals, and investors with the best and most expedited citizenship by investment and permanent residency programmes curated to their specific needs, all of which feature smooth and transparent processes emphasizing maximizing return on investment. Schedule a consultation with one of our citizenship specialists. Call +971 4 358 3309 or email us at info @ ikonnect.ae.