Best Citizenship by Investment Programs for 2021
If you’re looking for the best citizenship by investment programs for 2021, then you’re on the right page. In this article, we’ll dissect some of the most attractive economic citizenship programs that you will be interested in. But before we dive in, let’s take a moment to understand what citizenship actually entails.
What Is Citizenship?
Citizenship is granted by a state or country to its citizens. It is like a sort of contract between a nation and its people where the inhabitants are given a number of privileges and rights including the right to live and freely travel in the country as well as outside the country to other nations that the country has favorable agreements with.
Citizens are also entitled to vote and be voted for and they also hold the right to work and run businesses in the home nation. All of these privileges are granted via citizenship and also subject to the citizen complying with the rules and laws governing the nation.
Advantages of Having a Dual Citizenship
There are quite a lot of reasons why you should consider acquiring dual citizenship. These reasons can range from an expanded global mobility to crucial personal safety. Today, applications for dual citizenship can be approved in just a few months.
This grants you citizenship for life with a valid second passport that comes with many visa-free travel options. The advantages of having dual citizenship include:
1. More visa-free travel options
A lot of passports are notorious for being too restrictive in their visa-free mobility. Consequently, this forces their citizens to apply for visas whenever they have to travel outside the country. Individuals with a second passport can get more visa-free travel options which the home nation’s may lack.
An example is Pakistan – where the passport only guarantees visa-free access to a mere 40 countries. In contrast, holding a Cyprus passport grants you access to as much as 164 countries. This limits the paperwork and waits involved in applying for visas before traveling to many countries.
2. Extra security
With dual citizenship, you can instantly dodge any unpalatable situation like political unrest in your home country. A second passport is naturally a priceless insurance for smart investors and their families. You can always travel to a peaceful, stable country in the event of any unfavorable situation in your home nation.
3. Extended business opportunities
Another advantage of having dual citizenship is the new business opportunities it brings to participants. Some of the best citizenship by investment programs have real estate options for individuals to invest in which can yield some impressive ROI in the next few years. Dual citizenship also allows individuals to do business in more than one country. You can literally expand your business overseas.
4. Tax optimization
If you live in a country with unfavorable tax policies, obtaining dual citizenship can prove highly advantageous. This is because some countries only collect tax on income earned within their shores. Some also do not subject capital gains to taxes as well. Also, there are chances that the taxes will be lower in your dual citizenship country. This lets you better manage your wealth more efficiently.
5. Second passport for your descendants
One of the most important reasons why you should get dual citizenship is the fact that it can most times be transferable to your kids and your subsequent descendants. This gives your unborn generation a priceless treasure as they can get to explore the best of both your home nation and your dual citizenship country.
6. Access to top quality social services
If you’re unsatisfied with the quality of social services in your home country, why not get dual citizenship? Many countries offer top quality education, healthcare, and other social facilities that can make life more worthwhile for you and your family. You’ll also get to pay less for these services since, of course, you’re a citizen and hold their passport.
How to Obtain Citizenship of Another Country
Now, that you know some of the awesome advantages attached to dual citizenship, you’ll likely be wondering how to get citizenship of another country. There are basically 5 major ways of getting a second citizenship. This section covers these methods:
Citizenship by Descent
To obtain dual citizenship, the first option to consider should be citizenship by descent. You never can tell, you just might be lucky to ancestral links to some nations that offer ancestral citizenship. This way of getting dual citizenship is by far the cheapest.
However, you’ll need to prove family ties to the foreign country. If you have evidence of this, then you may just be on your way to getting that coveted second passport. Through this mode, many people have acquired multiple citizenships.
Some of the countries that give second citizenship to descendants of emigrants include Hungary, France, Germany, England, Greece, Poland, Armenia, Portugal, Lithuania, Latvia, Italy, Ireland, etc. Because there are many nations that give citizenship via this route, their requirements will vary.
Generally, though, you should be capable of demonstrating a direct “uninterrupted” lineage connecting you to your ancestors. By uninterrupted, we mean no member of your ancestors must have lost or renounced their citizenship at any point before passing it on to the next descendant in your lineage.
If you plan on getting dual citizenship this way, then you’ll have to set up a meeting with your nearest consulate. However, you may have to wait several months and it will be in your best interest to take this waiting period as an opportunity to search and procure all the necessary documents you’ll be needing.
Depending on the country, you may also need to officially translate and certify your documents. In addition, be certain of exactly what is expected of you to come along with when you’re heading to the meeting.
Some nations would like to see a police report just to be certain you’re not a wanted criminal. As a result, this process can be lengthy to push through the right channels. So, if you’re going to take this route, it’s better to start now.
Citizenship by Marriage
Another alternative way of obtaining citizenship in another country is by marriage. Marrying a citizen of certain countries puts you on the path to the eligibility of getting citizenship and a second passport. However, you will still be required to live in the country of your spouse for a period to qualify for citizenship.
Being married to a foreign citizen can ease your application for citizenship. You should also find out if your spouse can claim ancestry by bloodlines. It would make a lot more sense to first have them finish up that process if they do have ancestral links in other countries.
Afterward, they can assist you in getting citizenship by marriage. Before commencing the process, get in touch with a qualified immigration attorney first. As attractive as this option looks, it may not always be the most convenient route for you.
Citizenship by Investment
If you want to quickly skip the lengthy wait and ancestral requirements, you can choose the citizenship by investment option. Be warned though, this alternative isn’t for the financially challenged. It is the fastest way of getting citizenship, albeit, at a high price.
Citizenship by investment (CBI) involves putting money in a foreign country either by investing or donating. Afterward, you’ll be granted citizenship by the authorities in that country. Thus, the name – “economic citizenship”.
It is a very legal way of actually buying citizenship. It usually involves two different alternatives where applicants can either make a donation to the government in exchange for citizenship or they can invest in businesses, real estate, financial instruments, etc., which have been pre-approved by the government.
However, some economic citizenship programs may require applicants to fulfill both obligations of donation and investment. Depending on the programs, these investments are quite pricey running from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars.
If you believe this is your best method of obtaining second citizenship, then keep reading this article as we will discuss the best citizenship by investment programs you can consider for 2021.
Citizenship by Naturalization
Here, the process involves individuals applying for residency and subsequently achieving eligibility to request citizenship. Many countries across the world offer this method of granting citizenship. Once an individual acquires residency first, they are obligated to maintain it for a required number of years (can be a minimum of 5 years).
However, getting a foreign residency may not be so easy. Some countries have made the process more stringent than others. In the United States, for example, immigration rules have gotten tighter than a needle hole. It is now more difficult for foreigners to get a Green Card.
Whereas in other nations like Panama for instance, the entire residency process is fast and even cheaper. Within 5 years of living in Panama, you can qualify for their citizenship. However, it would still be wise to connect and display strong ties to the country in order to be approved.
Citizenship by naturalization is a unique alternative for individuals who want to experience life anew. It is ideal for those who want a place to go regardless of what’s going on across the world. After going through the residency requirements they can get rewarded with a second passport in a few years.
Citizenship by Special Circumstances
Getting foreign citizenship doesn’t come easy or cheap. However, by some special circumstances, an individual can be granted one. Often referred to as citizenship by exception in some quarters, the power to give citizenship by special circumstances rests solely at the discretion of a nation’s leader.
However, such individuals would have to be outstanding in some way or have demonstrated a particular feat worthy of getting rewarded with citizenship. In the Middle East, for instance, some countries over there are likely to recruit promising African athletes that’ll compete for them.
Knowing their citizens are not competitive enough for sporting tournaments, they’re on the hunt for the best athletes from other countries. They can quickly fast track the whole citizenship process for outstanding individuals that can represent them in such huge sports competitions like the Olympic Games.
In some parts of Asia, as well, they are likely to grant naturalization and citizenship to individuals displaying exceptional skills in art.
The Best 10 Citizenship by Investment Programs You Can Get Now
Whether you’re seeking a new lifestyle or a second home, CBI programs are the fastest means of getting a second passport. However, do note that despite investing or donating money, all citizenship by investment programs still come with additional processing and due diligence fees. Here’s a quick run-through of some of the 10 best citizenship by investment programs you can get now.
Antigua & Barbuda
Antigua & Barbuda citizenship by investment grants a second passport to investors who qualify. The application process has three alternatives applicants can choose from. This includes depositing a minimum of $200,000 into the country’s National Development Fund in addition to investing in a local business or buying real estate.
Antigua & Barbuda is an attractive option because of its top rank as one of the safest Caribbean countries. In addition, the nation is made up of 365 islands surrounded by crystal clear blue waters. The scenery is breathtaking and the pace of life can easily be described as relaxed. It is an ideal location for retirement while trying out sail-boating or even scuba diving as a new hobby.
Dominica offers the cheapest and easiest way to obtain a second citizenship. From a minimum of just $100,000, you could get yourself and your immediate family second passports. All of these can be achieved under four months.
The Dominica passport ranks 37th in the world because it offers exciting visa-free travel to more than 130 countries including the Schengen Area in Europe.
Aside from being a beautiful destination, Grenada citizenship by investment may be the most valuable in the Caribbean region because of its US E-2 visa opportunity. The application process involves real estate investment or donation to the Grenadian government. For a minimum of $158,000, you could be flaunting your new Grenada passport with visa-free access to over 140 nations including China and the Schengen Area.
St. Kitts & Nevis
One of the best citizenship by investment programs you can opt for, St. Kitts & Nevis is one of the oldest economic citizenship with a commendable reputation. Upon parting with a minimum amount of $157,500, you can get their passport. What’s more, the passport guarantees visa-free travel to 131 countries
St. Lucia is a tropical eastern Caribbean island boasting a high-earning population, impressive safety records, as well as swathes of stunning landscapes to soak in. The St. Lucia citizenship by investment program is one of the most competitive ones.
The application is also smooth and straightforward with the entire process of citizenship rounded up in just 4 months. Along with the usual due diligence checks and health record review, individuals will have to donate to the St. Lucia National Economic Fund or invest in any one of government bonds, real estate, other investments in certain enterprises.
Although Cyprus is one of the best citizenship by investment programs you can go for, it comes at a rather hefty price. You’d have to cough out a whooping €2,150,000 (minimum) to obtain Cypriot citizenship. You are allowed to invest in any of (or a combination of) real estate, bonds, securities. The Cyprus passport gives you visa-free access to 172 countries. There are also additional benefits attached to owning a Cypriot passport. One of those benefits is the fact that it is an EU passport. This also grants you access to live and work in any nation within the European Union.
Malta is another country in Europe that can be considered as an EU citizenship by investment because of the European access attached to the passport. Unfortunately, like Cyprus, it doesn’t come cheap. To qualify for Malta citizenship by investment program, you’ll have to pay a minimum of €1,150,000 spread over donations and investments in real estate, stocks, and bonds. The country has a rich, Mediterranean culture yet is surprisingly well-developed. A Maltese passport also guarantees visa-free access to 155 nations across the world.
Montenegro citizenship by investment is one of the newest CBI programs. Although Montenegro is in Europe, it is not a member of the European Union. This is one of the reasons why their CBI program is a lot cheaper than that of Malta and Cyprus at the moment. For a minimum of €350,000 spread over donations and real estate investment, you can get your Montenegro passport. This value of this CBI program could go higher in the next few years as, by 2025, Montenegro is expected to become a member of the European Union. The Montenegrin passport grants visa-free access to 111 countries across the world.
Turkey citizenship by investment is another program to consider for a second passport. However, because it is a predominantly Muslim country, you may have to take time to consider how favorable the country would be for you, especially if you’re non-muslim. Getting a Turkish passport costs a minimum of $250,000 and it would require applicants to invest in real estate, local businesses, venture capitalist funds, or government bonds. With a Turkish passport, you can access 112 countries visa-free.
Located in the region of Oceania, Vanuatu economic citizenship makes the cut as one of the 10 best citizenship by investment programs. The application requirement for Vanuatu citizenship by investment is via donation of a minimum amount of $180,000. This adequately caters to a family of 4 (the applicant, a spouse, and two children). Aside from granting a passport that boasts access to 116 countries, the Vanuatu CBI program is also the fastest. In just 45 days, you can get a Vanuatu passport.
How to Choose the Best Citizenship by Investment Program for You
What you consider as the best citizenship by investment program rests largely on your circumstances and requirements. However, some investment programs are more popular than others. Here’s a comprehensive table distinguishing some of the most sought after programs you can choose from.
|Country||Minimum investment||Type of investment||Stay requirement||Time until citizenship||Ease of process|
|Antigua and Barbuda||$132,850||Transfer of funds||5 days per year||7 months||Easy|
|Cyprus||€2,000,000||Real estate and other options||N/A||9 months||Medium|
|Dominica||$262,550||Real estate and other options||N/A||6 months||Medium|
|St. Kitts & Nevis||$150,000||Real estate and other options||None||Fast track option 2 months||Easy|
|Grenada||$150,000||Real estate or government donation||None||3 months||Easy|
|St. Lucia||$100,000||Real estate & other options||None||4 months||Medium|
|Malta||€900,000||Investment and donations||N/A||18 months||Easy|
Some of the factors that may influence your decision include whether you intend to relocate or not. The type of investment you plan on making is also equally important especially and it may require a deeper examination of the potential returns it can generate for you.
Top Citizenship by Investment Countries
There are lots of citizenship by investment programs in the world today. In this section, we will cover the top citizenship by investment countries with their total cost plus government fees. However, note that on top of the donation or investment amount and relative government fees, you’ll still be required to pay a commission to an authorized agent.
The agent will be the one to lodge your CBI application with the government. If you’re confused about how to get an agent or concerned about falling into the merciless hands of charlatans, then continue reading this article. We will recommend the best agent you can use to follow through with your citizenship by investment application.
EU Citizenship by Investment Programs
Before we take a look at the EU citizenship by investment programs, let’s briefly understand the difference between the European Union, the Eurozone, and the Schengen Area. Now, the European Union (EU), the Schengen Area, and the Eurozone are a collection of different countries associated within the same continent. (however, many of these countries belong to all 3 blocs)
The EU consists of a union of 27 European states (minus the UK) united under a political and economic association. This association grants free movement of people, goods, and services across all member states. Basically, citizens of one EU nation can live, study, work, and retire in any other EU nation.
The Schengen Area is made up of 26 European nations who have legally abolished passports and other forms of border control to ease traveling within their member nations.
The Eurozone is a coalition of 19 European countries (all of which are also in the EU). All the nations that belong in the Eurozone have taken up the Euro as their common currency. In addition, although Montenegro is listed as a European country in this section, its passport, unfortunately, doesn’t come with the right to live and work in the EU.
Cyprus Citizenship Program
The Cyprus citizenship program comes with a number of investment options, however, at €2,150,000 (VAT inclusive), it’s quite on the high side. With the Cyprus CBI scheme, you can choose to invest in bonds or securities of a Cypriot business which is licensed by the State’s Securities and Exchange Commission.
You are also allowed to invest in a Cypriot business that employs a minimum of 5 natives or you can invest in real estate. Cyprus citizenship scheme is one of the best citizenship by investment programs because applicants can also combine all of these investments and spread their capital.
However, keep in mind that an interested individual is still required to purchase a residence valued at a minimum of €500,000. For the individuals who opt for the real estate option, this residence can be added to the €2,000,000 (including fees) total investment.
For applicants who decide to invest in other Cypriot assets, the mandatory real estate purchase of €500,000 is added to their €2,000,000 investment. After a period of 6 months of obligatory residency, you’ll be eligible to obtain your passport. A Cypriot passport unlocks visa-free travel to 152 countries.
To get more details, visit Cyprus’ official citizenship by investment page.
Malta Citizenship Program
The Malta citizenship program is the first EU-approved CBI scheme. It doesn’t come cheap though and to add to it, you’ll have to secure residency as well. You’re also obligated to live in Malta for a minimum number of days to demonstrate strong ties to the nation.
For a family of 4 (applicant with spouse and 2 minor children), you’ll have to donate €650,000 which goes to the National Development & Social Fund (plus an additional €25,000 for the spouse and each minor child).
In addition, you’re expected to buy real estate with a minimum value of €350,000 which must not be sold until after 5 years or you rent a property with an annual minimum rent of €16,000 for 5 years.
You’ll also be required to invest a minimum of €150,000 in selected government-approved financial instruments that can be bonds, stocks, etc. This investment is also bound to be held for a minimum of 5 years too.
This brings the total sum to €1,150,000 including government fees. Remember that you’ll still have to obtain Maltese residency. However, within 12 months of maintaining residency, you will be granted citizenship and a passport that allows visa-free travel to 158 nations.
When compared to the Cyprus citizenship program, Malta’s CBI has a more competitive price tag and is thus, the best value in the European Union. The Maltese passport is also the best travel document among the available EU citizenship by investment countries.
For further information, kindly refer to Malta’s official citizenship by investment website.
Montenegro Citizenship Program
Formally launched in November 2019, Montenegro is one of the newest citizenship by investment programs. Although it was initially put on a 4-month hold soon after its opening, as of May 2020, the program is fully up and running.
In order to qualify for Montenegro citizenship by investment, applicants are expected to donate the sum of €100,000 to a government fund. Furthermore, they are also required to buy real estate by choosing from two alternatives:
- Invest a minimum of €250,000 in real estate available in the central or northern Montenegrin region (which is not as developed as you might like)
- Make an investment in real estate in Podgorica (the country’s capital) or along the country’s coastal area worth a minimum of €450,000.
These real estate properties must be government-approved projects and the good thing here is that there are quite a lot of approved projects for you to choose from as the government continues to add more options.
At the moment, Montenegro citizenship by investment offers a more affordable option compared to Malta’s yet is still more expensive than the Caribbean alternatives which offer similar or even better passports.
However, things can change pretty quickly for Montenegro when they join the EU (potentially later in 2025). By then, a Montenegrin passport would have likely become more substantially valuable should thus be considered one of the best citizenship by investment programs.
As of now though, the Montenegrin passport grants visa-free access to 111 nations including the EU but excluding the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, and China.
Caribbean Citizenship by Investment Programs
The region at the forefront of CBI sales is the Caribbean. Countries here basically deliver the best offer for your money. Although EU countries like Cyprus and Malta have better passports, their pricey nature can be a turn off for many people.
Also, Caribbean passports are selling in a big way at the moment. Back in 2017, the prices were slashed soon after hurricanes ravaged many of the islands. Consequently, a lot of money was needed by the Caribbean islands to rebuild all the damaged infrastructure.
Thus, they put up discounts for their CBI programs to draw in more capital. Similarly, due to the coronavirus pandemic and the subsequent economic collapse trailing it, these island nations had to cut the price even further.
The bottom line is if you’re interested in getting a good deal on economic citizenship, check out the Caribbean citizenship by investment program.
Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship Program
The cheapest alternative in the Antigua & Barbuda citizenship program is by donating to the National Development Fund (NDF). For a donation of $100,000 (with $37,500 as fees for individual applicants and $45,000 for a family of 4), you’ll obtain citizenship and a second passport that comes with visa-free access to 129 nations. The areas you can visit visa-free include the Schengen Area, the UK, and Brazil.
However, only recently it became even more affordable for larger families to become eligible for passports. Previously, a family of 4 (with kids not older than 12 as kids over the age of 12 years old will need to pay an additional diligence fee) would have cost about $145,000 across the donation amount and relevant government fees.
The price also shot up quickly for bigger families as a family of 6 would have to pay nearly $200,000 for the passport. Fortunately, at the moment, any family with a minimum of 6 members can donate a fund to the expansion of the University of the West Indies.
The donation amount costs just $150,000 and it goes up by $15,000 for each additional family member beyond the 6th one. After summing up all applicable fees, the entire cost for a family of 6 would amount to around $165,000.
There’s an extra perk attached to this particular donation option. A member of the family will get one year of free tuition at the University of the West Indies. This literally makes Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment the best value for families when compared to other CBI alternatives.
Applicants may also consider making investments in the country’s local businesses and real estate.
Besides donating to the government fund, Antigua also offers investments in real estate and local businesses. It would cost you a minimum of $200,000 (plus $45,000 in fees for a family of 4 members) to buy a government-approved real estate property.
While swapping the property you bought for another government-approved one is possible, you’d have to first hold the initial property for a minimum of 5 years.
You can also choose to invest in a business in Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment. However, this would cost you $1.5m (excluding fees) or $400,000 if you’re co-investing along with other people.
Find out more about Antigua and Barbuda’s citizenship program here
Dominica Citizenship Program
A good reason why Dominica is one of the best citizenship by investment programs out there is because of the real estate option it offers. Dominica has arguably the best value real estate alternative for investors.
While the reputation of the program may be questionable, their offer of citizenship by investment can benefit you. In this CBI program, investors can purchase property worth a minimum of $200,000. Adding up government, processing, as well as due diligence fees to this becomes $233,500 per applicant ($247,500 for a family of 4).
There is also a donation option through the State’s Economic Diversification Fund (EDF). Here, $200,000 plus $12,500 in fees can cover a family of 4 ($108,500 for a single applicant). After satisfying all the requirements, investors will get a second passport that guarantees visa-free travel to 122 nations including Brazil, the UK, and the Schengen Area.
Check out the Dominica official citizenship by investment website to get more information
Grenada Citizenship Program
Grenada citizenship program was kickstarted in 2013 and it has rapidly established itself as one of the best citizenship by investment programs in the field. In this scheme, investors are allowed to donate to the National Transformation Fund (NTF).
For $220,000 (fees inclusive), a family of 4 (with minor children only) citizenship will be granted and passports, given to all members of the family. While for single applicants, they’ll have to pay only $150,000 (plus $8000 fees).
For investors who choose the real estate alternative, they will be required to pay a minimum of $350,000 to buy a real estate property along with an additional $58,000 in government, application, processing, and due diligence fees. This amount qualifies a single individual for the Grenadian passport.
However, if you intend to add a spouse, you’ll pay an extra $8,000 in fees while additional dependents (not more than 17 years old) will cost $2,000 each per head. Furthermore, applicants who choose the real estate option are obligated to hold the property for a minimum of 3 years.
The Grenadian passport grants visa-free access to 122 countries including the UK, the Schengen Area, and Brazil. It also allows visa-free travel to China and is the only Caribbean nation that grants this unique benefit.
Another reason why Grenada’s program is regarded as one of the best citizenship by investment programs is that as far back as 1989, the nation signed a treaty with the United States. This agreement allowed Grenadians to live, work, and do business in the US under the E-2 Investor Visa treaty.
For further information on their program, visit the official Grenada citizenship by investment website.
St. Kitts & Nevis Citizenship Program
St. Kitts & Nevis has been in the business of selling passports for over 3 decades. Presently, they have two options on offer for those who want to purchase a second passport through their economic citizenship program.
There’s the nation’s Sustainable Growth Fund requiring investors to make a contribution of $150,000 per applicant with an extra $7,500 as government fees. In 2020, however, a family of 4 (kids must be younger than 16 years of age) can now get St Kitts & Nevis passports for every member of the family for the same price!
That’s $150,000 plus an additional $11,500 in fees. Amazing, right? Unfortunately, this discount may not last long as it is set to expire by December 31, 2020. The second option is to purchase a piece of approved real estate.
The minimum investment needed to qualify for this is $200,000 plus $24,050 in government fees per applicant and additional dependents less than 16 years of age. Furthermore, the property must be picked from a list of government-approved real estate and can only be sold after a minimum of 7 years.
Previously, St Kitts’s real estate citizenship alternative required an investment worth at least $400,000. You can still go for this option if you intend to sell your property in less time as the property is allowed to be sold after a minimum of 5 years rather than 7.
The passport from St. Kitts & Nevis grants visa-free travel to 131 countries. To find out more, kindly check the official St. Kitts & Nevis citizenship by investment web page.
St. Lucia Citizenship Program
For single applicants, St Lucia citizenship by investment program seems to be the best value CBI program. Also, because of its COVID-19 sale, it is also one of the smartest deals for families. The St. Lucia citizenship program began in 2016 and offers plenty of alternatives for applicants.
Donation to the country’s National Economic Fund (NEF) is the cheapest option as a single applicant can get a second passport by contributing $109,500 to the fund. For a family of 4, on the other hand, they get a discount based on the pandemic sale.
$167,500 will get a family of 4 St. Lucia’s second passports. It’s quite a steal when you consider the fact that the price is down by $40,000. If you do not want to donate, there are alternative real estate and government bonds you can invest in.
For the real estate option, you will be required to invest a minimum of $300,000 in high-branded hotels and resorts as well as high-end boutique properties. The total amount including fees for a family of 4 sums up to $372,500.
If you choose to buy government bonds, keep in mind that you’d have to keep the bonds for a minimum of 5 years. One more thing you should note is that these bonds do not yield any interest and are surprisingly expensive.
You’d have to pay a total of $567,000 (fees inclusive) for a family of 4 to purchase these bonds. However, the government has introduced new, more affordable “COVID-19 Relief Bonds” to the St. Lucia citizenship program.
The new promo bonds cost $287,500 (including fees) for a single applicant and they must hold it for a minimum of 5 years while a family of 4 will pay $292,500 (fees inclusive) for the bonds which must be held for at least 7 years.
St. Lucia remains one of the best citizenship by investment programs because it has the most attractive deal for single applicants and is a fantastic competitor for families thanks to its exclusive COVID-19 sale. Getting a second passport from St. Lucia grants visa-free travel to 123 nations including countries in the Schengen Area and the UK.
You can visit St. Lucia’s official citizenship by investment website for more information.
Other Citizenship by Investment Programs
Below are some other alternative CBI programs outside Europe and the Caribbean.
Turkey Citizenship Program
In 2017, Turkey launched its citizenship by investment program. However, it didn’t generate much buzz because the $1,000,000 price tag seemed overpriced for many investors willing to purchase Turkish real estate in order to get a second passport.
Thus, it came as no surprise that by 2018, Turkey slashed the minimum investment amount to $250,000 following a lack of substantial interest. This made all the difference in the end as within a year, the nation received over 2,600 applications.
This made the Turkey citizenship by investment scheme the most popular CBI program in the world at the time. However, note that the Turkish passport isn’t for everyone. The reason is that Turkey is a predominantly Islamic nation. Little wonder most of its applicants are Middler Easterners.
Furthermore, the political situation in Turkey isn’t getting any better. The government sinks deeper into totalitarianism each passing day following the attempted 2016 coup d’etat.In fact, as of the time of writing this article, news came in that the Turkish President demanded his citizens boycott French goods because France spoke up against radical Islamism.
However, taking an opportunistic look at the situation in Turkey, their currency, the Lira, dropped significantly in value on the foreign exchange against the US dollar during the last few years. This means that the $250,000 minimum investment amount should be a tad lower now.
If you still insist Turkey is the best citizenship by investment program for you, then you can apply by purchasing real estate worth at least $250,000. You can also get Turkish citizenship by investing in government bonds, a local business, or a venture capital fund.
Choosing any of these other options will drive your minimum investment amount up to $500,000. You may also choose to deposit $500,000 in a local Turkish bank and keep it there for a minimum of 3 years. Fulfilling these obligations will lead grant you Turkish citizenship.
However, be aware that the passport may not be as attractive as the other CBI programs discussed in this article. A Turkish passport gives you visa-free access to 112 nations. This does not include the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, and the Schengen Area.
Vanuatu Citizenship Program
Finally, the Vanuatu citizenship by investment program. Located in the region of Oceania, Vanuatu is a classic archipelago situated just a thousand miles east of the Australian coast. To get a second passport from here, you can donate to the country’s Development Support Program. It costs a non-refundable sum of $180,000 for a family of four (fees inclusive).
Vanuatu’s passport allows visa-free travel to 116 countries including all the nations of Europe, the United Kingdom, Russia, Singapore, and Hong Kong. If you want a passport in the shortest possible time, then you should go through the Vanuatu route.
Under just 45 days, you could be holding your very own second passport. Vanuatu is the fastest CBI program in the world and this places it as one of the best citizenship by investment programs.
To get more information about this program, check out the official website of Vanuatu citizenship by investment.
Who Needs an Economic Citizenship Program?
Basically, everyone should endeavor to get a second passport by the best means available. It is a necessary insurance booklet we recommend everyone to obtain. Unfortunately, the economic citizenship route may not be available for many people.
A regular individual whose net worth is just under $100,000 wouldn’t find it smart to buy a passport worth over that amount just to insure their assets. Thus, the need to explore other avenues of getting a second passport would be the next move.
Regular individuals are encouraged to check their family tree in case they may have any ancestors with strong ties to a foreign nation that accepts citizenship by descent. Another option would be to go through foreign residency programs or get married to a citizen of a foreign nation then complete the naturalization route.
The two most important sets of individuals that need an economic citizenship program are high-net-worth Americans and people who hold bad passports.
Although the American passport is one of the most powerful travel documents in the world today, granting visa-free access to several nations, however, it can still prove to be highly beneficial to the right kind of individual.
The US is the most popular country on the planet that taxes its citizens on income they make wherever they are across the globe. Basically, if an American resides outside the US shores (while making over $107,600 annually) they’re still required to pay taxes to the IRS of both the US and their present country of residence.
Although they may get a break on their salaries, still, they need to continue paying taxes on the first dollar of investment income to the IRS regardless of their salary level. The only way to avoid this American tax shackle is by renouncing your US citizenship.
And if you have to do this, you’ll need to acquire a very good citizenship and passport first. Note that renouncing your US citizenship is a very drastic step to take so think it hard and through first. If you finally decide to get a second passport, you can choose from a selection of the best citizenship by investment programs discussed in this article.
People who hold bad passports
A bad passport can be described as one that is unable to access continents like Europe and North America visa-free. If you hold this kind of passport currently, then you’re highly limited in terms of your ability to operate businesses in the world’s largest economies.
For instance, Saudi Arabian citizens are unable to travel to Japan, Germany, the United States, the United Kingdom, China, or France visa-free. These are all countries with a GDP of over $2 trillion. Also, without applying for a visa first, countries like Russia, Australia, and most of South America are off-limits to citizens of Saudi Arabia.
The Middle East, the former Soviet bloc, and China have the largest number of economic citizenship applicants. The reason is that most countries from these regions have passports that lack visa-free travel to the West.
Indigenes of such countries have likely experienced some appalling events in their nation’s history and do remember them quite well. As a result, they have a lack of trust in their governments. Thus, as they amass more wealth, they seek ways to diversify their lifestyles and assets across the world.
Getting a passport from the Caribbean economic citizenship programs provide that visa-free travel freedom which their native passports lack. They can easily access the countries in the EU for work, business, or vacation.
The point here is that getting the best citizenship by investment programs is the swift way out for people whose native passports make them feel somewhat disconnected from the rest of the world.
Benefits of Getting a Second Passport by Investment
There are several advantages to getting a second passport by investment. Some of these benefits include:
- Reside in a European nation without a visa
- Move and travel freely to many other countries
- Experience new national services
- Access to high-quality education
- Tax benefits
- Entitlement to a pension
- Improved business opportunities
- Overall better quality of life
- Members of your immediate family also have the right to citizenship
Citizenship by Investment Program FAQs
Did COVID-19 affect citizenship by investment programs?
Yes, COVID-19 did affect the citizenship by investment programs, albeit in a positive way. Due to the coronavirus pandemic and the rippling effects on global economies, the Caribbean governments have introduced remarkable discounts and price cuts for their citizenship by investment programs. You can read more about these new changes in this article.
Which citizenship by investment program is the cheapest?
You can get St. Lucia citizenship as a single applicant for a minimum of $109,600. It is by far the cheapest citizenship by investment program an individual can get. However, the cheapest you can get for a family of 4 is the Antigua & Barbuda deal starting at $147,200.
If you’re looking for the cheapest option in the European Union, then Malta is your best bet. However, it will cost you a minimum of $975,824. We also consider it to be the best citizenship by investment program.
I’m Interested, How Do I Begin?
You can kickstart your journey to becoming a global citizen by contacting an agent to help you through the application process. Of course, you can always try to start and conclude the entire process on your own, however, it would be an unfair inconvenience on you, especially when you probably have your business to look after.
Besides, it is mandatory to use authorized agents if you’re looking to grab a second passport from the Caribbean citizenship by investment programs. You don’t have to worry about looking for certified agents to help you out while risking giving out your hard-earned cash to fraudsters and con artists.
Choose Passport Legacy as your authorized agent to assist you through the whole application process. They have several years of experience in helping individuals of repute get that much needed second citizenship.
Passport Legacy’s Step-by-Step Process Overview
Passport Legacy’s process overview is divided into 4 crucial stages.
1. Pre-Application Background Check
At the beginning of the process, applicants will send in a copy of their passport and a filled-out pre-screen questionnaire which will be provided for them. Once submitted they undergo a pre-application background check over the next 24 – 48 hours.
2. Pre-Application Deposit and Client Agreement
After passing the pre-screen background check, the process is formally initiated. So, an invoice is created and payment of $5,000 as a pre-application deposit should be paid. After this has been fulfilled, the next stage would be to sign a Client Facilitator Agreement.
3. Prepare and Submit Application
Once the application has been completed, due diligence and other relevant fees have to be paid. This is the second payment separate from the initial pre-application deposit. After payment has been confirmed, the application would be sent to the Citizenship by Investment Commission applied for.
From there, the authorities will run a complete due diligence check as the government continues with the application process.
4. Approval and Final Payment
At this stage, we should have received a letter from the relevant government of the country applied to. It usually gets to us within 90 days. The letter contains information about the applicant’s status as a citizen of the country.
The complete donation or investment amount should be made at this stage. Thereafter, the passport is sent to us along with the applicant’s citizenship certificates. A meeting is set up with the applicant subsequently and the documents will be presented to them.
On a side note, you’re only expected to pay just 30% of the entire cost of the program before your application is approved. The remaining 70% can be balanced as soon as approval has been confirmed.
Why Choose Passport Legacy
Passport Legacy has a rich track record of successfully helping their clients pick the best citizenship by investment programs. We do not stop there though, as we carefully take you through the nitty-gritty of the whole application process from start to finish.
One of the hallmarks of our agency is our integrity which has been tried and trusted by our clients over the years. We also ensure the application process is smooth, explaining the most intricate details in ways you can easily come to terms with.
Once you’ve made up your mind on why you should have a second passport, then you can start exploring the perfect route for getting one. If you’ve exhausted all possible methods and feel the right path for you is via citizenship by investment, then you should have gotten enough information on the best citizenship by investment programs to pick from.