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10 Citizenship By Investment Programs Available Worldwide

9 min read

10 Citizenship By Investment Programs Available Worldwide

Citizenship by investment program requirements have changed drastically during the past five years as countries have launched, modified, and cancelled CBI programs. However, an investment or donation as small as $100,000 USD can still lead to citizenship. This blog post will cover changes in some of the most popular CBI programs and list some of the most attractive CBI programs. Many attractive CBI programs exist in South America, Asia, Europe, and the Caribbean.

CHANGES ARE VERY COMMON

It is very common for CBI programs to either be cancelled or for the terms to change. Luckily, most programs give applicants several months' advanced notice, so applicants can apply before the new changes are applied.

Greece Doubles Investment Amount: Greece recently doubled the investment requirements from €250,000 to €500,000 ($262,175 to $524,730 USD).

Panama’s New Requirements: Panama now requires one to invest $200,000 USD before applying for residency and, eventually, citizenship.  Applicants previously used to be able to become residents by depositing $5,000 USD in a bank account and forming a company.

Montenegro’s Program: Montenegro’s CBI program, which requires an investment of €450,000 or a donation of €200,000 ($262,175 USD), will not accept any new applications after December 31, 2022.

Moldova: Moldova used to offer citizenship to applicants and their families who made a one-time donation of €100,000-155,000 ($104,870-$162,548 USD). The program was launched in 2018 and later cancelled in June 2020.

Although changes can occur, investors have plenty of time to adapt to changes. For example, the changes in places like Moldova were announced around one year before, and people applying in Montenegro and Panama also had months to meet the new deadline before the process changed.

 

Related content: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency

 

Cairo, Egypt

Cairo, Egypt

10. EGYPTIAN CITIZENSHIP

Egypt, while not as well-known among Western expatriates, offers a range of investment options for those seeking citizenship. The majority of applicants are from the MENA region. The Egyptian passport could be more robust, as it requires visa applications for many countries and only offers visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 66 countries.

To qualify for this program, applicants must make an investment in a range of options, from a $250.000 USD non-refundable donation to the state treasury to a $500.000 USD interest-free bank deposit that must be kept for 3 years. The specific details of these options, including the minimum investment amounts, the duration for which the investment must be held, and the application process, can be found on the official Egypt Citizenship by Investment website.

The application process is designed to be relatively quick, with most applicants receiving approval within a certain timeframe. One of the significant advantages of this program is that it allows the inclusion of family members in the application.

 

Phnom Penh City, Cambodia

Phnom Penh City, Cambodia

9. CAMBODIA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT

The Cambodia Citizenship by Investment (CBI) program remains an attractive option for those seeking a second passport in Asia, especially for those interested in long-term residence in the region. However, it's worth noting that the program may not be the best fit for those who prioritize extensive visa-free travel.

As of the most recent information, the donation option of $250,000 USD to the government is no longer available. To be eligible for this CBI program, the applicant now needs to invest 1.26 billion KHR (approximately $312,000 USD) in a Cambodian company. This investment requirement is still competitive compared to regional peers, such as Malaysia, where a similar investment only grants a 10-year multiple-entry visa.

A significant advantage of this program is that it allows investors to have the same private ownership rights as citizens, including the ability to purchase land. However, the Cambodian passport ranks 88th in strength, offering visa-free travel to only 54 countries, which may be a considerable drawback compared to other countries on our list today.


Related content: Cambodia Citizenship By Investment

 

Vanuatu is an archipelego island country with beautiful oceans and a majestic natural scene

Vanuatu is an archipelago island country with beautiful oceans and a majestic natural scene

8. VANUATU CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT

The Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment program remains an appealing choice for those seeking a second passport in the South Pacific. This program is especially advantageous for those who prioritize a quick process and are less concerned with extensive visa-free travel.

To be eligible for this program, an applicant must make a non-refundable donation to Vanuatu's local development fund, aimed at supporting the country's infrastructure and economic growth. The specific amount of the donation varies depending on the urgency of the request and the age of the applicants. All these values and other requirements can be found on the official Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment website.

The program boasts a swift process, offering the possibility of obtaining a passport in a short timeframe. It also extends eligibility to family members. A Vanuatu passport grants visa-free travel to a certain number of countries, including the UK, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Russia. However, it's important to note that Vanuatu does not offer visa-free travel to Europe.

 

Related content: Is The Vanuatu Citizenship By Investment Program Right For You

 

Valleta, Malta-1

Valletta, Malta

7. MALTA CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT

The Malta Citizenship by Investment program, officially known as the Citizenship by Naturalization for Exceptional Services by Direct Investment (CES), offers a highly attractive pathway to European citizenship. This program is particularly appealing to those who wish to gain visa-free access to the EU and are capable of making substantial investments.

As of the most recent update, to qualify for this program, applicants must make a non-refundable investment of €600,000 ($680,000 USD approx.) if they have completed 36 months of residency in Malta, or €750,000 ($850,000 USD approx.) if they have resided in the country for 12 months. This investment can be in the form of real estate or other qualifying ventures. 

In addition to the main investment, applicants are required to make a philanthropic donation of €10,000 ($11,300 USD approx.) to a registered sport, cultural, scientific, philanthropic, animal welfare, or artistic non-governmental organization or society. They are also required to purchase or lease a property in Malta. If purchasing, the property must have a minimum value of €700,000 ($792,000 USD approx.), and if leasing, the annual rent must be at least €16,000 ($18,000 USD approx.). This property must be held for at least five years.

The overall costs of obtaining Maltese citizenship through this investment program will exceed $1,000,000 USD, considering there are additional requirements to meet. The benefits of this program include the ability to obtain Maltese citizenship and a European passport, provided the investor meets the investment and eligibility requirements. The process can be expedited to 12 months if a larger minimum investment is made. However, each application undergoes a strict due diligence process conducted by the Community Malta Agency, the government agency overseeing the program, to ensure that only high-quality candidates are selected.


Related content: Malta Citizenship By Investment

 

Izmir, Turkey

Izmir, Turkey

6. TURKEY CITIZENSHIP BY INVESTMENT PROGRAM

Turkey's Citizenship by Investment program continues to be an attractive option for those seeking a second passport in a country with significant geostrategic importance. This program is particularly beneficial for those who can make substantial investments and are interested in expedited citizenship processing times.

To qualify for this program, applicants must make a non-refundable investment of at least $250,000 USD in Turkish real estate, which is a decrease from the previous requirement of $400,000 USD. Alternatively, a minimum qualifying investment of $500,000 USD can be made in government bonds or in establishing an enterprise that creates at least 50 jobs for Turkish citizens, which is a decrease from the previous requirement of creating 100 jobs.

The processing time for this CBI program is fast, with most applicants receiving a passport in as little as three to four months. A Turkish passport provides visa-free access or visa on arrival to 125 destinations worldwide, including Hong Kong, Japan, and Singapore. However, it's important to note that applicants are not required to reside in Turkey before, during, or after their application. The total overall costs of obtaining Turkish citizenship by investment will exceed the minimum investment amount, considering there are additional requirements to meet.


Related content: Turkey Citizenship By Investment

 

Rosseau city, Dominica

Rosseau city, Dominica

5. DOMINICA

Dominica, a sought-after Caribbean destination, continues to offer a Citizenship by Investment program that provides a multitude of benefits, including a relatively strong passport that allows visa-free travel to 143 countries. This program is particularly appealing to those who are interested in obtaining a second citizenship quickly and efficiently.

To qualify for this program, applicants must either make a non-refundable donation of $100,000 USD to the Economic Diversification Fund or invest a minimum of $200,000 USD in government-approved real estate developments. The real estate options include luxury resorts and condominiums, such as Anichi Resort & Spa, Jungle Bay Resort, Bois Cotlette, Cotton Hill Flats, Timbo's Downtown, Ocean Edge Development, Range Developments, Sanctuary Rainforest Eco Resort & Spa, The Residences at Secret Bay, and Tranquility Beach Resort. It's important to note that the real estate investment must be held for at least three years before it can be sold.

The application process is swift, typically taking between three to six months. A significant advantage of this program is that it allows the inclusion of family members in the application. For instance, a family of four can secure citizenship with a donation of $200,000 USD. A Dominican passport provides visa-free access to over 140 countries, including the European Union, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia, and China.


Related content: How To Get A Second Passport In Dominica

 

Having a second passport can protect you and your family from any problem in your home country

Having a second passport can protect you and your family from any problem in your home country

4. St. Lucia

St. Lucia, a picturesque island in the Caribbean, offers a Citizenship by Investment program that provides numerous benefits, including a powerful passport that allows visa-free travel to 145 countries. This program is particularly attractive to those who wish to acquire a second citizenship in a swift and efficient manner.

To be eligible for this program, applicants have several investment options:

1. A non-refundable donation to the National Economic Fund (NEF). The contribution ranges from $100,000 USD for a single applicant to $190,000 USD for a family of four or more.

2. An investment in pre-approved real estate with a minimum value of $300,000 USD, which must be held for at least five years.

3. An investment in a pre-approved enterprise project with a minimum investment of $3.5 million USD, creating at least three jobs.

4. An investment in non-interest-bearing Government bonds, which must be registered and remain in the name of the applicant for a minimum of five years.

The application process is designed to be fast, with the possibility of obtaining citizenship within 2-3 months. One of the significant advantages of this program is that it allows the inclusion of family members in the application, including spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents or grandparents.

Please note that all applications are subject to rigorous due diligence to ensure that only meritorious applicants are granted citizenship of St. Lucia. The total overall costs of obtaining St. Lucian citizenship by investment will exceed the minimum investment amount, considering there are additional requirements to meet. For more details, it is recommended to visit the official CBI Saint Lucia website or contact an authorized agent.



Related content: How To Get A Second Passport In St. Lucia

 

Antigua and Barbuda has a great CBI program if you want to stay long-term in there

Antigua and Barbuda has a great CBI program if you want to stay long-term in there

3. Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda, a Caribbean Island, offers a Citizenship by Investment program that provides multiple benefits, including a strong passport that allows visa-free travel to over 150 countries. This program is particularly appealing to those who are interested in obtaining a second citizenship without residency requirements.

To qualify for this program, applicants have several investment options:

  1. A non-refundable contribution to the National Development Fund (NDF) of a minimum of $100,000 USD for a single applicant or $130,000 USD for a family of four, with an additional $15,000 USD for each additional dependent.

  2. An investment of at least $400,000 USD in an approved real estate project, which must be held for a minimum of five years, or $200,000 USD per investor if the investment is made jointly with another applicant.

  3. A donation of $150,000 USD to the University of the West Indies (UWI) Fund for a family of six or more, with an additional $15,000 USD for each additional dependent. This option also includes one-year tuition for one member of the family at the University of the West Indies.

  4. An investment of $1.5 million USD in an eligible business as a sole investor or a joint investment involving at least two persons, in which each person contributes at least $400,000 USD, and the total investment amounts to at least $5 million USD.

The application process is quick, typically taking between three to six months. A significant advantage of this program is that it allows the inclusion of family members in the application. An Antigua & Barbuda passport provides visa-free access or visa on arrival to over 150 countries, including the European Union, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, and Russia.

 

Related content: How to get a second passport in Antigua & Barbuda

 

Gouyave, Grenada

Gouyave, Grenada

2. GRENADA

Grenada, a Caribbean Island, offers a Citizenship by Investment program that provides numerous benefits, including a strong passport that allows visa-free travel to over 150 countries. This program is particularly appealing to those who are interested in obtaining a second citizenship without residency requirements.

To qualify for this program, applicants have two investment options:

  1. A non-refundable contribution to the National Transformation Fund (NTF) of a minimum of $150,000 USD for a single applicant. The NTF is a fund established for financing projects that will benefit the national development of Grenada.

  2. An investment in an approved real estate project in Grenada. The minimum investment required for this option is $220,000 USD. The real estate must be held for a minimum of five years.

The application process is quick, typically taking between three to four months. A significant advantage of this program is that it allows the inclusion of family members in the application. A Grenadian passport provides visa-free access or visa on arrival to over 150 countries, including the European Union, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia, and China.

 

Related content: How To Get A Second Passport In Grenada

 

St. Kitts & Nevis is everything that you love from the Caribbean with many wonderful places to relax and adventure

St. Kitts & Nevis is everything that you love from the Caribbean, with many wonderful places to relax and adventure.

1. ST. KITTS & NEVIS

St. Kitts & Nevis, home to one of the world's oldest Citizenship by Investment programs established in 1984, offers a reliable and time-tested option for those seeking a second citizenship. It provides a strong passport that allows visa-free travel to over 150 countries, including all of the EU, UK, Ireland, and Russia.

To qualify for this program, applicants have two main investment options:

  1. A non-refundable contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF) of a minimum of $150,000 USD for a single applicant. The SGF is a fund established for financing projects that will benefit the national development of St. Kitts & Nevis.

  2. An investment in approved real estate with a minimum value of $200,000 USD. The real estate must be held for a minimum of seven years.

The application process is efficient, typically taking between three to four months. A significant advantage of this program is that it allows the inclusion of family members in the application. For instance, a family of four can secure citizenship with a donation of $195,000 USD. A St. Kitts & Nevis passport provides visa-free access or visa on arrival to over 150 countries, including the European Union, the UK, Hong Kong, Singapore, Russia, and China.



Related content: St. Kitts And Nevis' Citizenship Program Undergoes Monumental Overhaul

 

 

CONCLUSION

Citizenship by investment is a great way to go around all the waiting to become a citizen in a country. However, only a few countries allow this option for citizenship. It is also worth mentioning not all of the passports mentioned here are strong. Therefore it is crucial that you keep up with citizenship by investment news as it can often change and is usually given warning months ahead of changes. If any of these countries interest you, don’t waste time. Contact us, and I will personally help you obtain your citizenship by investment.

 


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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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