Table Of Contents
- Buy Citizenship Through Investment: The Guide
- Investment Immigration In Europe
- Investment Immigration Options In The Rest Of The World
- Buy Citizenship And Get A Second Passport
- Why People Are Opting To Get A New Passport
- What Are The Concerns Of Being Able To Buy A Passport
Buy Citizenship Through Investment: The Guide
Many countries around the world rely on foreign investment to boost their economies though allowing foreigners to buy citizenship.
Foreign investment also plays a significant role in improving and stabilizing global economy, and for this reason, many countries are encouraging foreign investment in their economy.
Countries in the European Union have formed investment immigration programs that are basically designed to attract foreign investors in exchange for citizenship or residency, in essence one chooses to “buy citizenship”. View more about European citizenship options.
Investment Immigration In Europe
The European Union comprises of 28 member states. It is a political and economic union of many of the most influential countries in the Europe, including Bulgaria, Cyprus, Croatia, France, Austria, Estonia, Greece, Netherlands, Denmark, and Portugal to name a few.
The main purpose of the EU, which was founded after the Second World War, is to promote economic cooperation; therefore, ensuring political stability amongst all EU countries.
To achieve this, the European Union is using a single currency, multiple councils, the European Central Bank and its own European Parliament.
How The EU Promotes Unity
Another method that the EU has adopted to promote unity among the member states is opening doors to work and travel polices that allows citizens to live, work, travel, study and relocate within the EU without work permit or visa.
The open door policy has proven to be lucrative to foreign investors who are looking to relocate to one of the countries in the European Union and obtain residency.
By doing so, the investor will have access to all the member states of the EU. The good news is that many countries in the EU offer investor visa that allows permanent residence.
There are many opportunities for foreigners to relocate, live and work in Europe.
The investment program may vary slightly from one country to another, but comes with its own merits and demerits.
Austria’s Citizen Investment Program
Austria is a popular tourist destination-as a matter of fact, it is one of the most popular in Europe. Foreign nationals can obtain citizenship through investment.
In a normal case scenario, a foreign national must be a permanent resident of the country for ten years to be granted citizenship. But a foreign investor is eligible to become a national.
A foreign investor is required to invest a business with its head offices in Austria.
There is no minimum amount required to invest, but at least €2 million is needed for the approval of the application.
Passive investments like real estate holdings or government bonds will not qualify. Once the investment has been made, you cannot withdraw it in the future.
An Opportunity To Buy Citizenship In Austria
Austria is one of the best countries you can think of buying a second passport.
If money is not a problem then you should buy a passport for Austria, it is the 4th most valuable passport and allows free-travel to 171 countries.
It is also the second most expensive passport in the European Union. As a foreigner, you will need to invest €10 million in a recognized business or make a donation of €2 million to €4 million.
Buy Citizenship In Bulgaria
Bulgaria is one of the best countries you should consider buying a passport from.
The country offers a good program that allows investors to see their investment again.
This allows foreigners to buy government bonds worth €512,000 in exchange for residency. Investing another €512,000 grants them the right to become a Bulgarian national.
There are also other business investment options that you may consider with their citizenship by investment program.
The program will tie up your money for five years and you should remember that government bonds are interest free.
It takes two years to get your passport and you will be required to visit the country twice.
Bulgarian Passport Global Rating
A Bulgarian passport is rated eighteenth in the world and allows visa-free travel to 149 countries.
When you buy a passport for EU, you can work in the United Kingdom. This might change depending on the BREXIT outcome when they work out the exact details and implications of this.
Foreigners can buy citizenship that grants them the right to work and live in Europe.
For wealthy foreigners, it is easy to move and live anywhere in Europe for as little as £150,000.
Buy Citizenship By Investment In Malta
Malta is a Mediterranean island nation that lies south of Sicily and is one of the best countries where you can buy citizenship.
The country is one among many that try to use its EU membership to attract wealthy foreign investors who are required to pay $1.57 million in exchange for residency.
Malta started the citizenship by investment program in 2013.
Foreign investors are required to pay a minimum of $865,000, but the price was later on raised after an opposition protest. This led to other limitations and requirements.
Citizenship By Investment In Malta Tax Facts You Must Know
Malta is a fast growing business hub, thanks to its proximity to Europe.
Wealthy business investors from foreign countries are finding tax breaks and quality life in Malta.
Malta has been offering investor immigration programs since March 2013 to foreign nationals who are prepared to invest capital into the country’s economy. The program gives foreign nationals and their families access to 166 countries, making the Maltese passport the second most valuable passport in the world.
With a perfect weather and English as the second language, Malta is the perfect country you would want to set up a second home.
The Maltese investment immigration program requires a minimum investment of about €1 million. Citizens of Malta allow visa free travel within the EU.
- You will be issued an EU passport
- It takes 3-12 months
- A donation of €650,000 plus €150,000 contribution in government bonds
- Passport will be issued in 12 months
- Visa free travel to more than 28 countries within the EU and 166 countries around the world
Maltese Citizenship By Investment Facts
Maltese citizenship grants you the right to work and live in any country within the European Union. You can also travel vise-free to the US.
A Maltese passport, which cost $1.57 million plus fees, gives you visa-free travel to 166 countries. It is not yet clear the number of days that one is supposed to be in Malta if you don’t want to be a full time resident.
Buy Citizenship In Cyprus
Cyprus seized wealthy foreigners to bail out its banks during the 2013 recession. This is where the current citizenship offer came in. Cyprus started offering citizenship by investment and passports for €2.5 million. All second passport holders have the same rights of any Cyprus citizen.
The Cyprus Citizenship program also served to compensate Russian depositors whose money they have converted into equity during the recession.
Cyprus Citizenship By Investment Programs
Cyprus is among the top countries where you can buy citizenship.
Individuals have to pay $6.2 million whereas those investing as a group are required to pay $2.48 million.
The required investment amount was later on lowered due to limited interest.
The Cyprus citizen by investment program primarily targets wealthy Russian investors who were affected by the E.U bank bailout for Cyprus in 2013.
The country lowered the program’s requirement for Russians who had lost their money.
Facts About Investment Citizenship In Cyprus
Cyprus is a recent member of the EU.
The country has more to offer than warm weather throughout the year and a great lifestyle.
Cyprus is also the third smallest member of the EU.
The country allows wealthy foreign nationals to invest their money into the country’s economy in exchange for a second passport and citizenship.
- Foreign investors will be required to pay a minimum of €2.5 million
- Full amount investment in real estate
- EU passport that allows access to three continents
- Sustain investment for a minimum of three years
- Residency is not a requirement
- Passport will be issued within 12 months
Hungary Citizenship By Investment
In 2012, the Hungarian government adopted an amendment that allowed foreign nationals to become citizens of Hungary through the the option to buy citizenship by investment.
The investors were required to invest $322,600 in government bonds.
Unlike most European countries, Hungary doesn’t need foreign nations to purchase real estate of be physically present in the country for a particular period of time.
This can be a lucrative deal considering the fact that Hungary is a member state of the EU.
The investments could help the country to lower its foreign currency debt.
Make sure to check our in depth guide to European Citizenship.
Many people seek foreign citizenship for a wide variety of reasons, such as the right to own property, vote and work in the country.
Other benefits include ease of obtaining visas and access to a range of financial opportunities. However, a few countries are no longer in the business of selling citizenship.
Here are the top countries offering citizenship in the rest world (outside of Europe):
Investment Immigration Options In The Rest Of The World
Buy Citizenship In St Kitts & Nevis (As Well As Antigua & Barbuda)
These countries offer individuals the opportunity to buy citizenship through investor immigration programs. In fact, St Kitts and Nevis offers Visa free travel to Schengen, UK and there are no restrictions on dual citizenship once you become a citizen by way of investment.
St Kitts requires a non refundable charity donation of minimum US$ 250,000 to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation (SIDF) for a single person and payment of processing fees or designated recoverable Real Estate Investment with a value of at least US$ 400,000 plus payment of various registration and other fees.
St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship By Investment Facts
The two Caribbean islands make the Western Hemisphere’s smallest nation.
It takes 12 weeks to get approval from the country’s citizenship program and provides several benefits including a valid passport, citizenship for life and visa-free travel to more than 80 countries.
Foreign investors are requires to make a payment of $40,000 along with real estate investment.
Fees are separate for family members. While Antigua and Barbuda offers you the option of choosing real estate investment, EU citizenship for the family, visa free travel to 100 or more countries and you are guaranteed a passport within 2-4 months.
There is a limited time offer from the government and these are the prerequisites for becoming a citizen: USD 200,000 donation to National fund ( or) USD 400,000 investment in real estate (or) USD 1.5 million business investment.
Buy Citizenship In Dominica
Dominica should not be confused with the Dominican Republic.
Its citizenship program has been facing international heat, but a fee of $100,000 earns you a passport, visa travel to many countries, dual citizenship and tax-free existence.
Buy Citizenship In Panama
Panama connects and divides the American continents and it’s arguably the most important isthmus in the world.
The turisto pensionado visa is the most popular way to get citizenship in the country. You only need to make a one-time application with no added fees or renewals, and it only takes 60 days for your application to be processed.
Upon providing income of minimum income, you get tax-free importation of household goods, tax exemption and discounts on various goods and services.
Australia Citizenship By Investment
Australian law features a generous combination of Jus Sanguinis and Jus Soli.
To get citizenship through naturalization, you must live in the country for at least five years preceding your application for citizenship.
You must also intent to live in the country or maintain a close association with the country.
Australian citizens are also citizens of Common wealth, which gives them a range of rights in the UK.
Brazil Citizenship Through Investment
Brazilian citizenship is predominantly based on Jus Soli. The country’s naturalization process takes four years of continuous residence in the country, with a few exceptions.
Providing proof of net-worth can trim the requirements. The wider benefit countries that sell citizenship includes smooth access to the EU via Portugal.
Canada Citizenship By Investment
Canadian nationality law can at times be confusing and offers grounds of citizenship based on Jus sanguinis and Jus soli.
For naturalization, a foreign national is required to live in the country for a minimum of 4 years prior to making an application.
However, he will get half the credit for spending temporary time as a citizen of the country.
Read More: All The Details About The Canada Immigration Programme
Foreign nationals can acquire citizenship through naturalization, descent from a citizen ancestor or birth.
The conditions under which naturalization is accepted vary from one country to another, but length of residence or family relations are important, besides characters.
Citizenship is mostly granted to wealthy foreign investors, but there are only a few countries that offer investment citizenship, a program that guarantees direct citizenship through investment.
Terms of investment vary from one country to another, but usually a certain amount of money is needed.
Foreign nationals looking to buy citizenship have an opportunity to acquire citizenship faster. It is a fast track option to citizenship of any country offering this program.
Other countries that offer naturalization after a certain period of residency include Australia, Canada Singapore, UK, USA and Belgium.
Here are top countries offering investment citizenship programs:
Many countries today are offering residence to attract wealthy foreign investors.
Countries that have established this program include Belgium, Britain, Singapore, Spain, Portugal and the US.
These countries have made the process easier for many foreign nationals.
As a matter of fact, some offer full citizenship, not to mention the white beaches and warm waters.
Foreign applicants with spouses have to pay $175,000 whereas individual applicants are required to pay $100,000.
From the official government website of the country, the applicants must be of good character.
Dominica is very clear on its intention for the citizenship by investment program, which it describes as a component of its national capital mobilization portfolio towards its objective of national development.
Grenada requires foreign investors to invest a minimum of $311,750 into shares of different companies operating in the country.
Investment requirements include government, legal and passport fees.
Unlike other citizenship by investment countries that emphasize on financial resources, Grenada encourages foreign investors to explore the beauty of country.
It is often said that everything and everyone has a price and even though many proudly scoff at the idea, there may be some truth in it.
Even though, it cannot be categorically proven that everything and everyone can be bought; at present one can become an ‘economic citizen’ by way of purchasing their citizenship.
Buy Citizenship And Get A Second Passport
Generally when the purchase of citizenship by investment comes with a second passport and a second passport can give you the freedom to travel, concealment of nationality for safety reasons, the opportunity to live, work and open offshore bank and other financial accounts and finally the ability to easily move from one international territory to another in the event that the original document cannot be found or is damaged.
Why People Are Opting To Get A New Passport
A second passport allows you to travel to countries that would have been otherwise inaccessible and it allows individuals to choose another place of residence.
However, many are taking this option in a bid to lower their tax exposure.
American citizens in particular will find a second passport highly beneficial since having a second passport legally releases them from being bound by the U.S. tax system.
The only way possible to end all U.S. tax liabilities is to cease being a U.S. citizen, an individual right that U.S. law allows.
It would then work in the individuals favour to seek citizenship and a valid passport from another country.
What Are The Concerns Of Being Able To Buy A Passport
However, concerns have been raised about transparency and accountability.
In January, Viviane Reding, vice-president of the European Commission, said in a speech: “Citizenship must not be up for sale.” But for now, at least, it seems that those with money to spare are in luck with over a dozen countries offering a direct investment route with no residency requirements.
If you are looking to buy citizenship, the tiny Caribbean island of Dominica offers an affordable option.
For an investment of $100,000 plus various fees, as well as an in-person interview on the island, citizenship can be bought.
However, experts caution that because the interview committee meets only once a month, actually getting a Dominican passport can take anywhere from five to 14 months.
Since Dominica is a Commonwealth nation, citizens get special privileges in the UK, and citizens can also travel to 50 countries, including Switzerland, without a visa.