Table Of Contents
- What You Must Know About Citizenship and Passports
- How A Second Passport Could Have Changed Parts Of History
- How To Get Citizenship or Residency
- Citizenship Through Naturalization
- Citizenship Through Investment
- Which Countries Offer the Best Programmes?
- Residency and Citizenship Opportunities
- Which Countries Offer Citizenship By Investment?
- What Is Citizenship By Investment?
- The Most Popular Countries and Their Programmes
What You Must Know About Citizenship and Passports
Have you ever considered what would happen if your country were to enter revolution or war?
In the event of a major crisis, you would be completely at the mercy of your government.
They could potentially force you into a prison camp, seize your assets, or even throw you in jail. All of these ideas are terrifying, but did you know that you can prevent this from happening by seeking dual citizenship through owning a second passport?
This can easily be accomplished if you choose citizenship by investment.
How A Second Passport Could Have Changed Parts Of History
There are several historical times when a second passport could have benefited the people of a country. The first notable example is the Halocaust.
During this time, Jewish people were forced into concentration camp. Fortunately, some had obtained passports through European diplomats so that they could be rescued and seek refuge somewhere other than Germany.
Make sure you don’t miss our detailed article covering everything you need to know about Spain citizenship by investment program!
More recently, revolution has been underway in Egypt.
The passport of these people only allowed them to seek refuge in Syria and similar countries, where revolution was already underway. If these individuals had a second passport, they would have access to other European countries where they could seek refuge from the dangers of the revolution.
The Benefits of a Second Passport
It is important to remember that if disaster strikes in your home country, the number of forms and applications may be overwhelming.
This lessens the chances that you will be accepted before your assets are seized or you are thrown in jail, or worse. This is why it is critical to have that passport prior to disaster.
How To Get Citizenship or Residency
There are two different legally accepted processes.
The first is citizenship through naturalization and the second is economic citizenship, through a citizenship by investment programme.
Citizenship Through Naturalization
Naturalization is considered the more affordable means of gaining access to a country, however, the process is a lot slower.
You also may be forced to meet certain requirements before you can gain legal citizenship.
While a few countries let you become a citizen after just three years of residency, others, such as Switzerland, require that you live there a minimum of 12 years before legal citizenship is granted.
Additionally, countries such as Singapore force new residents to serve at least two years of military services before your citizenship can be legalized.
This does not include all countries, however. Some allow you to just a certain number of times during your residency period, which can last just a few years.
Citizenship Through Investment
The second option for citizenship is through investment programs offered in select countries. These programs are recognized as being significantly faster than the process of naturalization.
All you have to do is meet the right requirements and invest a set amount of money in the country’s economy.
Often, this investment will be donated to a designated charity, invested in a real estate or business venture, or placed in a bond or bank account for a set period of time.
Once you have met the country’s requirements, it usually takes less than a year to legalize your citizenship and just a few months to grant you your second passport.
If you are wondering about the cost of the citizenship, or the requirements you must meet, it varies from country to country.
Varying Investment Levels
However, some programs can require as little as $200,000 USD be invested, while others require that 2 million USD be invested. There are a number of popular European citizenship programs.
The requirements you must meet also depends on the country where you are seeking a second passport.
However, some of the most common requirements include being a citizen of another country, having a valid passport or travel documents, having a clean criminal history, providing documentation for the sources of your income, and a few other relatively simple standards.
Which Countries Offer the Best Programmes?
There are many developed, first-world countries that are offering citizenship through investment programs.
These countries understand the critical times that may arise in which citizens of other countries could seek refuge in a country other than their own, as well as the business benefits that may drive people to seek a second passport.
Additionally, they understand that they can further the economy of their own country by helping those looking to buy a second passport.
Some countries offering this to citizens of other countries include Malta, Bulgaria, St. Kitts, Nevis, the Dominican Republic, and so many more.
Residency and Citizenship Opportunities
The acquisition of citizenship outside of the ambit of birth can be a rather tedious one since citizenship by way of descent, marriage and naturalisation all require a range of documents that are generally processed over time.
Citizenship by way of naturalisation requires a considerable period of residence, proof of sound character and general contribution to society.
However, citizenship by investment is a faster route to direct citizenship since proof of wealth is of paramount importance and once this factor is established one is on their way to buying a second passport in a jiffy.
Which Countries Offer Citizenship By Investment?
Historically different countries have tried implementing the Citizenship-by-Investment program. For example, Ireland, Slovakia, Seychelles, Cape Verde, Belize, Grenada and others have had programs.
Read More: The Ultimate Guide To European Citizenship. What You Must Know!
However, if you are desirous of acquiring citizenship via this route then it may be in your best interest to do thorough research since this list may not include all participating countries.
Citizenship by investment is a great resource to have on hand in the event of political crisis or war in your home country. It is also handy to have if you want to travel visa-free in and out of a country, or plan to relocate in the future.
These types of programs are different from more traditional citizenship programs because they allow you to obtain citizenship without residing in a country, or having significant family ties there.
What Is Citizenship By Investment?
Citizenship by investment is a program designed to allow someone living in their home country to acquire a new, legal citizenship. In many countries, citizenship is only granted to those born in the country, or those who have resided there for many years and met certain other requirements.
In the case of citizenship by investment programs, someone who has invested a large sum of money in the well-being of the country and who has met certain other requirements can gain citizenship without residing there.
If you are interested in gaining citizenship to another country for any reason, consider one of the following four countries.
These countries offer some of the best citizenship by investment programs available.
The Most Popular Countries and Their Programmes
- St Kitts and Nevis
Antigua & Barbuda
The islands of Antigua and Barbuda are two of the larger islands in the Caribbean. Located where the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic Ocean meet in the cluster known as the Leeward Islands, the islands are home to several beautiful features.
This includes their beaches, reefs, rainforests, and resorts. Antigua is also home to St. John’s National Museum and the English Harbour.
As an added benefit, Antigua and Barbuda are also English-speaking countries.
Citizenship for Antigua and Barbuda is one of the cheapest- with the minimum investment being just $200,000 USD. This has to be an investment in the National Fund to be valid, though you also have the option of investing $400,000 in real estate or $1.5 million in a business investment.
In addition to the initial amount, you will also need to pay miscellaneous fees for due diligence, government, a lawyer, and your passport which comes out to closer to $300,000 per person.
This will grant you a five-year passport to these countries, as well as 130 others. It takes 2-3 months for processing and you must live within the country of Antigua for at least 5 days for validity.
After this time, further steps can be taken to allow residence within the country.
St. Kitts & Nevis
Two other islands offering one of the best citizenship by investment options are St. Kitts and Nevis. St. Kitts and Nevis are located in the Leeward Islands of the Caribbean.
Each island is home to beautiful mountains, a friendly local culture, and a key player in the sugar industry. In fact, the $250,000 donation that must be made goes to the Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation.
The total cost after fees will come to just under $300,000. This guarantees a life-long legal citizenship, visa-free travel to more than 80 countries, and citizenship for your spouse and children.
The St. Kitts and Nevis citizenship also comes with the option to make a real estate investment, though this must be a $400,000 investment to qualify for the program.
Cyprus Second Passport
The island of Cyprus is located in the eastern part of the Mediterranean Sea. It is known for beaches, wine vineyards, and its rich history.
Cyprus has been tied to the cult of Aphrodite and you can find tombs, palaces, and villas with beautiful mosaic around the island. It is also a popular site for warm beaches, luxurious hotels, and stunning mountain trails that can be enjoyed for hiking or as part of one of the many tours.
These tours visit various areas of the island and highlight not only the island’s beauty, but the historical wonder that surrounds Cyprus.
The Cyprus citizenship by investment program can be invested in for $2.75 million USD.
This is for the real estate program. In addition to this, you have the option of spending this amount in bank deposits. Before you make your decision though, it is important to note that there was a recent bank bailout crisis where many investors lost funds.
Therefore, the country recommends the real estate option only.
This program comes with tons of features. In addition to visa-free travel to more than 150 countries, there is no residency requirement. The passport can be processed within 3-4 months, after which time you will be eligible for citizenship.
Malta Citizenship By Investment
Malta is a European island located in the Mediterranean Sea. Its island is rich in history and has been known for being a strategic naval base and the home of many historical megalithic temples, fortresses, and even the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum.
In addition to the historic value of the island, it is known for its wide selection of native bars, beautiful beaches, great entertainment, and more.
The minimum investment for citizenship in Malta is near $90,000 USD with the requirement of this amount being paid out in 16,000 EUR over 5 years for a rental property in the country.
You also have the option of purchasing real estate within the country for a value of 350,000 EUR. If you do not want to wait five years before you qualify for citizenship, you have the options of investing in 150,000 EUR in Malta Government bonds or paying out 650,000 EUR as a donation to the National Development and Social Fund.
Once you have met one of the above requirements for investment, usually citizenship can be granted within a period of 12 months.
This program does not require residency, can be processed within 3-4 months, allows you to work in any European country, and offers visa-free travel to 160 countries around the world.
Regardless of your reason for gaining citizenship to another country through citizenship by investment programs, you can easily invest in one of these four countries.
All of these are valid. Research the countries beforehand, visit to see the culture, and then get started investing!
Read more about citizenship by investment and investigate the options for buying a second passport.