Citizenship by investment

Citizenship by investment
Turkish Citizenship-by-Investment

Many of the world’s wealthiest investors look to enhance their global mobility, financial freedom, and global opportunities. To do this, the elite need second citizenship, and hence seek citizenship by investment program; simple routes for obtaining citizenship of nations by investing within their borders. In this piece, we will cover the basics of citizenship by investment, the main citizenship by investment countries, how citizenship by investment differs from residency by investment, why the wealthy do invest for citizenship, and more.

What is Citizenship by Investment?

Citizenship by investment, sometimes called economic citizenship is a route for high-net-worth individuals to get a second citizenship and passport by investing in a government’s economy. The investment could be in real estate, a development fund, or even government bonds depending on the citizenship program they are applying for.

By investing in a government-approved route within a citizenship-by-investment program an investor and their eligible family members can get a passport by investment, becoming a citizen of the country they invested in. Several countries open the door of investment for citizenship and allow investors along with their family members throughout the world to apply for their passport and citizenship.

How Citizenship by Investment Works

Basically, citizenship by investment requires an investor to provide the bequeathing country with economic value in order to obtain its citizenship. The process is simple and is very quick, and the investment amounts required are very reasonable. If you are thinking you have to invest at least 1 million dollars to obtain a second citizenship, think again. Many countries offer citizenship by investment programs for cost-effective amounts, some have their minimum investment requirement start at 100,000 USD.

Types of investment options

There are a variety of investment options to choose from when it comes to citizenship by investment, the main of which are:

  • Real estate investment (residence or commercial)
  • Donation to a national development fund
  • Government bonds
  • Business investment (establishing a business and hiring employees)


Which countries give citizenship by investment?

There are a several countries that offer citizenship by investment programs, the countries list includes:

  1. Antigua & Barbuda
  2. Dominica
  3. Grenada
  4. St. Kitts and Nevis
  5. Saint Lucia
  6. Turkey
  7. Malta
  8. Montenegro
  9. Vanuatu


While the premise of granting economic citizenship for investors is the same, there are slight differences to each program. The world’s elite can choose the program that suits their needs, preferred investment route, and most suitable process.

The investment amounts also differ, for example, Dominica citizenship through donation starts at 100,000 USD, while investors looking to acquire Turkish citizenship must invest no less than a quarter of a million (250,000 USD) in real estate. So let’s take a quick gander at each one of these citizenship-by-investment programs.

Citizenship by investment programs

Each program has its own options of investments, minimum investment threshold, processing time, and more. Here is a quick overview of the programs that allow you to apply for citizenship by investment:

Citizenship in the Caribbean and South Pacific

We are grouping the Caribbean nations and Vanuatu together as they have very similar programs as well as highly comparable passports. The average processing times, required investment amount, and the application process itself is almost identical in all these nations, but it is in the details that you can find which one of these nations are the best for you and your family.

The nations of Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts & Nevis, Saint Lucia, and Vanuatu are all United Kingdom commonwealth nations and thus have strong passports which provide their holders with enhanced visa-free travel throughout the world. All the aforementioned nation’s passports grant visa free access to the European Union, United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and a lot of other attractive destinations.

Caribbean & Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment Programs

Comparison of investment citizenship programs
.St Kitts and NevisAntigua and BarbudaDominicaGrenadaSt Lucia
Contribution to the government fundStarting from $150 000Starting from $100 000Starting from $100 000Starting from $150 000Starting from $100 000
Investment in real estateStarting from $200 000Starting from $200 000Starting from $200 000Starting from $220 000Starting from $300 000
Holding periodSeven yearsFive yearsThree yearsFour yearsFive years
Other optionsNoneInvestment in the Fund of the University of the West Indies - $150 000NoneNoneInvestment in COVID-19 Relief bond - from $250 000. Business investment - from $1 000 000. Investment in government bonds - from $500 000
Processing timeFrom three months (through the accelerated procedure - 45 days)3-5 months3-5 months3-5 months3-5 months
Visa-free countries156 countries150 countries143 countries144 countries146 countries
Requirements to resideNone5 days within 5 yearsNoneNoneNone
Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua and Barbuda have a citizenship by investment program which is great for families with larger compositions, as a family of six only requires an donation of 150,000 USD to the University of West Indies fund (UWIF) to get a second passport and citizenship fo the entire family. It is the most cost-effective option of all the citizenship programs when it comes to large families, but it comparable to the rest when it comes to smaller families or single applicants.

The Antigua and Barbuda citizenship by investment program offers investors three investment options:

  • Donation starting at 100,000 USD for a single applicant
  • Investment in real estate for no less than 200,000 USD, holding period of five years is required
  • Donation to the UWIF starting at 150,000 USD for a family of six

The Antigua and Barbuda passport provides visa free travel to 151 destinations throughout the world, and the entire process to get a second citizenship is 3-5 months on average. A main applicant can add can add their spouse and children, along with their dependent parents, grandparents, and siblings to their application.

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Dominica runs a popular citizenship by investment program which has one of the lowest minimum investment thresholds. An investment amount starting at 100,000 is required for a single applicant to apply for Dominica citizenship through the contribution option. Dominica’s authorities offer two investment options:

  • Donation starting at 100,000 USD for a single applicant
  • Investing in real estate for no less than 200,0 00 USD

Real estate investment can be in the form of actual property or shares depending on which suits you best, but whatever you choose you must hold on to that investment for three years. Processing times are between 3-5 months on average, and a main applicant can add their spouse as well as their financially dependent children, siblings, parents, and grandparents to the application.

The Dominican passport offers visa free access to 143 destination worldwide.

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Many investors choose Grenada because it is one of the E2 treaty nations, which means its nationals can apply for the US E2 visa instead of having to put larger amounts to apply for the EB 5 visa if they ever which to become investor immigrants in the USA.

Grenada has a similar program to the other Caribbean citizenship by investment programs, and provides two options of investment:

  • Donation starting at 150,000 USD for a single applicant
  • Investing in real estate for no less than 220,000 USD

Again investors looking to invest in real estate can choose to buy shares in resorts or actual property, but must hold on to the investments for a period of four years. Grenada allows you to add your spouse as well as your financially dependent children, siblings, parents, and grandparents to the application. It was the first nation to allow the addition of dependent siblings to the application.

The Grenadian passport offers visa free travel to 144 destinations throughout the world including China.

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St. Kitts & Nevis

The twin island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis was the first program of all the current citizenship by investment programs to launch all the way back in 1984.

The St. Kitts and Nevis program is the only one of the citizenship by investment programs to have priority processing to shorten the processing time from 3 months to just 45 days, making it one of the quickest citizenship by investment programs in the world.

St. Kitts & Nevis, much like the other Caribbean citizenship by investment programs, offers investors more than one option to obtain a second passport:

  • Donation starting at 150,000 USD for a single applicant
  • Investing in property for no less than 200,000 USD

Investors buying real estate in St. Kitts and Nevis must hold onto it for a seven year period, while the can add their dependent spouse, children, parents, siblings, and grandparents to the application. The St. Kitts passport is similarly strong to the aforementioned ones, providing its holder visa free travel to 157 destinations world wide.

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Saint Lucia

St. Lucia has a peculiar program, as it offers more investment options than any of the other Caribbean citizenship by investment programs:

  • COVID-19 Bond Relief: minimum investment of 250,000 USD (limited time offer) held for 5 years
  • Government Bond investment of 500,000 USD
  • Donation to the National Economic Fund starting at 100,000 USD
  • Investing in Real Estate for no less than 300,000 USD held for 5 years
  • Enterprise (business) establishment for at least 3,500,000 USD

St. Lucia’s program proves to be unique for certain immigrant investors, especially those looking to establish business within the nation, as a business established within the right circumstances can qualify under the enterprise investment option.

St. Lucia’s passport also provides great visa free travel benefits to its holder, allowing them to access 146 destinations throughout the world visa free. The process also takes the same average of 3-5 months and a main applicant can add their dependent spouse, children, parents, and grandparents to the application.

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Vanuatu’s citizenship by investment program is similarly structured to the ones we just explored. It does, however, only provide one investment option; a donation of 130,000 USD for a single applicant, or 220,000 USD for a family of four. The investment amount increases as more dependents are added to the application.

A main applicant can add their spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents to the same application.

The Vanuatu passport offers visa free travel to 135 destinations worldwide, but what really makes the program shine is the simplicity of the application process and processing time of only two months to receive a second passport.

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Citizenship in Europe

Getting citizenship in Europe may seem like a far-fetched idea, but it is actually quite simple as many European countries offer citizenship by investment. European nations such as Montenegro, Malta, and Turkey all run unique versions of citizenship by investment programs. Cyprus used to have a citizenship by investment program that required a 2 million investment in real estate for an application to be approved, but it was recently suspended.

Comparison of investment programs
NotesThe program will close at the end of 2021To obtain citizenship, you first need to apply for a residence permit
Processing timeUp to six monthsStarting from 12 months
AdvantagesDual citizenship is allowed. No requirements for residence and knowledge of the language. Family applications for economic citizenship are accepted.Lifetime citizenship. Social and political safety. Tax planning opportunities.
CostContribution: € 100 000. Real estate: €250,000 or €450 000.Contribution: from €600 000. Charitable donation: €10 000. Buying property: from €700 000 OR Rent from €16 000 per year for a period of five years.
Investment optionsCombined investment: contribution to a government fund and investment in real estate.Combined Investment: Contribution to a government fund, donation to an NGO, purchasing or leasing of real estate.
Visa-free countries125 countries182 countries

The country of Monetengro also offers citizenship by investment, but much like the Caribbean nations it does not require any residency prior to applying for a second passport. The European country requires that applicants contribute 100,000 Euros to the government, as well as investing in real estate within the country. Real estate purchase can be either a minimum of 250,000 Euro in the north of the country, or 450,000 in the south of the country. The cost is a bit higher than what the Caribbean programs offer, but the attraction of a European country and passport, which is great for global mobility and conducting business, makes that slight price increase worth it.

The Montenigrin government allows applicants to add their spouse and children to the application. The government also requires that an applicant hold on to the property investment for 5 years. However, Montengro’s scheme will not live as long as other citizenship programs, as the government has announced that it will close it at the end of 2021, creating a deadline for those wishing to get a Montenegro passport before then.

The passport provides visa free travel to the Schengen Area as well as many other countries, providing visa free travel to 124 countries worldwide.

Don’t miss a chance!

Turkey has one of the most popular citizenship investment routes in the world, and what makes it unique is its real estate options for a minimum of 250,000 USD. As while other programs offer a real estate option, they normally specify certain projects or properties for gaining a passport. The Turkish route allows you to buy any one or multiple properties in the country, as long as you meet the minimum investment requirement.

Turkey allowed citizenship by investment in 2017, but did not become popular until a year later when the government slashed the minimum investment requirement from one million USD to 250,000 USD for applications to be approved. The government doesn’t not require you take up residence or hold any type of residency before you apply, as you will get permanent residency as soon as you purchase property within the country.

The program is quick as on average a second passport application (including obtaining permanent residence beforehand) takes between 3-6 months on average. The Turkish passport provides visa free travel to 111 countries worldwide.

Applicants can add their spouses and dependent children to the application.

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Permanent residence in the EU by investment in real estate

Other countries in the EU may not allow you to directly obtain their passports by investment through citizenship programs, but do have a residency by investment scheme that eventually does lead to citizenship and obtaining their passports if you meet the required conditions. These schemes are regularly referred to as golden visas.

Greece, Portugal, Malta, and Cyprus all offer golden visas, and having a residency in an EU country does come with many benefits. All of these countries require purchasing property as follows for applications to be approved:

  • Portugal golden visa starting from 280,000 Euro
  • Greece starting from 250,000 Euro
  • Cyprus has no minimum amount, but for the fast track option it requires an a purchase of no less than 300,000 Euro
  • Malta requires purchasing 250,000 Euro worth in government bonds and an purchase property for 270,000 Euro (alternatively you can rent property for 10,000 Euro annually).


EU permanent residency benefits

Having a residency in an EU country gives you access to the rest of the EU countries visa free, and allows you to gain access to the benefits that your host country or other EU countries offer.

Residence in an EU country also provides benefits when it comes to educating your children in EU countries. Having residence in the EU also allows you to establish a business and take advantage of the open market between the EU countries.

Permanent residence and residence permit in Europe for investments

Separately, it is necessary to clarify the difference between a residence permit and a residence permit. A residence permit is a residence permit. This document allows a foreigner to stay on the territory of the country, to purchase real estate there, to do business, to be employed and to receive education. It also allows visa-free travel within Schengen. Permanent residence permit is a document that guarantees the right to permanent residence. In addition to all the benefits of a residence permit, it also allows you to receive various benefits and allowances, free education and medical treatment in the country of your choice.

Permanent residence or residence permitResidence permitPermanent residencePermanent residenceResidence permitResidence permit
Investment optionsBuying real estate. Investing in the economy. Investment in science. Investments in culture. Investments in investment funds. Job creation.Combined investment: contribution to a government fund, purchase or lease of real estate.Buying residential or commercial real estate. Buying shares in local companies. Investing in Cypriot funds.Buying real estate. Deposit in a Greek bank. Investment in stocks, bonds, investment fundsContribution to a government fund. Purchase of real estate. Purchase of government bonds. Deposit in a Spanish bank. Investment in a company with Spanish capital or an investment fund. Starting a business project.
Investment amountIn real estate: from €280,000. In economy: from €1,000,000. Science: from €350 000. Investment funds: from €350,000. For cultural preservation: from €250,000. For business: from €350,000.Purchase of real estate: from €300,000. OR Rent from €10,000 per year. Administration fee: €40,000. Government contribution: €28,000 (if buying a home) or €58,000 (if renting) or €58,000 (if renting). Donation to non-governmental organization: €2000Minimum investment amount in all options: €300,000In real estate: from €250,000. On deposit: from €400,000. In shares: from €400,000In real estate: from €500,000. Government bonds: from €2,000,000. In a company or foundation: from €1,000,000. To a national fund: from €1,000,000. On deposit: from €1,000,000.
Processing time6-8 months.3-9 months.3-5 months.3-5 months.2-3 months.
How can I invest in citizenship?

The process is quite simple, it all starts by contacting us. Our experienced team will study your case and budget, along with your needs and objectives and provide you with the best passport for you and your family.

We will guide you through the process of gaining a second passport, help you invest, apply on your behalf, and provide you with comprehensive consultation and support throughout the entire process.

Would you like to know more?

Vanuatu citizenship

When considering which countries give citizenship for investment, one should not forget about Vanuatu. Obtaining citizenship through investment in this island country in the Pacific Ocean is very fast and at a fairly low cost. A new passport is issued here from 1.5 months, and the minimum investment is 130 thousand U.S. dollars. Acquiring a second citizenship here for investment, you will get many advantages, among which:

  • no taxation on income, wealth, inheritance and capital gains;
  • visa-free entry to 129 countries and territories;
  • confidentiality of citizenship.
Vanuatu offers only one investment option for citizenship - a contribution to a government fund.
How to get citizenship through investment?
Obtaining citizenship through investment takes a few simple steps.
Advantages of second citizenship
Tax havens

Caribbean countries offer their citizens a convenient tax haven status. This is a guarantee of privacy for anyone doing business in the Caribbean. Also, many types of taxes are absent in these countries, and the rates on others are very low.

Global citizenship

If you have obtained citizenship through investment, the countries where you can enter without visas number in the dozens. This gives you complete freedom of movement - at any moment you can be on the other side of the world without legal delays, months of waiting and kilometers-long queues at the embassy.


And that is safety in all things. European and Caribbean countries have surprisingly low crime rates. Human rights are a top European priority and with a passport from one of the EU countries you can rest assured that you are well protected. Caribbean nations were the least affected by the coronavirus pandemic in the world and each is a safe haven from COVID-19.

Standard of living

Whether it is quiet Portugal, noisy and rich Spain, or the tourist paradise of Grenada, the standard of living in these countries is incredibly high. A developed service sector, excellent medicine, the most modern banking system, quality goods - to get access to a decent standard of living, it is enough to buy dual citizenship.

Business opportunities

Caribbean countries offer a well-established tourism business with huge revenues, high profitability and amazing reliability. The European Union offers many options for starting a business - European countries always welcome new people, new ideas and new, profitable projects. Another example is states like Montenegro. They are just about to join the EU, are actively developing all spheres of life and there are hundreds of niches for new business projects.

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