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Citizenship by Investment

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Many of the world’s wealthiest investors look to enhance their global mobility, financial freedom, and global opportunities. To do this, the elite need a 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:

  1. Real estate investment (residence or commercial)
  2. Donation to a national development fund
  3. Government bonds
  4. Business investment (establishing a business and hiring employees)

Passport by investment

Which countries give citizenship by investment?

There are a several countries that offer citizenship by investment programs, that 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 premis 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 investments 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 program.

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 Nevis Antigua and Barbuda Dominica Grenada St Lucia
Contribution to the government fund Starting from $150 000 Starting from $100 000 Starting from $100 000 Starting from $150 000 Starting from $100 000
Investment in real estate Starting from $200 000 Starting from $200 000 Starting from $200 000 Starting from $220 000 Starting from $300 000
Holding period Seven years Five years Three years Four years Five years
Other options None Investment in the Fund of the University of the West Indies - $150 000 None None Investment in COVID-19 Relief bond - from $250 000.
Business investment - from $1 000 000.
Investment in government bonds - from $500 000
Processing time From three months (through the accelerated procedure - 45 days) 3-5 months 3-5 months 3-5 months 3-5 months
Visa-free countries 156 countries 150 countries 143 countries 144 countries 146 countries
Requirements to reside None 5 days within 5 years None None None

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:

  1. Donation starting at 100,000 USD for a single applicant
  2. Investment in real estate for no less than 200,000 USD, holding period of five years is required
  3. 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.


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:

  1. Donation starting at 100,000 USD for a single applicant
  2. 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.


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:

  1. Donation starting at 150,000 USD for a single applicant
  2. 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.

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:

  1. Donation starting at 150,000 USD for a single applicant
  2. 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.

Saint Lucia

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

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


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.

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

  Montenegro Malta
Investment options Combined 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.
Cost Contribution: € 100 000.
Real estate: €250,000 or €450 000.
Contribution: from €600 000.
Charitable donation: €10 000.
Buying property: from €700 000
Rent from €16 000 per year for a period of five years.
Processing time Up to six months Starting from 12 months
Visa-free countries 125 countries 182 countries
Advantages Dual 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.
Notes The program will close at the end of 2021 To obtain citizenship, you first need to apply for a residence permit


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.


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.


Malta used to offer immigrant investors citizenship through its Maltese Immigrant Investor Program, which has now been suspended and replaced with the Maltese Exceptional Investor Naturalization (MEIN) program, which is a residence and citizenship program with a fast track to citizenship.

Under the MEIN applicants obtain residence and citizenship in that order. First of all they invest in real estate either by buying property for 700,000 Euro or by renting real estate for an annual 16,000 Euro. Clients must also contribute 600,000 Euro to the government and donate 10,000 Euro to a specific NGO.

Investors then receive permanent residency and must reside as a tax resident for 3 years in Malta before obtaining citizenship. There is a fast track available, as if the investor increases the contribution to 750,000 Euro they must only reside 1 year in Malta before becoming a citizenship.

Investors can add their spouse, dependent children, parents, and grandparents to the application, but must pay a contribution of 50,000 Euro per dependent along with any administrative fees. The MEIN is unique as it is a residence and citizenship program all in one, but as Malta is part of the EU and the Schengen Zone, has close ties to the United Kingdom being a commonwealth nation, is great for international business, and has a passport that offers visa free travel to a whopping 186 destinations worldwide including countries such as the USA and Canada, it is worth the processing time.

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:

  1. Portugal golden visa starting from 280,000 Euro
  2. Greece starting from 250,000 Euro
  3. Cyprus has no minimum amount, but for the fast track option it requires an a purchase of no less than 300,000 Euro
  4. 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.

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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which passport is right for you?

The right passport for you is the one that meets your needs, objectives, and budget. We can help you find the optimal passport for your situation by analyzing your case, providing you with fruitful and customized options, as well as giving you in depth consultation on each option that fits your requirements.

Can you get citizenship through investment?

Yes, you can obtain a second citizenship by investing in certain countries that offer this option.

What is the best citizenship by investment program?

There is no one best option, as it depends entirely on your situation, budget, and needs. If you are looking for a certain type of investment, a certain passport strength, a specific processing time, or otherwise are all just some criteria that affect the answer. Your actual needs and budget will affect it the most.

Which is the easiest country to get citizenship?

All countries that offer citizenship through investment have catered their schemes to become extremely easy and quick.

What is the cheapest country to buy citizenship in?

This depends on your family’s composition and choice of venture. Dominica and Antigua & Barbuda have the lowest starting prices at 100,000 USD, but depending on your family’s composition there could be cheaper options. The best way to find out is by contacting us today.

What passport I can get by investment offers the best visa free score?

Malta’s passport offers visa free travel to a massive 186 destinations worldwide, while St. Kitts and Nevis’ passport comes in second with a score of 157 coutnries.

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