10 Countries Currently Offer Residency or Citizenship by Investment
There are several options for citizenship by investment or residency by investment around the globe. Each with their own advantages and disadvantages constitute a tough challenge while candidates try to choose. Through this process of choosing, it is important to have an idea about several programs. As economic citizenship becomes more and more popular, residency by investment programs get more competitive, too. Here is a list of 10 programs around the world that investors should take a look at before making a decision.
Portugal’s Golden Visa is offered in accordance with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through AICEP (Department of Consular Affairs and the Portuguese Trade and Investment Agency). The options of investment for the applicants are as they are listed below:
- Applicants may acquire property valued at €350,000 or more for properties more than 30 years old or located in urban regeneration areas designated for refurbishing
- Applicants may invest a minimum of €350,000 in research activities.
- Applicants may invest a minimum of €250,000 in the arts or in the reconstruction or refurbishment of national heritage projects.
- Applicants may invest a minimum of €500,000 for shares in investment funds or venture capital.
The process of getting Portugal Golden Visa usually takes around 3 to 6 months.
Spain launched its Golden Visa program in 2013. To gain family residency, an investment of €500,000 is required. This investor visa can be renewed every two years. After five years it is possible to gain permanent residency and after ten years, citizenship.
Spain does not require residence for the renewal of the residency permit. Spain’s Golden Visa process usually takes 1 to 2 months. Exact timeframe may of course vary. Not a big distress, but Spain has a minimum residence requirement for naturalisation. The country requires one entrance per year.
Launched in July 2013, the Greek Golden Visa program grants a five-year residency visa through an investment in real estate. There is no minimum residence requirement. The visa is granted for five years and renewed every five years if the property investment is retained. It is not necessary to live in the country in order to retain and renew the investor visa. However, citizenship can only be granted after seven years of residency. While it is possible to apply investing 250,000 Euros, the process takes around 2 to 3 months.
To benefit from the quickest and most assured path to European citizenship, applicants may choose to invest €2.0 million in real estate in Cyprus. Cyprus Citizenship by Investment program offers EU citizenship within 6 months of application. Second passport from Cyprus allows its holder to work, travel, study and live in anywhere in EU. Visa-free travel to countries like Germany, France and UK attracts investors from everywhere. Moreover, the investment made through Cyprus CIP can be reduced down after 3 years to just €500,000.
Malta’s Citizenship by Investment Program is a scheme aimed at high net worth individuals. Also known as Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP), the scheme requires a considerable investment. To benefit from this program, applicants must make a minimum contribution of €650,000 to the national development fund set up by the government. They must also, invest €150,000 in government approved financial instruments and commit to a residence in Malta for a minimum of 5 years. The property value for purchased real estate needs to be a minimum €350,000. After one year of residency, naturalisation and Maltese passport are granted to the applicant. This means EU citizenship and availability of living, studying and working anywhere in the EU.
St. Kitts & Nevis
St. Kitts and Nevis’ Citizenship by Investment Program is the first there ever was. Launched in 1984, the scheme accepts investments for real estate or donations. To benefit from the program, applicants must make a minimum donation of $150,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund (SGF). They may also prefer making an investment of $400,000 in real estate plus related government and due diligence fees. The process leading to citizenship takes usually around 3 to 6 months.
Antigua & Barbuda
The citizenship by investment program of Antigua and Barbuda provides a second passport to investors. There are a few options applicants may choose to benefit from the program. Investors may choose to contribute $100,000 to the Antigua National Development Fund. They may also invest $1.5m in establishing a business ($5.0m for two or more investors). As the final option, they can invest $400,000 in a government approved real estate project (can be reduced to $200,000 for connected investors). Antigua and Barbuda passport grants visa-free travel to over 150 countries including the Schengen area. Moreover, the country requires only 5 days of residence per year. With its vast advantages of mobility, Antigua and Barbuda passport can be issued around 4 to 6 months.
Citizenship by investment in Dominica is available through two options. The first is by making an economic contribution (donation) to the country under the government’s investor visa program. The second option available since January 2015 is through real estate investment. With a minimum investment threshold of $100.000, Dominican passport is among the cheapest. It takes around 3 months after the application to get the passport.
Until 1993, it was not possible to gain Dominican citizenship without residing in the country. This rule has been changed by the Dominican government. Through its changes, Dominica citizenship by investment program not only became the cheapest, but also one of the most flexible options. Holders of Dominica second passport can travel freely to around 140 countries including UK and Schengen zone.
To be able to become a citizen of Republic of Turkey, there are several options investors might benefit from. They can make an investment of at least 250,000 $ in real estate. They can also found/buy a company with at least 500,000 $ capital. Finally, they can prefer depositing 500,000 $ in State investment instruments or state banks operating in Turkey provided that they do not withdraw such amount for three years. Also, employing 50 personnel is determined as a criterion for applying for Turkish citizenship with the new regulation. The process of Turkish citizenship by investment usually takes around 3 to 6 months.
Through investment government-approved projects across the United States of America, investors can get the EB-5 visa. This visa gives permanent U.S. residency. It also provides the holder with the right to education, live, work, study and retirement in the USA. It also enables receiving the investment back upon the completion of the project. US government requires the main applicant to reside in the USA for at least half of each year.
USA passport has a minimum investment threshold of $500.000. As being one of the programs which has a rather long processing period, it takes around 20 to 26 months until getting the residency.