Countries That Offer Citizenship by Investment

There are several options for citizenship by investment around the world. Each program has its advantages and disadvantages, sometimes making it difficult to choose among them. There is no “one size fits all” solution. It ultimately depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here is a list of citizenship programs around the world that investors should take a look at before making a decision.

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Portugal

Portugal has one of the most successful Golden Visa programs in Europe. This is a residency by investment program, which can eventually lead to citizenship. The Portuguese passport is among the strongest in the world, with visa-free access to 186 countries.

Moreover, to be eligible for this program, you need to make one of the following investments: 

  • €500,000 investment in any type of real estate property (residential or commercial)
    • The minimum investment is  €400,000 in a low-density area
  • €350,000 investment in a property at least 30 years old, provided that it will be rehabilitated
    • The minimum investment is €280,000 in a low-density area
  • €1,000,000  Capital Transfer to a Portuguese bank
  • Creation of a Portuguese company and a minimum of 10 full-time jobs in Portugal
  • €350,000 investment in a qualifying Portuguese venture capital fund
  • €350,000 investment to scientific or technological research within the country
  • €250,000 donation to national heritage, arts, or culture

Once you make your investment, you get a Golden Visa. You need to maintain your residence by living seven days a year in Portugal. After five years, you can apply for Portuguese citizenship. 

Malta

Malta is a member of the EU. Meaning that when you obtain Maltese citizenship, you may live, work, study, or establish a business anywhere in the EU. The citizenship program is known as the Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP). It is usually aimed at high net-worth individuals and requires the following :

  • A minimum contribution of  €650,000 to the National Development Fund 
  • €150,000 investment in government-approved financial instruments
  • €350,00 purchase of real estate, or
    • renting a property for five years with a €16,000 minimum annual rent

The total is a bit steep, but it is the quickest way to gain citizenship in Europe. You only need to wait 12 months for your new EU citizenship and all the rights that come with it. 

Malta Citizenship by Investment program was terminated in July 2020. The government is planning to announce a new, revised version of the program called Malta Individual Investor Programme (MIIP). MIIP will have some new financial details regarding investments. There will be two categories of contributions to the National Development and Social Fund:

  • Investing €750,000 plus €50,000 for each dependant will make you eligible to apply for citizenship after one year of living in Malta
  • Investing €600,00 plus €50,00 for each dependant will make you eligible to apply for citizenship after three years of living in Malta

In addition to that, the property requirement will be a real estate purchase of a minimum of €700,000. Alternatively, you can rent a property with a minimum of €18,000 annual rent. There will also be a mandatory donation of €10,000.

Finally, there will be no required investment in government stocks, bonds, or other investment vehicles.    

St. Kitts & Nevis

These islands are nothing short of a miracle of nature. They also hold one of the strongest passports in the Caribbean, with visa-free travel to more than 130 countries. These include the Schengen Zone and the United Kingdom.

Moreover, until the end of 2020, St. Kitts & Nevis will be offering a discount on their citizenship by investment program. If you contribute $150,000 to the country’s Sustainable Growth Fund, you and your family of up to four members can obtain citizenship there. Alternatively, you may invest $200,00 in real estate.

Finally, you can grab your second passport there in three to six months.

Antigua & Barbuda

The passport of Antigua & Barbuda will give you visa-free access to 129 countries, including the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.

Antigua & Barbuda offers you the chance to donate $145,000 to the National Development Fund in exchange for citizenship for a family of four. Alternatively, you can invest $200,00 in real estate. Additionally, the country only requires five days of residency per year.

Finally, you should be able to get your passport within four to six months.

Dominica

The Dominican passport is competitively strong as well. It grants its holder visa-free access to 122 countries. These include the Schengen Area, the United Kingdom, and Brazil.

Moreover, a single applicant may donate a meager $108,000 in total to the Economic Diversification Fund. In exchange, you’ll be granted citizenship. Keep in mind that a family of four would need about $212,500 as a donation. Alternatively, you can invest in real estate with a minimum of $223,500 when you include all fees. 

Finally, this tends to be one of the fastest applications in the world. It takes only three months to receive your passport after the initial application. 

Turkey

Turkey’s passport is fairly powerful. It provides visa-free access to 112 countries. However, these do exclude the UK, the US, the Schengen Area, and China.

Moreover, Turkey’s citizenship by investment program has drawn nearly 3,000 applicants. Most of them being individuals from the Middle East, relocating to Istanbul for business. Citizenship in Turkey requires a $250,000 investment in real estate. Alternatively, you can deposit $500,000 in a Turkish bank for three years.

Finally, the process of obtaining citizenship takes between three to six months. 

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