Who Can Benefit from Citizenship By Investment Programs?
Citizenship by Investment programs enables you to obtain second citizenship in another country in exchange for monetary investment in its economy. Aside from citizenship by birth, CBI offers one of the faster routes to getting a second passport. And unlike other routes, most CBI programs do not have a residency requirement.
While St. Kitts and Nevis has been running its CBI program since 1984, other Caribbean and European countries joined the trend in the last decade. The benefits of second citizenship differ for different countries. Maltese second citizenship, for example, allows you to live and work in Schengen States and grants you visa-free entry to 180 countries.
Generally, people obtain second citizenship for increased global mobility, business expansion, and as an escape plan from unfavorable conditions in their home country. This mini guide covers who can apply and how to apply for Citizenship By Investment programs.
Who Can Apply for Citizenship By Investment Programs?
Contrary to popular opinion, Citizenship By Investment Programs is not reserved for only high-net-worth individuals. CBIs are available to all persons that can make the minimum required investment and meet all other eligibility criteria.
To qualify, you don’t have to be a well-known business owner or celebrity. CBI programs are not offered based on social status. You can apply for a CBI whether you are:
- An established investor
- A prominent business owner
- A remote worker
- A digital entrepreneur
- A regular person with a ton of savings or inherited wealth
You’ll be offered your second citizenship once you qualify, meet all the requirements, and pass due diligence checks.
What Are the Requirements?
The requirements for economic citizenship vary from country to country. You must check to ensure you meet the eligibility requirement of your country of interest before applying. Some countries may require medical tests as part of the application process. The basic requirements for CBI application in every country are:
- You must be at least 18 years old
- You must have a clean police record
- You must have a legitimate and verifiable source of income and investment funds
CBI programs for Caribbean countries typically do not require residency; they offer direct citizenship. However, European countries generally have specific minimum residency requirements for a person to qualify for CBI. For example, Malta requires a minimum residency period of 12 months for applicants to be eligible for Malta citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services.
How Can I Obtain Citizenship by Investment?
Countries offer citizenship by investment to individuals who can contribute to their economic growth and social development. The investment options and amounts vary across different countries. You’ll find the specific investment options for your country of interest in the CBI guidelines for that country. However, there are four main investment options for CBIs. They are:
- Non-Refundable Donation to A State Fund: This involves making a specific monetary contribution to a government-approved fund. The State will use the fund to finance socio-economic development programs. The minimum donation amount depends on the country you’re applying to. Antigua & Barbuda, Dominica, and St. Lucia require a minimum non-refundable donation of $100,000, while Grenada and St. Kitts & Nevis require a contribution of at least $150,000
- Business Enterprise: This option allows entrepreneurs to expand their business into new countries and markets. To qualify, your business must create a minimum specified number of employment opportunities for citizens of the country. Antigua & Barbuda and St. Lucia CBI programs have a provision for business partners to make joint applications
- Government Bonds: This involves purchasing a stipulated amount of government bonds and holding them for at least five years. For St. Lucia citizenship, you must buy government bonds worth at least $300,000
- Real estate Investment: This entails investing in a government-approved real estate project. It could be complete ownership of a commercial property or shared ownership in a large property development project
Note: The investment amount will increase for each qualified family member you add to your application. Also, the minimum investment amount does not include application and processing charges and due diligence fees.
What Are the Benefits?
There are many benefits to holding dual citizenship. The specific benefits depend on the country you choose. They include:
- Increased global mobility
- Access to world-class healthcare and educational facilities
- Second Passport
- Business opportunities
- Property ownership
- Diplomatic protection
- Tax breaks
Choosing the Best CBI Program
The best CBI program for you depends on your reason for wanting to obtain second citizenship and your budget. European CBIs are generally more expensive than those of the Caribbean and Vanuatu. Malta citizenship by naturalization for exceptional services is an excellent option if you want to live in Europe.
A Caribbean passport is your best option if you want a blend of tax exemptions, visa-free travel, and quality life. It will also allow you to live visa-free in any CARICOM country.
However, if you need a fast and easy way to obtain a second citizenship, Vanuatu is your best option. You can get Vanuatu citizenship in five weeks.
Start Processing Your Second Citizenship!
A second citizenship offers lots of benefits. And you do not have to be super wealthy to apply for citizenship by investment! So if you meet the requirements, contact a verified agency and start processing your second citizenship.