citizenship by Investment

Discover where and how you can take the fastest path toward second citizenship in the world.

Citizenship By Investment

Discover where and how you can take the fastest path toward second citizenship in the world.

What you’re about to read may sound like rocket science.

Just ask Jelena, our strategy associate, or Jovana, our client relationship manager. When we explain the same concepts on this page to our high-net-worth clients, they act like we’re rocket scientists.

But here at Nomad Capitalist, we’re not in the business of launching people to the moon.

Instead, we’ve made it our mission to help you “go where you’re treated best” to enhance your personal freedom and grow and protect your wealth.

One of the most powerful tools we use to achieve this goal is the second passport, the ultimate backup plan and surest means of geopolitical diversification.

If dual citizenship and second passports already sound like rocket science to you (Wait, what?! You can have more than one citizenship?), you can head on over to our second passport page to learn the basics.

If you stay on this page, we’ll take you deeper into the realities of what you thought was only the stuff of fiction novels where international spies like Jason Bourne and James Bond carry around half a dozen personal passports with a stash of cash.

These days, second passports have leapt out of the pages of fictional spy stories and are increasingly showing up in the pockets of successful businessman, investors, and otherwise regular, but globally minded folk.

How?

There are many ways to obtain a second passport, but the quickest path is to simply buy one.

Yes, you read that right: whether you refer to it as ‘buying a passport’, ‘economic citizenship’, or ‘citizenship by investment’, they all mean the same thing.

Certain governments are willing to grant you citizenship and a passport in as little as three months in exchange for a sizable investment or donation in their country.

Sound interesting? Read on!

Passport Collage - Citizenship by Investment

Why Get Citizenship by Investment?

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1. Tax Planning

Citizenship by investment will not automatically change your tax situation, but if you want to create a tax-free lifestyle, this is a good first step.

2. Travel Planning

Economic passports can fill travel gaps in your passport portfolio with visa-free travel to hard-to-access countries like Russia, China, South Africa, and more.
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3. Insurance

If you need a Plan B or want a second passport quickly so that you can renounce your US citizenship, buying a passport is your fastest option.
The Citizenship Contract Venn Diagram

What Is Citizenship by Investment?

It’s easiest to understand citizenship by investment when you break it down to its most basic elements.

First, what is citizenship?

At its heart, citizenship is the embodiment of the social contract – an agreement between individuals and society to work together to achieve mutual benefits.

In this symbiotic relationship, the citizen accepts certain responsibilities such as obeying the law, and in return, the state grants them rights such as the right to own property, vote, and work in the country.

In the last century, an additional right has come under the purview of the state – the right of movement.

As the world has developed and grown ever more interconnected, the state has come to rely on passports to control who has the right to enter and leave the country.

Because of this, a nation’s passport has become one of the most powerful benefits it can offer in return for each citizen’s contributions to society. Every passport varies in its strength and desirability, just as the rights and responsibilities of each citizenship will differ to some degree depending on the country.

Whatever the terms may be, the ideal situation is one in which both the citizens and the state can enjoy peace, prosperity, and freedom.

Everyone benefits.

Traditionally, citizenship has been granted through birth, naturalization, and marriage. But beginning in 1984, various countries around the world have introduced another path toward citizenship – the second half of our breakdown – investment.

As shown in the diagram above, one of the main responsibilities of a citizen is to contribute to the economy of their country of citizenship. Many western countries tend to abuse this right by exacting high levels of taxation, made worse by onerous reporting requirements.

But not all countries are like this.

Countries that offer citizenship by investment have determined that individuals who contribute to the economy by making an initial investment or donation fulfill this responsibility and merit citizenship in return.

This is citizenship by investment – a specific means by which an individual can qualify for and obtain a second citizenship by making an investment in another country.

It is designed for wealthy people who want a fast track to dual citizenship and a second passport, or even multiple citizenships and an entire passport portfolio.

Most countries will try to sweeten the pot by processing your citizenship application in a matter of months (the record being 57 days), and eliminating any need to relocate to or reside in the country, speak that country’s language, pay taxes, or fulfill basically any other requirement typically required of other citizenship applicants.

There are, of course, exceptions and important nuances between and within programs, but generally, you make an investment and are granted citizenship and a passport within a matter of months.

The Key Qualities of Citizenship by Investment Programs

Not all citizenship by investment programs are the same. This can often create confusion about which programs are legitimate.

Let’s clarify.

There are just four criteria you need to keep in mind to judge whether or not any given program is legitimately offering citizenship by investment:

1. Fast

There are other paths to citizenship that do not cost nearly as much as citizenship by investment, but they will require more time and commitment on your part.

The big draw of citizenship by investment is that it is a quick process. Malta is the only citizenship by investment program currently available that takes more than a year to acquire. All the rest take a matter of months.

2. Commoditized 

The commoditized nature of most citizenship by investment programs means that almost anyone – regardless of their nationality, religion or language skills – can become an economic citizen.

Whether you’re from Pakistan or the United States, you can get a Dominica passport for the same price and they’ll accept you just the same as long as you pass the due diligence.

The only difference is that it might take them a few weeks longer to do the due diligence on a Pakistani or Qatari or Bahraini than it would take them to examine an applicant from the US.

Other than that, they don’t really care where you’re from. You make the payment, you get the passport.

3. Structured

Any citizenship by investment program should have a clear structure. That means fixed investment amounts and a clear path to citizenship.

These citizenship programs operate almost like a business; any country that offers a murky path to a second passport most likely falls under another category.

4. Legal

This seems obvious, but there are plenty of economic passport scams. A real citizenship by investment program will be enshrined in the country’s constitution or clearly and obviously stated somewhere in their law.

The Benefits of Citizenship by Investment Passports

Instant Passport

You can obtain a second passport via investment in as little as 3-4 months.

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Enables Renunciation

US citizens can use their CBI passport to renounce their citizenship and save on tax.

Travel Privileges

Visa-free access to the UK, Ireland, Hong Kong, Singapore, the EU, Central and South America, and Southeast Asia.

Generic Passport Cover - Transparent
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No Nonsense

Streamlined process for individuals in good health with a clean background.

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Low Risk

No need to travel to or live in the country. Your citizenship is guaranteed.

Hard-to-Access countries

Different CBI passports grant access to Russia, China, South Africa, and even the US.

What Does Not Qualify as Citizenship by Investment?

Most people in the citizenship industry sell passports like it’s McDonald’s.

Sadly, too many of our clients have come to us only after working with another company or agent who recommended a certain passport to them, not because of their individual needs but because the agent got a commission for promoting one country’s program.

Most of the time, these clients don’t even know why they were recommended one passport over the other.

Here at Nomad Capitalist, we take a holistic approach and consider all your needs, resources, and goals before determining which citizenship by investment program is best for you.

Other companies that only sell passports cannot see your big picture.

But poor recommendations are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all the incorrect notions about what, where, why, and how you can obtain citizenship by investment.

Let’s put an end to those notions here and now and clarify exactly what economic citizenship is by understanding what it is not.

1. EXCEPTIONAL CITIZENSHIP

There are many programs that look like citizenship by investment because they involve an investment of sorts and you get citizenship in return, but they are typically not structured or commoditized and they usually aren’t fast either.

Of the four ways to get citizenship, these hybrid programs fit better under the exceptional citizenship category.

You may be able to buy real estate in Cambodia or donate €3 million to Austria and get a second passport out of the deal, but these programs are highly subject to political whims and are not available to every willing applicant.

Those aren’t real citizenship by investment programs.

2. GETTING PAID TO GET A PASSPORT

There are other programs where you can invest money and essentially get paid for a passport. But, again, these programs are not commoditized.

I have done programs like this where an American can invest $150,000 in real estate and get citizenship in a year and then sell their investment for a profit. However, if you’re Iranian, forget it. You could invest $2 million and they wouldn’t accept you.

If you can only get a passport if they like you and you’re from a good country, that’s not citizenship by investment.

However, if you think you might qualify for a program like this, you can read all about them here.

3. RESIDENCE BY INVESTMENT

Santorini Greece Residence by Investment

Greece offers the cheapest EU Golden Visa, requiring a $250,000 investment to obtain a residence permit.

Residence by investment is not the same as citizenship by investment. Numerous countries will grant residence to those who invest money in their country, but that residence permit does not guarantee eventual citizenship.

All that the investment grants is entrance into the country.

Countries have various criteria that an individual can meet to qualify for a residence permit, from having a job offer to starting a company to marrying one of their citizens. Some countries decide to add an extra option and allow those who make an investment to reside in the country as well without having to meet the other criteria.

That’s not selling citizenship, that’s just allowing someone another way to become a resident. Once they are a resident, they can be naturalized the same as everyone else.

This is the case with the many different Golden Visa programs in Europe like in Greece and Portugal. While you can eventually get a second passport out of the deal, it will take at least five years of residence and you must learn some Portuguese and pass through the naturalization process to finally get your citizenship.

Many people like to talk about the US EB-5 program as if it were a citizenship by investment program as well, but it is a residence by investment program, not a citizenship program.

You can fast-track your ability to get into the US, but you must meet all the same criteria that anyone else moving to the US would have to fulfill, including living there the majority of the time, learning the language, paying US taxes, and waiting the necessary time before applying for naturalization the same as everyone else.

The one grey area is Bulgaria, which offers a residence by investment program with a fast-track to citizenship option. But this “fast track” still takes two or more years before official citizenship is conferred on the investor.

Compare that to the Caribbean citizenship programs where there is no wait time (besides due diligence and processing times that take as little as eight weeks), no residence requirement, and no language requirement. You make the investment and you get the citizenship.

Residence by investment is not the same as citizenship by investment.

4. OLD/RUMORED PROGRAMS

There is also the problem of people who think that programs exist that have never existed or did at one time and have since been canceled.

Because the offshore industry changes so frequently, there is a lot of confusion about what programs are currently in operation. In recent years, for instance, both the Ireland and Comoros citizenship by investment programs were suspended.

There are also situations where a country will talk about starting a citizenship by investment program but then never follow through.

Not long ago, there were rumors that Armenia was going to introduce a program. However, it turned out that it was just a lot of people in the industry speculating and Armenia was kind of going along with it.

However, there is now a new administration and any possibility of an Armenia citizenship by investment program is dead.

5. SCAMS

And then there are the scams. I get a lot of questions from people about this program or the other and I have to tell them, “Yeah, that’s a scam!” I’m never surprised when the websites promoting these scammy programs suddenly disappear.

The key to getting a second passport is to do so legally. Avoid any program that involves paying off corrupt officials. Any citizenship program you take part in should be referenced in the country’s laws. If the person promoting a program cannot show you the legal basis for your citizenship, run away.

Remember, a true citizenship by investment program is commoditized, structured, legal, and fast.

Anything that cannot meet all four requirements does not qualify as a citizenship by investment. That does not mean that other programs won’t work for you (unless, of course, they’re illegal), but it is important to know what you’re getting into.

If you want fast, easy, and secure, make sure you are investing in a real citizenship by investment program. Everything else comes with a certain element of risk.

Where Can you Get Citizenship by Investment?

Citizenship by investment programs come and go on a regular basis.

The two exceptions are the original citizenship by investment program in St. Kitts and Nevis, which has lasted more than 35 years, and Dominica’s program, which has been around for more than 25 years.

All the rest are less than a decade old.

And many have come and gone within this last decade as well, including the Comoros Islands program that I took advantage of during its short lifespan.

Some, like Montenegro’s program, have a set period of availability. Others, like Cyprus, have a limit on how many applications they receive each year.

And then there are the programs that meet political pushback, like Moldova, which has been suspended for the time being and will not accept new applications until the latter half of 2021, if they ever reopen the program.

The bottom line is that nothing is permanent in this industry.

If one of the programs below sounds like a fantastic deal, click on the “Learn More” button to get more details and then reach out to us so we can help you create a holistic offshore strategy that incorporates your second passport goals into your banking, investment, business, tax, and lifestyle goals as well.

Malta

🇲🇹 Time to Citizenship: 15 Months (One-Year   Residence)

🇲🇹 Minimum Investment: €880,00

🇲🇹 Investment Options: Hybrid Model Requiring          Donation, Bonds, and Real Estate

🇲🇹 Visa-Free Access to 180+ Countries

🇲🇹 Best Passport For Visa-Free Access to the United States

living in Malta
cheapest-second-residencies-eu-cyprus

CYPRUS

🇨🇾 Time to Citizenship: 6-8 Months

🇨🇾 Minimum Investment: €2,150,000

🇨🇾 Investment Options: Real Estate or Business

🇨🇾 Visa-Free Access to 170+ Countries

🇨🇾 Best Passport For Access to the EU (May gain visa-free access to the US in the near future)

Montenegro

🇲🇪 Time to Citizenship: 3-6 Months

🇲🇪 Minimum Investment: $350,000

🇲🇪 Investment Options: Hybrid Donation and Real Estate

🇲🇪 Visa-Free Access to 120+ Countries

🇲🇪 Best Passport for European Living

Budva Montenegro Low Tax Country
Dominica citizenship by investment

Dominica

🇩🇲 Time to Citizenship: 3-9 Months

🇩🇲 Minimum Investment: $100,000

🇩🇲 Investment Options: Donation, Real Estate

🇩🇲 Visa-Free Access to 139 Countries

🇩🇲 Best Passport for Single Applicants (tied)

Saint Lucia

🇱🇨 Time to Citizenship: 3-4 Months

🇱🇨 Minimum Investment: $100,000

🇱🇨 Investment Options: Donation, Real Estate, Bonds, or Enterprise Project

🇱🇨 Visa-Free Access to 145+ Countries

🇱🇨 Best Passport for Single Applicants (tied)

Citizenship by Investment in St. Lucia
Antigua and Barbuda Citizenship by Investment Options

Antigua and Barbuda

🇦🇬 Time to Citizenship: 3-4 Months

🇦🇬 Minimum Investment: $100,000

🇦🇬 Investment Options: Donation, Real Estate, or Business

🇦🇬 Visa-Free Access to 150 Countries

🇦🇬 Best Passport for a Family

St. Kitts and Nevis

🇰🇳 Time to Citizenship: 3-6 Months

🇰🇳 Minimum Investment: $150,000

🇰🇳 Investment Options: Donation or Real Estate

🇰🇳 Visa-Free Access to 150+ Countries

🇰🇳 Best Passport for Access to the Americas

Saint Kitts citizenship by investment
Grenada citizenship by investment

Grenada

🇬🇩 Time to Citizenship: 3-4 Months

🇬🇩 Minimum Investment: $150,000

🇬🇩 Investment Options: Donation or Real Estate

🇬🇩 Visa-Free Access to 140+ Countries

🇬🇩 Best Passport for Visa-Free Access to China and E-2 Access to the United States

Vanuatu

🇻🇺 Time to Citizenship: 1-2 Months

🇻🇺 Minimum Investment: $130,000

🇻🇺 Investment Options: Donation

🇻🇺 Visa-Free Access to 125+ Countries

🇻🇺 Best Passport for Speed and Due Diligence

Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment
Turkish Citizenship by Investment

Turkey

🇹🇷 Time to Citizenship: 3-4 Months

🇹🇷 Minimum Investment: $250,000

🇹🇷 Investment Options: Real Estate, Bank Deposit, or Business (hiring locals)

🇹🇷 Visa-Free Access to 110+ Countries

🇹🇷 Best Passport for Real Estate Investors and E-2 Access to the United States

“Take a holistic approach and consider all your needs, resources, and goals before determining which citizenship by investment program is best for you.”

How to Qualify for Citizenship by Investment

As we discussed earlier, governments offer citizenship in return for your investment because they consider your economic contribution to be an act that qualifies you for that citizenship.

Both parties should benefit from the exchange.

You need a second passport to give yourself a Plan B, increase your freedom of movement, and create better tax planning opportunities, among other benefits.

Governments need foreign direct investment to stimulate their economy – whether that be for their real estate market, local businesses and employment, or government bonds and development funds that will allow them to direct the money to more country-specific projects.

Depending on the country and its specific needs at the time, you will have various options to choose from that will qualify you for citizenship. Each option is laid out by the government and will differ according to amounts, types of investments, and required holding times.

Here are the most common types of investments that will qualify you for citizenship in another country:

1. Donation

The most conventional way to qualify for citizenship is to simply make a donation. Donation amounts start at $100,000 in several Caribbean countries and go all the way up to €650,000 for Malta.

You make the donation and they give you a passport.

You do not get that money back.

Your donation goes toward the local people in the country to meet different objectives. For example, St. Kitts and Nevis had a thriving sugar industry… until it didn’t. So, now, the government has created a sugar fund that you can donate to and qualify for St. Kitts’ citizenship.

Dominica, on the other hand, is focused on building low-income housing with the money they receive from investors. You donate the money and the government determines where to put it.

Even though it is essentially a sunk cost, the donation is usually the cheapest and most straightforward route to take because you don’t have to deal with selling an asset later.

And while you may think it’s a waste of money, if you can go out and save a million dollars in taxes by having that passport, then who cares that you wasted $100,000?

If you can travel to Russia with your new passport and expand your business there, consider that $100,000 as an investment in your business.

Or if you’re an Arab who can suddenly travel to Europe withing needing visas all the time and you can do an extra half-million dollars in business, who cares about the $100,000 you gave away to get it?

That’s the donation route.

2. Real Estate Investment

Almost all citizenship by investment programs – with the exception of Turkey – require you to buy real estate that has been pre-approved by the government.

That means it’s overpriced and a rip-off.

With most Caribbean programs, the real estate isn’t even yours. It’s a timeshare. And even if it is yours, you’ll end up paying a partial donation anyway thanks to government fees.

For example, you can invest $220,000 in real estate in Dominica instead of donating $100,000, but you still need to pay a government fee for the real estate. In Dominica, the fee is $35,000 and the amount only goes up from there in other countries.

So, you’re not saving the full amount of the donation.

And here’s the other issue: if you do decide to buy the real estate, what are you going to do with it? It’s on an island. Where’s the market to resell it? Your only opportunity to resell is probably to a new buyer who’s also doing the citizenship by investment program.

The one exception, as mentioned, is Turkey. You can buy almost any property in Turkey, and as long as you meet the investment amount, you can qualify for Turkish citizenship.

We have a full-time real estate person on our team who speaks Turkish and she finds the best deals on properties in the country that will qualify you for citizenship.

If you are interested, be sure to check out our article on how to buy real estate in Turkey, as well as our Turkish citizenship by investment guide.

Other than Turkey, we don’t recommend the real estate investment as it must be pre-approved by the government and, consequently, is overpriced.

3. Hybrid Model

Some countries like to complicate things and will require applicants to make several types of investments to qualify for citizenship. Most hybrid programs can be found in Europe.

Malta, for example, requires applicants to make a sizable donation, buy government bonds, purchase or rent a home, and live in the country for at least a year to establish a genuine link to the country.

This, of course, is because Malta is in the EU, which means that its passport is much more valuable but also subject to third-party oversight from the EU itself.

In St. Lucia, nobody cares that you have a genuine connection to the country. They’ll take your donation and you can be done with the process. Their passport is not as powerful, though, so there is a trade-off.

There’s always a trade-off.

Other hybrid models include Cyprus, which has both a real estate investment requirement and a mandatory donation to the state science fund, and Montenegro (the newcomer), which also has both a donation and real estate requirement.

There are benefits to both programs, but you will be required to give more to get them.

4. Banks, Bonds, and Businesses

In recent years, governments have been coming up with more creative investment options for investors interested in citizenship.

In Turkey, for example, instead of investing $250,000 in real estate, you can put $500,000 in the bank for three years and still qualify for citizenship. Or, if you want to reduce how much money you need to put down, you can start a business and hire 50 people in Turkey and get citizenship that way too.

In both Antigua and St. Lucia, rather than start a business, you can invest in a local company and qualify. In Antigua, you’ll need to invest $400,000 plus fees (vs. the flat $100,000 donation) and in St. Lucia you’ll need to invest a whopping $3.5 million into a local enterprise project.

Finally, in both St. Lucia and Malta, you can buy non-interest-bearing government bonds and hold them for a given period of time to qualify for citizenship. In Malta, the bond investment is one requirement of many. In St. Lucia, it’s one of four different options. 

Economic Citizenship Passport Transparent (1)

How the Application Process Works

On average, once you have submitted your application, you should expect to wait about six months before you can have your passport in hand. But what goes on during this time? And what is required from you besides the investment?

Although every country has a different list of requirements, they are all straightforward and there are many commonalities between them all. This is what you can expect from the application process in general:

Upon choosing the country you want to invest in, you will go through quite a bit of paperwork to present your entire case to the country.

These countries have strict due diligence procedures. Some are stricter than others, but all of them want to know who they are dealing with.

You’ll need to collect documents like a police or FBI report, show the legal source of your investment funds, receive a medical examination to prove good health, and collect all your school transcripts, even back to your elementary school in some cases.

You will also need to give them information on your business. Most programs want to know if you have ever been sued. Generally, people who have an extensive history of civil lawsuits will not be admitted.

If you had a small claims suit because some dope sued you, that’s usually fine. But serious civil litigation is usually an issue and reduces the number of programs willing to take you.

The same goes for a criminal record. If you had a misdemeanor for carrying a beer around town when you were 18, that’s probably not an issue. If you have been convicted of any kind of crime of moral turpitude, you’re going to be out.

Once you have gathered all the documents and submitted your application, the government will perform their due diligence process, which can take several months.

A lot of companies will tell you that it takes two or three months, but that is almost never the case. St. Kitts and Nevis has a rush program you can pay extra for that is supposed to take 60 days, but it doesn’t really work that way.

Which program is faster really depends on when you submit the application. Certain countries get a rush at different times of the year.

If some immigration agent in China sold 50 clients into Dominica at once, it’s going to be slow. So, there’s no citizenship program that’s going to be faster than another at any one time.

Vanuatu does tend to be faster than the Caribbean programs, but it’s not the most desirable program out there.

In most countries, you are required to make some or all of the investment upfront while in others you only have to deposit the funds once your application is approved.

Once you are approved and your investment goes through, you will be issued a certificate of naturalization which you can then use to apply for a passport.

In some countries, you will need to attend a swearing-in ceremony to receive your naturalization certificate. In others, you will need to meet a minimal residence requirement (usually five days within a five-year period) to be able to renew your passport at the end of your first five years of citizenship.

For more details about the specific requirements of each program, be sure to click on the “Learn More” buttons above to view our ultimate guides for each citizenship by investment country.

Which Passport is Right For You?

So, how do you pick a citizenship by investment program?

More importantly, how do you know that you need to invest to obtain immediate citizenship over some slower route?

For instance, you could pursue naturalization via residence by investment or even paper residence.

You may also qualify for citizenship by descent, which can be just as quick and usually just a few thousand dollars for paperwork and other formalities.

Or maybe you qualify for one of the fast-track citizenships based on exception or marriage.

Even if you qualify for one or more of those options, you may want to add an additional passport to your portfolio via investment.

Here’s what you need to know to make the best choice.

Who Should Get Citizenship by Investment?

The truth is that citizenship by investment is not the second passport solution for everyone. However, it is often the best option for people in three specific circumstances:

1. US TAX PLANNING

US citizens are among the only people on earth who must pay taxes on their worldwide income no matter where they live. Even if you are living abroad and have not set a foot in the US for years, thanks to citizenship-based taxation, you still must file and pay taxes to the US government.

Forever.

While there are many different strategies you can use to reduce your US tax burden, the only way for US citizens to completely liberate themselves of all reporting and tax obligations is to renounce their US citizenship.

Pragmatically, renunciation requires a second passport. And if your income is high enough, how quickly you can obtain that second passport can make a dramatic difference in how much you will save in taxes – even on the level of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

If you are in that situation, the cost of citizenship by investment may be far less than the tax and compliance costs of remaining a US citizen, especially now that tax laws have become even more unfavorable for business owners overseas.

2. TRAVEL PLANNING

Every passport has travel gaps. Even Germany – which has visa-free access to 189 countries – does not give its citizens the ability to show up in Russia without a visa, for instance.

Some passports have bigger travel gaps than others, but a second passport can often fill these gaps, no matter how big or small.

If you have a relatively decent passport, you may only need a second passport to complement your first. If you don’t want to wait to get that second passport, citizenship by investment is the fastest way to fill those gaps.

It is also a good solution for those who want to renounce their US citizenship but are worried about losing their travel privileges.

Most citizenship by investment passports offer visa-free access to the Schengen Area in Europe as well as to important business destinations like Hong Kong. Some also offer visa-free access to countries like China, Russia, South Africa, and Brazil that even the US passport cannot offer.

However, the people who benefit the most from investing in economic citizenships are those with passports from emerging world countries with bad visa-free travel.

Chinese, Middle Eastern, and Russian citizens make up a large part of the citizenship investor pool simply because they are losing more opportunities due to their bad passports and can afford the cost of citizenship by investment in exchange for the greatly increased travel benefits.

They can invest once and quickly obtain a passport that will save them from wasting weeks and months on expensive visas.

3. CITIZENSHIP INSURANCE

There are also people who simply want a second passport for peace of mind, protection, and as a backup policy in the event of potential political, economic, or natural disaster in their home country.

For these people, a second passport is essentially an insurance policy in the form of citizenship.

And if you’re a really wealthy person living in France with €10 million, what’s $100,000 to get a backup plan in case France goes nuts?

Citizenship by investment almost never comes with residence requirements, making it the most convenient solution for someone with a lot of money who doesn’t want to go live in another country or deal with (often exhausting) citizenship by descent paperwork just to get a passport.

People in France, Canada, Australia, Greece, and other western countries may not need a second passport to avoid the high taxes in their home country. But if they’re doing really well for themselves, they may ultimately decide that, in a time vs. money cost comparison, paying $100,000 to Saint Lucia or Dominica to get a passport in a matter of months is the better option.

Citizens from emerging countries may also use citizenship by investment as an insurance policy against the corruption and instability in their home country.

These folks may prefer to avoid citizenship by investment programs in the  “Banana Republics” of the Caribbean and instead make a larger investment to get citizenship in Cyprus or Malta, giving them the greater insurance and travel privileges that come with EU citizenship.

For anyone else, an EU passport may be a bad idea as it will likely be an albatross in the coming years.

 

How to Choose The Best Citizenship by Investment

Once you have determined that citizenship by investment is the right move for you, how do you choose which of all the programs is the best fit for your unique circumstances?

We’ve broken it down for you so you can review the benefits of each program and decide which one works best for you.

 

The Most Cost-Efficient Passport

For many people, the cheapest passport is often the best option in terms of cost-benefit analysis.

For A Single Person: Both Dominica and St. Lucia are the cheapest options at $100,000 each.

For a Couple or Family: Antigua and Barbuda is the cheapest passport at $100,000 for a family of 4.

Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Piton Mountains
Turkish Citizenship by Investment with Real Estate
Turkey is the best for those who want to invest in real estate at a good value.

You can read more about Turkey’s citizenship program in our Ultimate Guide.

And you can dive into our Turkey real estate guide to know where to invest for the best deals.

 

Best for Real Estate Investment

Travel and Visa-Free Access

Most citizenship by investment passports provide visa-free access to the UK, Ireland, Singapore, Hong Kong, Europe’s Schengen Area, Southeast Asia and South America.

Some, like St. Lucia, offer access to all of Central America. Others have hard-to-access countries like Iran, South Africa, and Macedonia.

Cape Town South Africa
Visa-free Access to Russia with Caribbean Citizenship by Investment
With the exception of St. Lucia, all the Caribbean passports now grant visa-free access to Russia.

This can be beneficial to people from the West who do business in Russia and struggle with visas.

For access to China, Grenada is the only program that offers visa-free travel to the Middle Kingdom.

Compare travel for all economic citizenships.

Visa-Free Travel to China & Russia

Access to Asia and the South Pacific

Vanuatu may be a good option for people who do a lot of business in Asia and the South Pacific.

It’s the only economic passport that grants visa-free transit through Australia and New Zealand.

Vanuatu’s program is also faster and applies less due diligence on applicants with past lawsuits.

Vanuatu Citizenship by Investment
Malta Citizenship by Investment - Visa-Free Access to the US
E-2 Investor Visa: Citizenship by investment in Grenada or Turkey will allow you to enter the US on a non-immigrant E-2 investor visa.

Visa-Free Access to the US: If you want visa-free access to the US, Malta is currently your only option, although Cyprus may gain access soon.

US Investors and Visa-Free Travel

Living and Working in the Eu

Both Malta and Cyprus offer the ability to live and work in the European Union. They also grant access to education and health care benefits.

Don’t want the high price tag? We favor buying a cheaper passport and getting a European residence that will lead to naturalization in a few years.

 

Cyprus Street - European Living
Montenegro - European Living Citizenship by Investment
If you decide you want to live in your new country of citizenship, consider Montenegro. It offers luxury, peace, and European charm.

Malta, Cyprus, or Turkey could be livable as well. One of our clients fell in love with Turkey. Then again, you might like the remoteness of Vanuatu.

The Best country for Living

The Best country for Tax-Free Living

If you’re going to live in the country, taxes become an issue as not all these countries are tax-free.

However, Antigua and Barbuda, St. Kitts and Nevis, and Vanuatu are all tax-free.

But be careful. For example, it is very difficult for citizens of Antigua to get a bank account there.

Antigua and Barbuda Tax-Free Citizenship by Investment
“A second passport is essentially an insurance policy in the form of citizenship. Citizenship by investment is the fastest way to get it.”

Just One Tool of Many

Citizenship by investment is not the perfect solution for everyone. Depending on your situation, you may have better options. But if you want a nearly 100% guarantee of getting citizenship in 4-12 months, citizenship by investment is the best way to go.

There is no messing around with these programs. If you have a clean criminal record and you don’t have a lot of serious health problems (think HIV), you can qualify and get citizenship pretty quickly.

You may need to gather a lot of paperwork, but you don’t have to be flying all around the world. In most cases, you can get that much-needed second passport all from the comfort of your home.

Just remember, a second passport is not going to automatically solve all your problems. It won’t eliminate your taxes the moment you have it in your hands. It’s tax neutral.

But it is a valuable tool that you can wield to create a tax-free lifestyle.

Just remember that it’s not the only tool in the box. You also have offshore companies, international investments, foreign banking, second residences, offshore gold storage, cryptocurrency, the Trifecta, and so many other strategies and tools at your disposal.

Here at Nomad Capitalist, we make it our business to help folks like you who understand the power of using tools like these to create a life of greater freedom and prosperity.

We understand that everyone’s situation is different. That’s why we create bespoke offshore plans that are tailored to you and you alone.

If you are an entrepreneur or investor interested in citizenship by investment or other ways to obtain a second passport that will allow you to “go where you’re treated best”, feel free to reach out to our team.

We would love to help you get started!

READY TO GET STARTED?

Our team constantly researches and analyzes 70+ citizenship programs so we can help our clients take advantage of what works in the real world, not theory. Learn how we can help you get your second passport.

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