In the past years, citizenship has essentially become a form of investment for the future. If you have the means and the interest to invest in another country as a private citizen, you can pay your way into having a second passport through citizenship by investment (CBI) programs offered by a number countries around the world.
The best part of second citizenship, of course, is you get to enjoy all the benefits of being a full-fledged citizen. This may include (depending on the country you are getting a second citizenship from) visa-free travel to countless other countries across the globe.
If you’re looking to become a dual citizen, the first thing you need to do is to understand how applying for citizenship based on economic contribution to the country works. After that, you can choose which country to get your second passport in through a CBI program that best suits your budget and needs.
Citizenship by Investment
The concept of citizenship by investment involves shelling out a certain amount of money in exchange for access to benefits only bona fide residents of the country get to enjoy. Such perks include having a passport, the right to suffrage, and access to social services.
However, one of the most enticing benefits that most second passport nations offer is a free pass to many countries without the need for a visa. This may be why roughly 5,000 people undergo meticulous processes in order to “buy” citizenship through CBI.
As of 2018, the amount required to gain second citizenship has been set between $100,000 and $2.5 million. Different nations offer various investment options, including government bonds, real estate, or business investments and non-refundable cash donations.
In most cases, the processing of a CBI application takes one or two years to as little as two or three months. To top that off, many countries don’t even require the applicant to set foot in the country to become a dual citizen.
4 Financially Accessible Second Passport Countries
There are dozens of countries that offer citizenship by investment worldwide. If you’re planning on getting a second passport but want to stick to a certain budget, you can try one of the four most budget-friendly nations listed below:
Dominica has offered CBI since 1993. Through the years, it has stayed at the top spot of the list of countries with the most affordable CBI programs.
Today, the nation only requires a minimum of $100,000 for a single applicant through a non-refundable donation to the government. If you want to get a passport here, you may also opt to invest in a government-authorized real estate project for a minimum amount of $200,000.
2. Antigua and Barbuda
Citizenship in Antigua can be attained in three ways:
- Donating to the National Development Fund (NDF)
- Investing in real estate
- Participating as a direct investor in a qualified business
Non-refundable donations to the NDF start at $100,000 for a sole applicant while investment in an approved real estate should be a minimum of $400,000. Business investments, on the other hand, start at $1.5 million for solo investors or $5 million for joint investors.
Cyprus offers what is arguably the most reliable citizenship by investment program worldwide. The minimum investment amount for government-approved assets is set at €2 million as of September 2016. This can be a development project or real estate, which should be maintained for at least three years.
After getting approved, you are only required to set foot in the country only once in seven years. Citizenship in Cyprus also allows you (and your family) to access many benefits that include the right to employment and education in any of the 28 European Union member nations as well as visa-free travel to 159 other countries.
Buying citizenship in Grenada is another great option for people who wish to get a second passport and visa-free travel to more than 110 countries, including China.
You only need to shell out a minimum National Transformation Fund (NTF) contribution of $200,000 (non-refundable) or invest at least $350,000 in a government-authorized real property for three years or more.
Invest in a Second Citizenship
Having second citizenship involves many attractive benefits, which is why it isn’t surprising that a lot of people choose to go through meticulous processes just to get approved.
With the highly competitive citizenship by investment programs available today, you can already purchase your way into becoming a dual citizen and invest in your and your family’s future.
Kal Kennard is a Partner at Citizens International, a white-glove specialist firm offering private client services necessary for citizenship investment into the Caribbean. Based in the Caribbean for the past 15 years, she is an experienced consultant who works directly with many professional partners and advises clients worldwide.