Mabel Fatokun

Here Are The Countries Offering Citizenship By Investment

The demand for both financial and physical safety and security in today’s society has led to a rise in worldwide mobility.

Citizenship by Investment programmes has gained more importance due to the laxity of immigration regulations and the increased emphasis on governments’ efforts to promote foreign direct investment and attract international talent.

An estimated 5,000 people are expected to receive citizenship through investment each year. The three Caribbean Islands of Antigua & Barbuda, Saint Lucia, and Grenada, also among the most sought-after locations under these programs, saw 1,375 applications for citizenship by investment submitted in 2022.

Factors Emphasising Investment Programmes for Citizenship
Programmes for “citizenship by investment” aim to expedite the naturalisation process in exchange for a sizeable investment made in a variety of assets, such as real estate, bonds, funds, bank deposits, businesses, contributions, etc. Citizenship programmes have several benefits, especially for high-net-worth individuals (HNWIs). While in certain situations, they may be driven to move towards countries that provide better healthcare, education, safety, and overall quality of life, in other situations, the motive may be the differences in tax laws across nations. Rich people who want to increase their income tend to favour tax havens with citizenship by investment schemes. Approximately 108,000 HNWIs moved in 2018, and 128,000 are predicted to do so by 2024.

Benefits for the Host Nation
Investment plans that grant citizenship to investors can be advantageous, but the countries that provide such schemes also stand to gain significantly. Between January 2022 and June 2022, Vanuatu reported $40.5 million from citizenship-by-investment programmes, while the European Parliament Research Service reported 9.2 billion euros in earnings from investment programmes between 2008 and 2018. Investment programmes that grant citizenship and residency may affect the GDP of the host nation in various ways, from 2% to 30%.

Citizenship by Investment programmes 


Although it is more expensive, Austrian citizenship has certain advantages for individual investors and their families. Austrian citizenship uniquely appeals to investors looking to establish a long-term relationship with the nation. It is transferable to future generations by descent, allows for visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel to approximately 190 destinations, and grants access to high standards of living and the freedom to reside anywhere in the EU and Switzerland. This citizenship requires a minimum of €2 million and a maximum of €10 million. The application process typically takes between 24 and 36 months to complete. The program’s objective is to guarantee that the investment helps to improve Austria’s economy.


Turkey stands out as a particularly advantageous location for investors due to its strategic location and connections to other markets nearby. There are several benefits associated with their Direct Citizenship by Investment Programme. Through this programme, investors can bring their families here and enjoy a high standard of living in our nation. With 110 places offering visa-free travel, international mobility has even more potential. Additionally, investors can apply for an E-2 Investor Visa in the US if they have been residents of the nation for three years.


Malta’s citizenship by investment plan, or Malta Exceptional Investor Naturalisation (MEIN) Policy, has drawn in many individuals searching for a second residence in addition to its well-liked residency programme. The applicant may include family members, such as a spouse, kids, parents, and grandparents, among its many benefits. The lowest option available to investors under this scheme is to contribute €600,000 to a National Development and Social Fund, which will confer citizenship in approximately 36 months. There is a fee of €50,000 for each extra family member. In addition, the candidate needs to buy or rent a property in the nation and pay a donation. After a larger investment of €750,000, citizenship is awarded in 12 months.


A relatively inexpensive citizenship-by-investment programme is available in Saint Lucia. The minimum cost for a single applicant is an investment of US $100,000 in the nation’s National Economic Fund; the price rises as more family members are included in the application. A spouse, kids under 31, siblings under 18, and parents 55 or older can all be considered family members. Once citizenship has been granted, more dependents may be added. Another benefit of the programme is the attractiveness of increased international mobility, which includes visa-free travel to more than 140 countries.


The Direct Citizenship Programme offers two options for people who want to invest and relocate to Cambodia: the gift and investment pathways. Donating $320,000 (including fees) to the Royal Government of the US is the minimum investment amount. The other choice is to invest in a project authorised by the Royal Government or approved by the Cambodian Development Council, each with US $305,000 (without additional costs). In three to four months, citizenship is granted.


As a Common Wealth member, Antigua and Barbuda, like Saint Kitts and Nevis, enables its citizens to take advantage of membership privileges in the UK and other Common Wealth states. One of the program’s many appealing features is that it increases worldwide mobility by removing the need for a visa for travel to about 150 places. Additionally, dependent children under 31 (including their husband and children), parents and grandparents 55 and older, and unmarried siblings of the primary applicant and/or their spouse of any age may also apply.


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