35+ Best countries for buying citizenship or residency

Citizenship by investment (“jus pecuniae”) and residence by investment programs (“golden visas”) have seen big growths in recent years. Jus pecuniae means acquiring citizenship against financial contribution. But citizenship for many immigrants, comes at a significant financial cost. Investment based citizenship/residency programs may or may not require the applicant to reside in the country prior to naturalization. There are mainly two routes, that lead to citizenship under investment option, one through naturalizing with residency and other without residency leading to direct citizenship  with a passport.  The number of countries offering such schemes based on economic investment have increased, fueling global demand for passports and visas.

Swiss flag

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/

Fortune recently reported, the 1% of the global rich spent an estimated $2 billion in buying citizenships. According to Christian Kalin of Henley & Partners, Switzerland, residence-by-investment programmes attract about $5 billion a year in foreign direct investment; and citizenship by investment another $2 billion yearly. Both figures are increasing at 20% a year making it a whopping $7 billion dollar industry. But what is causing an alarming growth in this industry? The Rich and wealthy want a quick solution for free movement to many countries with no visa restrictions.  The fear of global crisis such as Brexit, Trump victory, Syrian crisis, Turkey attacks, Demonetisation in India is fueling the growth pushing people to look for alternative citizenships elsewhere.

Citizenship too, though often regarded in sacred terms, can be bought and sold. Over the past ten years a substantial industry has developed around – and pushed forward – the market for multiple citizenships. In 2012, two countries could be described as offering citizenship by investment programs; by 2016, they numbered seven, and half a dozen additional states are in consultation about adopting the tool, according to Global citizenship 2.0 by Kristin Surak.

IMF report on revenues from citizenship by investment programs, says St Kitts & Nevis has achieved impressive 11% of GDP in 2015 and slashed its debt by 64%.  Portugal golden visa ARI scheme reported 2.4 billion euros (90% invested in real estate) inflows in just 4 years of running the scheme.  Malta reported over 1 billion euro inflows since the inception of the citizenship scheme in the EU. Cyprus economy is slowly recovering since the 2013 banking crisis and demand for real estate is high, ever since cyprus introduced citizenship for sale scheme. Dominica recovered from the damage caused by tropical storm Erika that destroyed 90% of the country with the help of the funds from citizenship for sale program. All the countries reported boost in economic growth, employment and demand in real estate since the inception of economic citizenship programs.

European passports

I will spot out the main difference between citizenship and residency programs and then will list about 35 countries offering investment programs to foreign investors. Both of these two routes will lead to citizenship.

Citizenship by investment programs (CIP) gets you fast track citizenship within months, waiving naturalisation requirements such as residency, military service, language requirement etc. This is one of the main reasons why citizenship by investment programs are so popular and also less time consuming.  The citizenship given is lifetime can be passed on to future family generations through children.

Residency by investment programs (RIP), grant citizenship through residency usually takes years of uninterrupted living to naturalise for citizenship. You must also fully integrate to culture, language etc. You may undergo military service to naturalise for citizenship in some countries. In most countries, if you dont live in the country enough (absent for more than 3 months), you wont even qualify for Citizenship or Green card. The processing time of citizenship applications through naturalisation may take many months or more than a year. It is worth pointing out that some countries like United Kingdom require a PR status before applying for citizenship. Golden visas are issued with limited time validity (say one or two years). You have to go extend the validity of residence permit (under golden visa) once every year or two years and to do this you must visit the country personally.

Passport

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/diversey/

There are several quick investment routes to buy citizenship through investment. The best, easiest, less expensive and fastest option is one time donation payment to Government fund. You will get your money back if the citizenship is refused. You can also invest in real estate (must hold for 5 years) and get a citizenship, but it is an expensive route to citizenship. Under real estate, you are required to pay various property taxes, fees at end it will end up more than you bargained for. Another interesting option is buying Government bonds ($500,000 onwards), you will get your full money refunded back after 5 years  (guaranteed by Government) with no interest. You keep your citizenship for life time. You will not lose your citizenship after getting back your money from bonds. A handful of countries grant residency or even citizenship against capital investments in  Art & culture projects, Research and technology sector, Green energy sectors and foundations or organisations serving public interest..

Investment routes to citizenship

The benefits of second citizenship are enticing such visa free travel to several countries to Europe/UK, education for children, freely do business, tax free status, and also benefits stateless persons .

Malta and Cyprus passports

The biggest problem with programs in United States, United Kingdom, Canada, yes they give you permanent residence status but you are required to physically immigrate and live there permanently. You cannot be absent for more than 3 months in a year. Many investors dont want to move and live there away from home. Another problem is you are taxed on worldwide income, if you get permanent resident status.

Grenada has a very interesting citizenship programme in the Caribbean, which is worth looking at.  Grenada signed visa waiver agreement with China on Feb 25, 2015 – since then Grenada is the only country in the caribbean offering visa free travel to China (PRC) to its citizens. Citizenship in Grenada also provides backdoor access to United States through E2 treaty visa. E2 visa is a non-immigrant business visa, a cheaper alternative to EB-5 investor, as it requires no investment minimums  and does not require job creation. E2 visa holders have ways to avoid world wide taxation in the US unlike EB5 visa holders.

Tax planning offshore cannot be overlooked when acquiring a second citizenship. In most countries, you are taxed based on your residency (live 182 days/year), not citizenship for the income generate inside the country. The United States and Eritrea are the only two countries in the world with the “Citizenship based tax regime”. The US taxes both citizens and non-citizens on their worldwide income. There are virtually no taxes in the Caribbean. In Europe, Austria (55%), Netherlands(52%), Sweden (62%), Finland(56%-62%), Denmark (56%)  has the highest income tax rates.

I will list about more than 30 best countries which offer citizenship or residency through investments in real estate, government bonds, business enterprise, donation to research, arts and technology). Your choice to decide which country you like.

Europe

There are about 15 countries in Europe offering residency or citizenship to foreign investors against a qualifying investment. These are two types 1) European Citizenship by Investment Programs EU- CIP and 2) Golden Visas in Europe

1. United Kingdom

flag-uk

  • GBP 200,000 (entrepreneur investor visa) or GBP 2 million (tier1 investor)
  • Residency by investment in the UK (permanent)
  • Qualifying investments (business enterprise)
  • Citizenship after 5 years of living in the UK (PR status / ILR required)
  • Attractive program post Brexit due to cheaper pound value.
  • 2 months application processing time.
  • Residency requirement: You must live 9 months per year in the UK.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dahlstroms/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/dahlstroms/

Request a free quote

United Kingdom

2. Portugal

  • EUR 500,000 Portugal golden visa ARI programme
  • Residency by investment in Schengen country.
  • Qualifying investments (real estate, business, research, capital transfer, Art)
  • Minimal residency requirements – 7days per year.
  • Permanent residency after 5 years of uninterrupted living.
  • Most popular property investment program in Europe.
  • Portugal Citizenship after 6 years of living.
  • No requirement to live in Portugal
  • Processing time is 3 months
  • Free movement in Schengen with residence permit (“TÍTULO DE RESIDÊNCIA”) issued by Portugal.
Portugal golden visa

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jfcfar/

Request a free quote

Portugal map

3. Spain

Spain flag

  • EUR 500,000
  • Spanish golden visa programme
  • Residency by investment in Schengen
  • Qualifying investments (real estate, bonds, company shares)
  • Spanish Citizenship after 10 years of living (non spanish speaking countries), quicker 3 years for those from spanish speaking countries. (no PR status required)
  • No requirement to live in Spain after getting residency (must visit spain for few days every year).
  • Free movement in Schengen states with residence permit(“PERMISO DE RESIDENCIA”) issued by spain.
Spain

Flickr: https://www.flickr.com/photos/abooth202/

Request a free quote

Spain map

4. Ireland

Ireland

  • EUR 500,000 irish immigrant investor program
  • Residency by investment in EU member state.
  • Qualifying investments (enterprise, donation, real estate, bonds)
  • Irish Citizenship after 5 years of uninterrupted living (no PR status required)
  • No requirement to live in Ireland
  • Most popular program for UK nationals seeking Irish passport post Brexit
  • Ireland is an excellent business investment destination with corporate friendly taxes.
Dublin, Ireland

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/decade_null/

Request a free quote

Ireland map

5. Belgium

flag-be

  • EUR 300,000 business investor scheme
  • Belgium golden visa programme
  • Residency by investment in Schengen
  • Qualifying investments (business investment and create jobs)
  • Belgium Citizenship after 5 years of living in Belgium (PR status in 5 years)
  • Most popular business immigration program in Europe .
  • No requirement to live in Belgium after receiving residency.
  • Free movement in Schengen states with residence permit (“VERBLIJFSTITEL”) issued by Belgium.
  • Easy application process and no language tests or business experience required.

belgique

Request a free quote

Belgium map

6. Malta

flag-mt

  • EUR 1,100,000 (approx) in Malta IIP
  • Malta Individual Investor Programme (Malta IIP)
  • Malta Citizenship by investment programme (Malta golden passport)
  • Qualifying investments (€650,000 donation + €150,000 bonds)
  • European passport for investor and family in 15 months
  • Residency requirement: 1 year or 12 months by satisfying genuine link to Malta (e-residency must rent or buy a home in Malta).
  • No language tests, No military service, No citizenship tests, No business experience required
  • Live,work, study anywhere in 26 countries in Europe (Switzerland, Germany, France, Sweden).
  • Malta passport in 12-15 months
  • Malta IIP open to EU and EEA nationals.
  • Maltese passport offers visa free travel to 160 countries in the world to USA, Canada, United Kingdom etc.
  • No requirement to live in Malta after receiving citizenship.
  • Maltese citizenship is not confidential as names of people are published in official gazette to public.

Valletta - Malta capital

Request a free quote

Malta map

7. Cyprus

flag-cy

  • EUR 2,000,000 investment in Cyprus
  • European Citizenship by investment programme (Cyprus golden passport)
  • Qualifying investments: real estate, bonds, business for 2 million euros
  • Fast track Citizenship in Europe for family
  • Cypriot citizenship and passport in 6 months.
  • No residency requirements (naturalisation waived) but must buy a home for 500,000 euros
  • Cyprus passport offers visa free travel to 28 EU member states
  • Live, work study in 28 EU member states (Switzerland, Austria, France, Germany etc)
  • No military service, No language test, No business experience needed
  • Easy application process with high approval rates.
  • Cyprus CIP open to all country citizens.
  • Citizenship is lifetime and can be passed on to future family generations.
  • Application process is confidential and citizenship not reported to other countries.
Cyprus beach

Nissi Beach, Cyprus

Request a free quote

Cyprus map

8. Netherlands

flag-nl

  • EUR 1,250,000 (dutch golden visa)
  • Netherlands foreign investor scheme
  • Residency by investment in Netherlands
  • Qualifying investments (business capital, shares, bonds)
  • No residency requirements (must visit Netherlands once a year for few days)
  • Dutch Citizenship after 5 years of living (no PR status required)
  • Permanent residency status after 5 years of uninterrupted living
  • Free movement in schengen zone with dutch residence permit card (“VERBLIJFSKAART”).

22280691741_128120317b_z

Request a free quote

Netherlands map

9. Switzerland

flag-ch

  • CHF 1,000,000 (swiss business investor visa)
  • Swiss business investment programme (swiss golden visa)
  • Residency by investment
  • Qualifying investments (capital investment in a swiss company and create jobs)
  • Swiss citizenship after 12 years of uninterrupted living ( no PR status needed)
  • Swiss permanent residence card after 10 years of uninterrupted living.
  • Processing time is 3 months.
  • Free movement in 26 EU schengen states with swiss permit.
  • Buying a home or property in Switzerland is allowed.
  • No requirement to live in Switzerland.
Swiss flag

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/jamescridland/

Request a free quote

Switzerland map

10. Latvia

flag-lv

  • EUR 80,000 in Latvia
  • Latvia immigrant investor program (latvia golden visa)
  •  Residency by investment scheme in Europe.
  • Cheapest european real estate investment program
  • Qualifying investments (€250,000 in real estate or €80,000 in business or €300,000 bank deposit)
  • Latvian Citizenship after 10 years of living (must have PR status)
  • No residence requirements.
  • Latvia is a very popular program among Russian nationals.
  • Latvian residence permit (Uzturešanas atlauja”) allows free movement in 26 Schengen states.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jorbasa/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/jorbasa/

Request a free quote

Latvia map

11. Hungary

flag-hu

  • EUR 300,000 (hungary residency bond program – closed from March 2017)
  • Government backed residency by investment scheme (Hungary golden visa)
  • Qualifying investments (risk free hungarian government bonds worth 300,000 euros)
  • Entire investment 300,000 euros will be returned with no interest after 5 years.
  • Lifetime permanent residence status in Europe.
  • No requirement to live in the country.
  • Free movement in Schengen with hungarian residence permit (Tartózkodási engedély) issued under economic interest
  • Family and children can apply for Hungarian residency
  • Processing time is 4 months.
  • Hungarian citizenship after 8 years of living (requires PR status)
  • No language tests, no business experience, no health checks, No education required.
  • Expect additional processing costs 50,000 to 60,000 euros.
  • No country restrictions, programme open to all country nationals.
  • Financing options available with agents.
Budapest, Hungary

Copyright: Moyan Brenn Flickr

Request a free quote

Hungary map

12. Austria

flag-at

  • EUR 3,000,000 to EUR 10,000,000
  • Citizenship by investment (unofficial only given to exceptional individuals)
  • Citizenship in Europe for family and children
  • Qualifying investments (business enterprise investment and create new jobs or in projects that are in specific interest to Austria)
  • Austrian citizenship in 12-15 months
  • No residence requirements. No language tests, No military service
  • Austrian passport is highly respected passport in the world.

Austria

Request a free quote

Austria map

13. Bulgaria

flagbg

  • EUR 512,000 (immigrant investor visa)
  • Permanent residency by investment in Bulgaria
  • No free movement in Schengen (Bulgaria is not in schengen)
  • Qualifying investments (bonds, real estate, business)
  • Citizenship after 5 years (requires PR status)
  • Processing time 2 months.
  • No residence requirements to live in Bulgaria
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xiquinho/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/xiquinho/

Request a free quote

Bulgaria map

14. Greece

Greece flag

  • EUR 250,000 (greek residency program)
  • Residency by investment scheme (Greece golden visa)
  • Qualifying investments (real estate property ownership)
  • Residence permit issued valid for 5 years.
  • No work allowed under this scheme.
  • Greece Citizenship after 7 years of living (requires PR status)
  • Free movement in 26 schengen states with residence permit issued by Greece (“A?EIA ?IAMONH?”)
  • No residence requirements.
  • Cheapest property investment program in Europe
  • No language tests, No education, No business experience required to apply.
  • Processing time is 3 months.
Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwarddalmulder/

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/edwarddalmulder/

Request a free quote

Greece map

15. Monaco

flag-mc

  • EUR 1,000,000 (investor visa)
  • Residency by investment (Monaco golden visa)
  • Residency in richest and second smallest country in the world.
  • Live in France or Monaco.
  • Qualifying investments (bank deposit, property purchase)
  • Citizenship after 10 years of living.
  • Free movement in 26 schengen states
  • No residency requirements.
  • Investment in buying a home or property allowed under the scheme.
  • Open to EU and non-EU nationals
monaco

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/ben124/

Request a free quote

 

16. Andorra

Andorra

  • EUR 400,000 (Andorra residency program)
  • Residency by investment
  • Qualifying investments: Property investment (real estate)
  • Andorra citizenship after 20 years of living
  • No free movement in Schengen states.
  • Processing time is 2 months.
Andorra

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/alexeya/

Request a free quote

Andorra map

17. France

France flag

  • EUR 300,000 (business investment)
  • Residency by investment (french investor visa)
  • Qualifying investments: business investment in a french company with job creation
  • French citizenship after 10 years of living.
  • No requirement to live in France
  • Processing time is 2 months.
  • No language tests, No interviews, No education required.
  • Free movement in schengen with carte de sejour

France

Request a free quote

France map

Although Turkey is not a part of Europe, i will list it here

18. Turkey

Turkey

  • USD 1,000,000 property investment
  • Turkish Citizenship by investment (CIP)
  • Qualifying investments: Real estate ($1 million), Business ($2 million), Bonds/Bank deposit ($3 million)
  • No residence requirements
  • Turkish citizenship for family and children
  • No free movement in Schengen states (Turkey is not in schengen)
  • Turkey offers competitive corporate tax rates in the OECD region
  • Turkish passport ranked 51 best passport in the world with visa free access to 102 countries.
  • No requirement to live in Turkey after citizenship.
Turkey

Istanbul – Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/pedrosz/

Turkey map

Caribbean

There are 5 countries in the caribbean offering citizenship by investment (passport) to foreign investors.

1. Dominica

Dominica flag

  • USD 100,000 (donation to Government)
  • Economic Citizenship by investment program (CIP)
  • Qualifying investments (donation, real estate)
  • Dominica Citizenship in 4-6 months with passport
  • Cheapest, easiest citizenship passport program
  • Lifetime citizenship with one time payment
  • Citizenship possible against $200,000 property investment
  • No requirement to visit Dominica.
  • Permanent residence card with citizenship.
  • No interviews, No language tests, No business experience.
  • Dominica passport offers visa free travel to United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany to 110 countries.
  • Citizenship for family and children.
  • Dominica passport issued valid for 10 years
  • No residence requirements
  • No wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income or capital gains tax
  • Confidential application process.
  • Citizenship not reported to other countries.

Dominica

Request a free quote

Dominica map

2. Grenada

flag-gd

  • USD 200,000 (donation one-time to government fund)
  • Economic Citizenship by investment program (CIP)
  • Qualifying investments (donation, real estate, business)
  • Grenada passport in 2-3 months with citizenship certificate
  • No interviews, No language tests, No business experience.
  • Apply for E-2 business visa to USA with Grenada passport
  • Grenada passport offers visa free travel to China, United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany to 110 countries.
  • Lifetime Citizenship for family and children.
  • No requirement to live in Grenada.
  • Permanent residence card issued with citizenship.
  • Grenada passport issued valid for 5 years.
  • Citizenship possible through $350,000 property investment in luxury hotels, villas, resorts or homes.
  • No wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income or capital gains tax
  • Confidential application process.
  • Citizenship not reported to other countries.

Grenada

Request a free quote

Grenada map

3. St Kitts & Nevis

flag-skn

  • USD 250,000 (one-time donation to government fund. Includes $50,000 Government fee)
  • Economic Citizenship by investment programme (CIP)
  • Oldest and most popular citizenship program since 1984
  • Citizenship possible through $400,000 property investment in St Kitts real estate.
  • Citizenship granted in 3-4 months with passport
  • No interviews, No language tests, No business experience.
  • St Kitts passport offers visa free travel to United Kingdom, Switzerland, Germany to 120 countries.
  • Citizenship for family and children.
  • No residence requirements and no requirement to visit or live in St Kitts
  • No wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income or capital gains tax
  • Discrete and Confidential application process.
  • Citizenship not reported to other countries.
  • Lifetime citizenship for family and children
  • St Kitts passport issued is valid for 10 years.
St Kitts & Nevis

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/chuckberridge/

Request a free quote

St Kitts and Nevis map

4. St Lucia

St Lucia

  • USD 100,000 (one-time donation to Government fund from 2017)
  • Economic Citizenship by investment programme (CIP)
  • Cheap and newly launched citizenship program in the Caribbean in 2017
  • Citizenship through $300,000 property investment or $500,000 in Bonds
  • Permanent residence card with citizenship
  • No requirement to visit the country for citizenship
  • Qualifying investments (donation, real estate, business capital, bonds)
  • St Lucia citizenship certificate and passport in 3 months
  • No interviews, No english tests, No business experience, No miltary service.
  • St Lucia passport offers visa free travel to United Kingdom, Switzerland, France, Germany to 110 countries.
  • Permanent lifetime citizenship for family and children.
  • No residence requirements (naturalisation waived to expedite citizenship)
  • No wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income or capital gains tax
  • Confidential and discrete application process.
  • Citizenship not reported to other countries.
Saint Lucia

Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/loimere/

Request a free quote

Saint Lucia map

5. Antigua & Barbuda

Antigua & Barbuda

  • USD 200,000 (one-time donation to government fund)
  • Economic Citizenship by investment program (CIP)
  • Qualifying investments (donation, real estate, business capital)
  • Antigua citizenship/passport in 3 months.
  • Antigua passport valid for 5 years and must be present in the country for 5 years to renew the passport after expiry.
  • Permanent residence card with citizenship.
  • Citizenship through $400,000 real estate investment in approved Antigua property developments.
  • No interviews, No language tests, No business experience.
  • Antigua passport offers visa free travel to United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Germany to 120 countries.
  • Lifetime Citizenship for family and children against one time investment.
  • No wealth, gift, inheritance, foreign income, capital gains taxes
  • Confidential and discrete citizenship application process.
  • Citizenship is confidential and not reported to other countries.
  • Antigua allows dual citizenship allowed with other countries.
Antigua & Barbuda

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andryn2006/

Request a free quote

Antigua & Barbuda

** Please note: St Kitts & Nevis ($250,000), Antigua and Barbuda ($200,000) are the same under donation option, only difference is $50,000 government fee included in $250,000 investment for one person, whereas for Antigua, $50,000 government fee not included with $200,000 investment.

Americas

Investor migration programmes in the Un ited States and Canada are very popular.

1. United States

flag-usa

  • USD 500,000  to USD 1,000,000 (EB-5 investor)
  • Business investment with job create in major urban or rural US cities.
  • Residency by investment (Green card permanent resident status)
  • Qualifying investments (business venture, real estate projects, other investments that create jobs through regional centers)
  • US Citizenship after 5 years of uninterrupted living
  • Live anywhere in the US.
  • Must live permanently in the US, not absent for more than 3 months.
  • US imposes taxes on worldwide income to EB5 investors
  • Processing time anywhere 15-18 months.
  • Family and children qualify for green card.

usas

Request a free quote

United States map

 

2. Canada

flag-ca

  • CAD 800,000 (quebec investor program QIIP (limited quotas open till Feb 2017)
  • Permanent residency by investment in Quebec, Canada
  • Risk free investment as investment money refunded after 5 years.
  • Must move and live in Canada permanently (cannot be absent for more than 3 months)
  • Qualifying investments (business investment creating jobs)
  • Education, language skills, business experience, net assets are required to qualify
  • Canadian citizenship after 3 years of living (requires PR status)
  • Long processing times and often overcrowded. because of limited country quota .
  • Canadian taxes apply for holders of permanent resident status.
  • Financing options available.

canada-mt

Request a free quote

Map of Canada

3. Fiji

Fiji flag

  • USD 125,000 (Fiji investment visa)
  • Residency by investment
  • Qualifying investments: real estate, property investment
  • Fiji Citizenship after 5 years of living
  • No requirement to permanently live in Fiji
  • Family and children qualify for visa.
Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/tasty_goldfish/

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/tasty_goldfish/

Request a free quote

Map of Fiji

4. Bahamas

flag-bh

  • USD 500,000  (Bahamas investor program)
  • Residency by investment (permanent residency)
  • Qualifying investments: Real estate property investment
  • Bahamian citizenship after 10 years of living
  • No corporate income tax, value added tax, or wealth tax
  • Purchase a property or home in Bahamas

Bahamas

Request a free quote

Bahamas map

5. Colombia

Colombia flag

  • USD 200,000 (Colombia investor program)
  • Residency by investment
  • Qualifying investments (real estate, business investment)
  • Colombian Citizenship after 10 years of living (exceptions are  spanish, caribbean nationals can get in one or two years)
  • No requirement to live in the country
  • Family and children qualify for investor visa.
Colombia

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/33200530@N04/

Request a free quote

Colombia map

6. Panama

flag-pa

  • USD 200,000 (Panama investor program)
  • Residency by investment (permanent)
  • Qualifying investments: Real estate investment
  • Panama citizenship after 5 years of living in Panama.
  • Tax haven for offshore company formations.
  • Property investment in Panama real estate market.
  • No exchange controls, No tax treaties with other countries.
Panama

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/mstrniste/

Request a free quote

Panama map

7. Brazil

Brazil flag

  • USD 140,000 (VIPER program)
  • Residency by investment (permanent)
  • Qualifying investments: business, real estate property
  • Citizenship after 4 years.
  • Buy a real estate or invest in business in Brazil
  • No requirement to live in the country.
  • Brazil passport ranked 21st best passport in the world.

Rio, Brazil

Brazil map

Africa

1. Comoros

Comoros

  • USD 45,000
  • Citizenship by investment (unofficial)
  • Comoros passport only good as identification document.
  • Limited visa free travel to only 45 countries (visa needed to visit Europe, UK, Canada)
  • Qualifying investments (one-time payment)
  • Comoros citizenship within 3-4 months
Comoros

Comoros – Flickr Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidstanleytravel/

Comoros map

Asia

There are three popular residency programs in Asia.

1. Hong Kong

Hong Kong

  • USD 800,000 (Hong Kong business investment visa)
  • Residency by investment program
  • Qualifying investments (business enterprise)
  • Investment in biggest asian financial capital and trade center.
  • Hong Kong Citizenship after 7 years of living ( acquiring chinese nationality, cant be dual citizen)
  • Low tax jurisdiction on corporate and income taxes .
  • Hong kong passport ranked 20th best passport in the world with visa free access to 154 countries.

Hong Kong City

Request a free quote

Map of China (hong kong)

2. Singapore

Singapore flag

  • SGD 2,500,000 (investor program)
  • Residency by investment (PR status) in the best asian city to live.
  • Qualifying investments (business venture)
  • Singapore Citizenship after 2 years of PR status.
  • Best scheme for making substantial financial investment in Singapore.
  • Spouse and unmarried children given permanent residence status along with investor
  • Favourable tax regime benefiting foreign investors
  • Singapore passport ranked top 5 best passports in the world.
  • Singapore is single citizenship country (dual citizenship not allowed)

Singapore

Request a free quote

Singapore map

3. Seychelles

Seychelles

  • USD 1,000,000 (business venture capital)
  • Residency by investment (given PR status)
  • Qualifying investments (business venture)
  • Offshore tax haven with bank secrecy laws famous for company incorporations.
  • Seychelles Citizenship after 11 years of living.
  • Spouse and minor children can apply for PR.
Seychelles

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/jmhullot/

Request a free quote

Seychelles map

4. Mauritius

Mauritius flag

  • USD 500,000 (Mauritius investor program)
  • Qualifying investments: Real estate property investment program
  • Mauritius Citizenship after 2 years of living
  • Biggest offshore financial center and low tax jurisdiction for trading and shipping companies.
  • No requirement to live in the country.
  • Investments in hotels, resorts or real estate developments.
  • Family and children can qualify for immediate residency.
Mauritius

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/freakyyash/

Request a free quote

Mauritius map

5. India

India flag

  • USD 1,500,000 (investor visa)
  • Residency by investment (permanent residency status)
  • Qualifying investments: business with job creation
  • Citizenship after 12 years of living.
Mumbai, India

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/philopp/

India map

Oceania

Immigration to Australia and New Zealand through investor schemes are immensely popular.

1. Australia

Australia flag

  • AUD 1,500,000 (investor stream visa)
  • Residency by investment
  • Qualifying investments (business investment activity)
  • Australian Citizenship after 4 years of living
  • Must spend 40 days every year in Australia.
  • Australian residency offered to family and children.
  • Fast application process with 2 months processing time.

Australia

Request a free quote

Australia map

2. New Zealand

FLAG-NZ

  • NZD 1,500,000 (investor stream)
  • Residency by investment
  • Qualifying investments (mix of funds, assets)
  • New Zealand Citizenship after 5 years

New Zealand

Request a free quote

New Zealand map

3. Vanuatu

Vanuatu flag

  • USD 260,000 payment to Vanuatu Financial services authority
  • Vanuatu capital investment immigration scheme – CIIP
  • Vanutu Citizenship program)
  • Qualifying investments: One time fee or business capital
  • Vanuatu citizenship in 2 months
  • No income tax, capital gains or estate taxes
  • Vanuatu passport offers visa free access to 126 countries including EU schengen states, UK.
  • Freedom becoming a dual citizen.
  • Additional costs apply for family application.
Vanuatu capital Port vila

Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/flissphil/

Vanuatu map

Which one is the best citizenship by investment passport?

Here is our verdict:

  • Cheapest citizenship/passport: Dominica
  • Best european citizenship/passport: Malta
  • Most valuable citizenship/passport: Austria
  • Fastest european citizenship/passport: Cyprus
  • Best european golden visa: Belgium, United Kingdom
  • Best caribbean citizenship/passport: Grenada
  • Best property investment golden visa: Portugal

Visa free countries chart

 

Visa free countries chart

Visa free countries chart

 Passport Rank Country Visa free countries
 1  United Kingdom  175
 2  Spain  175
 3  Belgium  175
 4  United States  175
 5  Netherlands  175
 6  Austria  173
 7  Singapore  173
 8  Canada  172
 9  Switzerland  172
 10  Ireland  172
 11  Portugal  172
 12  New Zealand  171
 13  Greece  171
 14  Australia  169
 15  Malta  168
 16  Hungary  167
 17  Latvia  163
 18  Monaco  160
 19  Cyprus  159
 20.  Hong Kong  154
21 Brazil 153
 22  Bahamas  140
 23  Antigua & Barbuda  134
 24  Seychelles  133
 25  St Kitts & Nevis  132
26 Mauritius 128
27 Panama 127
28  St Lucia  125
29 Grenada 121
30 Dominica 119
31 Vanuatu 110
32 Colombia 103
33 Fiji 81
34 India 52
35 Comoros 47

Note: Visa free travel countries, according to Visa restrictions index 2016 report

What about dual citizenships?

If you get a new citizenship in a foreign country, you have to think about dual citizenship laws. In countries such as China, India, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, dual citizenship is prohibited.

Country Dual citizenship Country Dual Citizenship
 United Kingdom Allowed Panama Allowed
 Spain Allowed France Allowed
 Belgium Allowed Andorra Not Allowed
 United States Allowed Mauritius Not Allowed
 Netherlands Not Allowed Fiji Allowed
 Austria Allowed
(by exception)
St Kitts & Nevis Allowed
 Singapore Not Allowed Dominica Allowed
 Canada Allowed Antigua & Barbuda Allowed
 Switzerland Allowed St Lucia Allowed
 Ireland Allowed Grenada Allowed
 Portugal Allowed Comoros Allowed
 New Zealand Allowed Bahamas Not Allowed
 Greece Allowed Seychelles Not Allowed
 Australia Allowed Hong Kong Allowed (in general)
 Malta Allowed  Latvia Allowed
 Hungary Allowed Monaco  Not allowed
 Cyprus Allowed  Brazil  Allowed
Brazil Allowed Vanuatu Allowed
India Not Allowed Colombia Allowed
Turkey Allowed

Dual citizenship NOT allowed if you are born in these countries

  • Afghanistan
  • Andorra
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Bhutan
  • Brunei
  • Cameroon
  • China
  • Republic of Congo
  • Democratic Republic
    of Congo
  • Cuba
  • Eritrea
  • Estonia
  • Ethiopia
  • Gabon
  • Georgia
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Guyana
  • Honduras
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kirbati
  • Kuwait
  • Laos
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Liechtenstein
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Malaysia
  • Maldives
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritania
  • Micronesia
  • Mongolia
  • Montenegro
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Nepal
  • Netherlands
  • North Korea
  • Paraguay
  • Qatar
  • Rwanda
  • Saudi Arabia
  • San Marino
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Solomon Islands
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • Suriname
  • Tanzania
  • Timor Leste
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • Uzbekistan
  • Yemen
  • Zimbabwe

Here are a quick summary of all the citizenship and residency programs currently available

1. Citizenship by Investment Passports

Country Started in Minimum Investment ** Residency requirements Time for citizenship  Visa free countries*
 Malta  2013  € 900,000  12 months 15 months  168
Cyprus  2011 € 2,000,000  6 months 4 months  159
Austria  NA € 5-10 million   12 months 15 months  173
 Dominica  1993 $100,000   none 2 months  119
St Kitts & Nevis  1984 $250,000  none 4 months  132
Antigua & Barbuda  2013 $200,000  5 days 3 months 134
 Grenada  2014 $200,000   none 2 months  121
St Lucia  2015 $100,000  none 2 months  125

2. Citizenship by Residency Programs

Country Started in Minimum Investment ** Residency requirements Time for citizenship
Portugal  2012  € 500,000 7 days/year 6 years
Spain  2012 € 500,000  none 10 years
Austria  NA € 200,000 must live permanently 10 years
United States  1993 $ 500,000  must live permanently in US 7 years
United Kingdom  1994 £ 2,000,000  must live permanently in UK 6 years
Canada  1990 C$ 800,000  must live permanently in Canada 4 years
Greece  2014  € 250,000   none 7 years
Hungary  2015 € 300,000  none 8 years
Latvia  2010 € 80,000  none 10 years
Australia  2012 A$ 1,500,000   40 days/year 4 years
Switzerland  2011  $ 1,000,000  must live permanently  12 years
New Zealand  N$ 1,500,000  146 days/year  5 years
Belgium  2012  € 300,000  none  5 years
Ireland  2012  € 500,000 none 5 years
Netherlands  2014  € 1,250,000 none 5 years
 Bulgaria  2009  € 512,000 none 4 years
Malta 2012  € 275,000 must live permanently 5 years
Cyprus 2012 € 300,000 must live permanently 8 years

There are talks that Turkey and Montenegro programs will be introducing their citizenship or residency programs very soon.

3. Qualifying Investment Routes to Citizenship

Real Estate Investment Donation to Government fund Government bonds Business Investment Bank Deposit Art, Culture, Research, Public Interest
  • Spain
  • Portugal
  • Latvia
  • Ireland
  • Malta
  • Cyprus
  • Andorra
  • Monaco
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Dominica
  • St Lucia
  • Grenada
  • Panama
  • Fiji
  • Bahamas
  • Greece
  • Turkey
  • Malta
  • St Kitts & Nevis
  • Dominica
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • St Lucia
  • Comoros
  • United Kingdom
  • Hungary
  • St Lucia
  • Canada
  • Cyprus
  • Malta
  • Bulgaria
  • Turkey
  • Austria
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • St Lucia
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • United States
  • United Kingdom
  • Netherlands
  • Latvia
  • Seychelles
  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • St Lucia
  • Ireland
  • Netherlands
  • Cyprus
  • Latvia
  • United Kingdom
  • Turkey
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Austria
  • Ireland

If you are interested in any of these programs please contact us for a free quote with private consultation.

Official Government References

Please note for all the programs, as per Government rules, you have to apply through authorised agents and service providers rather than approaching the Government directly. Please contact me and i will help you with a consulting agent.

About the Author

Mr. Balakrishnan is a leading expert in global investment citizenship and residency programs in the world. He is the founder and CEO of Best Citizenships (best-citizenships.com) and Citizenship Shop (citizenshipshop.com),  assisting very wealthy, high net worth families with second citizenships, real estate, tax planning and immigration. He has assisted several investment firms, investors and families to immigrate to Europe and North America over the past 8 years. You can contact him directly in this page

More specific information about the programs and how to apply for these programs can be found in the website www.best-citizenships.com

Credit for Maps: OCHA/ReliefWeb

Similar Posts:

Balakrishnan Prabhu

Mr. Balakrishnan Prabhu is the founder of Corpocrat magazine. He is also the founder of Best Citizenships (BC), assisting wealthy individuals with with global citizenship and residency programs in Europe. His other interests are Linux, Machine learning, Wordpress, etc. You can contact him here