What is Citizenship by Investment? All You Need to Know for 2022

Woman Traveller

For those who have much, the world is their playground. The rich have the luxury of options. They can choose where to live, what business to build, and where to invest that business. Of all these options, they can even get a second passport by investment. Isn’t that interesting? 

Getting a second passport by investment means what it means. You invest in their country’s economy; you get a second passport of that country without a hitch. Think of it as a large-scale trade-off. As of present, over thirty countries offer residency or citizenship by investment. 

Don’t fret if you haven’t heard of this citizenship method before! We compiled all the things you need to know about this process this 2022. 

What You Need to Know 

1. Countries Offering this Service

In total, there are 30 countries worldwide that offer this service. However, only 11 of these countries provide a direct trade-off of investment and citizenship. The countries are as follows:

  • Grenada
  • Dominica
  • St. Kitts & Nevis 
  • St. Lucia
  • Malta 
  • Austria
  • Montenegro 
  • Turkey 
  • Antigua & Barbuda 
  • Jordan
  • North Macedonia

This number may increase in the years to come. But, for now, look into these countries. Is there one that piques your interest? 

2. Types of Investment

Among the countries mentioned above, they offer different types of investment-to-citizenship programs. You can either invest in the government directly or enter their economy as a separate business entity. 

Government Fund

Each country requires a specific contribution towards a particular government program. To gain Grenadian citizenship, the government requires at least a $150,000 donation. On the other hand, in St. Kitts & Nevis, you are required to pay a non-refundable amount to the country’s Sustainable Growth Fund for every single applicant or a family of four. Additional sums are required if the family exceeds four. 

Real Estate 

Other countries provide an option. You can either support government programs or invest in the local real estate industry as an owner. And for other countries, they require both. 

Circling back to St. Kitts & Nevis, not only does the local government require a donation to their sustainable growth fund, but they also require the applicant to purchase any real estate property with particular market values. 

Eyeing applicants have the option of purchasing a property with a value of more than USD 200,000 and USD 400,000 worth of real estate. Each property is resaleable after seven years and five years, respectively.  

Unlike St. Kitts & Nevis, the Grenada government provides an either-or option for potential applicants. They can either donate or invest USD 220,000 in government-approved real estate projects and maintain it for at least five years. 

This process in acquiring a second passport in Grenada is more viable for applicants. 

3. Processing Period 

Each country takes its time in going through each one from application to approval. Most countries have an average of 3-6 months processing time. 

In this case, Malta stands out. Instead of letting the applicants wait, the government requires them to actually live in the country for a minimum of 36 months. They must first hold a Maltese residence status before their citizenship by investment application is considered. 

Despite its long lead time, living in Malta is an overall great experience. It’s at the Mediterranean sea, it is known for its excellent tropical climate, and high-quality life. 

4. Economic Boost 

For those wishing to expand their business in the Middle East, citizenship by investment is one of the easiest ways to enter the local economy. The Middle Eastern country of Jordan is the gateway of foreign investors to the bustling Middle Eastern economy. 

As such, it is expected to cost more. The citizenship by investment program of the Jordan government requires a minimum investment of USD 750,000. Regardless of this seemingly steep price, the economic growth for your company is secured. Jordan’s economy is relatively stable and growing steadily. It already has established ties with neighboring countries that are also beneficial for your growth. 

Aside from a topological perspective, countries that offer this citizenship program also invest in its long-term effects. 

St. Lucia, in particular, requires applicants several investments. The first needed investment is a real estate investment amounting to USD 300,000 that is resaleable after five years. Second, an enterprise investment that produces jobs is also expected. In this manner, the government is making sure that the citizenship program will alleviate the lives of the locals directly. 

In the case of  St. Lucia’s regulations, the economic boost goes two ways—for the investors and the locals.  

5. Travel Benefits 

Once the second passport from any of these countries is acquired, it goes without saying that it comes with travel advantages too. 

First of all, there are Visa privileges. Some countries forego the visa requirement because of your passport. St. Lucia has visa-free or visa-on-arrival travel in over 146 countries. On the other hand, having a Grenada passport means visa-free travel to over 153 countries. 

Most of these passports have direct access to Europe’s Schengen Area, China, Russia, and the US. If you’re a jet setter, having powerful passports is one of the best things to have. 

6. Dual Citizenship 

Applying for another country’s citizenship by investment does not immediately mean acquiring dual citizenship. Some government regulations require the applicant to apply for another process specific to dual citizenship. 

Some countries do honor dual citizenship status right away. Make sure to double-check the government regulations when interested to apply for it. It’s also best to ask former successful applicants to know the nitty-gritty details of the entire process. 

Wrapping Up 

Acquiring a second passport by investing in another country’s economy may seem like an unusual way to gain citizenship, but the trade-off certainly makes sense. The passport and the perks that come with it are considered as a reward for the generous contributions towards the nation’s growth. 

If you are interested in any of these countries mentioned, make sure to do further research. The process in each country varies. From the needed requirements, type of investment, benefits, and, of course, the overall living experience. It’s better to pick a secondary country that best fits your tastes.

Good luck on getting that second passport!

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.