Your guide to unlock global mobility

In an increasingly interconnected world, acquiring a second passport through Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs has emerged as a strategic move for individuals seeking to expand their global mobility and business outreach. By making a significant financial contribution to a nation’s economy, one can enjoy a host of benefits, from visa-free travel and business opportunities to favorable tax regimes. A world of opportunities awaits, so why not unlock the door?

Key Takeaways

  • Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs provide a direct route to acquiring a second passport by investing in real estate, national development funds, or business ventures, with benefits such as visa-free travel, business expansion opportunities, and potential tax advantages.
  • There is a diverse array of CBI programs around the world, with varied investment requirements, processing times, and eligibility criteria; popular regions include the Caribbean, offering lower investment thresholds, and Europe, providing strong passports and EU access.
  • Applying for CBI can be intricate, often requiring thorough documentation, due diligence checks, and professional assistance; understanding the tax implications of CBI, including potential tax benefits and double taxation, is crucial for appropriate financial planning.
Key Takeaways of best citizenship

Understanding Citizenship by Investment

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) programs, also known as economic citizenship programs, offer a unique pathway to acquire a second nationality. Unlike traditional immigration processes, these programs allow foreign nationals to obtain citizenship status in a chosen country by making a significant financial contribution to its economy. This could be through:

  • real estate investments, attracting foreign investors
  • donations to a national development fund
  • participation in business ventures that boost job creation and stimulate economic growth.

The appeal of these programs lies in the myriad benefits they offer, including:

  • Visa-free travel to over 151 countries, providing global citizens with unparalleled international mobility
  • Business opportunities for those interested in expanding their business abroad
  • Potential tax advantages in certain countries, such as attractive tax regimes with no income tax or capital gains tax, providing significant savings for high-net-worth individuals.
citizenship by investment

However, keep in mind that citizenship via investment isn’t a guarantee. Each application’s outcome relies on various criteria and due diligence checks. Yet, with proper guidance and preparation, you can significantly improve your chances of success.

Types of Investment Programs

Visa free access

The beauty of CBI programs lies in their diversity. Across the globe, various countries offer distinct investment options, each tailored to accommodate different investor preferences. These options typically encompass government-approved real estate, donations to a National Development Fund (NDF), or investment in government bonds or state funds. The investment amounts can vary significantly. For instance, some programs may require a minimum real estate investment of $130,000, while others may necessitate more substantial investments.

The processing times for these programs also differ. Some programs offer a swift process, taking as little as 3-6 months, while others may take a bit longer. For instance:

Each program, regardless of its investment route or processing time, offers unique benefits. Therefore, it’s important that you select a program that aligns with your personal needs and objectives.

Eligibility Criteria

While CBI programs offer a multitude of benefits, they also come with certain eligibility criteria. The typical requirements for these programs usually involve the applicant being 18 years of age or older, having a clean criminal record, and possessing a legal source of income and funds for investment. While these criteria may seem stringent, they are put in place to ensure the integrity of these programs and to protect the interests of the host country.

Eligibility Criteria - Citizenship programs

Top Citizenship by Investment Destinations

Having laid the foundation of what CBI involves, it’s time to delve into the top destinations for these programs. The Caribbean and European countries stand out as premier choices for Citizenship by Investment programs, each presenting distinct benefits and investment requirements. Caribbean countries are particularly attractive due to their comparatively low investment thresholds, fast processing, and advantages such as visa-free travel and financial confidentiality. European countries, on the other hand, offer a different set of benefits, including strong passports, access to the European Union, and higher investment requirements.

Beyond the Caribbean and Europe, other countries like Malta and Vanuatu are also recognized for their Citizenship by Investment programs. These countries are appealing to investors in search of international mobility and alternative investment prospects. As such, the choice of destination for Citizenship by Investment largely depends on an individual’s personal preferences, financial capability, and long-term objectives.

Caribbean Countries

Revered for their sun-soaked beaches and vibrant cultures, Caribbean countries have long been a favorite destination for Citizenship by Investment. Countries such as St. Kitts and Nevis, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda offer programs with relatively low investment thresholds, making them an affordable choice for many. For instance, the St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship by Investment Program stipulates a minimum real estate investment of $250,000 or a donation of $250,000 to the Sustainable Growth Fund.

The processing times for these programs can also be relatively swift, with St. Kitts and Nevis known to grant citizenship within four months. Moreover, the robust passports offered by these countries permit visa-free entry to a significant number of countries globally, with St. Kitts and Nevis provides visa-free access to 155 countries, offering travelers the opportunity to explore a wide range of destinations without the need for a visa. This can make it easier for visitors to plan their international travel. These benefits, coupled with the regions’ financial confidentiality, make Caribbean countries a highly attractive option for Citizenship by Investment.

European Countries

On the other side of the spectrum, European countries offer a different set of benefits for Citizenship by Investment. Countries such as Austria, North Macedonia, and Malta offer European citizenship through CBI programs. The benefits of possessing a European Union citizenship are numerous, encompassing unrestricted entitlement to reside, retire, work, pursue education, and engage in business activities within Europe, not to mention visa-free travel within Europe and access to high-quality education with free or reduced tuition.

Citizenship program

However, the investment amounts required for these programs tend to be higher. The minimum investment required for the most affordable European citizenship program offered by an EU country is €400,000. This investment amount makes it an accessible option for those seeking European citizenship. Moreover, the processing times for these programs can vary, ranging from two to nine months for a Golden Visa, six months for Greek, a few weeks for Malta’s residence permit and naturalization process, and 90 days for Caribbean citizenship by investment schemes.

Nonetheless, the long-term benefits of these programs often outweigh the higher initial investment and longer processing times.

Emerging Destinations

In addition to established destinations, emerging locations such as Turkey and Montenegro are gaining traction in the Citizenship by Investment realm. These countries offer unique benefits that may appeal to investors looking for new opportunities or potential for future growth. For instance, Turkey’s Citizenship by Investment program requires investors to acquire real estate valued at a minimum of US$400,000 or deposit US$500,000 in a Turkish bank for a period of three years.

Montenegro, on the other hand, had a popular citizenship by investment program which closed at the end of 2018. Now, individuals can acquire permanent residency by making a real estate investment and become eligible to apply for Montenegrin citizenship after a period of ten years of residency. Although these emerging destinations may not have the same level of international recognition as Caribbean or European countries, they present exciting opportunities for investors looking to explore alternative Citizenship by Investment routes.

Investment Options and Requirements

Now, we’ll delve into the investment options and requirements for Citizenship by Investment programs. The choice of investment is crucial, as it not only determines the financial commitment required but also the potential returns on the investment. The predominant investment types for CBI programs include real estate, government bonds, and state funds.

The investment amounts for these options can vary significantly, ranging from affordable to highly substantial. For instance, the minimum investment threshold for real estate in the Citizenship by Investment Program of St. Lucia is $100,000, while for the Citizenship by Investment Program of St. Kitts and Nevis, it is $250,000. Alternatively, some programs allow for a donation to a government-managed fund, which is subsequently utilized to make investments in the economy of the country providing citizenship.

Overall, the choice of investment will largely depend on the investor’s financial capability, risk tolerance, and long-term objectives.

Real Estate Investments

Real estate investment is a prevalent form of investment in CBI programs, wherein individuals must make a specified real estate investment, which may be utilized as their primary residence or as an investment property. This investment route offers potential for capital appreciation and rental income, making it an attractive option for many investors.

However, real estate investments often come with specific requirements, such as a minimum investment amount and a holding period. For example, the Dominica Citizenship by Investment program requires the property to be held for a minimum of three years. Despite these requirements, real estate investments provide a tangible asset that can yield significant returns over time, making it a popular choice amongst CBI applicants.

Real estate investment for citizenship purposes

Government Bonds and State Funds

Investment in government bonds to gain citizenship

Government bonds and state funds provide a more straightforward investment route, involving a monetary donation to a government-managed fund or the purchase of government bonds. This investment route is seen as beneficial as it provides a direct contribution to the country’s economy, often used for national development projects or the economic diversification fund.

While this route may not provide the same potential for returns as real estate investments, it comes with its benefits. For instance, some programs allow for the return of funds after a specified period, providing a level of flexibility for the investor. Additionally, this investment route often involves less complexity and fewer requirements compared to real estate investments, making it an attractive option for many.

Alternative Investment Routes

In addition to real estate and government bonds, there are also alternative investment routes such as:

  • Business investments, which often involve investing in an existing business or establishing a new one that contributes to job creation and economic growth in the host country
  • Donations
  • Other unique options depending on the country and program.

Meanwhile, donations serve as a straightforward and hassle-free route to acquire citizenship, requiring a one-time lump sum contribution to the state fund of a government. While this route does not provide a return on investment, it offers a straightforward pathway to citizenship.

Citizenship by investment businessman

The varied investment pathways offer a degree of flexibility, allowing investors to choose an option that best suits their financial capacity and investment goals.

Family Inclusion and Dual Citizenship

It’s also crucial to factor in family inclusion and dual citizenship when assessing Citizenship by Investment programs. Many programs allow for the inclusion of family members in the application, making it possible for the entire family to benefit from the advantages of a second passport. This includes:

  • visa-free travel to numerous countries
  • access to quality education
  • healthcare
  • a better quality of life.
Family Inclusion and Dual Citizenship

Dual citizenship, on the other hand, pertains to the legal status of an individual who holds citizenship in two or more countries. The regulations governing dual citizenship differ by nation, with some permitting it and others mandating the relinquishment of previous citizenship. For investors seeking to maintain their original citizenship while acquiring a new one, it’s crucial to consider the dual citizenship policies of the chosen country.

Including Family Members

For families considering CBI, the ability to include family members in the application can be a significant deciding factor. The majority of programs allow spouses and children under the age of 18 to be included in the application. This ensures that families can stay together during the application process. In certain programs, adult children, siblings, and parents may also be included. In exceptional circumstances, grandparents, grandchildren, and in-laws may be added.

However, incorporating family members in the citizenship by investment application incurs supplementary expenses such as:

  • application fees
  • due diligence fees
  • processing fees
  • passport fees
  • incremental payments for each additional dependent
Citizenship by investment - family members

Despite the additional costs, including family members in the application can provide them with the same benefits of citizenship, making it a worthwhile investment for many.

Dual Citizenship Considerations

Dual citizenship considerations

Dual citizenship policies vary by country, with some CBI programs requiring renunciation of previous citizenship, while others allow for multiple citizenships. For instance, Austria’s citizenship by investment program mandates that applicants renounce their current citizenship prior to acquiring Austrian citizenship. On the contrary, the Citizenship by Investment programs in Caribbean countries such as St. Lucia, as well as Malta’s program, enable investors to acquire dual or multiple citizenships.

The option for dual citizenship can provide considerable advantages, including increased global mobility, access to business opportunities in multiple countries, and enhanced personal security. However, dual citizens may also face certain challenges, such as potential double taxation or increased reporting requirements. Therefore, it’s essential to carefully consider the implications of dual citizenship when deciding on a CBI program.

Navigating the Application Process

The application process for CBI programs can be intricate, involving several steps, including:

  1. Documentation: Applicants must provide necessary documentation, which typically includes proof of identity, proof of good standing, and proof of income and source of funds.
  2. Due diligence: Applicants must undergo background checks to ensure eligibility and compliance with program requirements.
  3. Professional assistance: Many applicants choose to seek professional assistance to navigate the application process and ensure all requirements are met.

Given the complexities involved, seeking professional assistance can be beneficial. Firms like Imperial Citizenship specialize in guiding individuals through the CBI process, providing expert advice and support to ensure a successful outcome. Their services include:

  • Expert advice on the best CBI programs available
  • Assistance with document preparation and submission
  • Guidance on investment options and requirements
  • Support throughout the application process
  • High success rate of nearly 100% in obtaining citizenship by investment

Imperial Citizenship is a dependable choice for investors seeking a second citizenship.

Documentation and Due Diligence

As part of the application process, applicants must provide necessary documentation and undergo background checks. The scope of the due diligence process for citizenship by investment encompasses the review and analysis of the background of applicants to ascertain their reputation, eligibility, and compliance with program requirements.

The typical documents required for the CBI application process consist of the investor’s passport or government-issued ID card for identity verification, and proof of address. However, frequent grounds for the rejection of a citizenship by investment application during due diligence include inadequate disclosure of information, submission of false or deceptive information, and unfavorable outcomes in government or third-party due diligence firm background checks. As such, it’s imperative for applicants to be transparent and thorough in their documentation to ensure a smooth application process.

Professional Assistance by Imperial Citizenship

The complexities of the CBI application process often necessitate professional assistance. Firms such as Imperial Citizenship specialize in guiding individuals through this process, providing expert advice and support to ensure a successful outcome. They provide a range of services, including advisory services for investor programs aimed at acquiring residence and citizenship in various nations, assisting clients in navigating the intricate application process.

With a high success rate of nearly 100% in obtaining citizenship by investment, Imperial Citizenship has established itself as a trusted choice for investors seeking a second citizenship. Their expertise and personalized assistance can help streamline the application process, making it easier for individuals to achieve their goals of global mobility and financial freedom through programs.

Professional Assistance by Imperial Citizenship

The Impact of Citizenship by Investment on Taxes and Finances


Understanding the impact on taxes and finances is also vital when considering Citizenship by Investment. CBI programs may provide decreased tax responsibilities, including possible tax exclusions. For instance, in St. Kitts & Nevis, there are no taxes on income, capital gains, or inheritance, and these benefits can apply to business activities registered in the country.

However, acquiring citizenship through investment can also bring about tax implications, including the obligation to comply with potential double taxation and additional taxes that were not previously applicable in one’s original tax jurisdiction. As such, it’s crucial to understand the tax implications of CBI and plan accordingly to ensure efficient tax management.

Tax Benefits

Many Citizenship by Investment programs offer significant tax benefits. These may include reduced income tax rates or exemptions for specific income categories. For instance, countries such as St. Kitts and Nevis provide tax-free status through their citizenship by investment programs, presenting a significant advantage for investors aiming to minimize their tax obligations.

However, the tax benefits associated with CBI programs vary significantly between countries. While some nations provide tax advantages and are deemed tax-exempt for non-resident citizens, others offer a spectrum of tax systems from low-tax settings to entirely tax-free statuses. Therefore, it’s essential to thoroughly research the tax benefits of different CBI programs to choose a program that best aligns with your tax planning goals.

Double Taxation and Reporting Requirements

Double taxation may arise when an individual becomes a tax resident in another country through a Citizenship by Investment program, which could result in the obligation to pay taxes on the same income or assets in both the home country and the new country of citizenship. However, international agreements known as double taxation agreements (DTAs) have been established between countries to address the issue of double taxation for dual citizens.

In addition to double taxation, dual citizens may also face certain reporting requirements. For instance, dual citizens in the United States are required to submit Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, if they qualify as dual-status taxpayers upon becoming U.S. residents within the year. Understanding these implications is crucial for efficient tax planning and compliance.

Where to start? Imperial Citizenship at your disposal

Are you ready to start your journey towards second citizenship? Imperial Citizenship is here to assist you. Offering expert guidance and support, Imperial Citizenship assists high net worth individuals in acquiring a second passport or residence through investment in a country of their choosing.

With expedited processing options starting from $100,000 and authorized agents for consultations, your journey towards global mobility and financial freedom is just a step away.


Citizenship by Investment programs offer a unique opportunity for individuals to secure a second passport, expand their global mobility, and gain access to new business opportunities. With a myriad of options from real estate investments to government bonds and state funds, individuals can choose an investment route that aligns with their financial capability and goals. In addition, the possibility of including family members and obtaining dual citizenship makes these programs all the more appealing. However, it’s essential to understand the complexities of the application process, tax implications, and the importance of professional guidance. With expert assistance from Imperial Citizenship, individuals can navigate the intricacies of CBI programs and unlock the door to a world of possibilities.

Investors with their new passports

Frequently Asked Questions

Which country is easiest to get citizenship by investment?

Some of the easiest countries to obtain citizenship through investment include Malta, Cyprus, and St. Kitts and Nevis. These countries offer various investment options for citizenship.

Where is the cheapest place to buy citizenship?

The cheapest place to buy citizenship is in certain countries with available programs for investment-based naturalization. These programs offer citizenship in exchange for making a significant financial investment.

What is the cheapest European country to get citizenship in?

The cheapest European country to get citizenship in is Portugal. Portugal offers one of the most affordable investment options for citizenship, allowing you to gain an EU passport after five years.

What are the benefits of Citizenship by Investment programs?

Citizenship by Investment programs provide benefits like visa-free travel to numerous countries, business opportunities, potential tax advantages, and the option to include family members in the application. These programs offer a range of practical advantages for individuals seeking to obtain citizenship through investment.

What are the top destinations for Citizenship by Investment programs?

The top destinations for Citizenship by Investment programs are Caribbean and European countries, each offering unique advantages and investment criteria. Choose based on your specific preferences and investment capabilities.

Scroll to Top