Citizenship by investment is, going into 2023, an incredibly dynamic and ever-shifting field. Several European countries that previously offered CBI programs, for example, have now closed those programs entirely (Portugal and Ireland both being glaring examples). But opportunities for those seeking to diversify their assets and their citizenship options remain rich, and it’s simply a matter of choosing the country that’s right for you and your needs.
This article will provide a robust and exhaustive list of the countries offering second citizenship programs in 2023, along with all requirements and benefits of becoming a citizen of those countries.
What is Citizenship by Investment?
Citizenship by investment is, simply put, the practice of legally obtaining citizenship and a passport by investing in the host country’s economy. Requirements vary from country to country, but generally speaking, prospective CBI candidates are required to offer significant contributions to the economy, culture, or society of the host country in order to be granted citizenship.
Note that citizenship by investment is not the same as a golden visa, or any other residency by citizenship program. This list includes only countries in which investment leads directly to actual citizenship, with all that that implies.
Citizenship by Investment Countries 2023
Antigua & Barbuda
Heading up the considerable number of Caribbean nations that offer passports by investment, Antigua and Barbuda is an attractive option for anyone looking to acquire alternative citizenship options.
Antigua & Barbuda Requirements for Citizenship by Investment
Applicants must be over 18, satisfy all application requirements, and choose one of the following investment options:
- The purchase of a business worth at least USD 1.5 million.
- A contribution of at least USD 100,000 to the National Development Fund.
- The purchase of real estate worth at least USD 200,000. Cannot be sold for five years.
- A contribution of USD 150,000 to the University of the West Indies.
All donations and contributions are non-refundable.
Benefits of Antigua & Barbuda Citizenship
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a total of 150 countries.
- Certain privileges in the UK and other Commonwealth countries.
- Many dependents, including spouses, children under 31, parents/grandparents over 55, and unmarried siblings of both the applicant and his/her spouse can be included in the application.
The second Caribbean nation to appear on our list, Dominica is one of the cheapest destinations for citizenship by investment in the region. What’s more, it can be obtained without ever setting foot on Dominican soil.
Dominica Requirements for Citizenship by Investment
Those wishing to make use of Dominica’s second citizenship program have two options open to them:
- Make a non-refundable contribution to the Dominica Economy Diversification Fund. The precise amount depends upon whether you’re single (USD $100,000), a married couple ($150,000), a family of four ($175,000) or a family of five or more (costs vary according to the number of dependents).
- Applicants must purchase government-approved real estate worth at least USD $200,000 along with associated fees (which vary according to the number of dependents included; they may be as little as $35,000, or as much as $200,000+).
Benefits of Dominican Citizenship
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 145 countries, including China, Hong Kong, Singapore, the UK, and the Schengen Zone.
- A generous tax regime, with 0% tax on dividends, royalties or interest generated abroad. There is also no inheritance or capital gains tax within the country.
- Dominican passport holders are eligible for a 10-year US visa.
The Caribbean’s reputation as a haven for investment citizens is well earned. Grenada’s CBI program is not quite as generous as Dominica’s, but there are nevertheless some great incentives to put down roots on this beautiful tropical island.
Grenada Requirements for Citizenship by Investment
Similarly to Dominica, there are two options open to applicants.
- A non-refundable contribution to the National Investment Fund. Base amount is USD $150,000 for a single applicant; those with spouses and/or families must invest a minimum of $200,000, and potentially more if their number of dependents is very large. There are also due diligence and various miscellaneous fees to be paid.
- Purchase of real estate approved by the state worth at least USD $220,000. The real estate in question cannot be sold for a period of five years.
Benefits of Grenada Citizenship
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 146 countries, including the UK, the Schengen Zone, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Grenadians also get a 30-day visa on arrival in China.
- 10-year tourist visas to the US.
- E-2 business visas to the US, which require holders to invest in a business worth at least $100,000.
- Discreet registration of businesses that are not subject to currency control restrictions and do not require the owner’s details to be entered into the commercial register.
- 0% tax on dividends, royalties or interest generated abroad. No inheritance, income or capital gains taxes, and no stamp duty.
Malta does not directly offer citizenship by investment; either way of obtaining a Maltese passport involves residency for a period of time.
Malta Requirements for Citizenship by Investment
The Maltese government requires all applicants to satisfy all of the following conditions:
- A contribution to the National Development and Social Fund of at least 600,000 euros, along with residency in Malta for a period of not less than 3 years. If applicants donate at least 750,000 euros, this residency period requirement is reduced to 1 year.
- A donation to a non-government organization of at least 10,000 euros.
- Either the rental of a residential property (worth 16,000 in rent paid per annum) or the purchase of residential real estate worth 700,000 euros. Following the obtainment of citizenship, a further five-year commitment is required whether renting or buying.
Benefits of Malta Citizenship
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to a staggering 185 countries, including the USA, Canada, the Schengen Zone, the UK, Hong Kong, and Singapore.
- Residency rights in any Schengen Zone country.
- Dual citizenship permitted.
- The right to open a business in any EU country.
St. Kitts and Nevis
This Caribbean nation has been in the citizenship-by-investment business longer than anyone else, having started in 1986. Consequently, they are well-practiced and have a robust second citizenship program.
St. Kitts and Nevis Requirements for Citizenship by Investment
There are four paths to a St. Kitts and Nevis passport by investment:
- A non-refundable contribution to the Sustainable Growth Fund. The contribution begins at USD $125,000 and increases according to the number of dependents on your application.
- Buy a property worth at least $200,000, or invest at least $200,000 into a shared property investment. The property must be government approved and can’t be sold for 7 years.
- Buy a residential property worth at least $400,000 that has been approved by the government. The property cannot be sold for 5 years.
- A $175,000-dollar investment in an Approved Public Benefits Project.
Benefits of St. Kitts and Nevis Citizenship
- The best passport in the Caribbean, with visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 156 countries. These include Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland, the UK, and the Schengen Zone.
- The right to apply for 10-year US visas.
- The right to register businesses in St. Kitts and Nevis, with all the generous tax breaks and hassle-free foreign exchange capabilities that that entails.
- A hands-off tax policy that ensures no capital gains or inheritance tax. There are also no taxes on dividends, royalties or interest.
One of the newer programs on this list, St. Lucia only opened their CBI program in 2015. One of the most notable things about St. Lucia’s program is just how straightforward it is – there’s no residency requirement or language proficiency/citizenship test.
St. Lucia Requirements for Citizenship by Investment
You can acquire St. Lucia citizenship in one of four ways:
- A non-refundable contribution of USD $100,000 to the National Economic Fund.
- The purchase of $300,000 of government bonds. They do not accrue interest, but can be redeemed after 5 years.
- The purchase of real estate valued at a minimum of $200,000, not to be sold for 5 years.
- An investment in a government-approved business venture. If applying as an individual, the minimum amount invested must be $3.5 million. A group investment may also be made, provided the total investment is at least $6 million and each investor puts in at least $1 million.
Benefits of St. Lucia Citizenship
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 147 countries, including the Schengen Zone, the UK, Singapore, and Hong Kong.
- 10-year US tourist visas.
- 0% tax on capital gains, inheritance, or global income.
- Discreet registration of international companies.
This country spanning two continents is one of the most attractive ones with citizenship by investment in the world, particularly for Russian nationals.
Türkiye Requirements for Citizenship by Investment
There are five potential avenues to a passport by investment in Türkiye:
- Purchase of real estate worth USD $400,000 or more. May be sold after three years.
- Business investments worth $500,000 or more, or the establishment of a business that creates 50 jobs or more. The shares or business may be sold after three years.
- A deposit of $500,000 or more in a Turkish bank account. May be withdrawn after three years.
- Buying into an investment fund with a purchase of at least $500,000. The money may be recouped after three years, and interest is earned throughout.
- Purchase of government bonds worth at least $500,000. May be sold after three years.
Benefits of Türkiye Citizenship
- Access to a C-2 Schengen visa, which allows bearers to remain in the Schengen Zone for 90 days out of every 180.
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 110 countries, including South Korea and Singapore.
- Unlimited access to Türkiye, even when borders are closed.
- Access to an E-2 business visa for the US, which allows investors and their families to live and work in the US (assuming an investment of at least USD $100,000).
This Pacific Island nation has an abundance of natural beauty and sites of interest, including WW2-era shipwrecks and pristine sandy beaches. Its citizenship by investment program is comparatively young, having been established in 2017.
Vanuatu Requirements for Citizenship by Investment
There is only a single path on Vanuatu’s citizenship by investment program:
- A non-refundable contribution of USD $130,000 to Vanuatu’s National Development Program.
Benefits of Vanuatu Citizenship
- Visa-free or visa-on-arrival access to 96 countries, including Hong Kong, Singapore, and the UK (where you can stay for up to 180 days a year).
- Access to 5-year US tourist visas.
- International business registration with a very favorable tax regimen (0% tax on personal income, corporate income, capital gains or inheritance). Tax is simply a flat $300 per year.
As we have seen, the requirements for citizenship by investment can vary considerably from country to country, and the passport options opened up by different CBI countries will likely be a considerable factor when deciding upon the right country for you. Ultimately, it’s a matter of personal preference, so be sure to carefully research any country you’re considering before fully committing.