Citizenship by Investment ("Ius Doni") refers to the granting of citizenship to an individual or family usually through making a substantial financial investment into a country’s domestic economy. While modern day economic citizenship programmes have been around for 30 years, they have only recently become popular as both high-net-worth-individuals and governments realise the mutual benefits offered by such programmes.
In this blog post, we will examine the 5 leading global citizenship by investment programmes in existence today.
Located in the beautiful Eastern Mediterranean, Cyprus beautiful geography is enhanced by an even more splendid climate, with seemingly endless blue skies. The country is also home to a wonderful citizenship-by-investment programme to boot, scoring full marks on factors such as stability/reputation and Process/Time. Investors also benefit from an extremely high quality of life, as Cyprus is a culturally rich country and perfectly placed for working and travelling, both within the EU and beyond. The programme itself requires a minimum investment of €2,000,000 in Real Estate/Land Development projects or Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs). An additional reason why this programme trumps all others is that it allows dual citizenship, meaning you do not have to forfeit your previous citizenship upon approval. And with a time to citizenship of just 6 months and family members included on application, we must ask one simple question; what’s not to like?!
2. Saint Lucia
Rising abruptly from the Caribbean Sea, Saint Lucia is a sight to behold. A country of lush rainforests, high peaks, secluded coves and white, sandy beaches, the country has long been a paradise for holidaymakers and honeymooners alike. In an attempt to diversify its primarily agricultural economy, the country’s Government introduced an economic citizenship programme in 2015. Since its introduction, the programme has been hugely successful with investors, who are drawn by the exceptional lifestyle the country provides, as well as highly favourable residency requirements and a fast processing time of just 3 months. A Saint Lucian passport also confers visa-free travel to more than 130 countries globally, making it ideal for both personal and business travelers. And with a minimum investment starting at just $100,000, it is no wonder why the programme has proved to be such a hit with investors.
3. Saint Kitts and Nevis
Initiated in 1984, the Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship programme is the longest-standing programme in existence today, with a history spanning more than 30 years. The reputation and quality of the programme, along with the fact that there are several investment options ensures that the programme always remains popular with investors seeking a second citizenship. In addition to the relaxed Caribbean lifestyle (St. Kitts is home to some of the most luxurious resorts in the entire Caribbean region), investors will also unveil a world of business opportunities as St. Kitts does not levy tax on worldwide income.
The Commonwealth of Dominica offers a different experience to many of the other countries in the Caribbean region. A lush, tropical island blessed with green mountains, a diverse array of flora and fauna, Dominica provides a safe and straightforward option for investors interested in a second citizenship. As is the case with several other countries in the region, Dominica offers investors with a beneficial personal taxation system, dual citizenship recognition and several investment options. However, Dominica stands out from the competition by being one of the most sustainable CBI options globally, by ensuring that investment choices are ethical and environmentally conscious. With exciting investment opportunities and a warm, welcoming people, Dominica is well-deserving of its place on this list.
5. Antigua and Barbuda
Rounding out our list of the top 5 citizenship by investment programmes is Antigua and Barbuda. Shaped by limestone formations, Antigua and Barbuda offers an excellent second citizenship programme; with a fast and efficient application process and low residency requirements. Moreover, an Antiguan passport confers visa-free access to all EU member states, making it the ideal second residency for investors with personal or business ties to the continent. These factors, when considered in conjunction with the fact that Antigua is home to a stunning natural environment make it one of the best economic citizenship programmes globally.