EU citizenship provides the freedom to move freely within the EU and EEA region. As an EU citizen, you have the right to live and move within the EU without being discriminated against on the grounds of your nationality. It also grants the right to study and work in any EU member state. Moreover, EU passports are among the most powerful passports in the world, when it comes to visa free travel.
Generally speaking, there are three different paths to obtain a citizenship of a certain country:
- Citizenship by Descent – If you have a parent, grandparent, and in some cases a great grandparent who was a citizen of a European country and you meet certain conditions then you can become a citizen of that country.
- Naturalization – By choosing naturalization, you should obtain a residency permit (by work, marriage or doing business) in your targeting European country firstly then wait for the naturalization clock to run its course.
- Citizenship by Investment – many countries grant citizenship to investors that meet certain investment requirements.
Among the above-mentioned methods, the most straightforward process is to obtain citizenship by making an investment. Below are the countries offering citizenship by investment programmes that can give you a straightforward gateway to the EU.
- Applicant can purchase a property worth more than €350,000 or rent a property with rent of at least €16,000 per year for a total of five years.
- Applicant can make an investment of at least €150,000 in government-approved investments over five years.
- Applicant can contribute €650,000 to the National Development and Social Fund of the Government of Malta.
You will also need to spend some time in Malta while you process your economic citizenship since it takes about 15 months for the Maltese government to issue your passport.
- Investment of at least €2,000,000 in real estate, development projects or infrastructure projects (the €500,000 residential property may be included within this amount).
- Purchase of more than €2,000,000 worth of Cypriot commercial financial products, including bonds and securities.
- Purchase, creation or participation in a Cyprus business or company (investment worth at least €2,000,000), which employs at least 5 citizens of Cyprus or the EU.
- A combination of the three kinds of investments above. Up to €500,000 of the total amount can be invested in Cypriot Government bonds.
Investors must also own a private residence in Cyprus, worth at least €500,000. If investors choose a real estate investment, the €500,000 can be included in the €2,000,000 total.
Some other European countries also provide residency programme by investment which is a straightforward way to obtain citizenship as well. Many of these programmes in Europe are known as Golden Visas.
The requirement of obtaining Ireland residency are as follows:
- €1,000,000 investment of venture capital funding into an Irish business (3 years). The investment may be into one enterprise or spread across a number of enterprises.
- €1,000,000 investment in a government-approved investment bond.
- €2,000,000 investment in an approved Real Estate Investment Trust regulated by the Irish Stock Exchange. This may be in one trust or across a number of trusts.
- A philanthropic donation of €500,000 (or €400,000 per individual where 5 or more applicants pool their donations for a specific project).
- Investors can make a real estate transaction and acquire property or properties worth at least €500,000. This needs to be completed before the application for a residency permit. Properties must be acquired free from any montage. Investors can also invest money in rebuilding or renovating urban properties in certain cases – minimum amount €350,000.
- Investors can make a financial investment or cash deposit through the purchase of stocks or bonds. The minimum value must be €1,000,000.
- Investors can form a new company in Portugal and employ at least ten people.
- Investors can invest in scientific, technological or cultural research. Investment amount must be at least €350,000 or €250,000 in the case of artistic projects or cultural heritage projects.